Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: September in the Rain


As we leave September, we must remember the rain.

When I grew up - in the mid-Midwest, September always heralded the upcoming cool of Autumn.   August was behind us, and the temperatures began to drop and it seemed as though the air was filled with new possibilities.   And the rain was calming, and clear, and so wonderfully cool.

I do miss those times.  Now that I live in Houston, September is merely an extension of August, and whatever rains DO happen in September are usually hurricanes, or at least torrents of tropical storms, which simply leave the land full of humidity and heat and mosquitoes.

Still, Julie London's version of this song harkens back to the days of my childhood.  

THAT September ... in THAT rain.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: Setting Date on my Blog

 Holy crikey, I just figured out how to change the publication date of my blog post.

*rubs hands together* bwahahahhaha!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Overread at Table 2: Deacon Notes

 Mas Jeus se retiro al mar con sus discipulos, y le siguio gran multitude ... oyendo cuan grandas cosas grandes, grandes multitudes vinieron a el.

- Marcos 3:7-8

Juan 15:5b

Notas: Necesito mas humildad 

    - con mi esposa

    - con mis hijos

    - con mi relacion con Dios

1 Tim 3:1-5 - Structure of the church

Notes from Bible Study

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Overread at Booth 3: A Brief Letter

Nothing you have thought had not been thought before.

Oh perhaps a few of the facts have been mixed around, and possibly some of the names have changed, but the worlds that you have imagined, the futures you've envisioned, the goal you have set, so many others have done before you.

This should not hurt you as much as it does.

You currently live in a world that tells you that if you are not an individual then you are not free.

You currently live in a culture that tells you that if you are not independent then you have no value.

This leads you to think of yourself more highly than you think of others, because you spend every minute of every day trying to figure out a way to be an individual, to be independent, to be free, to have some sense of self-worth.

What if you were to know that your freedom comes when you give up the idea that the world has of you being separate, of being an individual, of this false sense of freedom, of trying to find self-worth from your own thoughts and your own powers?  What if freedom comes when you allow yourself to become a slave?

The world does not want you to be a slave to Christ.

The world wants you to be a slave to the world.

The world wants you to be a slave to the eternal quest for your own independence.

But your freedom comes when you begin to think of others more highly than you think of yourself, after you submit yourself to the one true God, who has purchased you with the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, and will imbue you with the Spirit, which is wisdom and understanding ... and at long last, that peace for which we all so dearly crave.

Overheard at Table 2: Deacons in Training

Pastor: Thanks for meeting me here today, guys.  Let's start off with prayer requests... do we have any needs specifically for jobs and our places of work?

Kevin: Well, my job just laid me off because I couldn't sell their slant well drill bit in this downturn, so pray for me.

Carlos: Before COVID, they wanted me to bump up my hours to 70-80 hour weeks, and I told them I didn't want to do that. Just 50 hours, tops, so this whole year they have criticized my work and finally told me that my last day is after this month's end close.  I'm training my replacement.

Matthew: My company just got bought out, so the entire Accounting department is getting let go after the first of the year, so pray for all my staff ... and me, too, please.

Gabriel: My wife's company is outsourcing their entire Accounting department to Columbia, so please pray for her.

Chris: Ever since I was laid off from my sales gig, I haven't been able to find work in six months, so please keep me in prayer.

Pastor: Oh my goodness!  Keep me in prayer too!

Matthew: What can we pray for for you, Pastor.

Pastor: That you all find jobs soon!  Since your tithes pay my salary, I think I just got a pay cut!

Kevin: Well, since our tithes pay your salary, you can pick up the tab for breakfast today!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Overheard at Booth 1: Thoughts on Training New Pastors and Growth of the Church


At Deacon in training meeting today

80% of pastors are deemed not ready or fully prepared to teach.

Perhaps it's because we are not training them effectively

What are the colleges for training like?

Are we maybe following Jesus incorrectly?

Another question: perhaps we are not training in our churches.

If one of the goals of teaching Christ is to prepare others to be pastors, perhaps the churches should be training the pastors and planting new churches.

What if there are not supposed to be Megachurches?  What if they stifle true growth, which is multiple, healthy churches, and not giant congregations listening to one man across a giant screen?

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Overread at Table 4: Just Because

Just Because

Just because you put a scientific term in a poem does not make it erudite.

Just because you put love in a poem does not make it a poem about love.

Just because you put "I" in a poem does not make it personal.

Just because you do whatever the fuck you want in a poem does not make it worth reading.

Just because you put race in a poem does not make it important.

Just because you put "fuck" in a poem does not make it "edgy."

Just because you put some thought into a poem does not make it brilliant.

Just because you wrote a poem does not make you a sensitive soul.

It does, however, make you a poet,

good or bad, I suppose the reader gets to decide.



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Overheard at Booth 3: Severance Package

 They say they'll give me a severance package, but what kind of severance package is going to replace the fact that I really, really liked this job?  I liked putting together a team, and I liked the constant betterment of the financials, and I liked the environment of the scrappy little business ... and then this corporation comes along and buys it.

It feels like you build something up, and then someone takes it from you to reap the benefits of your hard work.

Now I know how it must feel to women whose spouses dump them for a younger model.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Overheard at the Counter: Weed-eaters

#microprompt 1294 Strim

At the Zen & Tao Acoustic Café:

Niall Carter: It's a STRIMMER

Lucky Moran: It's a WEED-WHACKER

John Steppenwolf: You're both wrong.  It's a string trimmer.

Niall and Lucky [together]: Pedant!

Overread at the Counter: The Day After Christmas

The day after Christmas
and all through the cafe,
not a guitar was strumming,
All were quiet today.
The beans were still nestled
all sacked on the shelf,
and Verble was taking inventory,
like a right jolly old elf.
He enjoyed this time,
when the cafe was empty,
knowing that all patrons
were with friends and family.
Verble hung up the mugs
with all of great care,
knowing that by tomorrow,
the cupboards would be bare,
For the coffee would be flowing,
and music would fill the cafe
for everyone would return
with more stories to fill the day.
And among all the tales
of adventures of the weekend,
he knew there would be at least one
about a love with no end:
A love that came down
Like a hole torn through Time,
to be born as a child,
Just to walk through this Life.


Overread at Table 5: Matthew's Letter to the CREUNITES in the time of COVID

1. Matthew, a follower of Christ, to all the deacons and brethren of the CREO #1 Group.
2. Be bold and strong in these times of corona, my brethren, as the Lord God in Jesus Christ was strong in his last days of humbling Himself to the Cross.
3. And be not ashamed of the Word, be not ashamed to stand for the Word, and to reach out to your brethren with the glory of the Word,
4.  And wear your mask, as the mask shows that you love your brother, and your neighbor.
5.  For the mask shows that you do not wish to transmit disease, and that is love,
6. For if we do not wear a mask, we do not show love to others, for we may transmit the disease.
7. Therefore, brothers, love as Christ loved us, and wear the darn mask!


Overheard at Table 3: Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments

Pure Pagan
Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments
selected and translated by Burton Raffel

Drink, and Get Drunk with Me


As you please
And hear
What can never

.... and there were many others.
But, alas, I seem to have lost the book from which I was going to post more fragments.

I would suggest that you all go out and find it yourselves and read it, because it's got some great stuff!

Overheard at Table 2: The Mist (2007)

written and directed by Frank Darabont

based on a novella by Stephen King

While I am in the ranks of people who most often believe that the Stephen King movies and tv series most often do not live up to his novels, I have to admit that The Mist is something that keeps coming back to my mind, even after having seen it so many years ago.   In truth, I have only seen the movie, and not read the novella, so perhaps that is why I am so impressed with the movie, but suffice it to say, it's intense...

The movie takes place mainly in a grocery store, after a mist has cut them off from the world outside, and with it, has brought giant creatures, mainly looking like monstrous insects of various body types, almost a Lovecraftian design.   But what is truly horrifying about the movie is the way that the people who are trapped together inside the grocery store interact.  Sometimes they try to help each other, and at other times, they practically feed each other to the monsters.

There is, of course, also the stereotypical "Endtimes Evangelical" who of course is portrayed as the most insane of the bunch.  That part gets a bit tiresome and stereotypical, but I've grown used to it by now.

If you do watch it, you MUST watch it to the end.  The end is the best part - and the most horrifying.  Not because of any sort of standard horror monster trope, but about the horror of the decisions that we have to make when faced with an extremely dire situation.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: Song "Keep Calm and Mask On"


I don't trust the CDC
I don't trust the GOP
I don't trust the government.
I wonder where my money went.

I don't have an IRA
I don't like the NSA
The NRA is after me
This year is a calamity!


I don't trust the COVID test
Got an aching in my chest
Stick that swab into my nose
To my brain's how far it goes!

Standing in the grocery store
Standing back 6 feet or more
Little kid looks in my eyes
He says, "Hey man you're gonna die!"

I say



Sunday, September 20, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: 80's Fashion

1: Remember those jackets we used to wear that had the shoulders that pointed out like arrows.

2: Yeah.  My husband says that when he first met me, I looked like a linebacker.

1: Can I tell you something?  A secret?  I still have mine.

2: Omigawd, really?  Me too!  Packed away in a box in the attic, but yeah, I've got mine.

1: Think they'll ever come back in style?

2: Probably not until we're in nursing homes, and by then all we'll wanna wear are t-shirts, pajama bottoms and slippers.

1: Yeah.  Maybe my daughter will have an 80's theme party she'll go to some time.

2: If we ever get over this COVID mess.

1: God, so true!

Overheard at Booth 2: What SUV Should I Get?


Wife: What SUV should I get?

Husband: Get the one you want.

Wife: You're just saying that so I won't get mad at you.

Husband: OK, on the first one, what do you like about it?

Wife: I like that it makes me feel rich, and I've never had a truly LUXURY car ...

Husband: ... anything else?

Wife: No.  That's about it.

Husband: Now what about the other one?

Wife: I love the color, I love the body, I love the interior, I like how it feels when I drive it, it's sturdy, it's off the ground, it's spacious on the inside, it's big but not too big, it just feels right.

Husband: Then get that one.

Wife: Why that one?

Husband: Because you are more passionate about that one.  The first one, it's a status symbol, but the second one, you obviously are more passionate about.

Wife: The other one it is then.

Husband: Excellent.

Wife: And you'll like it, too.

Husband: Why?

Wife: It's ten grand less than the other.

Husband: Now THAT's what I call a "win-win"!

Overheard at Booth 3: Scrap of a verse of a song..


Suddenly swallowed by time,

we're gonna rise up

and throw off our memories

we're gonna rise up,

and throw off our BVDs



Overread at Booth 4: Bits from The Salinghetti Chronicles Vol 345

SC 345


Ralph Stanley – Longing for Home

. . . 

the times were hard through the corn and even now the old man sees them only through the yellowed memories that wear him ricepaper thin, but yes he does still recall the girl through the mist, the girl in the polka dot dress, pink polka dots on white, as she was toward him through the years, still carrying a piping hot bowl of stew oven mitts in hand and a smile on her face, because he’d just told a funny joke as she was walking down from the house, under the shade of the big oak tree . . .


David Dondero – Laying Low in Eli, Nevada

. . . 

do you know what I mean?  I’m talkin’ nude cakes of cash,

she’s a drag splittin’ queen, and I can tell you that she’s all phoney grits and glam,

with a terrible flair for alternate states of mind, and layin off some mind and faroff other countries,

there's nothing left to explode,

from this three part waitress with her sidesplit getting a little narrow.

and there’s a little space of her left, somewhere between the edge of the bed and the wall, just the short crack where the bed is shoved against the wall,

and you can slip down between it, to the carpet far far below,

and you can look for your foreign countries there,

down there with the mice-brown hair and potatochip crumbs

I woke up to the lipstick casino neon light flashing in the bathroom mirror.



Overread at Table 4: Studying "La Medida de un Hombre" por Gene A Getz

 La Medida de un Hombre

Capitulo 7 – Hospitalidad

1. La historia de los hombres que estan matado en el Amazon, y sus esposas iban y convertirlos

2. .p78 Romanos 12:13 Ayuden a los humanos necesitados.  Practiquen la hospitalidad.

3. Jerusalem – los apostolos, escondido en una cuarto, Pentacost.

4. FIND SOURCE: Esos cristianos no ayuden solo sus propios personas.  Ellos ayudan los otros tambien.

5. .p79 – comunismo.

6. Misma pagina – al bajo

7. .p80 – sin murmuraciones

8. Interrupciones – el domingo pasado, el mensaje de Samaritano – el pastor menciono que los proximos eran “interrupted” en sus caminos.   El que practica hosptalidad (cuidadoso), era el que se permitio la interrupcion.

9. Para dar el tiempo y su proprio mismo.

10. .p83 la hospitaliad comienza en casa.

11. COVID – OK, no es posible mucho, pero tenemos usando ZOOM para dar nuestro tiempo.

12. La hospitalida no es facil para mi.  Soy “selfish” de mi tiempo.  Y muchos tiempos durante los fines de semana, simplemente quiero descansar.  Quiero leer y escribir.   Pero mi esposa es mas lista para tener personas a la casa y cenar y pasar tiempo con los otros. 

13. Muchos anos – siempre la casa esta limpia.  Mas que todos los otros casas.

14. Finalmente me di cuenta es porque ella quiere que la casa siempre estaria lista para la hospitalidad.

15. Es un don de ella.

16. Para mi, me tengo que entrenar para ser hospitalario.   Si es posible, y estoy mejor ahora (I don’t get really frustrated), pero require oracion constantemente y mas estudio biblical.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Overread at Booth 2: Notes for Salinghetti Chronicles Vol. 360 - First Fall Night

 The Salinghetti Chronicles Vol. 360

First Fall Night

Matthew LaBarge – Prelude

Fred Small – The Heart of the Appaloosa

Spectrum – The Thunder Rolls

Ani DiFranco – Both Hands

Kenny Baker & Bill Monroe - Jerusalem Ridge

Ani DiFranco – Dog Coffee

Bill Monroe – Going Across the Sea

Ani DiFranco – Fire Door

Spectrum – While She Sleeps

Ani DiFranco – The Slant

Fred Small - Talking Wheelchair Blues

Ani DiFranco – Rush Hour

Matthew LaBarge – Love Song

Ani DiFranco – Out of Habit

Ani DiFranco – Every Angle

Spectrum – Ricky’s Prayer

Ani DiFranco – Work Your Way Out

Ani DiFranco – Talk to Me Now

Spectrum – Storms in Africa

Ani DiFranco – Letting the Telephone Ring

Spectrum – The Thunder Rolls

he looked out the window a the mist of the darkening sun, the late afternoon rain, that thundered into early evening, and the cool mist that it created – the mist that he knew was from the heat and the steam of the ground, as though the hearth were giving up its own breath, as though as a refutation of the breath that God had breathed into the creatures that He had formed from the dust . . . 

Ani DiFranco – Both Hands

and she was wandering through the rain in the evening and she was hunched down inside her thick peacoat that was once belonged to her great uncle and she was passing by the stone buildings and iron railings and in this grey Manhattan midwinter she had the cellphone crocked under her cheek and she was listening for the end of the line to answer and she was rubbing both hands together and blowing steam through her fingers and they were numb and red and she was thinking

about old women’s faces behind doors as she snuck men to her room and she was thinking of the lampshade that he broke in low moans and the curtains that were torn from the rungs and she was thinking of her both hands that she rubbing together now how her fingers traced the downline of his back and found the soft hair of his plexus and how

both her hands

had been in both his hands and how

they had all been warm.

Kenny Baker & Bill Monroe – Jerusalem Ridge

Ani DiFranco – Dog Coffee

walking Central Park,

outside, leaves crossing path where roots kicking up the sidewalk,

going into – and then

at first light walking through a procedure in the dark,

Ani DiFranco – Fire Door

looking out the window while drinking coffee

While She Sleeps

Ani DiFranco – Pale Purple

woman behind the counter – reaching for keys – tight behind the shirt

Matthew LaBarge – Love Song

watching her walk toward the bathroom, shedding her coat as she strides, the elegance of her calves, slender yet strong, sinews lacing around the Achilles heel.

she stretches,  pulling her hair out from the tieback, letting it cascade in black waterfall.




Saturday, September 12, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: Kidney Stone Blues

Kidney Stone Blues

Got stones in my kidneys
Got stones in my urethra too
Well I got stones in my kidneys
I got stones in my poor urethra too
Feels like these stones gonna kill me
Every time I try to go to the loo.

[ok so it's a work in progress]


Overheard at Table 3: Dogs in Heaven?

Philip: No, you are not going to see Fluffy in Heaven.

Amy: How can you believe that?

Philip: Because I'm not a child.

Amy: But a lot of people at church believe that.  So why are you going to upset them with that?

Philip: Because that makes them weak in the faith, and they need to have a firm foundation.

Amy: But telling them they won't see their pets?

Philip: They better suck it up, Buttercup!

Amy: You never had pets, did you?

Philip: ...

Overhead at Table 2: The Bibliographical History of David Morgan

As long as one is still breathing, it is never too late to begin to be a decent human being.

- Giuseppe Salinghetti

David Morgan had read this somewhere, and he decided that he still had time, because as far as he could tell, he was still breathing.

Where was he when he read that?  He could not remember.  It may have been written on the drawing table of the girl he had dated for a short while when he was 21 years old, the summer after his mother had killed herself.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Overread at the Counter: Poem for 9-11 and Orange Caligula

 What Once Was Music Is Now the Crashing of Towers

What once was music is now the crashing of towers,
Tumultuous tumbling down to bury the bodies
Of people known, and unknown, and no longer known,

And every breath we draw is the drawing of ashes
Of the trees that once gave us air, now dying
In the flames of our iniquity, our perdition

Now takes our tears and rises the oceans,
Until the waves overtake us, and we drown;

All this is nonsense, insensate.  The music
That once was our love is now merely the 
Clanging of cymbals, the clanging of a madman

Who laughs at us, telling us that our deaths,
In the rubble, in the fire, in the depths of the oceans,
All these deaths 
Is simply is
What it is.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: Salinghetti Chronicles Vol 332 Track 3

SC Vol 332 t3

I'm not the one for going,
nor for false explosions
I'm not the one for knowledge, nor
the valley of past experiences,

and I know that you are with me
and I know there is no resistance
and I know that which will contain us
will carry us through the distance,

and you have blossomed all my friendships
and you have shown me how to touch
and you have offered me a tall ship
to sail into the distance
to sail into the distance

where we will never more be found.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: The Salinghetti Chronicles Vol 316 Disc 2

316 d2 t17

Everybody wants to live their lives.  August wants to be alone.
They were left in the car park.  They didn’t know which way they were supposed to go.
They kissed in the garden.  They found a tiny place to pray.

Overheard at Table 1: Don't Wanna Be on a Ventilator

Well, I don't wanna be on a ventilator
Just pull that plug and I'll see you later
Don't keep me here, don't be a hater.
I don't wanna be on ventilator

If I happen to catch some strange disease
Don't want no machine to make my heart beat
Cut the power and let my soul roam free
If I happen to catch some strange disease.

Well, I don't wanna be on a ventilator
Just pull that plug and I'll see you later
Don't keep me here, don't be a hater.
I don't wanna be on ventilator

Well, I don't wanna be on a ventilator
Just pull that plug and I'll see you later


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Overheard at Table 4: Jesu or Elize


John Steppenwolf: FUR ELIZE!!!

Ava Gouday: Oh God, are they arguing about the most beautiful song again?

Lucky Moran: Yeah, looks like it.

Ava: Oh Lordy, when do they start throwing coffee cups at each other.

Lucky: Duck!

Overheard at Table 3: Preparing for Bible Study

Whenever I prepare for Bible study, I'm usually petrified.

Because you want to get the Word right?

Well, actually it's because of my wife.

Your wife?

Yeah ... she's always like "You froze on that part" or "You didn't go deep enough" or "You gave too much unnecessary detail" or "You were boring people" and I'm always completely wigged out!

You can't prepare Bible studies to please your wife.  You gotta prepare them to honor God.

I know, but it's tough.   God doesn't speak to me as clearly as my wife does!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Overheard at Booth 1: Things They Said ... Not

I didn't say that.  It was probably Confucius.

- Sophocles

Sophocles is a lying twat.

- Confucius

Don't want to get in the middle of that.

- Abraham Lincoln

I'm not sayin' nuthin'.

- Mark Twain

Who am I to judge?

- Oliver Wendell Holmes