Sunday, December 25, 2016

Book Review at Table 2: The Little Blue Book


Lakoff, George and Elisabeth Wehling.  The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic.  Free Press: Simon and Schuster, New York.  2012.


p.20 The understanding that private success always depends on public support leads to progressive taxation: the more you earn from public support, the greater your responsibility for its maintenance.

p48 Extreme conservative discourse is taken as neutral in the absence of a progressive alternative, but it is anything but neutral.  It is dangerous…

p. 81 “Government has a moral duty to protect and empower its people”

p. 86 The Founding Fathers were right: public education is necessary for a democracy as well as a vibrant economy.

p. 107 Good soil feeds us forever.  In the long run, a farmer’s crops are worth more than the oil underneath.  Don’t drill.


This book is a good start for any Liberal or Progressive who wants to engage an extreme conservative but keeps getting caught in the maelstrom of vomitous insanity spewed by our friends on the “Right”

George Lakoff, a cognitive scientist, studies how the brain works, and in this and other works and lectures he explains how the “Right” uses the mechanics of words much more adroitly than the Liberals or Progressives in getting their message across.  In fact, they are so good at this that often their message is conveyed by the Left because two things: 1) the way the Left feels compelled to explain and defend against all “Right” attacks, no matter how insane, and 2) by using and repeating the language of conservatives, thereby ingraining the ideas into everyone’s minds even further.

While I disagree with the facility by which Lakoff and Wehling in this book relate the opposing political viewpoints to broad generalities about the idea of the “family,” these authors are very compelling in their directive that the Left must understand what it is that they believe and communicate that message to the best of their ability.   Don’t use the language of the Right.  Don’t try to fight them on their own terms.  Explain why progressive ideas are better for everybody.   This book gives great examples.  I would give some here, but then that would just include posting large swaths of the text.   Instead, I encourage you to go read the book and discover them for yourself.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Overheard at the Counter: Is the Bible to be Taken Literally?

Upon hearing this question, Verble takes a long sip of his coffee and says, "Others may answer differently, but I say 'Yes ... and No.'

"First, it's important to make the distinction between the Bible and 'books' as we see them.  We see books as creations, writings, with plots and metaphors and instructions, etc.  While the Bible uses the written word - as opposed to photography or paint or sound - it is more than just the written word.  It is part of Creation just like the Universe itself is part of Creation.  So, in that way, I say 'Yes' the Bible is to be taken literally.   When Jesus says, 'It's easier to stuff a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to Heaven,' He means it.   (Sorry, Mr. Trump, but you're screwed, unless you come to know Jesus!)

"Second, I say 'No' because of what humans mean by 'literal' - Humans have a need to control, to be in control, and to trip others up.   That is what is meant by the word 'literal'  - 'Did you LITERALLY just tell your boss to take this job and shove it?' 'Why yes I did - the words came out of my mouth!'

"So, by 'literal' in most of the questions I've ever received about the 'literality' of the Bible has been in the context of Genesis - the question is 'do you believe that Adam and Eve were two human beings walking around just like you and your wife in your human bodies in 2016 walk around naked in your back yard, and did they do this 3,700 years ago according to the measurement of time that we have today?  Such as, can I take the Norman Rockwell 2017 calendar that I just bought myself, make 3700 copies of it, set them end to end and say, HAH this many days ago, Adam and Eve walked the Earth!

"No.  Because again, that is a human limitation placed on the text of the Bible, and it comes back down to my human brain imposing MY will upon the Word of God.

"The context of the argument is that - if Adam and Eve are literally true the way the Young Earth Creationists believe it to be true, then the rest of the Bible falls apart.   Most atheists use this as an argument, and all YEC's fear it.  This is why YEC's hold to it so steadfast, because they are weak in their faith.

"Both approaches are merely a human attempt to limit the Bible - to force it to conform to human understanding.   The Bible does not fall apart if Genesis can be read a different way than the Epistle of James.  Remember, the Bible is not a mystery novel or a textbook, it's a living breathing document with mysteries we cannot understand, like the Universe itself.

"I know this answer does not satisfy many people, and I apologise for that.  Sometimes I ramble.  But in summation, the best I can say is 'Yes, I believe that every word in the Bible is pregnant with meaning and glorifies God, but No, I'm not going to force it to conform to a limited human 'literal' sense - especially in the way humanity tries to argue Genesis."

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Overheard at Table 3: To Go Home or Not to Go Home

... so then last night my wife says she was at the salon getting an appointment for her hair to get done on Thursday, and she walks outside and realizes she doesn't want to come home!


yeah!  and I'm like "what are you talking about?" and she says that it the mist of the light rain hit her cheek and she took a deep breath and thought about the cold and had this desire to just hit the highway and drive, leaving me, leaving the kids, leaving her mom, all of us, just driving.

wow, man.  that's kind of intense.

damright!  hell, I've felt that way off and on for years but what kind of shitstorm d'you think I'd be in if I ever openly admitted that to HER?!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Overheard at Table 1: Communism and Capitalism

Communism is an economic system based on the lie that every citizen has an equal share of society's products and services.

Capitalism is an economic system based on the lie that every citizen has an equal opportunity to enjoy society's products and services.

The only difference is that citizens in an Communist system know full well that they live in a lie.

Overheard at Booth 2: Wondering

... thinking about next Christmas, this time, same time next year:
will we still have the debates that we are having now?
will we still be agitating for social change?
will be be fighting to keep our slim rights at work?  in the voting booth?
over our own bodies?
will we have any shot at a bare minimum income for retirement?
will the protests be silenced?

what will Christmas look like next year?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Overheard at Table 2: Elderly Parent

H: ...but you probably shouldn't have yelled at her like that.

W: She was heading straight for the trash can!  She was gonna pull the cake slice OUT of the trash!

H: You shouted at her in front of everybody.

W: It was embARassing!

H: Honey, she's 83 years old.  Old people do weird stuff.  Besides, it was OK, Fredy got her a fresh slice of cake to take home.

W: I know.  I'm just not taking this well.  This is the strongest woman in the world.  Been strong my whole life.  Now, to see her being so hard headed, it's just so stressful.

H: I know.

W: How do you know?  She's not your mom.

H: Yeah, but I'm married to her clone.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Overheard at Booth 4: Tale of the Unknown Island

Tale of the Unknown Island

Jose Saramago

Quite a nice little introspective story, a great read for a long bus ride from downtown to the suburbs.   

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Overheard at Table 3: Lucky and Otis Discuss Cancer

Lucky Moran: You're part Indian, right?

Otis Redwing:  You already know that.  Plus, the preferred term is "Native American."  I'm part Creek and part Cherokee, if you want to be specific.

Lucky: I just wanted you to know, if I ever get cancer . . . I want you to call me "Chemo-sabe."

Otis: I really don't know why I hang with you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Overheard at Booth 2: The Mermaid (2016)

A brilliant movie!  Lively, funny, sweet, bizarre, weird!   Funny thing is, I could tell that there were probably a lot of puns or jokes that just didn't translate into English well, so there are many subtexts that English watchers might miss... but still, this is a hilarious movie -

also, I think it's mentally and emotionally healthy for American audiences to watch foreign films.  So many American movies are the same: Action, Blood spatter, Sex.  Not necessarily in that order.  Foreign films often offer different perspectives and just seem to be a darn lot more fun!

Check this movie out - whole family!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Overheard at Table 1: Knock Knock (2016)

This is the kind of movie that makes you wonder if the lead actor has severe money problems.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Overheard at Table 4: Hurricane Matthew

I was listening to NPR yesterday morning and they were talking to a reporter that they had down there in Haiti, and I knew, I just KNEW, the moment I heard the question, that there was going to be some lame-ass answer, and they asked, "What was the Hurricane like in Haiti?" and there was this millisecond where I was just cringing, and then the answer:

"Well . . . there was a lot of rain, and a lot of wind."

And I said NO SHIT!  Out loud!  Even though it was only me in the car.  Of course!  It's a HURRICANE!   By the very definition there is a lot of rain and a lot of water.

I want description.  I want imagery.  I want that reporter to say something like, "The rain came tearing through the island like a frat boy on a 'roid rage after slamming down tequila shots!"  or  "The wind blew harder than a coked-out porn star!"

That may not be poetry, but it damn sure beats, "there was a lot of rain.  there was a lot of wind."

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Overthought at Table 3: The Nihilist Observes

Woman, elegant in the beauteous wisdomic creases of time and energy spent all these years wuietly observing the eccentricities of her husband, sits in her black shawl intricately laced with embroidered roses, skimming through pictures of her daughter and her daughter's daughters. 

Woman, you are so much more than your children.

The overhead music turns to jazz, with a trumpet swaying and jarring its load, a tempestuous shakeaway of the calm acoustic almost-tango that had bee playing when I came in for my Italian roast.

Two women, brunette and slim, in jogging attire and the skin going slack on their legs, bruising from being mid-40s, ask for pumpkin spice lattes.  It's that time of year.  The end of summer and the hint of fall in the air.  Around here when the temperature suddenly dips to 78 we tend to whip out the Halloween displays.

The elegant woman's elegant husband returns with their coffees.  He is portly bellied, with a thick white Vandyke that snows down to the open top button of his shirt.  A perfect archetype of a leatherworker making embroidered cowboy belts and hats in Santa Fe.  

We are all so much more than these bodies.  We are a sum of all these moments.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Overheard at Table 2: Lucky and Otis Look on the Bright Side

Lucky: Y’know I’ve been thinking . . .


Otis: Never a good sign.


Lucky: . . . it really wouldn’t be totally bad if Trump becomes President.


Otis: Oh Lord.  And how’s that, you figure?


Lucky: Think of the literature that would be produced.  I mean, great literature is always fiormed in resistance to oppressive eras.  We’re still producing books and movies about the Holocaust – and the heroes of WW2.  Heck, there’s not a Spanish movie director alive that can set any movie outside of the Spanish civil war.  Terrible times, frankly, make for great art!


Otis: So basically you want Trump to be President so that people can make great movies and write great books?


Lucky: Hell no I don’t WANT him to be President!  I’m just saying that at the very least, we’d have some great literature that might come out of it.


Otis: Well, if he wins I’m going underground, so when the Trumpites take over and put you up against the wall, I’ll write you a damn fine eulogy, OK?


Lucky: You’re the best friend a guy could have!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Overheard at Table 2: Co-workers on Break.

She: Your wife is so lucky.

He: Why?

She: You're such a ... well, like an old-time gentleman.

He: My wife might disagree.

She: Well you're a lot better than my husband.  Frikkin' idiot is all having a pity party because i got onto his ass for spending a grand on tires for his truck when the kids need school supplies, and glasses, and FOOD!  I mean, he's still on this "I don't have my freedom!" and I'm busy trying to get the kids to day care and kindergarten every morning!

He: Let me stop you, and tell you something.

She: I should just leave him, right?

He: Whether you guys stay or split, that's none of my business.  But I'll tell you this: your husband and me - we're the same guy.

She:  You're nothing like him.

He: I was when I was 29.  My wife will tell you that.  She took decades to make me into this guy I am right now.  It was a lot of sleepless nights and I was nothing but a pain in the ass pity-party, just like your husband.  But she took the time, and we made what we have now.  Which is good.  Not perfect.  But good.

She: So you think my guy's redeemable?

He: Everyone is redeemable.   It all depends on who steps up to the plate.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Overheard at Table 3: Pinky and the Lawnmower

She was saying, "you should have seen what happened to my dumbass husband and the lawnmower.  Told him not to stick his hand under there while it was running and the next thing you know he gets his pinky chopped off.


"Yeah, it was gross, looked just like a rotten banana.  He called himself an ambulance.  Big sissy.  That was four thousand dollars right there.  We're still paying that shit off.   Got him to the hospital and they told me what it would cost to put it back on and I said, 'Aw hells no!  What's a person use a pinky for anyway!  Just throw that fuckin thing away."

"You didn't!"

"Hell yeah I did!  Teach him to stick his damn hand under the damn lawnmower."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Overheard at Table 2: David and the Hittite

Yesterday the pastor was talking about David and Bathsheba, and we've all heard the story, right?  Bathsheba bathing on the roof, so hot he calls her over and does her, then he sends her husband off to get killed.  Simple.

But you know, I've read that story off and on for years but never read it like yesterday.  I guess I never read it at all.   But first he tells this guy Uriah to go home and schtup his wife, and Uriah's like "no man, I gotta stay with the troops.  Loyalty to the fighting men." Then David gets him drunk, and Uriah still won't go home and do his wife.  I'm thinking maybe David is saying if I can get him to do his wife then we won't know the kid is mine.  I dunno,

But then, he says fine, and he sends Uriah to the general with a note for the general which says, "Make sure Uriah gets whacked in battle." And so this general proceeds to send out a full troop of guys on a suicide mission.  Now get this, I'm no military expert, but the way it reads is that the general has to make the troops do something incredible stupid, like something you would never do in a war, and bam!  All wiped out.

The general then sends the messengers back to David, and he tells them, "OK, when you tell him what happened here he's gonna be pissed off, OK? But when you see him getting pissed off, just tell him 'Uriah the Hittite got whacked, too.'"

So they do, and when they give him the message that the Hittite got whacked, David said, "Well, hey, tell the general not to worry about the loss.  People get killed all the time,"

So the point is this, David's sin didn't just get the Hittite killed, it also got a whole bunch of nameless soldiers killed.  David's sin also made his general commit a sin.   Sin doesn't just end with us, it spreads itself out like a bad STD.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Overheard at Table 4: IDK

Dad: What does IDK mean

Son: I don't know.

Dad: Well then who would?

Son: That's what it means, Dad, IDK.  I. Don't. Know.

Dad: See, now was that so hard?

Son: Geez Dad, WTF

Dad: What does that mean?

Son: Nevermind.

Dad: Well WTF to you too then!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Overheard at Booth 4: Etymology of GUERO

Hispanic guy:  You know why we call all you white guys "Gueros"?

White guy: I dunno.  Why?

Hispanic guy: Because you're always coming down to our countries saying, "GUERO all the Latinas at?"

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Overheard at Table 2: If I Were a Trump Supporter

I actually read on Twitter the other day some Trump supporter tweet "I really believe he cares."

I couldn't believe that.  The lunacy of those five words is now burned into my brain.  There is nothing that says that he cares.  I mean, the man takes a human tragedy like the murder of 50 people in a gay nightclub and states "Thanks to all the people who now know that I was right" - and just the other day he tweeted "woman gets killed walking her baby.  African Americans will vote TRUMP!" I mean what the HELL.  Any reasonable mind understands that he's only in this for himself.

If I were Trump supporter, I wouldn't have any illusions that he's in this for the American people.  He's in this for his brand and for his brand and to improve his cash flow.  I'd support him because I would believe that he wouldn't want to do anything to stop his cash flow, and if the country's economy were tied to it, then he would work to defend it.

I'd also support him because he hates the TPP and wants to support tariffs.  I'd let people know that's going to raise the price of shit through the roof.  I mean, there won't be no more Wal-Mart markdowns.  T-shirts would be $20 instead of $5, but we all have to make sacrifices, right?

I'd also support him because he's able to mobilize the disenfranchised.  Those people who never voted before came out in droves in the primaries and blasted the shit out of the Republican Party.  I mean, this guy has shredded the Republican party more than any Democrat could ever do.  They'd been trying to fight these guys for a decades, and Trump does it in just a few short months.

So that would be why I'd support him.  But I would never, ever, EVER in my life delude myself into thinking he actually CARED about America or its people.  Because he doesn't.  And he never will.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Overheard at the Counter: Gardening and Music (a Playlist)

My dear friends, yesterday a Trump Troll, rather than attempting to discuss important civic matters in a rational debate, simply told my friend PK and I to "go back to our gardening and music"

How she knows I garden I have no idea, because I do not garden.   Attempted many times, but the Associated for Decent Treatment to Flora sent me a letter begging me never to touch one of our green-leaved friends again.  Apparently the Chrysanthemums accused me of abuse, the Pansies said I engage in hate crimes, and the Avacado trees tried to drag me before the World Court to be held accountable for genocide.  Suffice it to say, gardening is not my forte.

However, the Trump Troll did inspire me to cobble together a list of songs about gardening and music.  OK, songs that have "garden" in the title.   But here you go friends, get out your trowels, your top soil, your guitars bass & drums, and ENJOY!

ARTIST: The Various Artists
ALBUM TITLE: Go Back to Your Gardening and Music

Lawnmower Deth
"Lawnmowers for Heroes Comics for Zeroes"

"The Garden was Crowded and Outside"

The Dentists
"Strawberries are Growing in my Garden (and It's Wintertime)"

Einsturzende Neubauten
"The Garden"

John Denver
"The Garden"

This one goes out to CARRIBETH
The Beatles
"Octopus's Garden"
[no YouTube video available - DARN YOU YOUTUBE!!]

This one is dedicated with much love to HEALING MUSE
Tangerine Dream
"Zen Garden"

Merril Bainbridge
"Garden in my Room"

The Explosive
"Who Planted Thorns in Miss Alice's Garden"

"Gardening at Night"

Pink Floyd
"The Grand Vizier's Garden Party"

This last one has been my favourite for decades, and we will fade out the day with this...
Rick Nelson
"Garden Party"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Overread at Booth 2: Writing Promt 08-22 "I Will Endure"

From @writtenriver writing prompt for August 22, 2016
"I will endure"

Though laughter, tears,
decades stretched to shrinking years,
deepening wrinkles and fading fears,

are still



Overread at Table 1: A section from "Unintelligible Yelling"

From the forthcoming book, which will be finished after the much-dreaded November 2016 Presidential election is over:

The week of 08-20-2016 -

But on this day Trump seemed to get back on his feet, like a struggling newborn calf trying to talk.  Trump bravely courted the African American vote in a room full of white people.  He also bravely flew down to flooded Louisiana to bravely hand off boxes of Play-Doh from a truck so that Louisiana children could forget that they have no home, no clothes, no food, and no clean water.

Yes, his monstrous popularity seemed to soar.  The LA governor praised him for his help in getting the focus on the suffering of Louisianans, white people praised how Donald Trump bravely stated that he would win 95% of the African American vote, and no one seemed to even remember how he nearly dry humped his own daughter during the RNC.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Overheard at Table 4: Suitcases Totally Lit

Wife: God, I was so embarrassed when we got to my brother's house.  Tami opened her suitcase and it just totally REEKED of pot.

Husband: Hm.

Wife: Don't start.

Husband: I didn't start anything.

Wife: I see your face.

Husband: My face is saying nothing.  My face is drinking my espresso.

Wife: Whatever.  I asked her did you bring anything with you you better not have brought anything with you.  And she said no she didn't and not to start getting on her case because she already lives on her own.  So she was right, I had no right to say anything on this trip.

Husband: Yes, you did.  You had every right.  You should have told her she's 19, and dope is still illegal in Texas.  If she wants to smoke pot she can move to Colorado or California or Oregon or wherever, but she'll still have to be 21 there anyway.

Wife: Well she doesn't live with us any more, because you got so mad.

Husband: She was smoking pot in our house!  Your 83 year old MOTHER told us right when we walked in the door from work.  What the hell did you expect me to do?  Give her a bong for Christmas?

Wife: She's out of the house OK?  God I hadn't talked to her in two weeks since then.  She came on this trip with me to help out my brother.  It was the first time we'd talked.   So just back off.

Husband: OK, fine.  Just glad she didn't blaze up in your brother's house.

Wife: Still, it was embarrassing.  So there's that.  Are you happy?  I was embarrassed, are you happy?

Husband: How in the hell could that make me happy?

Wife: Because you always like to be right.

Husband: What the hell is so wrong with wanting my daughter not to commit a crime in our house?

Wife: Maybe if she were your real daughter you would love her more.

Husband: Been in her life since she was three.  I think that's counts as pretty real.

Wife: It's almost real.  But not real enough.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Overread at Booth 1: "Never Have a Clue"

MR, the Z&T's the poet-in-residence (residence, because we can never seem to kick him out of here!), sits at Booth 1, scribbling furiously while he listens to No Use for a Name's third album "Leche Con Carne!"

So, the lyrics that come forth from his frothing pen (as he takes only 5 minutes to pen them with aforementioned frothing pen) are meant to be set to an early 90s ska-punk rhythm:

Never Have a Clue

You really learn a lot about somebody
When you walk a mile in their shoes
You learn if they’ve got a thing for ska-punk
Or if they just listen to Delta blues

People cease to be a mystery
When you sleep a week in their house
Maybe they’ll be cool and let you crash
Or say “Who the hell are you now get out!”

You gotta get to know the people
Everyone who lives and works around you
But if you don’t ever want to shake their hand
That just means you’ll never have a clue

You’ll never know anyone around you
If you never take the time to say “HEY!
How you doing’ what’s your name?
Have you ever heard Candy Apple Grey?”

You really learn a lot about somebody
When you drill a peephole in their wall
Then you can watch them when they’re sleeping
To see if they snore a lot or not at all.

This song’s about emotional intelligence
Otherwise known as “EQ”
And if you don’t try to get some, well
That just means you’ll never have a clue
That just means you’ll never have a clue
That just means you’ll never have a clue.

MR 2016-0818

and yes, all you aficionados out there will know that at that particular moment, MR was listening to "Soulmate" <= great song, by the way.

Inspiration comes in many forms.   - Source unknown
Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Overheard at Table 3: We Know What You Mean

So he says he was talking about getting out to vote?  Is that what he says he was trying to say?   That's gah-gage, my friend, pure gah-bage. Lemme tellya somethin' - you got a grocer in Manhattan, 1950s, 60s, whatevah.  And he's minding his store, minding his business, and one day two goons come in to the store and they say, "Nice place you got heah.  Sure would be a shame if somethin' were to HAPPEN to it!"

Now, they never come out and SAY "We're going to set fire to your store if you don't pay us," but the grocer knows what they're sayin' and THEY know what they're sayin' and EVERYBODY know what they're sayin and when Donald Stinking Lyin Sack of Queens GAH-BAGE Trump says, "You Second Amendment people do something about it" we ALL know that he's ordering a hit on Hillary.

We know what he means.  We all know what he means.  For his little maggoty bootlickahs to act like "ooh that's not what he meant" well that's just a damn lie.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Overheard at Table 4: What the Bleep Do We Know (2004)

Lucky Moran: Pretty cool movie, apart from being total bullshit.

Otis Redwing: I dunno.  The part with the kid on the basketball court was pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2017 Donald Trump State of the Union Address

Read a tweet today form someone asking if we could picture Donald Trump giving a State of the Union address.  Well, I can imagine it and here is what I think it might sound like:

(let me know if you think I'm way far off or if I've hit the nail on the head!)


Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address 2017

First, I want to thank Scott Baio and Omarosa for opening up this speech for me.  Great guy, really great guy, and Omarosa, too, great lady!  Let’s thank both of them again.  Look I know, I know, you guys usually have a president who just comes on and bores you forever with a bunch of facts about the “state” of the union, but folks, listen . . . you just need to know one simple thing.  The State of the Union is just going to get better.  And better.  And better.  And better. Until we are all saying, “How much better can it get?  I mean, we’re doing so GREAT NOW!”

And that’s what we’re going to be saying.  But right now, look, I’ve only been in this job for a few weeks, OK and already I see what the problems are.  Look folks, this is huge. I mean huge.  We’ve got a lot of problems.  A lot of problems.  And they’re not my problems. I didn’t make them.  But I know the system.  I’ve been in the system.  The system is broken and I’m the only one to fix it, OK?  And it will be fixed, believe me.  The system is not working for a lot of folks, a lot of good folks.  It’s working for the nasty guys, the really nasty guys, and these nasty guys are the guys who want to ship jobs overseas, OK?  They’re shipping jobs overseas.  To Mexico.  Where all the rapists are.  Well not all the rapists, because the rapists are coming here, but that’ll change because we’ll have the wall built by the end of the year, OK?   So here’s the deal we’re going to make with Mexico.  Mexico will pay for the wall.  They will absolutely pay for the wall.  They’re going to send us cash.  They’re gonna throw it over the wall.  In big bags, or something, I dunno.  But they’re gonna pay, OK?  Believe me.

But before they do, you see, they gotta, they gotta be told they have to pay.  And they can’t pay, they can’t get the big bags by the end of this year, when we gotta have the wall built.  So I need Congress, you see, to put up the money up front to build the wall.  And it’ll be a big wall, a beautiful wall, OK? With lots of bricks, the best bricks, well, cement, but you see, since we put up the wall, and here’s the deal, because I make deals, the best deals.  Mexico will pay us what we put in plus 10%, for every day they don’t send those bags of money over. 

And some people have asked, “Donald, what if they don’t throw bags of money over the wall?” and I say, “OK. Sure.  Fine.  Remittances.  We’ll stop remittances.”  The Mexicans, and the other Hispanics, I think they like to be called Central Americans, I dunno.  Something like that.  OK. So, they send billions of dollars each year, like, 34 billion, that’s what someone told me anyway.   We sto those, and there you have it.  Paid for the wall.  It’s done.  Let’s move on.

NAFTA.  Done.  Dead. Over.  Today.  No more NAFTA.  NAFTA’s gone.   NATO too.  As of this moment, we don’t pay another dime to NATO until all the other nations in NATO have matched us dollar-for-dollar what we’ve put in all these years, because let me tellya folks, the other nations, they haven’t been sending their best.  Dollar for dollar.  Not their best.  So, NATO’s gone.  Over.  Final.  OK?

Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court can’t go on with eight justices, we’ve got to get it back to 9, or even 10.  11 would be better, but we’ll start with 9.  My friends, my good friends, at the Heritage Foundation, they gave me a list.  A list of good judges.  Some great guys.  Really great guys.  Smart guys.  They know the law, believe me.  They know the law.  So I’m going to have Mike Pence send the names to Congress tomorrow and you guys choose one.  Just choose one.  Or two or three if you think they’ll get the job done and make some really good deals.  I want a Supreme Court that makes really good deals, because folks, the Supreme Court hasn’t been making very good deals.   I mean, they need to make better deals.  These guys will do that.

Next thing I’m gonna do is get rid of the EPA.  EPA, you’re fired!  You’re FAY-UHHHHDDDD!   Not good for business.  Nasty guys.  Bunch a nasty guys.  They don’t like business.  Bad for business.  Now, done.  Gone.  Fih-NEE-TOH!!   Bye bye!  Bye Bye!

OK, glad we’re having fun.  Are we having fun?  This is a great time.  A great time!  I think we should do this state of the union thing more often!  Like maybe once a year, how about that?  Once a year sound good to you?  OK.

Last thing for this state of the union – look folks, we’re in bad shape.  I mean bad shape.  I said it on the campaign trail and it’s true now that I just took office, we’re in bad shape.  I mean crime in the streets.  People killing our priests in France.   ISIS blowing up our gay Latinos in Orlando.  Syrians shooting our cops in Dallas, I mean, it’s horrible!  Horrible.  So here’s what I’m gonna do.  Every card carrying member of the NRA is now deputized into their local police force!  How’s that for a deal?  That’s a good deal, isn’t it?  Now we have plenty more cops on the force.  We now have 2 million more cops today than we did yesterday!  And guess what?  Whoever joins the NRA, as long as you don’t have a criminal record – you gotta be a good guy, not a bad guy! – whoever joins the NRA gets the same deal.   Joining the NRA gets you deputized into the police force where you live.  How’s THAT for community policing?  Pretty good huh!  Crime just ended today, folks, believe me!

And because I’m tough on crime – and I mean I’m tough.  I’m really, really tough, I want to let my fellow Americans know that right now, at this moment, Wayne LaPierre has sent some of his top guys, I mean his top notch guys, to the Clinton house, where they are right now kicking in the door and dragging Crooked Hillary out by her hair!  Believe me, Crooked Hillary is going to see justice at the point of a gun or the limb of a tree.  And that’s just for starters!  That’s right!  That’s right – we’re going to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN FOLKS, BELIEVE ME!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Overread at Table 1: Kitten High

Lyrics to a new song, forthcoming from the Americana duo, S and M:

(Don’t Get the) Kitten High

You can smoke a joint
Or you can huff a bong
You can blaze a session
All night long

You can call it “wasted”
Or you can call it “fried”
But whatever you call it,
Don’t get the kitten high.

Don’t get the kitten high, my dear
Don’t get the kitten high,
It’s a sad sad thing to do,
To get the kitten high.

You can chug a mug of beer
Or shoot tequila shots
You can slam back vodka
Till your brains just turn to rot

Blaze through Gray’s Anatomy
While sipping rum and coke
But getting kittens high, my dear,
That really is no joke.

Don’t get the kitten high, my dear
Don’t get the kitten high,
It’s a mad mad thing to do,
To get the kitten high.

On the Marrakesh Express
You ride the midnight coaches
Be always sure to never forget

But while tripping through dreamland
Where life is just a sigh,
No matter what your visions are
Don’t get the kitten high

Don’t get the kitten high, my dear
Don’t get the kitten high,
It’s a bad bad thing to do,
To get the kitten high.

‘Cuz kittens are innocent!
They’re light and fluffy and playful,
And it’s really a shame to see them stumbling around
Just because you and your dopehead ignorant idiot moron
Stinkwad useless sacks of dimebags think it’s a cool idea.

But it’s not.


Don’t get the kitten high, my dear
Don’t get the kitten high,
It’s a bad bad thing to do,
To get the kitten high.

MR 2016-0726

Monday, July 25, 2016

Overread at the Counter: A Fragment of a Ballad

MR, the Z&T Acoustic CafĂ©'s Poet-in-Residence, has been listening to a lot of old English and Scottish Ballads lately (he has found his copy of Francis Child's Ballads - Volume 5, I believe) and he left this scribbling on the back of a napkin on the counter.  The barista found it after he had left to go to his afternoon job, and instead of tossing it in the waste bin she gave it to me to keep for posterity.  One day it might actually be worth its weight in gold!  (all .000003 ounces!)

The gloom lies over the glen this night
The moon hides behind a veil of grey
The fog rests deep and quiet guides the way

Through the gloom of the glen this night.

MR 2016-0725

Overheard at Booth 3: "We just can't..."

Christian Lady 1: ... we just can't take in all those people.

Christian Lady 2: You're right.  It'd be nice if we could take in all those kids and help them, but he's right.  We have to take care of our own people first.

Christian Lady 1: Right.  America first.  Because if we don't take care of ourselves we won't have a country for anybody at all.

Christian Lady 2: Right.  Hey, did you get that invite for Bridget's shower?

Christian Lady 1: Sure did.  That's next month on the 20th, right?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Overheard at Table 1: One or the Other-er

Lucky Moran: Doesn't really seem like we've got any good choice this year.

Otis Redwing: Like a choice between Dumb and Dumber.

Lucky: Or Crooked and Crookeder.

Otis: What really gets me is how the comb-over has completely lowered the educational level of public speaking.

Lucky: Like to a playground level?

Otis: Sandbox.  Sandbox level.

Lucky: Like where my cat buries his poop.

Otis: Exactly.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Overheard at Booth 2: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Maybe I shouldn't have watched this just after having watched Spectre, bu twe certainly have the parallels of the secret agent getting old - which mimics the real life story of these franchises, and perhaps even the genre itself.  Are they still relevant in the days of ultimate information gathering and drone strikes?  Are they truly relics from a Cold War mindset?

And yes there is the idea of "How do we sell this to the youth market and make money? Oh yeah!  Explosions!"

For me, I've seen enough explosions.  To me, car chases and things blowing up is just to fill time so I can get back to the story.  So for this story, I have to say that Rogue Nation had more of a tight plot than Spectre.  This one stayed on point.  The Rogue Nation was supposed to me the Impossible Missions Force of Her Majesty's Service, but like true Brexiters, they broke off and went all "maverick-y" and basically this bad guy's wanting to take over the world, but he's starting by trying to get to all the secret billions of dollars that the British government secreted away to fund the group before they canned the group.   In other words, it's a practical first step for a rogue spy/terror organization.  That was nice.

Then you have the sexy secret agent, very nicely acted.  Not just a woman who can handle herself in a fight (even better than Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt), but also smart and savvy.  A little too ethically convicted to be an effective double agent, but whatcha gonna do?

I do appreciate the several times in which Ethan Hunt's antics and the successes of Impossible Missions Force were considered more to be sheer luck than actual talent or ingenuity.  That played out well and was a nice touch to bring Ethan Hunt down to earth.  In most of Cruise's movies he's always played some sort of Superman without a cape.  Now that we can start to see some lines on his face it's good to see him start trying to bring some actual frailty into his characters.

All in all, a very nice couple of hours spent.  Not the greatest, but well done.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Overheard at Table 3: Spectre (2015)

I just finished watching Spectre and my first thought is "what the hell just happened here?"
No it wasn't that the plot was confusing.  If anything, the simplicity of it was galling.
Bond villains are supposed to be as cool as Bond himself, and they're supposed to be hell bent on taking over the world.  This one is, but he's also taking the time to drill into Bond's skull, telling the blond Frenchie Bond girl "If I hit the right spot he won't remember you."

Heck!  He just met the girl!  Schtupped her once in a train car after they just had been smashed around the dining car by the traditional Heavy Hitter Hitman.  (This one's trademark, by the way, is a set of steel thumbnails - don't let him get those bad boys near your eye sockets - just warning ya!)

And THEN the bad guy turns out to be James Bond's adoptive brother?  Who hates Jimmy because Daddy found the young Bond and took him under his wing and taught him how to ski?  So basically we're to believe that THIS particular evil villain is really just some sissy with daddy issues?  For REAL?   With a - what - 220 million dollar budget, THIS is the best they could come up with?

Hel-en A. Hand-basket!  What utter tripe.  You know, I could handle Skyfall with the whole "my childhood was traumatized so I became Batman - er - I mean - 007" but this is one step too far.

What's in line for next movie?  The girl he stood up for prom wants to start a nuclear war and wipe out the entire human population?   Well, a female Evil Villain does kinda sound like an interesting idea, but if they make her some girl he shunned as a teenager, well I'll probably just rip out my hair and puke into my popcorn.

Summary -
Action scenes: Good - really good.  Not great.  Really good.
Dialogue: cheesy.
Cinematography: A little too heavy on the greenscreen, but many time it looks like the 60s & 70s Bond film work, which kinda gives it that nostalgic feel.
Characters: bland bland bland bland and - oh yeah - did I forget?  BLAND.
I kid you not, the best character in this entire film was the car that Bond used in a chase scene in Rome.  Poor car ended up at the bottom of the Tiber, probably thanking God that it was released from having to work another minute in this turkey!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Overheard at Table 3: Colorado Killer

"I heard that some guy walked into his wife's work in Colorado and shot her then shot himself.  Going through a divorce."

"That's horrible."

"No fooling.  I gotta say, I just don't understand all these killings.  Especially a guy and his ex-wife.  I mean, I went through a divorce.  Totally sucked.  I mean, that woman sucked me dry.  It got nasty.  She was filing for more money like every other week it seemed like.  But never - NEVER - did I want to hurt her."


"Well, OK, I did pray that she would break down and call me crying and say that she was wrong about everything and that is was all her fault and stop asking for more money and beg my forgiveness, just so I could laugh and say GO TO HELL BITCH! - yeah, I had that fantasy, sure.   But actually ever HURTING her?  No.  Absolutely not!"

"Seems like some guys aren't as emotionally stable as you."

Monday, June 27, 2016

Durd of the Day #4: RACIST

DURD: A word used so often and improperly that it has become devoid of its original meaning


True meaning: a person who automatically assumes that a person of a different race or ethnicity has a certain set of characteristics, usually generated by unfair or pejorative stereotypes.

Current meaning: any person of a different race or ethnicity who does not agree wholeheartedly, completely, and unerringly with every single belief, however minor, held by the speaker.

Durd of the Day #3: NAZI

DURD: A word used so often and improperly that it has become devoid of its original meaning


True meaning: any member of the Nazi party, which rose to power in Germany in the 1930s, led by Adolf Hitler.

Current meaning: anybody you disagree with.

Durd of the Day #2: LIBERAL

DURD: A word used so often and improperly that it has become devoid of its original meaning.


True meaning: a person who adheres to a political and social philosophy of personal freedom and representational government.

Current Meaning: a godless freak atheist sicko pinko commie gay-lovin’ hater of MURICA!!!!!

Durd of the Day: FASCIST

DURD: A word used so often and improperly that it has become devoid of its original meaning


True meaning: any member of a political movement that is characterized by most executive power ceded to a single charismatic individual, to the detriment of all other governmental entities.  Usually the movement is characterized by Nationalistic and/or isolationist tendencies.

Current meaning: a member of the political party that you don’t agree with.

Overheard at the Counter: DURD!

DURD: A word used so often and improperly that it has become devoid of its original meaning

Verble has introduced the "DURD" - because there are so many people throwing words around with absolutely no semblance of the true purpose of the word.   They just know that the word has some sort of negative connotation, so they use it to hurt or to prove some sort of pointless point.

So, my friends, in the next few posts, Verble will give you some of the most common DURDS that have entered into our social consciousness. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Overheard at Booth 1: Downtown Houston Pupusas

So I'm walking to the library downtown today and I see that the Farmer's Market is going on and I've got about six bucks in my pocket so I think ''Why not?  Let's go check out the Farmer's Market."

And I'm walking around and they've got a guitarist and he's not great but hey, I like any street musician, especially in a city where they don't exist, and then I look at the tents and I see one selling pupusas.

And I think "Man I love pupusas I'm gonna get me some!" And so I walk over and they have a sign saying that pupusa plate is $9 - that's 2 pupusas and some salsa.  That's a bit high.   I mean, any pupusaria around the city sells pupusas for a buck, buck fifty - $2 bucks tops for revueltas.  So I ask the girl taking the payment if we can just buy single pupusas ans she says sure - for $8.

I'm like "EIGHT BUCKS! that's $4 each." and I tell her where they can buy pupusas cheaper, and the cook asks, "Where" and I say "any pupuseria in town."   Then I ask where's their store and turns out they don't have one, they're order only.

Then I ask if they have revuelta and the cooks says, "what's revuelta" and I say, "that's everything?" and I'm thinking is this woman EVEN Salvadoran?  I mean she doesn't know what revuelta is, and she tells me she only has frijoles and cheese or pork and cheese.   I mean she's calling it pork and not chicarron, so again I'm thinking is this woman even understanding my Spanish.

So then I decide to see if she's REALLY Salvadoran so I ask if she has one with Loroco.  She responds that Loroco is a specialty item and too expensive to get here.   I don't know if that's bogus or nbot because you can get it at Fiesta and I was about ready to tell her that, but then I just figured she probably means that it would increase the production cost or marginal cost, so I let it go.

So then I asked if they had curtido.  They pointed me to their $9 plate, so I said what the heck just give me the $9 plate.

So I get it and I leave to go back to the library with my hideously overpriced pupusas and then I see all these homeless people hanging out on the edges of the old library building, underneath the shade of the tree, and I'm thinking to myself, "Now how am I going to find a place to sit down and eat these pupusas in front of all these homeless people without being able to share any of it?"

And just as I was thinking that, one guy stretches his hand out to me and says, "Thank you."   That's all he says: "Thank you."  Just like that.  Just like it's already a done deal.  Just like I had bought these overpriced pupusas just for him,

So I said, "Do you like pupusas?"

And he said, "I need food."

That did it for me.  "I need food."  It wasn't even me moving my hand at that point - I was handing him the whole box and I said, "I haven't even touched it, man.  Here you go, enjoy!"

Then I walked on to the library, wondering what the heck just happened.  Then I realized, "Here's what happened - you just chewed out some people who were selling a great food at too high a price and you just gave it to a homeless guy who sits with other homeless people every Wednesday looking across the street at foods they will never be able to afford to eat, soaps they will never be able to afford to buy, and watching people who pretend not to see them at all."

So all in all, I was thinking it was a pretty good day.

Then when I was trying to check some stuff out, the system wouldn't let me, because I had some fines to pay.  That kinda sucked.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

God Bless America!

God Bless America

Yes, there is a god who has blessed America:
The god of war, the god of slaughter,
The god of dead children,
The god of bullet-leaden bodies,
The god of those who have died in schools, and nightclubs, and campuses, and workplaces, and factories, and post offices, and homes, and sidewalks, and streets, and subways, and train stations.
The god of the gun,
The god of the bullet:
That god has blessed America:
Blessed America with a gun and ammunition industry with a revenue stream of $13.5 Billion a year,
Which (to put it in perspective) would give each man, woman, and child living in America a check for $43.54.

Yes, a god has certainly blessed America,
and filled up our halls with our own dead.

This god loves dead children.
This god loves dead mothers.
This god loves dead fathers.
This god loves dead co-workers and teachers and doctors and teenagers and police and homeless and all the dead. 
This god simply loves dead people.
And this god drinks of the blood of this covenant




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Overheard at Table 4: How We Now Discuss

The Subject:  Donald Trump Revokes the press credentials of Washington Post

Voter:  I disagree with this.  He should not have done that.

Trump Supporter:  CAIR did the same thing. 

Voter: CAIR is not running for President of the United States, an office that is sworn to uphold the
Constitution, including the 1st Amendment.

Trump Supporter: The media lies.

Voter: First, that’s not the point.  Second, it demonstrates that he only wants media when he controls the narrative.

Trump Supporter: He’s a private citizen.  He can do what he wants at his events.

Voter: If he wants to be President, he needs to start by upholding the Constitution.  Including the free press.

Trump Supporter: So do you hate Carson and Sessions too?

Voter: If Trump wants to be President, he needs to start by upholding the Constitution.  Including the free press.

Trump Supporter:  The media lies.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Overheard at Table 2: Cats Write Poetry About Cats

and the guy was saying, "So I was walking out of the room the other day, early morning, getting ready for work, and we have two cats, and both of my cats were just plunked down, right there in the hallway, on their sides, cool of the morning, lazy as get-out-of-town.  And then they both raise their heads and look at me as if to say, 'What?!  What the heck are YOU lookin' at?'

"and then this thought comes into my head, what if cats wrote poetry?  and what would they write about if they wrote a poem about themselves and then it hit me exactly what they would write if cats wrote poetry about cats.  Are you ready?   Here goes . . .

"We are cats . . .

. . . and that is that!"