Saturday, December 31, 2011

Overheard at Table 4: Starbucks Picks Up

-Man, I went in hoping to get another She and Him song for the pick of the week, and what do I get? Scrabble app.

-Wow. You just can never get what you want on the free stuff these days.

-True that!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Overread at the Counter: a 360 about Courtly and Contemporary Love


How I prefer the poems of old
That spoke of a Love so pure.
When Love restrained, Paradise gained
and, for Honor and Passion, endured.

Although I know those poems of old
Were mostly outright lies,
I prefer them to these harrowed days
When Love, for Pleasure, dies.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Christmas in the Trenches

One song that just be sung during the Christmas season, and one story that should retold more than any other story, except of course, the Nativity story, is the story of the Christmas truce during World War One. This story might be already known to all war aficionados and folk singers alike, and it tells of how the German and English troops stopped fighting on Christmas Day, and spend this holy day sharing beer and cigarettes, chocolates and pudding, singing Christmas carols together and playing soccer,

When reinforcements arrived after Boxing Day, they were back to the same old dirty war, but at least this story tells of how men who obey their earthly masters (like the obedient dogs they are) can occasionally, if only briefly, heed the call of Peace and Love from their TRUE Master, our Lord and SaviorJesus Christ

Friday, December 23, 2011

Overheard at Table 4

Oh fer godsakes, does everybody have to try to be so all encompassing alla dang time? I swear I jes heard on da tv sum senator jes say that the extension of the tax cut was a good Christmas present . . . And a good Kwanzaa present . . . And a good Hanukkah present. Jumpin Jesus on a pogo stick it's a frikkin Christmas present . . . Why does everything else haveta be put on the same level because it's not, They're not on da same level.

Listen - whether you believe in any of them or not it goes like this: Kwanzaa is the celebration of African culture and how it directly relates to Americans of African decent. Hanukkah is the celebration of how the Jews got rid of the stink of non Jews out of their temple, and Christmas is the celebration of the god of creation coming to earth in human form in order to give the entire human race a pathway to life in eternity.

Like i said, it doesn't matter if you believe in eithe tone or not, but you can not speak of them in the same breath, because they do not carry the same weight, theologically speaking. They should not be mentioned in the same sentence, ever. They are not equal, nor we're they ever intended to be equal. So we should all stop trying to speak of them in an equal vein, just to try to please everybody.

Stuck everybody! Nobody is going to be happy - ever! And it's about time that we just admit it, be respectful, and move the truck on!

Overhears at Booth 1: Yes's "Run with the Fox"

And another you can't forget to add is that Yes song "Run with the Fox" I have no idea what the lyrics are talking about, but then, nobody ever knows what Yes lyrics are all about, but it does mention Christmas by name, and it's just simply completely cool, so it should go in the compilation.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Dan Fogelberg's "Same Auld Lang Syne"

Lucky Moran says, "I got one for your Christmas comp, but I'm kind of ambivalent toward it, because I love the song but I hate the singer."

"What is it?" asks Steppenwolf.

"'Same Auld Lang Syne' by Dan Fogelberg," says Lucky.

"Yech!" says Otis Redwing. "That syrupy piece of weak drippy French toast."

"But you don't hear it the way I hear it. I hear it with Tom Waits singing it."

"I have to admit," says Verble, looking up from his iPad, "The lyrics fit the overall theme."

Same Auld Lang Syne
Dan Fogelberg

Met my old lover in a grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
Stole behind her in the frozen foods
and I touched her on the sleeve

She didn't recognize the face at first
but then her eyes flew open wide
Tried to hug me and she spilled her purse
and we laughed until we cried

Took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
stood there lost in our embarrassment
as the conversation dragged

Went to have ourselves a drink or two
but couldn't find an open bar
Bought a six-pack at the liquor store
and we drank it in the car

We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now
Tried to reach beyond the emptiness but neither one knew how

She said she'd married her an architect
Kept her warm and safe and dry
She said she'd like to say she loved the man
but she didn't want to lie

I said the years had been a friend to her
and that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw doubt or gratitude
She said she saw me in the record store
and that I must be doing well

I said the audience was heavenly
but the traveling was hell
We drank a toast to innocence we drank a toast to time
We're living in our eloquence, another old lang syne

The beers were empty and our tongues grew tired
and running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
and I watched her drive away

Just for a moment I was back in school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
the snow turned into rain

"Man, even if it were redone by Paul Simon, circa 1972 or something," says Steppenwolf, "that'd be better than the Fogelberg version, which is so sad to say about the guy who WROTE the song!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Overheard at Booth 2: Talking Republican Candidates

Well I wouldn't vote for perry, no how.

Oh god no. Perry's nothing but a liar. You know he had his guy, then he fired him and then he brought him back, and this guy took money and owns an island. An ISLAnd.

Yeah, they're all crooks. I consider perry nothing but a political prostitute. I used to like Cain, but you know what I think they got to Cain.

Yeah, they got together to push him out. Because he wasn't part of the establishment.

You know if it came down to it right now, it'd have to be either Gingrich or Romney. I know Gingrich has got some baggage, but you know, he really is the most intelligent one up there.

I wouldn't vote for Romney if he were the only candidate available. He talks like a Democrat.

Yeh he shot himself in the foot all do. He started off strong but the more he talked the more people stopped liking him.

Because he only says what people want to hear. And people can spot that and they don't want to be pandered to anymore.

You know I liked bachmanat first, but I don't really know what happened to her. She was the toughest talking. But then she does sometimes say some kinda crazy things.

Well to be honest with you I liked what some you feller said when they were interviewing people at some rally in Iowa, this kid said the perfect Christmas present this year would be for Ron Paul to win Iowa.

Well, you know, he's still in there. I don't know exactly how he's doing it, but he's still in there, just like Ross Perot was way back then.

Yep. Sure will be interesting, I give it that.

Overheard at Booth 4: Christmas Presents

Ada (putting away her iPhone): That was Lyssa. She's in KC this week with my mom for Christmas.

Heather: She sounded upset. Is everything OK?

Ada: She heard her brother got a Wii.

Heather: And she wanted one, too?

Ada: Nah. She just wants it to he THEIRS and not just HIS. Which is why I had to remind her that she already got new $120 boots, new blouses, a new winter coat, probably total about $400 worth of clothes all together, so I really don't the she should be getting her eye on her brother's one and only thing he asked for this Christmas.

Heather: 'tis the season!

Ada: It sure is!

Overheard at Table 3: conspiracy, or just good planning?

And Phil was saying, "maybe it's a little of both and he was saying that he heard on the radio the other day, Pacifica radio, yesterday, that there was some guys who used to be the head of some union who was saying that this latest government fiasco where the Repiblicans are blocking the appointment of a third person to the National Labor Relations Board is a plot, or at least a crafty distraction, because, you see, theNLRB has to have a quorum of three in order to exist, if not a third person, which at the moment the are only two, then it cannot actually function, and then there is no method by which Labor Unions can redress grievances with the government, so what that means is that after january first, since there won't be a third member, there will be no protection for labor."

And Gerry asked, "so why can't the president just nominate some guy during the recess. Thos erecess appointments are the way to get around that crap."

And Phil said, "that's what's so freaking crafty about the whole deal. The senate had an appropriations bill that would extend unemployment benefits another onto. The repubs in the house won't allow it to come to a vote. They have made some maneuver to deny going into recess until they've hammmered out a different agreement. SO - what that apparently means is that they have effectively closed off every method by which the NLRB can get an appointee and thus, save what little protection the american worker had against Big Business."

And Gerry said, "dang, sounds like the Republicans have done their homework. Those're some crafty ashbowls, I'll tellya."

And Phil said, "you know, all my life I swore to myself that I'd never become one of those conspiracy theorists, but good god every time I read the paper or hear the news it's just like another little factoid that adds up to pointing toward the fact that these conservatives are caressing our faces with one hand while driving knives into our backs with the other."

And Gerry said, "well, always remember what John says . . ."

"The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Overheard at Table 4: 1913 Massacre

While this isn't considered a Christmas song, it should be: it tells a story of something that happened at a Christmas party. It's something that we should never forget, even though we already have.

This song should be on every Christmas compilation, if only to show ourselves what can happen when the corporations have the brazen impunity to kill their own workers.

Thank you, Mr. Guthrie, for keeping this gem in our catalog.

1913 Massacre
by Woody Guthrie

Take a trip with me in nineteen thirteen
To Calumet, Michigan in the copper country
I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall
And the miners are having their big Christmas ball

I'll take you in a door and up a high stairs
Singing and dancing is heard ev'rywhere
I'll let you shake hands with the people you see
And watch the kids dance 'round the big Christmas tree.

There's talking and laughing and songs in the air
And the spirit of Christmas is there ev'rywhere
Before you know it you're friends with us all
And you're dancing around and around in the hall

You ask about work and you ask about pay
They'll tell you they make less than a dollar a day
Working their copper claims, risking their lives
So it's fun to spend Christmas with children and wives.

A little girl sits down by the Christmas tree lights
To play the piano so you gotta keep quiet
To hear all this fun; you would not realize
That the copper boss thug men are milling outside

The copper boss thugs stuck their heads in the door
One of them yelled and he screamed, "There's a fire"
A lady she hollered, "There's no such a thing;
Keep on with your party, there's no such a thing."

A few people rushed and there's only a few
"It's just the thugs and the scabs fooling you."
A man grabbed his daughter and he carried her down
But the thugs held the door and he could not get out.

And then others followed, about a hundred or more
But most everybody remained on the floor
The gun thugs, they laughed at their murderous joke
And the children were smothered on the stairs by the door.

Such a terrible sight I never did see
We carried our children back up to their tree
The scabs outside still laughed at their spree
And the children that died there was seventy-three

The piano played a slow funeral tune,
And the town was lit up by a cold Christmas moon
The parents, they cried and the men, they moaned,
"See what your greed for money has done?"

©1961 (Renewed) by Fall River Music Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Overheard at Booth 2: iPad Pick of the Week Blues

Shoot, all those years of going to Starbucks and seeing those cool Picks of the Week, and I finally get an iPad and now none of Starbucks ever seems to HAVE any on hand!

Wait, you're talking about another coffee shop when we're here at THIS coffee shop.

Well . . . this place isn't just like a coffee shop. This place is sort of a way of being.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Overheard at Booth 3

What is it with the Republicans going so stark bonkers over the occupiers! They're having a conniption!

Well, if they can't buy you off, manipulate your words, or otherwise subvert you, they have no idea to do.

I think that's why Ann Coulter wants to just shoot them.

Yeah, but she's true evil. Like Manson evil, she would never pull the trigger herself, she's trying to brainwash the simple minded into doing it for her.

Didn't that already work with some congresswoman?

Overhears at Table 4: Evangelicals cut funding to Muslim TV Show

Billy: You know, I don't think I much like those evangelicals telling Lowe's to cut their funding to that television show about Muslims.

Joe: Why not?

Jim: Yeah, for me it shows that at least somebody can control one of these big corporate monsters.

Bob: And you know that there's tough to do.

Billy: Well, that's true, but my thought is, if they don't like the show because it supposedly is so antithetical to Jesus, then why don't they do the same thing for Teen Mom and all those reality shows where young people are shacked up together in a house, all screwing each other and telling all about it? Why aren't they shutting down all the Housewives of Richville? I mean, those certainly show what the Book of Proverbs warned about vicious women.

Joe:Well, it's obvious ain't it? They're all too busy watching the Bachelorette!

Jim: True. How true.

Bob: Just goes to show that evangelicals can only talk Jesus. They can't NEVER walk Jesus.

Billy: The way I see it, these evangelicals think that tv shows about Muslims area danger to the message of salvation through Christ. Sad, because they're too utterly stupid to know that every show they watch on tv that promotes teen sex and American Freedom is the real danger to the message of Christ.

Joe: Oh yeah, like Sons of Anarchy.

Jim: Oh man, I bet Southern evangelicals LOVE that show!

Bob: What about that one where the chemistry professor becomes a meth dealer. Why don't they shut that one down?

Billy: Because he ain't Muslim.

Overheard at the Counter: Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds "Christmas Song"

I just discovered this one on the compilation "A Very Special Christmas 3" (which also has a very fine version of "I Saw Three Ships" by Sting, by the way) - but the "Christmas Song" by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds just blew my socks off.

I'm used to the understated power of their guitar works - very simple progressions that are actually very difficult to phrase - but the lyrics really knocked me out. This is what a Christmas Song should be: the story of Christ's birth, and life, and death, told in a way that anybody speaking English today can understand it.

There is true power in the simple poetry of this modern-day retelling of the Nativity, Message, and Crucifixion. Just listen to it and you'll know.

Wow. That just about sums it up. Wow.

(By the way, I couldn't find a YouTube with the same power as the cut on the CD, so I just put a few links here - look around, you'll find one that fits just right!)

She was his girl; he was her boyfriend
She'd be his wife and make him her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy
The wise men came, three made their way
To shower him with love
While he lay in the hay
Shower him with love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

Not very much of his childhood was known
Kept his mother Mary worried
Always out on his own
He met another Mary who for a reasonable fee,
less than reputable was known to be.

His heart full of love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

When Jesus Christ was nailed to his tree
Said "oh, Daddy-o, I can see how it all soon will be
I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene
Instead I fear I've spilled the blood of our children all around"

The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children's all around

So I'm told, so the story goes
The people he knew were
Less than golden hearted
Gamblers and Robbers
Drinkers and Jokers, all soul searchers
Like you and me
Like you and me

Rumors insisted he soon would be
For his deviations
Taken into custody
By the authorities less informed than he.
Drinkers and Jokers all soul searchers
Searching for love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

Preparations were made
For his celebration day
He said "eat this bread and think of it as me
Drink this wine and dream it will be
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children's all around
The blood of our children all around

Father up above, why in all this anger do you fill
Me up with love, love, love
Love love love
Love love was all around
Father up above, why in all this hatred do you fill
Me up with love, fill me love love love
Love love love
all you need is love
you can't buy me love
Love love love
Love love
And the blood of our children's all around

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Overseen on iPad left at Booth 2: Jesus Christ Forbids War

Why did Jesus come to Earth?

Why Did Jesus Come To Earth?

John wrote: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." (1 John 3:8)

Peter said: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil" (Acts 10:38)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Here are the reasons given in the Gospels why Jesus came to earth.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 4:23 Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”

Matthew 9:13 “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

Matthew 10:7 “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

Matthew 10:34 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 11:27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Matthew 11:29 “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

Matthew 18:11 “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

Matthew 20:28 “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom* for many.”

Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Mark 1:14 Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Mark 1:38 “Let us go to the nearby villages so I can preach there also. That is what I have come to do.”

Mark 2:17 “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom* for many.”

Mark 16:15 Jesus told them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

Luke 4:43, 44 “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 9:2 He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.

Luke 9:11 The crowds followed Jesus; and welcoming them, He spoke to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.

Luke 9:56 “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them.”

Luke 9:60 “But as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”

Luke 12:49-51 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

John 3:17 “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

John 6:38-40 “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

John 9:39 “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

John 10:10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Jesus 12:31 "Now the prince of this world will be driven out."

John 12:46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”

Jesus 16:11: "The prince of this world now stands condemned."

John 18:37 Pilate said to Jesus, “You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

* To many Christians, the word "ransom" sounds like sacrificial language, for we sometimes speak of Jesus as the ransom for our sins. But it almost certainly does not have this meaning in the two places that it is used in the Gospels. The Greek word translated as "ransom" (lutron) is used in the Bible not in the context of payment for sin, but to refer to payment made to liberate captives (often from captivity in war) or slaves (often from debt slavery). A lutron is a means of liberation from bondage.

Best matches for jesus come to save not to destroy

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not... Jump to text »

Matthew 18:11 “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”... Jump to text »
More matches »
« Fewer matches

The guy reading what's on his iPad screen says:

Wow! He came to serve and save. I don't see a dang thing in there about killin' Muslims, Communists, Russians, Arabs, terrorists, gays, liberals, intellectuals, transsexuals, lesbians, athiests, satanists, witches, or progressives. Nope. Not a word. Looks like Jesus is just about as loving as you can get . . . now why y'all trying to make him out to be some sort of Charlton Heston NRA big-business-lovin' kill-the-forests wipe-out-bambi rape-the-earth and Marine-sendin' type of bloodthirsty mass murderer? Huh? Explain it to me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Overheard at Table 1: The Kinks' "Father Christmas"

I had forgotten about this little gem - about a department store Santa who gets rolled over by poor street urchin in a 20th century version of a Dickensian Christmas.

Here's a video on YouTube

The sound quality is good, video quality not so much, but it's a good watch anyway.

When I was small I believed in Santa Claus
Though I knew it was my dad
And I would hang up my stocking at Christmas
Open my presents and I'd be glad

But the last time I played Father Christmas
I stood outside a department store
A gang of kids came over and mugged me
And knocked my reindeer to the floor

They said:
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don't mess around with those silly toys.
We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
We want your bread so don't make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Don't give my brother a Steve Austin outfit
Don't give my sister a cuddly toy
We don't want a jigsaw or monopoly money
We only want the real McCoy

Father Christmas, give us some money
We'll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don't mess around with those silly toys

But give my daddy a job 'cause he needs one
He's got lots of mouths to feed
But if you've got one, I'll have a machine gun
So I can scare all the kids down the street

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
We want your bread so don't make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Have yourself a merry merry Christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin'
While you're drinkin' down your wine

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
Father Christmas, please hand it over
We'll beat you up, so don't make us annoyed

Father Christmas, give us some money
Don't mess around with those silly toys
We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
We want your bread so don't make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

What makes this an excellent Christmas song is because it portrays the emotions that many kids feel at Christmas, and I especially love the line "give my dad a job" because here are kids rolling this fake Santa, and right at that moment, there is the hint, the barest hint, of belief. The desire to believe that there is some magic in the world.

Definitely more powerful a song than it presents itself to be.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: New York Millionaire's Tax Break

- I think it was a win.

- For who?

- For everybody.

- How's it for everybody? The rich get a reduction!

- They would have had to pay nothing. This way, the state will bring in $1.9 billion in revenue.

- But they WERE bringing in $4 billion.

- But when that tax expired next month, they'd be bringin' in nuthin' - somethin' is better than nuthin' right?

- See, that's why we're all so messed up. It's like a bully who comes out and pokes a sharp stick in your eye, and then expects you to be thankful that he didn't poke it in both!

- I dunno. The way I see it, the rich still get taxed somethin'

- And I say it's not enough.

- Well, how much do you wanna tax the rich the, anyway?

- Tax 'em so much 'till they don't have enough left to hurt nobody else, anymore.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Overheard at Booth 3: Ann Coulter on the Open Desire to Kill Innocent Protesters

Bill: All I can say is that this woman is creepy-evil.

Steve: Downright dirty evil. I used to think that she was just stupid, but actually calling for the military to gun these Occupiers down. Man, that's cold. That's just stone cold.

Marcus: Makes me wanna puke and never stop, I'll tellya. But what's even worse is that there is no public outcry. If she had said about, oh I dunno, the drug crime in DC "Well, you know in the 40's, a coupla good lynchings took care of that!" she'd be run out of the country. But she talks about murdering people who are exercising their First Amendment rights, and not one single word drifts across the airwaves.

Bill: Creepy-evil.

Steve: Stone. Cold.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Overheard at Table 3: Apple Haters

Listen, I just want to move my songs from my iPod to my iPad, and I plug the pod into the computer and all that it comes up with is the stupid camera . . . and this isn't even an iPod that HAS a camera! Seriously, and it won't let me in to get any of the songs, and I bought the dang songs with my own money and I should be able to move them where I want to!

. . . and no, don't try to give me any of that "cloud" business, because when I purchase something I want to be able to move it where I want to - whether it's on my laptop or any other device.

Geez, I miss the days of record collections!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: A Very Bublé Christmas

Man I skipped eating lunch today so I could go out to Best Buy, I was looking for that Michael Bublé Christmas CD my wife's always talking about, she really likes his version of All I Want for Christmas is You, but man all I could find in Christmas music was the Muppets and Mannheim Steamroller. Oh yeah, and Bob Dylan. Man, you know it's over when Bob Dylan breaks down and does a Christmas CD.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: I Believe in Father Christmas

Lucky Moran is telling the Barista: Best Christmas song ever? "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Emerson Lake and Palmer. Wins it hands down - it's got the angst, the growing up, the wanting to believe in the Christmas spirit, the disappointment, the warm yet chilly Christmas imagery. I say it should be on every Christmas CD, right along with Silent Night and Jingle Bells!

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin's birth

I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
'til I believed in the Israelite

And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
'til I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas you get you deserve

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Overheard at Table 1: Christmas Wrapping

While the Donnas did a fair remake of this classic, the Waitresses still take the cake, as it were, for the absolute coolest quasi-anti-Christmas song ever. What's so excellent about this song is that it has so much more soul than other bland, bland Christmas songs (like All I Want for Christmas is You, blech!) and it totally describes the feelings of somebody who just can't get into the Christmas spirit . . . and then ends with a chance meeting, of another person in the same dismal position of having no plans whatsoever, and BAM! total turnaround.

Basically, it turns a Bah Humbug into a "OK, that's cool" moment. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! This is one of the very few secular Christmas tunes that can actually be considered part of a Christmas Carol Canon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Overheard at Booth 3

We are ugly, ugly people.

We pepper spray each other over $30 cellphones and trample each other for Nintendo Wii's.

Seeing a flood of people all wanting to spend their money, a giant ocean of thrashing bodies with wrapped packages, it just churns your stomach.

Whenever we see other people in the world in such conditions, it's generally because their rioting against military dictatorships, or trying to get food - or water.

We riot to buy crap.

We stomp on each other to buy crap.

We shoot each other, pepper spray each other, beat each other's heads into the stone floor - all just to buy CRAP!

We are ugly, ugly people. And I am thankful for Black Friday, because it reveals us for what we are. Now, I would be even more thankful if all of America would take a good long hard look in this mirror and CHANGE INTO SOMETHING BETTER!!!!!

Overheard at Table 4: Computer Snogs

I swear, I had my sister in law over this weekend and she's all torked that she can't connect using her iPad, because I'm not on wi-fi, I go through my cable/phone provider, and she wanted to share my work iPad network, and I'm like 'I can't let you on my work network - that's a proprietary thing," and she can use the laptop like whenever she wants, but she's all 'I only want to use MY iPad! I just can NOT USE a laptop! Especially if it's running Vista or Windows 7!"

And then my daughter was working on it, and she's suddenly like, "Like what version of Windows IS this, Dad?" and I tell her "It's 2003" and she's all "You need to get modern - at school we're using Word 2010." And she's not doing anything more than printing out a thank you letter for her aunt to take back to the other aunts - all she's doing is just two quick sentences and a print! Word 2003 works just fine for that! She doesn't NEED 07 or 10 or whatever! Heck, for what she's doing she could use Notepad, for goodness sake!

I tell ya, are some people addicted to their specifics or am I just out of touch? I say, if it works, it works, and if I need to upgrade, I'll upgrade, but I'm not going out to buy and $80 router for wi-fi when I don't need to and I'm sure not buying Office 2010 just to feed Microsoft's greed!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Thankgiving

Steppenwolf: Listen, Thankgiving as we know it is a complete fantasy.

Niall Carter: No way, man. There is a long and rich history behind it.

Steppenwolf: Complete fabrication! Every word.

Niall Carter: How do you know? Were you there?

Steppenwolf: Oh that's nice. Stoop to logical fallacies when you can't prove your point.

Niall Carter: The complete lack of evidence to support a position does NOT preclude the opposite position.

Steppenwolf: Exactly. Which is why you can not say for certain that there is a long and rich history, when there isn't.

Niall Carter: And neither can YOU assume that every extant contemporary text was fabricated only recently in order to establish a fabricated position of a historical origination to support a current cultural tradition.

Lucky Moran: When you two stop this lover's quarrel, will you tell me exactly what it is that you're fighting about? Thankgiving itself? Or the white/Indians thing? What?

The Barista: Cranberries.

Lucky: What?

Niall Carter: Steppenwolf here swears that there were no cranberries at the first Thankgiving.

Steppenwolf: And Niall here foolishly believes that there were.

Niall: There were. It's in John Smith's diary.

Steppenwolf: John Smith didn't even celebrate Thanksgiving. He preceded the first recorded instance by at least 60 years!

Niall: Let me just find . . .

Lucky (to the Barista): They do this all the time?

The Barista: Every year. Same argument, I hear. Verble says it only stops when he finally plays Alice's Restaurant on a loop.

Overhears at Booth 3:Aircraft Carriers

. . . Heard that the Chinese were building an aircraft serif and I thought oh crapnthey're building an aircraft carrier, you know they're just gonna use it to take over California, or at least just push us out of the Middle East so they can keep all the oil to themselves, I mean, why else would they be builds an aircraft carrier, and all my buddies at the shop were talking about it too,

And then I found out that we have FOURTEEN! Aircraft carriers! You know how many threat of the world has? ZERO!

We're the only ones with the ability to take planes around the rest the world to blow the ship outta anyone we want!

Well, I suppose until the Chinese get theirs built. But we still got the ratio on 'em!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

At the Counter: Word of the Day

The word of the day is Vile:

adj. vil·er, vil·est
1. Loathsome; disgusting: vile language.
2. Unpleasant or objectionable: vile weather. See Synonyms at offensive.
a. Contemptibly low in worth or account; second-rate.
b. Of mean or low condition.
4. Miserably poor and degrading; wretched: a vile existence.
5. Morally depraved; ignoble or wicked: a vile conspiracy.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vlis, cheap, worthless; see wes-3 in Indo-European roots.]
vilely adv.
vileness n.

In other words, a synonym of "vile" would be "conservative" in the context of the current conservative movement.

As we go forward into 2012, the year when the vile conservatives will undoubtedly make great strides in brainwashing the American public to vote against their own economic self-interests, it behooves me to state to you now, unequivocally, that whenever I make these definitions against "conservatives" I am not speaking of the human beings. I am commanded by GOD to love every human being, even the ones who want to kill me. I love you all. However, the conservative movement, and it's ideology (or should I say "Ide-olatry") is completely open for my loathing, my detestation, my hatred.

Yes, I can hate the conservative thought, because I know where it comes from: it comes from Satan. Now, before you weak-minded conservatives jump up and start throwing your not-well-read-enough Bibles in my direction, let me lead you down the logical path, and don't worry, I'll try to make it simple enough for you;

1) Jesus said "You cannot serve both God and Money"
2) The Conservative Ideology is based on money.
3) Therefore, the Conservative Ideology does not serve God.

Chew on that, masticate, ruminate, mull it over. Eventually, it'll sink in.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Overheard at Table 1: Venal

Here is the definition for the word of the day:


A third definition of the word "venal"

3) A member of the Republican party.

At the Counter: Announcement for 2012

Verble Gherulous says:

Here is my prediction, but I'll forewarn you, it's a sad one, and I pray to God in Heaven that I am proved wrong.

2012 is the year that the world ends. But not the physical earth, it's the year when America ends: the decent, kind America that historically has sent forth more financial and medical aid than countries in need, the America that made things better and faster, the America that entered wars in order to STOP wars, and not because it wanted to preserve its empire, and America that made sure that everybody had a decent livable wage.

That America, frankly, only existed for a short time, if it existed at all, but it was an image we had of ourselves, and next year is the year that it's gone for good, because next year is when America strips away this ideal that all who come here can have a better life just by working hard, next year America will finally reveal itself that if you ain't the CEO, you ain't squat under a bootheel, when America will finally show itself as venial, mean-spirited, and mediocre.

This is because next year the Republicans are going to win the election - by at least 60%. They will win the election because of two main factors: The investors will keep the stock market weak throughout 2012, and there will be no great gains in the economy. The economy will be kept weak by these serpents, because they want unemployment to remain high. This is so they can keep attacking the President and show him to be ineffective, which he is, but only because he tried to work across the aisle.

The other reason is that the Health Care Reform comes up before the Supreme Court in June. They will unravel the entire thing, simply by ruling unconstitutional the power of Congress to force each citizen to purchase health care. When they do this, the whole thing is gone, and not only will your sick children now no longer be able to get their medicine, the Health Insurance companies will now jack your rates so high that the only medical care you will EVER receive is a gauze pad from a bored ER nurse when you arrive on the doorstep hemorraging from every pore.

When the Health Care law is repealed, the Republicans will tell America, "Told you so! We told you guys that you didn't want affordable health care, and now we will make sure you never get it!" And then, the ONLY accomplishment of any real value in this presidency will be gone.

Our president may as well not even run. This year is going to be an embarrassing slaughter of immeasurable proportions.

I'm sorry to have to give you this news, and again, I pray that I am wrong. The only consolation I can give you is that the coffee is on the house today.

So drink well, my friends, you will need to be fortified for the days ahead!

Overheard at Table 3: Recent Republican Debates

Steve: I swear, if Obama had been making the gaffs that these idiots have been making in these debates, the constituency would have ripped him apart and put him through the shredder.

Len: You mean, worse than they already do every day? Worse than they have been the last three years?

Steve: But dang, all you hear are excuses excuses excuses. I've heard the news saying "Give Perry a chance" and "Hey, we don't need an orator anyway. Orators make the worst presidents!"

Len: Then what do they think of the "Great Orator" ? Wasn't he supposedly the greatest President?

Steve: Shoot, it just goes to show that the conservatives will make any excuse for a conservative. They absolutely refuse to admit that they have a whole host of dribbling morons up there on that stage (except for Mr. Slickmitt Romney) and they can't stand the fact that Perry's a moron, Cain's a slimy serpent, and Bachmann is just a loose looney!

Len: Yeah, but they spout what the Republican base want to hear: We won't tax you, and we'll kill anybody who stands in our way.

Steve: What I can't understand is how they can make such flubs as not remembering what departments they want to cut, making outrageously false statements with completely inaccurate figures, getting their sources wrong, false allegations, false claims, and each and every time they are fact-checked and found out to be complete frauds, and yet the news and the people completely ignore them. What the hell is going on here?

Len: There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Steve: Then we all deserve who we vote for.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Overheard at Booth 3: Ninth Gate

Johnny Depp and Roman Polanski

Dang can Roman make a movie, man I don't care if he was under house arrest for something he did in the 70's, which yeah I admit he probably should stand trial for, but dang, he can still make a movie, this one was all subtle and dark and slightly burned around the edges, but I have to admit his ONE downfall as a director is this insipid desire to cast his current girlfriend as the lead in every movie, because I have never seen a one of 'em what could act!

Seriously! I suppose one of the carrying forwards of this movie was Johnny Depp, but then that guy could recite the phone book and make it sound either hilarious, mysterious, creepy, or existential, all depending on whatever character a director wanted at the time. And I have to say that Lena Olin played a darn good femme fatale - with claws and everything!

Couldn't really understand the ending, though, did he open the 9th gate or what? Dang, he opened SOME gate, that's fer sure! Heh heh, but really, we're looking for the book for two hours, which I have to tell you, just for the shots of these massive personal libraries with these books that are hundreds of years old,

for a bibliphile, that will leave your mouth watering. Oh, to have bookcases like those! Makes your heart downright ACHE!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Michael Berry and Hatin' conservatives

Michael Berry on the radio today made the statement that a lot of liberals claim to hate conservatives but when they are asked why they hate conservatives, they can't give any specific reasons why.

Well, Michael Berry has not, obviously, spoken to many liberals, at least not directly. His closest contact with a liberal has probably been in the pages of an Ann Coulter book. That notwithstanding, there are specific reasons why liberals hate conservatives.

Actually, though, let's rephrase: because HATE is something forbidden by God. We are commanded to love our enemies. And yes, conservatives are the enemies of all decent human beings everywhere. Period.

So, let's say that while we must LOVE our conservative brothers, we certainly can LOATHE conservatism, at least as how conservatism is currently in the American culture. There was a time, not just two or three generations ago, when conservatism was not so wholly descpicable as it is now, so there is hope that one day in the future that it will take on an entirely new meaning, hopefully something more positive.

But let's get back to the point: Conservatism is wrong, and we "hate" it (using Michael Berry's term) because of these points:

1) They worship the dollar.

2) They allow corporations to kill the environment, and to kill people.

3) They are intolerant of any ideas other than their own.

4) They are mean-spirited and cruel.

5) They are hypocritical.

6) They can't abide honest discussion. They resort only to ad hominem attacks and false alternatives when presenting their arguments.

7) They spawn vicious hatemongers like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

and, since you dweebs like specifics, let's have some specifics:

8) Warrantless wire taps

9) Halliburton

10) Enron

11) Iraq war (both of them, but especially the second.)

12) Waterboarding.

13) Holding US Citizen Padilla without charge for over a year in direct violation of the Constitutional right he was born with.

13) Killing US Citizens on foreign soil without due process (OK, I'll admit, that was under a Democratic President . . . but you know you liked it!)

14) Slavish devotion to the death penalty.

15) Your stance against Pro-Choice, especially when the woman's life and health is in danger.

16) Your cartoonish approach to welfare, and describing every single welfare recipient as a fat black woman addicted to crack cocaine and spitting out babies just so she can increase her monthly government payout.

17) Your description of Social Security as an "entitlement"

18) Your endless parade of presidential candidates who spew your "marriage is sacred between man and a woman" when almost every one of them has had numerous affairs, and one who even served divorce papers on his wife while she was dying in the hospital from cancer.

19) This farcical notion of "American Exceptionalism."

20) Your sullen, childish, petulant stance against HEALTH CARE. (That one really grinds me!)

Should I go on, Mr. Berry? Or do you at least get that there are many reasons why Liberals would hate Conservatives. I would, and I did, before I reminded myself I was not put on this earth to hate.

So, instead, I would like to educate instead of hate. Sadly, though, the worst students are conservatives, because they are either too ignorant, too obstinate, or simply too stupid to learn anything that isn't spewed out of the propaganda machine called the Conservative controlled Mainstream Media.

Also, that's a good one too: conservatives have done a real good job of taking over the media by selling the idea that the liberals control the media. Fox News is now mainstream media. All the other outlets are alternative media. Good job, guys. The fascist propaganda machine bought and paid for by the oligarchy is really doing well.

And that's another reason to despise conservatism.

Man, I could go on all day. But like most Americans, I have to go out and work now.

See you at the Occupy movement!

(Just kidding! But I made you cringe just then, didn't I?)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: A Passion Play

I watched that movie just because it had Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray in it, never mind Megan Fox, who frankly is nothing but a semi-pretty face - which by the way, reminds me of the only good line in the movie, from the only decent character: This washed-up stripper friend of Mickey Rourke at one point, when he's on the phone telling her he's bringing back this girl to show to Bill Murray the gangster, she says, "You says she's beautiful. Gotta be something more to her. This town's full of beautiful women."

The "something more" is a pair of wings, and Rourke has saved her from a carnival freakshow. But dang, the plot is all over the place, and also not there at all. The dialogue is stiffed. Murray seems like he's not even there, and Rourke puts out what he can. I read somewhere that some director said Rourke has more talent in his little finger than most actors have in their whole bodies, and that must be true, because if it is the job a director to bring out an actor's best performance, this director had no idea what his job was. Rourke at least put up a fair play with the crud he was dealt.

It was almost as if this movie were made by actors who were past thier prime, and are trying to get back in the game. But I thought that couldn't be true for Murray. I was thinking maybe this was Megan Fox's first movie, before she made her big break in Transformers. Then I looked the movie up today and it was made only LAST YEAR!

How did that happen? These people were still using pay phones! Was it set in the nineties? Eighties? Who made this monster? Why wasn't he stopped? Instead, we have this dull, turgid, insipid drudgery - the ONLY THING ALIVE IN THIS MOVIE IS HER WINGS!

This is definitely one of those films that could have been made better if you took the basic idea, re-wrote the entire script, changed directors, maybe keep the cinematographer and the actors (except for Fox - anybody can look that dense), and definitely a new editing team.

Pretty much - make it different right from the start.

Overheard at Booth 4: Immortals

Wife: So, what'd you think of the movie?

Husband: It was all right.

Wife: Just all right?

Husband: Yeah, it was a little gory.

Wife: If it wasn't for that one sex scene, we could let the kids see it.

Husband: Let the kids see it? The thing was a gore fest, there were at least three throats slit with blood pouring out, there were massive decapitations, blood and guts smashed all over the walls, people split completely in half, eyes couged out with thumbs, and total carnage throughout the whole two hours!

Wife: Yeah, but the sex scene will just give them ideas about doing stuff we don't want them to do.

[a few sips of coffee. a relaxed silence. relaxed silences which are uncomfortable for daters and newleyweds, but which are a welcome comfort for those who have been married for a relative while]

Wife: Besides, that Theseus guy was hot.

Husband: So was Phaedra.

Wife: That was a body double.

Husband: When?

Wife: When she was naked. I read it on my phone when I was looking up the movie. That wasn't her naked. That was a body double.

Husband: Then they were both hot.

Friday, November 11, 2011

from the Counter

Verble raises a mug of coffee in toast.

"To our veterans! Thank you sincerely for your service to this country. I pray to God that this country will honor you by calling upon your service and the services of others in the future ONLY in times when the conflict waged is to save lives - and not generate profits.

Thank you, and God bless you all!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Overheard at Booth 4: Puss in Boots

And yes the animation was splendid, and Antonio Banderas' voice is pitch-perfect for this role, but still there seemed to be something lacking, and I can't put my paw on it. Maybe it was just because this was the fifth installment of a franchise that frankly should have ended with Shrek 2.

The first two movies were brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The third was just to cash in on the first two and the fourth was an attempt at redemption.

This one seems much like a combination of Shrek 3 and 4: both an attempt to keep the money flowing in, by highlighting the most popular character, and trying to see if spin-offs can stand on their own.

I think what fails for me is when the movie is carried by the funny jokes from the movies before. Mainly the big eyes that look soooooooo cute. It's OK, done that, doesn't affect me any more. And the catnip/marijuana joke - come on, that was the only funny joke of Shrek 3.

Still, when I was there all the grade schoolers were giggling like mad over the helium voices induced by the thin air of the upper atmosphere. So you know there's something for the kids.

And I haven't really said anything about the other main characters of this movie: Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws, but that's because there's really nothing to be said about them. They are thinly drawn (metaphorically speaking) - so I don't think there's much of a chance of a spinoff movie about either of them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Overheard at Table 3: Cars 2 Review

I think my 12 year old said it best, he said, "Man was this movie violent! The first Cars was all nicey-nicey talking cars and this one they're killing each other all over the place!"

That bad, huh?

Well, I liked the James Bond-spy theme, especially with Michael Caine as the voice of the spy car. But yeah, this was definitely filled with oil and tires, splattered all over the screen.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On an iPad screen, left on at Table 3: "Psalm 27 from Warren Peace"

The Story: Warren Peace finds this poem on a blog:

Looking for America

I’ve come to look for America
but I can’t find her anywhere.

I looked on her front porch,
but the boards were rotted through,
I looked in her back yards
but the grass was overgrown,
I drove past her wheat fields,
but they’d all been left unplowed,
just wooden signs that stretched to the sky
standing by the roadside, saying
Zoned for Commercial or Residential
Please Call.

I went looking in the factories,
but the factories were all closed down,
just workers stripping windows and
cleaning the bricks,
and putting in the studs to
build condominium walls.
I went looking in the train stations,
but America was not there,
just some ragged Army jackets
that she’d left behind as blankets
of the veterans who sleep there.

I went looking on the coasts
out on the Gulf seas,
but all the shrimp boats were pulled in
and the nets were hanging empty.
I went looking in the forests
but all the trees were burning,
from casually tossed off cigarettes
that touched the tinder into flames.

I went driving down the highways,
across the mid and coast to coast,
thought I’d find her in a diner
over scrambled eggs and toast,
but the coffee there was bitter
and the pancakes were too dry,
and America hadn’t even left a tip
for the waitress with the swollen eye.

I went looking for America
but America had left town,
she’d pulled the blinds on the shop windows
after the Main Street had all closed down.

I stood on the flat mountain top
that had been stripped off for coal,
and looked across the painted desert
at the city in the sooty fold,
I knew I’d never find America
in the shadows of the scrapers of the sky,
because she’d sold off every lease
to any foreigner who’d buy,
and those left to die in the alleyways
from drugs smuggled in cracks
across borders from lands of distant suns,
America had long since romanticized
her Tin Pan Alley Slums.

But all that’s left of America now,
are just a handful of American tunes,
some scattered fragments of melodies
of songs no longer sung.

I went looking for America
But couldn’t find her anywhere,
just a ragged tri-colored blanket

she’d left draped across an
old wooden rocking chair
that stands upon that front porch
with the boards all rotted through.

Warren thinks of his grandmother, living all alone in a house built against an old historic lighthouse on the coast of Maine. She’s lived there alone for the last fifteen years, with only her last surviving son, his uncle, looking in on her intermittently.

She is old now: decrepit, and blind. Every phone call ends with her rage against a God who took away two of her three sons. "A mother is supposed to go before her children. How can I love a God who did this to me?"

Warren would like to think that it is out of respect for his grandmother that he doesn't try to reassure her, but he knows that it really is because he doesn't have anything that he could say that would make her feel any differently, or any better.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Overheard at Table 4

"So my kid was wanting to buy a new little app, probably zombes killin or wahtrever and he tells me hey dad the itunes icon is gone from the descktop and im like what? and i go check and its gone, so i spend the whole morning looking for it and it's nowhere i mean there is a the program that comes up under search but it tells me i can't access it, so i go online and there are all these sites with the same problem but they don't tell me jack squat about what the problem is, but finally it tells me to reinstall it, so im spending another hour trying to download and reinstall and this program is telling me everything about my own computer, and

"so im thinking that Apple now knows everything about my life because they know everything on my computer and im thinking first wow that means they can take over my life, because they've got all my info and then im thinking what can the government do to spy on me because they can probably get all that info from Apple if they wanted and then i thought, wow man that's really paranoid, because they don't have just my info, they've got info from millions and billions of computers all over the world, and they would have to just crawl through all that data, and why would they want MY info anyway, i would have to have something that would really stick out that anybody would be interested in, and really, i'm really not all that interesting,

"and then i thought to myself 'that's the secret to being happy!' - just make yourself so uninteresting that no one will ever want to do anything to you.

"pretty cool, huh?"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dali, Cannibal

Sometimes you just need to kickstart a Friday with a good dose of Dali.

Here's just a taste. You must seek out large doses on your own.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: Kids these days are so eloquent

Son: Dad, I want to see this new movie coming out.

Dad: Sure. What's it called?

Son: I dunno.

Dad: What's it about?

Son: I dunno.

Dad: Well, where'd you hear about it?

Son: I saw a commercial on TV.

Dad: And what was the commercial like?

Son: Uh, I can't really explain it. But it's by the same guys who did Grown Ups. Can't you just look it up on YouTube?

Dad: Sure, son - I'll just search under "new movie by same guys who did Grown Ups"

Son: That should work.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Singapore

Verble says to the Barista "I've got only seven people from Singapore coming into the cafe this month, let's get that number up."

"And exactly how you want me to do that?" asks the Barista.

"What do I know about Singapore?" replies Verble. "Google it."

"Sure," she replies. "Let me see your iPad."

Overheard at Booth 4

A Spouse: You always have to contradict everything I say.

The Other Spouse: No I don't.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Overheard at Booth 3: Grass in their A--

Big Man: And my new HR director nearly had a snippit when she heard me tell Louis not to come back in after lunch without some grass on his a--!

Smaller Man: You said what? Troy, now you know you can't say stuff like that!

Troy: 'Course I can! I spent a good $500k on those grounds out there! Making them all nice so that the employees could go out there and eat their lunches just like in a real picnic. They can even take off their shoes and cross their legs like yoga and go OMMMMMM and all that, so that I know they are good and relaxed when they come back into the office with grass on their a--es!

Smaller Man: But seriously, some people might get offended. Foul language, and all that.

Troy: Bill, you know what's foul? Bad attitudes, that's what's foul. And what makes bad attitudes is stress. And stress is not good for business. It wastes the employees' time, it wastes my time, it wastes the company's time. So I read in a real old issue of Men's Health how yoga on grass relieves stress, makes relaxed employees, and relaxed employees can do better work, get better ideas, stay focused longer. So, yeah! I want to make sure that when they come back inside after lunch, that they are relaxed and totally UN-stressed.

Bill: And you know that by the amount of grass on their a--.

Troy: EX-actly!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Overheard at Booth 4: Unicorns Glitter and Rainbows

Little Brother: We were drawing in class and I told this girl "Your picture looks like unicorns puking rainbows all over the room!"

Older Sister: You moron! Unicorns don't puke out rainbows. They puke out glitter.

Little Brother: That's exactly what SHE said!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mark Twain's The War Prayer

As I study the Holy Bible and try my best to get into a closer walk with Jesus Christ, the more dissatisfied I become. With so many things. Not the least of those things: these wars. These bloody endless wars that we Americans allow to continue and we don't even think about most days. We just let our government take our brothers and sisters and cousins and turn them into killing machines. We make commercials that show a man sending a drone plane to blow up a mountain, and he still makes it home in time for supper.

And our chuches keep telling us to write prayer cards in support of these soldiers that we are allowing to be abused - by our government. And never ONCE a prayer for our enemies, as God Himself commanded us to pray. I tried to find words for these feelings, some way to express it, and by some miracle, I found some human words written over a century ago, by none other than a writer who no American can deny is THE pre-eminent American Man of Letters. None other than Mark Twain, who, in this short passage, spoke not only for his time, for the time before, but was so prescient that he could not have known that he was writing for America of today.

Read on, my friends:

The War Prayer

Dictated by Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens] in 1904 in advance of his death in 1910.

During his writing career, he had criticized perhaps every type of person or institution either living or dead. But this piece was just a little too hot for his family to tolerate. Since they believed the short narrative would be regarded as sacrilege, they urged him not to publish it. However, Sam was to have the last word, and even the word after that. Having directed it to be published after his death, he said,

"I have told the truth in that... and only dead men can tell the truth in this world."
- William H. Huff

The War Prayer
by Mark Twain

It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest depths of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast doubt upon its righteousness straight way got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams – visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory –

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!"

The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

[After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Overheard at Booth 3: Airline Ticket Prices

Man #1: You know I just don't get airline ticket prices. I was trying to look for tickets to bring my mother down here for two weeks, and the prices were varied between $184 and all the way up to six hundred bucks!

Man#2: Was it the date?

Man #1 Well, the date seemed like part of it, sure, but I was thinking it was the weekend, so I tried during some of the weekdays and it was the same price. The only determining factor I could see was that the lowest price came from having her stay longer. It seems that if you just want to get in and out of some place, the price skyrockets. Why is that?

Man #2: I dunno. Maybe they figure that short terms are business trips, and they naturally assume that business trips have more discretionary cash to spend.

Man #1: Or they can just bilk you more. Plus, I also looked at it for the price of if I were to go up there and come back, and it was also at the higher price - no matter if I stayed two days or two weeks! What's that all about? I don't know. I know there's got to be some sort of freakily complicated formula figuring out the top dollar they can get for every seat, but man, at least have some rhyme or reason to it.

Man #2: They can't have that. If they had something that everybody could figure out, then everybody would be flying ONLY on the third Saturday or the fifth Sunday of every month! No other dates.

Man #1: Wouldn't that be freaky cool!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

At the Counter: Verble shows a post that he likes

I just copied this from, because it is wonderfully written and I would have loved to have rewritten it into a conversation, but it says everything that needs to be said just as it is.

Thanks to litingyu before he/she/they even knew that I was going to copy&paste this post here.

God’s Dwelling Place
Posted in Uncategorized by litingyu on April 27, 2010
Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up to the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure and be honored,” say the Lord.
“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty, “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house [...]“
Haggai 1:3-9
God purposely frustrates our human efforts to get ahead – school, life, work – because he wants to get our attention, to make us realize we are missing out on life, which is God.
He gets our attention through difficult circumstances. Question: how do you know you can trust in God, until you’re in a situation where you need to make the decision to trust him?
Or in other words, how do you know the strength of your anchor until you’re in a storm ?
Our love (trust and faith) for God must be tested: it’s human nature to try and work our way to comfort and security. God puts trials in our life to get our attention.
The most beautiful part is – He isn’t asking for perfection.
No, he only requires that you put forth your best, even if your best is broken, incomplete, ugly, because your best is a reflection of your current attitude and heart. And God will take pleasure and be honored in what your best has to offer.

Overheard at Table 4: Sleeping In

Helene's iPhone buzzes next to her hand, which is resting next to her mocha latte. She taps the screen and says to JoHannah, "My daughter. She's just texting me she's just now getting up."

JoHannah says, "Wow. You really let her sleep in late."

"Just on Saturdays. During the week we all get up super-early. We just let her sleep in on Saturdays because ever since she turned 14 she's been like, you know - 14. So it's the only time when there's actually anything like a peaceful moment in the house, that's Saturday mornings, you know?"

"Don't I know! I've got my 17 and my 16 year old both hanging at the house today . . . Why do you think I texted you, begging you to meet me here for coffee?!

Overheard at the Counter: Maybe there's a reason why his name is Cain

Niall Carter says, "Just read a quote in Time magazine."

Lucky Moran says, "I'm obsessed by Time magazine/I read it every week in the downtown library."

John Steppenwolf, "Thank you, Allen Ginsberg."

Lucky, "That's his premier poem. So much better than Howl, don't you think?"

Niall Carter interjects, "But what I READ IN TIME MAGAZINE WAS . . ."

Steppenwolf, "Yes, yes, Niall, please tell us."

"It was a quote by Herman Cain . . . he was speaking out against the Occupiers, and he said 'Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself.'"

Lucky said, "I heard that on my radio, just before I yanked it right out of my dashboard because hearing that pissed me off so much."

Steppenwolf, "I think the problem lies in that we as a culture have established this 'American Dream' that if you just work hard enough, you can be rich. It really should be called the 'American Fantasy' because it is a bald faced lie. No wealthy person EVER got wealthy JUST because they worked hard. It takes a huge combination of factors: timing, other people's support, the current economic conditions, the ability to get your message out, who else is or is not currently working in your particular field, and just plain dumb luck."

"That's so against what this country was built on," says Niall, "I'm wondering how you're able to sleep at night."

"Not well," says Steppenwolf. "I'm always afraid the CTP are gonna come crashing through my window and force feed me a solid non-stop diet of Michael Savage."

"CTP?" asks Lucky.

"Conservative Thought Police."

"Ah," says Lucky. "I always just called it the Heritage Foundation."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: Conservative Smokescreen

"I don't know what it is, but there's a term for this, it's when you are doing something, but you accuse the other person of doing it first, so that you can get away with it yourself, and I've really noticed this for a couple of years now, with all these conservatives and their radio and tv and books and everything, and it's just weird - like

"The conservatives are rewriting history, by accusing the liberals of rewriting history,

"The conservatives have taken control of the mainstream media, by claiming that the liberals control the mainstream media,

"The conservatives want to set up concentration camps for illegal immigrants and consolidate power in one small group, by calling the liberals Nazi fascist.

(and don't even get me started on how they can call liberals Fascist AND Socialist in the same breath - that's just like calling one piece of food a potato chip AND a corn dog)

"But anyway, don't you find that weird? Also, the conservatives bring government to a standstill, they've osbtinately refused to do ANYTHING for the past three years, and then they blame the liberals for ineffective government. They kill every bill, even their own, just to prove that government isn't doing anything at all. They hate government, but they want to run it.

"These guys are nuts. Conservatives are mean-spirited and wholly disfunctional. And yet they are the largest ideological BLOC in the country. They're the largest ideological bloc by claiming that the Liberals are the largest ideological bloc.

"Is everyone nuts here, or is it just me?"

and I hear his friend say,

"It's just that you intellectuals are ruining this country for the rest of us by always having to second guess everything. Just lie back and think of America, and let Big Business have its way with ya!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Overheard at the Counter: Mormon/Mammon - seem the same?

Steppenwolf is telling Niall Carter: Hey listen I don't really care about a guy's religion, I mean, he's running the country, he's not saving my soul. But I have to say it's damn hypocritical for half the nation to be totally p'o'd three years ago, all yelling "Obama's a Muslim - just look at his name - Barack HUSSEIN Obama - the name is a MUSLIM name" and then now we've got a Mormon front running the GOP and the same people are dead quiet. What freaking hypocrites. They don't even understand that by their own beliefs, Mormonism is a cult.

Niall says: Yeah, but it's a cult that runs a whole STATE!

Steppenwolf says: But by the standards of those who claim that the Bible is all you need for salvation, then any extant or extraneous text that puts itself equal to or surpassing the Bible is heretical. Like the Book of Mormon - it's very existence claims that the Bible is not sufficient for salvation - as though everyone for 1900 years got it wrong, until Joseph Smith came to town - in a beam of light with a choir of heavenly angels singing sweetly to him, telling him to be fruitful and multiply. and not a peep from those who say their litmus test is a man's belief in Jesus.

Niall: But that goes out the window if he's a Republican.

Steppenwolf: Like I said, I don't care much myself. It's the double standard from the people I can't stomach.

An Observation

from 365


I have just noticed
that, throughout the years,

the stars
have steadily


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Hey, whoever played at open mic night last night, you left this guitar . . . .

My Barista says she liked your songs. She especially remembers one called "Greatest Things" she said it was "Sweetly cool."

You may want to come back for both your guitar - and her phone number.