Monday, October 29, 2012

Overheard at Table 2: Employee Internet Access

Why should I let my employees have internet access?  That’s what they’ve got their smartphones for – they can hide them under their desks while they pretend that they’re working.  A least it shows one last vestige of shame while they steal company time!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Overread at Table 5: Sonnetesque by Lynn Emmanuel

I love its smallness: as though our whole town
were a picture postcard and our feelings
were on vacation: ourselves in mini-
ature, shopping at tiny sales, buying
the newspapers--small and pale and square
as sugar cubes--at the fragile, little curb.
The way the streetlight is really a table
lamp where now we sit and where real
night, (which is very tall and black and
at our backs), where for a moment
the night is forced to bend down and look
through these tiny windows, forced to come
closer and put its hand on our shoulder
and stoop over the book to read the fine print.

-poem presented to Z&T Acoustic Café by Poem-A-Day, a service of
-photo is called "Summer Memories" but Verble doesn't remember if that was the title or just what he named it.  Needless to say he doesn't remember where he found it, but wants to give credit to the fine photographer who took it - so if this is yours, please let the Z&T know.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Overheard in Booth 3: Church and Gaming

Man, I heard that Billy Graham came out and said that Mormonism is no longer a cult and all the Christians are just picking their frisky whiskers in a twist just trying to figure out what the hell they're gonna do now with this bombshell.  I mean, they're all thinking 'great, you've been teaching that Mormonism is a cult since the day Joseph Smith married his second wife and now you're telling me that suddenly it's all good, now that a Mormon's about to clinch the gold ring'?"

But I was thinking that these Christians gotta chill, just chill, because they seem to have forgotten that Christ and the Church is a lot like gaming and game conventions.   See, Church is like a gaming convention - you go there to talk with other people who really LOVE gaming, you commune, you break bread, you learn a few cheats, you meet new people, you reconnect with old people, you learn a little bit more about the history of gaming, where gaming's headed.

But any gamer knows that the real love of life, where it all is, what is more important than anything else, is just playing the game.  Interacting with gaming.   GAMING is CHRIST, man, and CHURCH, well, that's just a convention you go to, every Sunday for some people.

At least, that's just my take on it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Overheard at the Counter: T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men

OK, here's your poem of the day.  ... and as you well know, when we start off a week with T.S. Eliot, well, that's not a good sign.   But here it is, for what it's worth  . . .

The Hollow Men

T. S. Eliot

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

      A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
                                Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Online text © 1998-2012 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From The Hollow Men | 1925

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Overheard at Table 1: Homecoming

My daughter just texted me.   She's not going to homecoming.

Why not?

I dunno, really, she was going to go with her friend.  Wait.  Oh.  Looks like her friend decided to go with someone else.

And just ditched her like that?   Some friend.

I know.   That really sucks.  There. I just told her I'd take her out to Terror World instead.   We always used to go to Terror World years before.

That might cheer her up.

Guess not.  She just texted saying she's going to get a giant bag of Cheeto Puffs and watch the last season of Project Runway.

Poor girl.

I know.  Last season sucks.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Overheard at Table 4: Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Alternative Musicians

Just found this incredible CD of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, look who they got on here:

Spring is done by Death Cab for Cutie
Summer is done by Bela Fleck, Edgar Mayer, Yo-Yo Ma, and John O'Connor
Autumn is done by Fleet Foxes
Winter is done by both the Kronos Quartet and the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

This is some good stuff . . . what incredible bands!  What incredible sound!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

At the Counter: Picadilly Afternoon Mix CD

Verble says, when my first daughter went away to college, I bought her some albums to take with her.  It was around 1980 - now, when my other kids went to college, I made 'em some mix tapes.   God that was cool.  I loved those times.

I know a young lady who's now going to school in London, reminds me so much like my daughters, so I thought of this mix CD for her.  Basically, they're songs that remind me of London, for no real particular reason why.   But as I imagined this girl wandering the streets of London, seeking out the crevasses and the history and absorbing this great and ancient city, I imagined this as one soundtrack on one afternoon.

Only, I have to admit, since everything's on a playlist now, she might just add these songs to the great ocean of tunes on her iPod! 

Or not . . . because she might think they suck.   That's all right, though.  One person's rock is another person's schlock, I always say!

This one's for you, Huda!

Picadilly Afternoon


The Woodentops – What You Give Out

Dashboard Confessional – Warmth of Your Soul (acoustic version)

Cake – Federal Funding

Hawk Nelson – Hello

The Who – Magic Bus

Chris Tomlin – Glory in the Highest

Idlewild – Make Another World

Paul Williams – Love is All Around (Theme to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”)

The Clash – The Guns of Brixton

The Sweet – Ballroom Blitz

The Smiths – This Night Has Opened my Eyes

The Pogues – Rainy Night in Soho

Sigur Rós – Njósnavélin (The Spy Machine)

Kate Bush – This Woman’s Work

Death Cab for Cutie – St Peter’s Cathedral

The Pogues – Lullabye of London

Lyle Lovett – I Love Everybody

Friday, October 12, 2012

Overheard at Table 2: Biden and Ryan

T1: I thought Biden won.

T2: Naw, it was definitely Ryan.  Biden won the smirking game.

T1: He was illustrating what bullcrap everything was that Ryan was saying.

T2: Ryan's trying to get the country moving again.

T1: Biden wiped the floor with Ryan.  He said, "come on over here, little sonny, there's a spot on the floor you missed!"  there!   rubrubrubrub!

T2: See?  You're nuts!  Just like your guy, you're nuts!

T1: rubrubrubrubrub!

T2: Don't even see why I bother?  Can't work with you  . . . might as well go on to work without you.

T1: Exactly the way the Republicans think!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Overheard at Table 4: So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

Heard today that there's a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Phoenix that's gonna get demolished this week.

That's terrible!

Dam'right.  NPR had this guy on there talking about it, he said that the design was based on the same design that he did for the Guggenheim Museum.

The circular thing?

Yeah, this house was just like it.  It's got no stairs, it just goes around and around in a big circle and all the rooms are one th second floor, none of the rooms are on the first floor.   So the first floor is just to enjoy the foundation that the place stands on, apparently, to get a feel for the rock that it stnads on, and he said it ws designed so that as you walk around the house you get a 360 degree panoramic view of all the scenery around the area.

Sounds beautiful.  Why do they want to tear it down?

Developers bought it and they want to demolish it to build three houses.  Apparently it's in a really rich neighborhood in Phoenix, and these guys just figured they could make some more money.

But that's a landmark.

Seems like they don't have it registered as a landmark.   The story goes he built it for his son. Then when they died it went up on auction.  Some lady bought it two years ago, but she couldn't keep it up, so she sold it beginning of this year, and these two contractors bought it for 1.5 million so they could tear it down and build others.

That's totally wrong.

I think they're bastards.   I think these bastards who just want to make money, even if it means tearing out our national heritage.  Should be criminalized.   I mean, Frank Lloyd Wright is one of those masters, one of those artists, who built houses that no one else could ever build.  He could see things that no one else could see.   He was like our Da Vinci, our Picasso, our Dali.

He was an American Icon.

Right!   And now he's gone, and every single one of his houses should be preserved.

So when are they going to demolish it?

I dunno.  The radio said that they were gonna stop for a few days, and when I looked it up just before I got here there was a blurb that read the Frank Lloyd Wright group in Chicago contacted the city of Phoenix to have it stopped, but I don't know.

That's just terrible.  Beautiful things, all art, anything genius, that's just got to be preserved.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Overheard at the Counter: Victoria on Cumberbatch and Laurie

Verble: I met this fascinating woman today, Victoria, had a wonderful spin on the new BBC Sherlock Holmes, we were discussing how, well, I had mentioned how his take on the Holmes character gave it a "Dr House" spin, and she replied with this fascinating observation that Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes is actually incapable of normal social interactions, because of his inherent brilliance, while House is perfectly capable, only chooses not to, because he has detached himself morally.

Niall Carter: So House can and doesn't and Holmes can't and thus doesn't.

Verble: Right!

John Steppenwolf: Great.  Sounds like they should be matched up in some sort of pseudo-intellectual Celebrity Death Match.

Verble: There's nothing "pseudo" about their intellect, my friend.

Steppenwolf:  You DO realise you're talking about fictional characters, right?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Overheard at Table 1: Feeling Fine

Ray:  OK only five more weeks to go, debate tomorrow night, after that, we got ourselves a new president.

May: How are you so sure he'll be a new president?

Ray: 'Cause even if Barry wins, he'll be transformed, into a second termer.   Second termers are actually very cool, because they're not looking toward the next election any more, they're looking toward their "legacy."

May: What difference does that make?  They're still in it for themselves.

Ray: Yeah, but at least this self-serving road has a long term view.