Friday, June 30, 2017

Overread at Table 1: Poem of the Day: Mistaken Lines

The idea for God is not mistaken,
lines upon lines have been written,
engraved in the barks of trees, tree bark
pulled and pulped into paper and
graphite ground into ink and
innumerable ink stained fingers have
rubbed the parchment with words upon
uncountable human words about God and
who God is and is not and was and will be
forevermore, ever and ever, and still
now in the iridescent light that blinds our
eyes from the fluorescent bulbs that bathe us
in the hum and drum and glum of this
we now call our
daily lives,
grind out of our minds these ideas for the word
the words of God,
the concept is such a fleeting thing,
that we have killed all the trees,
buried all the paper and ink in landfills,
and all our words now stored
outside our minds, saved in the
where we know something exists,
but we have forgotten


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Overheard at Table 3: Book Writing

MR:  Have this idea for a book but it's about a woman at work and her and her husband and this trip that they are going to take on the river, river rafting, river floating, and in my mind it's a book a lot like "The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster" by Richard Brautigan and "The 158-Pound Marriage" by John Irving and I'm not certain how to write it, because I don't want it to be merely a pale imitation of those two books, but it definitely has a "feel" if you will of both of those works, I don't know why I sometimes have ideas for books with other books in mind, is it inspiration?  or is it plagiarism?

VG: It's more like musicians. 

MR: What?

VG: Would Led Zeppelin be Led Zeppelin without Leadbelly?  No.  Would the Beatles have been the Beatles without Carl Perkins or Buddy Holly?  No.   But they were completely different, even though strains of those who inspired them would always run throughout their work.  It's the same with writers.  Kerouac would not have been Kerouac without Proust.   Hunter S Thompson would not have been himself without Hemingway.

MR: Good point.

VG: Now, why are you still sitting here?  Go write your damn book.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Overheard outside Z&T: Levon Barnabas preaches the GOOD NEWS!

Levon Barnabas:

In a world that wants you to be PERFECT!
In a world that wants you to be RIGHTEOUS!
In a world that demands that you do everything right!
It's GOOD to take comfort in a God who knows you are not.

Listen folks,
Your wife wants you to be a perfect husband.
Your husband wants you to be a perfect wife.
Your employer wants you to be a perfect worker.
Your kids want you to be a perfect parent.
Your parents want you to be a perfect kid.
Retailers want you to be a perfect shopper.
Your mortgage company wants you never to have a bounced payment.
Your landlord always wants the rent on time.
Your lender wants you to have perfect credit before they'll loan you any money.
Your country wants you to be a perfect citizen
Heck, even other cars on the road want you to be a perfect driver.

In this world where EVERYONE demands that you be PERFECT,
it is GOOD to know that you are loved by a PERFECT God who knows that you are NOT PERFECT, but says, "Hey, here's what I'll do:

I will come down there and LET YOU KILL ME
so that I can show you how much I love you and show you how to have a
relationship with Me."

Now THAT's good news.

So take comfort in the fact that there is ONE being who created the Universe,
who does not require you to be the perfect spouse, or co-worker, or employee, or parent, or child, or driver, or whatever ... He just wants a relationship with you.

Now, THAT ... folks,
to me...



Friday, June 16, 2017

Verble Leans on the Counter and says...

There are several reasons for having children born on US soil to have automatic citizenship.


First: Economic.

From the time they are born, we have begun to invest in them.  Our society in one way or another pays for their birth, their care, and their welfare.  As they grow, they take part in our public school system, and as such, I pay to educate them.  It only stands to reason that I should have a return on my investment, by having them become a functioning member of society: a productive worker/a defender in the armed forces, etc.


Second: Humanitarian/Cultural

Most children who are born here are raised here, as their undocumented parents have little economic ability nor the mobility to go back and forth (contrary to popular opinion, most undocumented have been living here for over a decade, having overstayed their visas).   Therefore, these children are culturally American, just like you or me.  Having mentored many children of the undocumented, I will attest that they have few, if any, cultural ties to their parents’ birth countries.  For example, I myself was born on the Isle of Man to an English mother and Greek father, and brought here as a toddler.  I speak no Manx, and very little Greek.  I am an American, and this is my country, and this is the place to which I owe my allegiance and my fealty.  The majority of children born here to undocumented parents feel the same way.  To send them back would not only be cruel, but it would also be sending away people who believe in America and want to do all they can for America.  Why should we cast away those who only want to contribute to this country, especially when this is the only home they have ever known?


Third: Historical

I believe in the “melting pot” history of America, and the idea that successive waves of immigration both add to the cultural diversity of the country, and is part of the strength of this social experiment.  By bringing other countries’ ideas and genetic material into America, we strengthen our enterprise by a continued influx of “new blood.”  The history of America is the story of the world coming to these shores and weaving their strands into the fabric of our culture, our economy, and our society.   In a sense, we inhale the breath of other countries, and exhale freedom and unity through diversity.   And yes, I understand that this is a romanticized view of history.  But I’m an old romantic, so …

Fourth: Legal Precedent

Since this has been the “norm” for over a century, the norm should continue.  Additionally, we should be able to point to a number of citizens born to immigrant parents (both documented and undocumented) who have contributed positively to our society.   This last statement also encompasses points 1 through 3.


These are my reasons for continuing automatic citizenship for those born on US soil.   I understand that they may be open for debate; however, these have been developed over decades, so I must advise a contrarian to expect much “movement” from me.  Again, I’m old and crotchety and even though I believe in American citizenship for all, I will still tell you to GET OFF MY LAWN!   ( in English AND in Spanish!)

Overheard at Booth One: That Which Unifies Us

The music connects us in a way that no laws can connect us.  Laws tell us what to do.  Music shows us how to dance with each other: side by side, hand in hand, laughingly slamming chests against chests.

Literature connects us but only when we teach each other our languages, and even then, the words sometimes carry different weights and measures.

Food, now, food connects us in a way even more beyond music.  Food connects us at the gut level, and by gut I'm not being metaphorical.  I'm talking in the stomach, the bile, the liver, the intestines, the mouth, the tongue, the throat.  We may not speak the same languages or read the same literature or like the same music, but when we sit down together and eat each other's food, in that moment we become almost as unified as two bodies creating life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Overheard at the Counter: PSA: It'll Never Happen to Me

The biggest lie we tell ourselves:

It'll never happen to me.

This is complete arrogance. 

It is illustrated by such false beliefs as:

My spouse would never cheat on me.
I would never cheat on my spouse.
My work would never fire me.  I do most of the work.
I'll never get laid off.
I would never hit my kids.
I know exactly what I'm doing.
I'll never let my kids live in the house as adults without a job.

The common factor for these and other beliefs is a) absolutism, and b) prescience.
You believe ABSOLUTELY in an ALWAYS or NEVER.  

This is prideful.  It is arrogant.  It is assuming that your desires or your confidence in your character will create reality.

Let go of pride.  Let go of absolutism.  You do not know the future.  You do not know the person you will be, because you do not know the future conditions that will affect your future decisions.

This has been a PSA for your life.
You're welcome.

Overheard at Booth 1: Where Was Adam?

Wife:  When I was at the women's retreat, I really liked the message about Abigail.   A Truly tough, godly woman, who even though he had a total loser for a husband, still held everything together.

Husband:  My favorite is Sephora.  Any woman who would circumcise her male sons to save her husband's life, man, THAT's true dedication!

Wife: Like you guys deserve any!  Always sitting around, blaming us for the Fall.

Husband: Yeah, thanks a lot for that, by the way.

Wife: Well where was Adam?  He was supposed to be WITH Eve, they were supposed to be together.  He was probably wandering around, aimless, like most men, while she was there on her own.

Husband: She probably had sent him away because she wanted some "alone time"

Wife:  Touché.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Overheard at Table 2: Boy and Dad at the Sermon

.... reminds me of something I read somewhere: there was this little boy, about 8 or 9.  His dad takes him to church one day.  Boy sees his dad put his offering in the plate and then they listen to the sermon.  Afterwards, on the way home, the boy hears his dad complaining about the sermon, how the pastor didn't know what he was talking about and how he missed the point totally and didn't know how to deliver a message, blah blah blah.

... and the boy looks at his dad and says, "I don't know, Dad.  It seemed like it was pretty good, since it only cost you a quarter."

Friday, June 9, 2017

Overheard at Table 4: Screwdrivers and STDs

You know, I think I could forgive my husband if he cheated on me.  But man if he gave me an STD from screwing around on me I swear to God I would drive a screwdriver right through his eyeball and into his brain!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Overheard at Table 5: Build-a-Bear Conspiracy

The first time I head about the Bilderberg Conspiracy was like in 2005, 2006.   I thought they were saying "Build-a-Bear" Conspiracy.  My daughter was about 7 or 8 at the time, and she'd already dragged me to the mall twice for the damn things. 

I said, "Hell yeah it's a conspiracy!  They take five dollar teddy bears and soak ya for 70-80 bucks!!"