Friday, December 25, 2015

Overheard at Booth 4: What's Christmas?

So, OK, yesterday we're all off of work and my wife's kids spend the day lazing aroudn the house andnot helpingher make dinner, like the youngest is on Call of Duty or some damn shit and won't come out of the room just yells at his mom to bring him some water, and then the other son says that he wants to go out with his girlfriend's family and they're going rock climbing over the weekend and the wife is all like 'what about spending time with the family?' and he's like 'hey, she is going to be my family!' and then the daughter who by the way is flunking out of her first semester of college pipes up and tells her mom that she's going to quit college and move up to Norman to live with her friend and just do some waitressing or some shit and the wife is looking at me and telling me 'This is how they were brought up because YOU were never a good role model because YOU never prayed with them every day or told them about Jesus' and I'm like 'Hell woman I at least tried to get them to church every Sunday YOU were the one who always let them sleep in or skip it when they had a sleepover' and I'm thinking

is THIS what Christmas is all about?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Overread at the Counter: Notes written while listening to Al Di Meola

Notes while listening to an Al Di Meola song ….

Macedonia Supermoon

In Sunion Greece, the evening will come upon the promenade in soft pad-paw footsteps, cat-like, a vague creature, unconcerned with time or pace.  The moon will rise full over the evening, emboldened by the sun that has removed its face from the waters of the Aegean.   The hunter-gold colour of the moon will shimmer strong yet smooth across the rain-slicked stone bridge where lovers stroll, taking pictures of themselves among the ancient stone Templars who guard these pathway stones.

The lamps will remain unlit, and unneeded.  The night will now have all the light that it needs to bathe these lovers in its simplicity.   The lovers along the bridge will draw their baths, will draw their breaths, will draw their imaginations and leave their passions embedded in the tiny cracks among the stones.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Overheard at Booth 2: Maybe Next Year

[A man talking to his friend]

I can’t really explain it.  I guess you could call it just this feeling of . . . nothing really.  Everything seems so dull.   Yesterday we were at church and the choir was singing and the music was playing and they had this Italian a-capella group – kinda like those Tenor guys, five of these guys, truly world class, then they also had some sort of alternative rock band for a few songs, and it’s all supposed to get us ready for Christmas, but all I could think of was the guy sitting next to me yawning because he was bored, and the teenagers all around me, checking out their phones.  All these kids squirming in their seats, even though they’ve all got iPads that are supposed to keep them busy, right?

Maybe it’s because Sara’s been sick with these pains for a few months, but she’s just been getting super bitchy, so that morning, she had just torn me a new one, saying I don’t care about the kids because I’m not the bio-dad, and me telling her hell I’ve been there for since before they were in kindergarten, doesn’t 14 years count for something? And of course it doesn’t, and our daughter refused to come to church today, no surprise, and then Sara’s all like, ‘You don’t respect me anymore, you’re cutting me off and being rude to me in front of the kids and Bobby’s picking up on it’ and she’s all like, ‘I don’t even want to be around you don’t even touch me’ …

And then I’m sitting there thinking about how I can’t get the kids any presents this year, because we just dropped two grand on my car and Nina’s car and we’re just tapped out.  Sara and I didn’t get the raises we were expecting, and her bonus was next to nothing . . .

So I know we’re supposed to be thinking about the birth of Christ and He is our savior and I get that, I really do, but it’s hard you know, it’s just hard.  Everybody’s just walking around like zombies, just wanting to get this Christmas over with and behind them, and I tried to have a little joy, you know, bring a little light, but it just hit me yesterday, sitting there in the middle of music, hearing it but feeling nothing, I realized that I’m just like everybody else, just wanted to get this thing over with, and maybe next year,

Maybe next year will be better.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Overheard at Table 4: Vampire Academy (2014)

This movie is pretty much what you would it expect it to be: a mashup of Twilight and Harry Potter.   It centers around two college girls, one who is a vampire princess and the other is in training to be her protector.  These vampires are magical.  They are trained at the academy.  You have a royal bloodline, you have "regular" vampires, you have a human class that is trained to be the protectors, and you have your super-bad psychotic bloodthirsty vampires who are always trying to break in and kill kill kill.

Being a teen flick, you throw in some teen angst:  "Why was I born like this?" "Why do I have these feelings?" "What do I have to be the princess?"

All of it would be pretty much drivel, but our main character makes it somewhat worthwhile.  She's feisty, sarcastic, and even though she is not very believable as a bodyguard (her limbs are about as sturdy as toothpicks), she does have some decent lines and pulls them off the the best of the actress's ability.

My wife and I saw a part of this movie during our trip to Maine.  It was cute enough to warrant our half-attention as we were getting ready that morning in the hotel room, and so we watched it in full when we returned home.  It's a pleasant hour and a half if you have ice cream and nothing better to do on a Saturday evening.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Overheard at Booth 3: Trapped (2002)

I had seen this one about ten twelve years ago and always wanted to show it to my wife, but I could never find it.  Finally found it on Netflix and had to make the wife watch it, but she was glad she did.  This movie is super-tense, like you can just feel the tension throughout the whole thing.

Courtney Love is actually pretty good in this one.  For a crazy woman she is one hell of an actress.  And Kevin Bacon can play bad guys like no one else.  His bad guys are like, scary evil one moment, and then almost like a drinking buddy the next moment.

Bacon and Love and his somewhat slow brother are kidnappers, they kidnap rich people's kids and hold them for ransom for 24 hours, then let them go.  Usually Bacon stays with the mom and Love stays with the Dad, and there's this expectation that they all get to sleep with each other, like some sort of bizarre swingers party.  Doesn't happen in this one, but you get the impression that it does.  Turns out that the kid they kidnap has asthma, which puts a twist in their plans, and then everything gets all twisted up.  Mainly the horror is all in the mind games that are being played here, but seriously, if you've Netflix you've got to check it out!

Jack Johnson and Friends - another for the wall

Well, fellow babies, it's been a long time since I showed you another of my album covers . . . in case you've forgotten, I like to decorate the walls of the cafĂ© with the covers of albums which feature the acoustic guitar.   These are albums that either advance the capabilities of the acoustic guitar, or those in which the acoustic sound is an integral component to the songs.  Basically, music that can only expressed in its full emotional context using that instrument.  Also, it has to be just simply a damn good album, all the way through.

So, today I'm putting up Jack Johnson and Friends - Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film "Curious George"

Jack Johnson is a master of the laid-back, the cool, the blanket on the sand while you listen to the waves lull themselves into the shore.  And this album is no different.  But what makes it stand apart from his other albums is that these songs speak to the kid in all of us.  They are all about learning, people, worries, and friendship.

One of the best tracks is his cover of Jack White's "We're Going to Be Friends" - you hear this song and you say to yourself, "Yes, Jack, yes we certainly are!"

Overheard at the Counter: what is completed writing?

so essentially the question is what makes a completed writing?  What if you have a million words simply splayed across yellowed pages in old notebooks?  and stuffed into files on slipdrives?  what if you have half-scratched-out stories, slivers of poems, three lines of what might have been song lyrics?  if it is incomplete is it still writing?

the idea is there, hidden behind the words.  in fact, the idea might even be obscured by the words.  half-formed, inadequate, like some sort of miscarriage: it was only ever the hope of being something other than the slight knit of words that constitute the few bones, the empty sack of flesh.

that is what these ideas are, nothings that could have been something.   so therein lies the choice, because you, the writer, do have the choice . . . you can revisit them, put them back into the mind's womb and bring them to full term.  or else you can give them a name and then bury them, somewhere in a plot of the virtual corner of the back yard, and pretend you had at one time a child that was never able to be given the light, a voice, or a chance.  and it will be forever perfect in its lost potentiality.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Overheard at Table 2: Bill Cosby Sues Attackers

Hey I just heard that Bill Cosby is suing some of his attackers because he says they are just bringing suit against him to make some money.   What's super disgusting about that is that he was this predator who used these women - I mean DRUGGED them - to feed his need to be a sexual predator, and now that they're coming forward, he's just showing again what little regard he has for them.

When these women came to him to be mentored, they wanted to be in the business, show business, and yeah they were wanting his help to set themselves up a career and yeah - THEN was the time that they were wanting to make money.  NOW they're just suing him to make sure that no other entertainer does the same kind of filthy predation that Cosby's gotten away with for over 50 years!

I tell ya, I used to love Bill Cosby - funniest guy ever, and CLEAN!  I'm not talking the Hugstable image but I'm talking his standup in the 60s.  When everyone else was doing the vulgar stuff - Lenny Bruce and other guys - but Cosby was good humor that everyone could enjoy and relate too.

Man, when your heroes fall from grace it's really sad.  And when they go down waving their fists wildly at the open air, that's just pathetic!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Overheard at Booth 3: Cupcake Boobs

“So at work today we had a birthday lunch for this guy, Rick.  Works in Purchasing.  Turned 30.   The boss brought in pizza, and the other guy in purchasing – Luis - brought him some cupcakes.  

"So Luis brings in this box and says, ‘Think you’ll like these.  Some of these look like boobs.’   And as he hands Rick the box, Rick says, ‘Which ones look like boobs?’ and Luis says, ‘Dude if you don’t know what boobs look like by now I can’t really help you.’”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Overheard at the Counter: Thanksgiving Driving

Lucky Moran sits at the counter, espresso in hand, telling Niall Carter, "Man I hated driving home after Thanksgiving, traffic was suchabitch.  Listen, I've been in Houston for several years now, but coming back down from Tulsa through Dallas, that sucked.   I mean, Houston drivers are total dicks but Dallas drivers are huge assholes."

Niall Carter replies, "Sounds like they're made for each other."

A pause.  Finally, Lucky says, "You are so gay."

Niall smiles and says, "Why thank you."