Monday, November 30, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: Morning Mist


"Driving in today, the fog was so thick you couldn't see from one streetlamp to the other.  I like that.

It's eerie, but quiet ... somehow calming.   I was so relaxed when I got to work.  Not stressed at all, like I usually am."

Overheard at Booth 2: Lucky's Take on Santa Claus

Lucky Moran: I don't really see how Santa can be such a 'right jolly old elf.'

Otis Redwing: Because he only comes once a year?

Lucky:  HEY!  How did you know I was gonna say that.

Otis: The year may change, but your jokes stay the same.

Lucky: The classics never go out of style!

Otis: Keep telling yourself that.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: Psychological or Spiritual

1: Is it psychological or is it spiritual?

2. Is there a difference?

1: Of course there is a difference!  One is the mind and the other is the soul.

2: But what if they are both the same?

1: How can they both be the same?  One is one thing and the other is the other.

2: But how do you KNOW?

1: I know it in my mind and I feel it in my soul.  THAT's how I know.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: Tehrangeles

 May have been the same BBC show, think it was “News Hour” with Nikki Beatty, but they were talking to other British actors and there was one of whom they asked to describe how it was to work in Hollywood.  She replied that she liked working in LA and the main difference was that, in England, everyone did every job on set, while in Hollywood, every job was compartmentalized: A gaffer was a gaffer, a set designer did set designs, and she was free simply to focus on nothing more than her lines.  She found it freeing.

She also mentioned that she found a sort of “home away from home.” The actress talking was Israeli, born to Iranian parents, and she met a lot of Iranians in Hollywood.  She said, in fact they called it “Tehrangeles.”  (Tehran + Los Angeles)

Friday, November 27, 2020

Overheard at Table 2L Matthew McConaughey on the Future of the Movie Theater

Strange how we need to hear Biblical lessons from people of the world.  Non-believers.  Or, if they are believers, you would never be able to tell from their lifestyles.  Anyway, though, heard a BBC interview with Matthew McConaughey a few weeks back and he said something really insightful, truly insightful.   

They were discussing the death of the movie theatre as we know it: COVID has killed the movie-going experience.  They asked McConaughey if he was afraid regular movie going experience would never return.

His answer: “I’m not ‘afraid’ of it.  I don’t have any fear of anything I can’t control. What happens with movies is totally out of my hands.  It’s like when I fly on a plane.  I don’t have any fear because I know I’m not the second best pilot of the plane.  So I just accept that whatever happens to the plane is not up to me.”

And even though the questioner probably meant something different than actual “fear,” the response was brilliant, and Biblical.  “Take no thought of today, tomorrow has succifient evil.”  This whole philosophy is to teach us that we can only control what is within our control, which is, at the end of everything, our reaction to circumstances.  Almost everything else in this world is beyond our control, and so, it does not good to fear it or worry about it.   That only prevents us from preparing ourselves how to react adequately to it.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: Cadejo

 "I'm not really sure about the story line yet," he said, "but I've got the main character.  Her name is Cadejo, and she roams the Mexico/US border looking for coyotes and traffickers ... and kills them.  Frees the kids.  Gets the kids to safe houses.  She leaves water in the desert.  She's no friend of the cartels and she's no friend of the CBP, and she gets into run-ins with both of them.  But she's badass.  Like, super-badass."

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: Redemption

Script Idea:  A Televangelist comes to know Jesus Christ and then seeks redemption.

The beginning of the movie shows the televangelist at the top of his game - his church is filled with 20,000 people each sermon, all cheering at the end of almost every sentence.  He has the "hot" blonde wife, the private jet, the mansion, everything.

Then, one time he doesn't have a stock sermon ready, so he decides to actually open the Bible and begin to read it.   This is important: most movies would have some "Shock!" moment, that would change his life.  This should be as he reads the Word, he becomes more and more convinced that he is living outside of God's will.  

Gradually he begins to change.  People start to notice.  His wife starts to distance herself from him.  His staff gets more and more disgruntled.  and his congregation begins to turn on him.  They do not want to hear the real message of Christ.

How to end it?
Having him in a small church in an inner city would be too stereotypical.
It would be better to have him not be able to get a job, even at small churches, because his face is still recognizable.

Better to have the movie end with him in a totally different profession altogether.
And the last scene could be a small Bible study group in his living room.

Overheard at Table 3: Mark Twain's "Puddin'head Wilson"

Read this on vacation to a resort in Yucatan during August 2018.

Frankly, it read more like an outline for a novel than an actual novel.  It seemed rushed, as though he was just wanting to get the ideas down on paper rather than truly wanting to develop the characters.

It's a moral tale about how race, and class, ultimately, is a social construct.  Two boys, one born to a slave and one born to a slave owner, are switched at birth by the mother slave, so that her child could grow up in privilege.

The story follows the privileged usurper more than the one who grew up as a slave.  

If ever fully fleshed out, it would make a great mini-series, or limited series.  There are plenty of characters and a variety of subplots that would carry a really well done and well-crafted show.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Overheard at Table 4: On Music and Past Lovers

I love music, man, just love it ... look, you share music with some lover, and then years later, the lover is long gone, but the music is still there, the music you shared, and then you feel the same way you felt when you were together.  Music unlocks that emotion that you still keep inside you of all the good times.  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Overheard at Table 5: Tremors - Shrieker Island (2020)


This is what the wife gets when she tells me to pick the movie!



Took me awhile to realize that one of the main characters was Napoleon Dynamite. Seriously, it would have been funnier had Jon Heder been in that character instead of this one:  "GOSH!  That shrieker just ate three guys at once!  RUUDE!"

And of course, the ladies in this movie kick ass more than the guys.  This was a good character ... and she's Latina!

Look, in a Tremors movie, you know what you're going to get:  Lots of dirt digging, lots of mud slinging, lots of bad lines, lots of terrible creature graphics.  But that's what makes them so fun, because you already know what to expect!

Overheard at Booth 2: What I Learned in Business

I gotta tell you, all I really learned in business is that you have to keep your wits about you during acquisitions, because nothing gets 'em more snarly over every little penny than when there's 50 million dollars on the table.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Overheard at Table 4: Haiku for Radish Pickers

Picking radishes,

Thick fingers mow through thick leaves.

Ploughed rows in wide field.




Notes from a National Emergency

Day 647


Overheard at Booth 3: Never Said It Would Be Easy

The man was saying, "Jesus never said life would be easy.  In fact, He promised it would be difficult.  His only real promise was that He would be there, that there would always be a path through the wilderness, a path that leads directly to Him."

The other man said, "How can he be walking with you on the path and then be at the end of the path?"

The man said, "That's Jesus, man.  He's everywhere."

Overheard at Table 3: The Best of Bits & Pieces

 The Best of Bits and Pieces (c) 1994

He remembered during the first decade of the 21st Century, working at the City of Tulsa, receiving in the mail each month a pocket sized magazine of the name “Bits and Pieces” filled with interesting vignetes, quotes, stories, usually business-related or meant for motivation.   

The book, the “Best of” – printed in 1994, reading it now in 2020, can tell that it still had sway many stories which, by contemporary standards, would be considered extremely misogynistic.  For example, a section called “Women” but not a section called “Men” – or stories desinged to illustrate the success of a man dependant upon the woman supporting him in his endeavours, yet no stories about the contrary.

Still though, there are many good quotes which do stand the test of time and which can be very useful

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: Michael J Fox

Heard an interview with Michael J Fox last Thursday on NPR.  He was discussing the loss of his trademark optimism.  He described the scene: it was a year or two ago, he has been living with Parkinsons for almost three decades, he had a tumor on his spine which was touching his spinal cord, and he had just had surgery to have the tumor removed, and he was in his apartment in New York and fell and shattered his arm.

He described how he was laying there, arm broken, and suddenly was angry with himself.  He had told everyone that he was ok, and was living on his own, and he had been walking too fast into the kitchen.  He said he fell because he had been too prideful and thought he could do things he could no longer do, and as he lay there, he thought about all the work that other people had put into his rehabilitation and his recovery, he thought about all the time that the physical therapists had put into him, how much effort all the doctors had put into his surgeries, how much emotional energy his friends and family had put into his life, and how easily all that work could be ruined just because he was walking faster than he should have been.

And I thought "how amazing!" How often do you ever hear of anyone acknowledging the work that other people have put into their lives?  Almost never... our cultural narrative is so completely filled with stories of people who kept trying and never gave up, who through sheer force of will made something of themselves, overcame obstacles, etc., and we rarely - if ever - hear anyone acknowledge that their success is the result of the effort and support of others.

That was just amazing.  It was beautiful.  And we all need to understand that we are not here just because of our own efforts: we are here because of the efforts of so many others, many more people than we will ever recognize or remember or even be aware of.

Overheard at Booth 2: Let Me See Your Phone

She wanted to see his phone.


Her sister had said that when a man won't let you see their phone, then they are cheating on you.

She got his phone.  

Nothing there.  Just texts to the Bible group and a couple of buddies.

Nothing in his photos, just the kids, and her, and pics of his truck (for some reason).

"Where else should I look?" she said.

"What are you talking about?" he said.

"You're obviously bothered by me looking at your phone.  What are you hiding?" she said.

"I'm bothered because you take my phone EXPECTING to find something incriminating, and that's insulting!" he said.

"That's just what my sister said a guilty cheating man would say," she said.

"Oh Jesus," he said.  "Can't we just order dinner to go?"

Overheard at Table 4: for NFNE


The child knows who took his parents.
The child knows who caged him.
The child knows you hate him.
The child will grow.
And one day, the cage will not be able to hold him.

On that day, that child will come for yours.

for Notes from a National Emergency

Day 646 


Friday, November 20, 2020

Overheard at Table 2: Mom Asks About Son's Prescription

Mom: Did you get your prescription?

Son: No. You gonna pay for it?

Mom: No.  You're 21.  You can pay for your own meds.

Son: Then I'm not gonna pay for it.

Mom: That's OK.  Big Pharma just wants everyone addicted anyway.

Dad: What are the meds for?

Son: Muscle relaxers.  For my back.

Dad: Oh yeah, don't get those.  They're a gateway drug to heroin, anyway.

Overheard at Table 2: Mad Dog Story Ideas

 Ideas for Mad Dog stories

1) loud music from fitness center

2) Naming the children

3) "Dude I will bone-saw you like you were a Saudi journalist"

4) Vacation to Central America - clean out their Mara Salvatrucha problem.

5) at kids' soccer games

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Overheard at Table 1: Mom Commenting on Instagram

Mom: I only put ONE comment!

Son: Mom, I told you a million times, don't comment on anything on the Internet.  Nobody listens and nobody cares!

Mom: But all I said was that he promised he would show his taxes ...

Son: Omigod, Mom!

Mom: ... and then someone wrote back "Don't talk like that about someone who could drop a bomb on your house."

Son: See?  See what I told you?

Overheard at Booth 2: You Spend Too Much Time in Your Room

Why don’t you ever come out of your room?

Why would I ever come out of my room?

To socialize.

With who?

With us.

With you guys?  Why would I want to do that?

Because we’re your parents.

But you never say anything I want to here.

Well, then you can just stay in your room then.

Actually, THAT is something I don’t mind hearing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Overheard at Booth 1: The Sound of the Sea


We were to each other
the sound of the sea
washing against the pebbles, the
rocks that cut our toes, and
our laughter rang out as we collapsed
into each other's arms, two friends,
blood-brothers, there
between cliff walls and an orange sky,
left by a sun dying
in the Pacific.


Monday, November 16, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: Antebellum (2020)


This movie starts off over the top, and at first it seems like it's going to be a relentless splash of white viciousness.  Rape and murder and cruelty to the slaves on a plantation that has been overtaken by confederate soldiers, we have all the trappings of  stereotypes ...

which is dispelled the moment we see Janelle MonaƩ go to sleep as a slave and awake as a successful writer in the present day.

Somehow, she has been shifted through time.   
It would do no good to give anything away as a spoiler, because frankly, everyone should see this movie.  Don't believe what the critics say: that it lacks intelligence or that it lacks artfulness or that it trips up on itself.  It doesn't.  They just don't want to admit that the events contained herein are possible, are conceivable, and could very well happen.

I will let you know that you will find out quickly that this movie definitely has an M Night Shyamalan feel to it, so much so, that you keep expecting him to make one of his cameos.

Overheard at Table 4: Freaky (2020)


Freaky is the movie that you need to see, it is the perfect escapism from the horrors of the current COVID year.   

It's got everything: gore splatter horror, body-switching gender-bending, teen romcom.   Some people may consider it fluff, but it's really just what the doctor ordered.

Additionally, I see a lot of critics complimenting Vince Vaughan for portraying a teen female, but not enough credit is given to Kathryn Newton for playing a middle-aged hulking amoral serial killer trapped inside a 17 year old girl's body.   Her role, and the quiet cold and calculating calm with which she plans her kills is simply sublime.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Overheard at Table 3: How to Love Catholics but Hate the Pope

 She said, "It's a book I'm writing call 'How to Love Catholics but Hate the Pope' - it demonstrates the vast difference between the lives of the clergy from the lives of the people who honestly and earnestly try to follow Catholicism.  Such as the Pope who got stabbed in the anus by  jealous husband as he tried to escape out the window of his mistress, compared to the lives of regular people who attend mass regularly and try to live faithfully."

He replied, "I'm sure your readers will find the Pope with the sword up his arse much more interesting."

She said, "That's the one drawback I see to the whole project."

Overheard at Booth 1: Poem of the Day "At the Gender Reveal Party"

At the gender reveal party,
the man's daughter tells everyone
it's a girl.

A girl.

The man goes out to the garage,
so no one will see him cry.

Tears of relief.

This world is so hard
for Black boys.

From an article I heard on NPR this morning at 6:20am 2020-1113

Yuki Noguchi in Minneapolis ... about the trauma that Black women face that leads to lower birth weights, more maternal deaths in childbirth, higher infant mortality rates.



Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Overheard at Table 4: Aphrodite and Little Tom


Aphrodite is taking amphetamines

Now this angel is falling apart at the seams.

Trying to ease the weight of a Hunter's Moon

Pray that daylight don't ever come too soon.

She says you gotta demonize your sophistry.

I don't really know what that means for me.

Aphrodite waves her mood ring in the air

Trying to make a single into a pair.

And Little Tom is yellowing outside in the yard.

He says he'll never again let down his guard.

Not since that one time that he gave away his heart

Down by the railroad to that salty yellow tart.

Aphrodite now she is waving goodbye

With one slim middle finger from the back of a motorbike.

Little Tom is still pining for that salty yellow tart

To coming riding one day back into his heart.

Back into his mean green heart.



Overheard at Table 2: The Parable of the King and the Butcher


Monday, November 9, 2020

Overheard at Table 4: Masks at the Aquarium

 So, my wife's sister took her grandkids to the zoo this weekend, and she was telling my wife that they were about to go into the aquarium when the zoo attendants said they couldn't enter without a mask.  They even had masks right there for people if they hadn't already brought their own.  But the kids refused.  They said, "Daddy says we don't have to wear a mask!"

"Well then, you don't get to go into the aquarium," said my wife's sister.  

So they just went around the rest of the zoo.  She said the kids were sad that they couldn't go into the aquarium, but she just reminded them that's how Life goes.  There are certain rules that help to protect people, and you have to live by those rules if you want to get into cool places.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Overread at Table 2: Books on the Nightstand

He looked at his nightstand.  The books piled on top.  The books stacked underneath.  The books hidden  in the drawer.

Hand on the wood, fingers moving toward the spine of the book atop two others.

"How many of these have I read?" he thought.  "How many do I need to read before I get to 1,000?"

Most of them, he could see, were books about the Bible.  Books on the Bible.  Books based on Biblical principals or the study of Jesus Christ, who is God.

But how much of a percentage could he have read to consider them counting toward the 1,000?



And would that include paragraphs he skimmed over?

And since they were about his Lord and Savior, would any shortcuts be, in effect, cheating God?

These are questions to which he had no answer.

He supposed he would just have to take it on faith.

He smiled than, both wanly, and with resolution.

Crazy Love, by Francis Chan