Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Overheard at Table 4: What is Work Time?

Keiko Rajo: If you dream about work, it’s considered work time.

Cassidy Jones: I say if you think about work while you’re cleaning the house, it’s considered work.

Keiko: Right!  Because you’re analyzing the problem.

Cassidy: I ran that by my boss.  She agreed to let me charge that time to the job.  She is SO understanding!


Monday, October 29, 2018

Overread at Table 3: from "Bike Trails of Canada"

Marcel Proust once wrote, “… the only true paradise is always the paradise we have lost.”

                But what if that’s not true?
                At least not entirely?

                What if the one true paradise is the one that we have never seen?
                The one that we wish for, the one we yearn for? the one that we see in our dreams?

                What if the one true paradise is the spouse that we have created in our minds?
                The house that we have pieced together out of photos of houses in magazines, or the insides of houses that we have seen?
                The rolling ocean when we live in a land-locked state?
                The open fields when we are living in the urban jungle?

The paradise that we have lost is the one that we can never reclaim, but the one that we have not yet obtained, that paradise is always perfect, always true.



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Overheard at Table 3: Barefoot Running on Acorns

Lucky Moran: Saw this post the other day on Facebook, and it's been bugging me for days and I didn't really know why until just now.

Otis Redwing: OK, shoot.

Lucky: This guy had posted a picture of a sidewalk full of fallen acorn seeds, and was telling people that he's a barefoot runner and that they should keep their sidewalks clear of acorns so that HE could run in his bare feet!

Otis: Everybody's got their pet thing these days.

Lucky: Well, it finally hit me why that's nuts!  One, because you can clean your sidewalk from acrons and it'll be littered again next day, and some of us work during the week and only get home in time enough to brush teeth and go to bed to start work again NEXT day, and also, what if some of these people are old folks?  Invalids?  People who can't get out of their houses?

Otis: Fair point.

Lucky: So I'm thinking, why doesn't this guy go running barefoot WITH A BROOM?!  That way, HE can clean the sidewalks while running and he's getting in a full exercise routine and doing a public service at the same time.

Otis: So why didn't you suggest it?

Lucky: The post was like, two weeks, ago, and I can't find it now.

Otis: Timing, Lucky.  It's always in the timing.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Overread at Booth 5: Mass Shootings

Mass shootings are merely the face of the truly endemic, ingrained problem of gun violence.   Mass shootings are flashy, high-profile, graphic, shocking, and horrifying by their high body counts in short time frames.  But they are glimpses into the more subtle culture of gun violence.

The only time that the culture of gun violence is faced in the media is when the propaganda machine, in an effort to detract from a Caucasian shooter, is to bring up statistics showing the amount of African American victims of gun violence (“Black on Black”).  While crucial to understanding the overall culture of gun violence, this is only treated as a strawman fallacy: basically it says, “Hey don’t look at the white guy slaughtering your children!  The dirty blacks kill each other every day!”

However, such stories paint a misleading picture, and even the most basic investigations would soon lead one to understand that the problem with such crime is institutionalized poverty and lack of economic mobility.   This is part of our gun culture, and frankly, only by destroying poverty can this aspect of our gun culture be improved.

Yet, the gun culture in America reaches all levels.   It has been reinforced in our cultural narrative for more than several generations.  Stories of cowboys and heroic soldiers full our novels and our pulp magazines.   After World War Two, nearly every crime novel or thriller was a tough guy who had fought the Nazis or the Nips.   The 1950s were filled with cowboy tv shows with sharpshooters who could shoot the guns right out of the grip of the bad guys.  No blood on that, just straight shootin’ and the town was saved, yay!


Overread at Booth 2: Poem of the Day: Onyx Fingertips

                Fingertips, you touch
                my skin, and thus, you
                assign my identity.
                I am merely the
                race you require of
                me, according
                to the situation.
                At a restaurant, I             
                am white, at our
                family fiestas,
                soy puro Latino,              
                and for this
                I am black
                and hard
                as onyx.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Overheard at Table 3: Kris and Mack

Mack: Had a dream about you last night.

Kris: Am I going to have to take you to HR for this?

Mack: No, it's not THAT kind of dream.  We were all at your house, early morning, it was still dark, and you have this detached garage.

Kris: I don't have a detached garage, but go on.

Mack: Anyway, there was someone rummaging around your garage and you were saying, "Be quiet.  I think it's my neighbor.  She's in a car in there.  You can hear the stereo."  And I said, "She's hiding in your garage?" and you said, "Yes," and I said, "Like a possum?"

Kris: Like a possum?

Mack:  That's EXACTLY how you replied in the dream and I said, "Yeah" and then your husband was there with a flashlight, trying to shine it in the window of the garage and you said, "Don't scare her" and then your mom came and opened the garage door and your neighbor said that she had been moving your Buick out of your garage every day for the past few weeks and parking her Buick there so she could get some peace and quiet before having to go to work.

Kris: In your dream we own a Buick?  What the hell do you think of me and my family?

Mack:  I dunno.  It was a Buick.  Anyway, your mom is then leading your neighbor away, saying something about taking her to get booked at the county jail, and then your son...

Kris: Kevin or Kenny?

Mack: Kenny.   He said, "Well, why doesn't she just come over every morning and walk our dog?  That way, she'll get peace and quiet and we'll get our dog walked!" and you said, "That's a good idea, buddy!" and that was the dream.

Kris: I don't know if I want to talk to you about my family issues any more.