Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Overheard at Table 4: A Review of 90s Albums

After an online discussion regarding a poll of 90s albums, in which Wildflowers challenged Nevermind for the top spot, several people commented that Tom Petty was for geriatrics and other argued that Petty was superlative to Cobain, and then there was a discussion about whether voting should be upon personal taste or cultural significance.

I decided then to listen to the three of the top polled albums, in order, for my own personal impressions.

Here are my notes:

Into the Great Wide Open


Top tracks: Learning to Fly/The Dark of the Sun/Kings Highway

A good album to end college years, setting off into the world

Generally a solid album to play while drinking beer with buddies in the park



        Top tracks: Teen/Lithium/Polly

The manifesto of disaffected youth – end of the Reagan years, economic uncertainty.

However, last half begins to sag under its own weight.  And for all the hype of this being a turning point in music, it sounds like early 80s The Replacements with a bit more distortion and flange.



Top tracks: Wildflowers/Crawling Back to You/Time to Move On

About two or three songs could have been cut from this album to make it a perfect album.

This is a good one for a road trip.  

Monday, August 30, 2021

Overheard at Booth 3: On Apologizing

 "The most important thing about apologizing, I think, is that is shows that you think it's more important to repair the relationship than to be seen as being right."

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Overheard at Table 2: Cuban Gas Cartel

 (from a journal entry 2020-0118)

My son works at a grocery store.

He told us this morning that last night he had to call the cops on the Cuban Gas Cartel.

He won't give us further details, 

but I've got a great name for a band.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Overheard at Booth 1: Poem "Table That Thought"


Table that thought.
Shine a lamplight on it later.
Look at it with bedroom eyes.
Play it for a parlor trick.
Couch it in language easily understood,
Until it brings the house down.


Friday, August 27, 2021

Overheard at Booth 4: Poem "On Writing Haiku"


It takes years and years,
writing one thousand haiku
to write one haiku.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: Poem "The Rain, the Rain"


The rain, the rain
    staccato sheets against the 
        window pane.

Late night, by the nightstand 
I write
these brief lines
to the rain.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Overheard at Table 2: Agradecida "Alfa y Omega"

(rough draft)

Eres el Alfa y Omega
Eres el principio y el fin
Eres el Señor de los señores
El Shalom y Elohim.

Eres el Rey de los Reyes
Eres el Cordero y Léon
El TodoPoderoso
El Jues y El Elyon

Es El Padre
Espiritu Santo 
Santo Santo Dios

El Altísimo y la Roca
Jehovah Jireh y El Shaddai
El Redentor y Profeta
El Pastor y Adonai


Eres el Gran

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Overheard at Table 2: Wicktims (106-110)


106. Rick “Vampire” Stevens.   Loaned his kid $500 to start his business of refurbishing old gaming equipment for resale.  Doesn’t think it will go anywhere, but it’s nice to see the kid working with his hands.

107. Nick Ledger.  This was a feeling that he thought he’d forgotten: Fear.  Not of dying, necessarily, but what comes immediately after.

108. Edward Carrazas.  After 15 years of saving and planning, he finally was able to buy a boat.  He named it THIS BOAT IS THE GOAT.

109. Holland Knight.  Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a Good Looking Corpse.  He had that on a t-shirt once.  He’s glad he got to fulfill it.

110. Cipriano Contreras.  Had spent yesterday arguing with a person whose doctoral thesis argued that writers should not discuss sex on open forums and if they do, they should lead with trigger warning.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Overheard at Booth 1: Wicktims (101-105)


101. DJ Mercy.  Maybe on the other side he’ll find out who killed Biggie.  Hell, maybe he’ll get to meet the man hisself!

102. Tommy DeShawn Jefferson.  Still not sorry that he broke his brother’s arm.  Little punk needed to learn his lesson.

103. T’yanna Nelson.  Wonders what the point of all this is.

104. Jesus Valdez.  Was trying to write a book, but someone told him that it was fanfic.  For some reason, he’s no longer interested in finishing his book.

105. Kim Castro.  Wouldn’t trade a day of her life for anything.  She had it good.  Well … until this moment, of course.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Overheard at Booth 1: Wicktims (96-100)


96. Mariusz Blazczak.  He had survived the Attack on New York, when the Avengers battled those alien invaders.  He thought if he could survive all those falling buildings, he could survive anything.

97. Gosswin Mussorsky.  A big fan of Basquiat.  He had a dream of saving up enough money one day to sit in a room and buy one.  He has $857,319.43 in a savings account for that one single purpose.   And no beneficiaries listed.

98. Kenny Two Beers.  His name is actually “Two Bears,” but HR screwed up his paperwork.  His last thought is that this is probably going to screw up his life insurance payout to his two daughters.

99. Jimmy Gomez.  Always knew a day was going to be a crap day unless he jerked off in the morning shower.  Today, he woke up late.  There was no time to jerk off in the shower.  Yup.  Crap day.

100. Santiago de la Rosa.  Dammit, now he’ll never get the chance to take his wife and kids to that all-inclusive resort in Yucatan.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Overheard at Booth 3: Wicktims (91-95)


91. Andy Nguyen.  Likes to spend his weekends arguing with strangers on Twitter.

92. Mark C Klein.  Damn, he really should have gone to law school with his twin brother.

93. Morgan Parker.  Ever since his PTSD diagnosis, he found that going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 3:30am would keep him from having the nightmares.

94. Tommy Kandinsky.  The one time he didn’t kick the stripper out of his apartment after the hook-up is the day he wouldn’t come home.  His last thought was that she was probably gonna rob him of all his stuff.

95. Luis Sanchez.  His favorite times in his life were backyard cookouts with the family, the loud roaring happy laughing family.  All his primos, tios y tias, and his wonderful abuelita with her homemade tamales.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: Wicktims (86-90)


86. Ezra Carruthers.   Likes to go to the swimming pool in his apartment complex and watch all the girls.  Especially the young girls.  He has convinced himself that since all he does is watch and never touch, then it’s OK.

87. Lyn Wolseley.  Ex-wife never lets him see the kids whenever his child support is late, which he thinks is bullshit, but his lawyer is dragging his feet on trying to get that sorted out.

88. Michael O’Brien.  He always considered himself an NPR listener in a world full of AM Talk Radio.

89. Jeff Morgan.  He understands about being mad about the dog.  Someone killed his dog once, and he also sought revenge.  He wishes he could have been able to say that to John Wick, but the words didn’t make it past his slit throat.

90. Greg “Dino” Hofstedder.  Had a Miles Davis album, a bottle of Red, and his neighbor’s wife waiting for him back home.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Overheard at Table 4: Wictims (81-86)


81. Michael Anderson.   Always bragged that he could kill any man with just a ball point pen.  Unfortunately for him, he had neglected to bring a ball point pen with him this day.

82. Lambert Griffin.  Favorite place he’s ever been is Iran, because the people are really friendly and the women are the most beautiful in the world.  Worst place he’s ever been is Saudi Arabia, where there is nothing to do except eat in the hotel restaurant, the Saudis are arrogant and always yelling at you, and you can’t tell if the women are beautiful or not because they’re covered from head to toe.

83. Charlie Pruitt.  Finds it hard to believe that he gave up a really good sales job to end it all like this.

84. Timmy Hawthorn.  When he saw Shannon Creek (No. 10) get killed, he thought that he would go and take care of her cats for her.  Now?  Well, looks like the cats are on their own.

85. Indus Morgan.  His parents always talk about the time they dropped him on his head when he was a child.  They even told that to every date he brought home as a teenager.  He stopped bringing people around his parents and hasn’t spoken to them since he was 19.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: Rainfall


The shadows of rainfall
Patter the sidewalk
And we’re laughing as we run into the café
Shaking the raindrops
Out of our wet hair, 
We order a cappuccino and a grand frappe

And we spend the afternoon in quiet conversation
As the people walk by outside in contemplation
Our words they dance between us in the air
As the café plays Here There and Everywhere.

The patter of footfalls
Trickle through the front halls
And we’re laughing as they tumble into our arms
Shaking the rainfall
Out of their wet hair,
Our children who’ve been playing all day in the rain.

And we spend the afternoon with these rambunctious children
Running through the house in wild abandon
Shouting voices fighting dragons madly in the hall
And life goes on like Ob-la-di blah-dah


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: A Flower Memory

A flower memory
A summer song
The smiles never
Last too long.

Autumn came
Sun was gone
Winter games
Curtains drawn.



Monday, August 16, 2021

Overheard at Table 1: Discussing the Fall of Afghanistan

Billy: Dayum, I don't think they thought it would fall.

Joe: Least not that damn fast.

Jim: They were sayin' that the army was trained.  

Bob: Had 3 hunnert thousand troops.

Billy: So where's all them now?

Joe: Threw down their guns and went to their houses.

Jim: Someone really screwed the pooch on this one.

Bob: Bet that's what everyone in the Pentagon is sayin' right now.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: Scraps from an Old Blue Journal

July 2017 

    spit travels south, my loveable durcelo.  you drink bleach

    memories of Kennedy.  Caroline, not Teddy.


    Vorrei parlare l'italiano.

    Necesito practicarlo.

Hamika - Russian for "rude" (possibly for female) - Male may be "ham"


2017-0710  - Riverbend

    Back from the river

    afternoon - floating

    night - puking

    "fucking bitch" - slept on futon, cry to sleep.

        She tried to hold her breath to stop the tears, but there was no breath left.

This body that she had known for all these years, this body, his body, her body, this is what it feels when flesh is torn apart, exposing bone, and raw muscle and sinew.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Overheard at Table 4: Beckett (2021)


Spoiler: Alicia Vikander gets killed off early on in this film, so don't be sad.  It's not really about her anyway, it's about her boyfriend, who gets chased by a bunch of really bad dudes (another spoiler alert: they're straight up Nationalists i.e. Euro-racists)

Full of action.  Full of great scenery.  Love the fact that we've got some regular bloke being forced into being an action hero.  Vicky Krieps is also very good here as the protestor who tries to help him, but gets more than she bargained for.

Don't expect all that much in the realm of believability, but hey, it's an action film, so just sit back and have fun.  And try not to let it turn you off of vacationing in the Mediterranean.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Overheard at Booth 5: What is Hard to Believe

"I always knew that God exists ... I just had a hard time believing that He actually gives a shit."

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: The Year of Wearing Masks

The Year of Wearing Masks

Oh, how I loved you in the year of wearing masks!
That was the year when you showed me you loved me,
You did not want to sicken me, nor I to sicken you,
or your children, or my children, or their children, and

as well, when you wore your masks and when I wore mine,
we were a little less strangers then, for, while we
could not see each other smile as we passed by
in the grocery store, we introduced ourselves through

our choice of masks, whether it be a tartan plaid, or
a Hello Kitty print, or “I Can’t Breathe,” or the cover of
Pink Floyd’s Animals.  There were bold statements, like:
Peace!, Freedom!, MAGA!  There were Joker grins,

Rolling Stones tongues, there were simple black, stripes
of all kinds, there were American flags, Texas flags,
there were pictures of mountain ranges, or monster trucks,
slogans such as “Let’s do this!” and even “Everything sucks!”

It was the year of wearing masks, when we finally,
wore our personalities across our faces, and we
were a little less strangers then, you and I, and we
knew each other, even though we had never exchanged a word.






Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Lisa Loeb "Firecracker"

Lisa Loeb Firecracker album cover
Wife loved this album so much that she wore out two CDs
Framed on 11-17-2010.
Still hanging above her favorite booth.
Firecracker (Lisa Loeb album) - Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Overheard at Table 1: Studies in Black and White


The top photo I took one of my last winters in Tulsa OK.   It has a date stamp of Sunday March 27, 2011, but it may have been from the year before.  The magical thing about a Tulsa winter is that everything turns black and white ... shades of grey.   All color bleeds away, from the sky, from the air, from the trees, even from the ground.  On this photo, I then filtered it even more to try to make it look like a Japanese painting.  Then I filtered it out even further to look like a pencil sketch.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Overheard at the Counter: Back Room at the ZTAC


Photographer unknown, but this is a photo of one of the back rooms of the Zen and Tao Acoustic Cafe.

Whenever the night goes longer than anticipated, Verble sometimes crashes here, curling up with a good book to wind down the evening.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Overheard at Booth 3: What We Did with Our Lives

"I kid you not, one day when we're gone and standin' at the pearly gates, St Peter gonna ask us, 'What did you do with your lives?' and all we really gonna be able to say is, 'Well, we argued with strangers on social media all day ev'ry day!"

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: An American Runs Up to Jesus

Jesus was getting ready to head out of town, and an American runs up to Him, kneels down right in front of Him, and asks Him, "Hey You Awesome Dude, what I can I do to get into Heaven?"

And Jesus says to the American, "Why you callin' Me 'Awesome'?  There is no one awesome but God.  Regardless, you know how to get to Heaven.  Ten Commandments, amirite? 'Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, don't commit fraud, honor your mother and father.'"

And then the guys says to Jesus, "I got all that down.  I've done that all my life."

Jesus looks at the guy, REALLY looks through him.  And Jesus felt so much love for this American, and He says, "There's only one thing keeping you from Heaven.  Go sell all your stuff, give away everything to the poor.  Then you will have a place in Heaven.  Then, come and follow Me."

The American looked like Jesus had just punched him in the stomach.  He didn't say another word, he just turned and walked away ... because he had a house, nice car, tv, a 401k, a good job, good income, so much stuff that he couldn't even park his cars in the garage.

Mark 10:17-27

Paraphrased by Verble Gherulous

Mark 10:17-27

The Rich Young Ruler

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do so that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 But Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not give false testimony, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus showed love to him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But he [a]was deeply dismayed by [b]these words, and he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Overheard at Booth 3: Wicktims (76-80)


... continuing the most incredible collection of death hits by the monstrous killing machine that is John Wick...

76. Kerry Moss.  He likes the way his Guatemalan girlfriend says is name like “queremos,” which can either mean “we want ________”  or “we love _________,” depending on context.

77. Scott Schultz.  Was secretly taking dancing lessons in order to improve his coordination.

78. Steven Villa.   Has a crush on Ross Kendrick (No. 44).  Never had a chance to tell him.

79. Gianluca Bonello.   Had a crush on a girl, then she married him.  Now, the crush is over.  All he feels now … is crushed.

80. Jake Maresca.    Honest to God, if his wife wouldn’t piss him off, he wouldn’t have to hit her like he does.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Overheard at Table 5: Wicktims (71-75)


71. Michael Jugenthal.   His old man left when he was four.  Doesn’t even remember the old bastard.  Doesn’t really want to anyway.

72. Neil Chambers.   Joined the Navy just after high school. Best years of his life.  

73. Paul Wright.   Loves getting high on the weekends and listening to Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and Rush.

74. Houston Shell.   Loves going out to the gun range.  That’s really the only place he likes to be.  When he’s in the lane, practicing his groupings, he feels completely alone.  Solitary.  Independent.  

75. Victor Kidwiler.   Has an extensive collection of baseball cards, including many left to him by his father and grandfather.  One estimator valued his collection at a total value of $3.5 million.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Overheard at Table 2: The Offspring "Come Out and Play" reprise

Saw an article today that The Offspring has dumped their drummer from an upcoming tour for not getting vaccinated, so I've re-written the lyrics to the song "Come Out and Play"


Come Out and Play

You gotta keep 'em separated

Like the latest fashion
Like a spreading disease
The kids are strappin' on their way to the classroom
Getting weapons with the greatest of ease
The gangs stake their own campus locale
And if they catch you slippin' then it's all over pal
If one guys colors and the others don't mix
They're gonna bash it up

Hey - man you talkin' back to me?
Take him out
You gotta keep 'em separated
Hey - man you disrespecting me?
Take him out
You gotta keep 'em separated
Hey they don't pay no mind
If you're under 18 you won't be doing any time
Hey, come out and play

By the time you hear the siren
It's already too late
One goes to the morgue and the other to jail
One guy's wasted and the other's a waste
It goes down the same as the thousand before
No one's getting smarter
No one's learning the score
Your never ending spree of death and violence and hate
Is gonna tie your own rope


It goes down the same as the thousand before
No one's getting smarter
No one's learning the score
Your never ending spree of death and violence and hate
Is gonna tie your own rope


This is the Way

You gotta get ‘em vaccinated

It’s the latest fashion
All this COVID disease
The kids are coughin’ on their way to the classroom
Getting COVID with the greatest of ease
QAnon stakes its own campus locale
And if they catch you vaxxin’ then it's all over pal
If we know reality and MAGA don't mix
We’re gonna vax it up vax it up vax it up!

Hey - man you talkin' back to me?
Take him out
You gotta get ‘em vaccinated 
Hey - man you coughing over me?
Take him out
You gotta get ‘em vaccinated 
Hey they don't pay no mind
If you're over 18 you can vax at any time
Hey, this is the way!

By the time you get vented
It's already too late
You’re going to the morgue and your family wails
Another life wasted because their brain is debased
You go down the same as 500 thousand before
MAGAs getting dumber
Q’s rotten to the core
Evangelical pastors spewing sermons of hate
They’re gonna tie their own rope tie their own rope


You go down the same as half a million before
MAGAs getting dumber
Q’s rotten to the core
Evangelical pastors spewing sermons of hate
They’re gonna tie their own rope tie their own rope


Hey hey, then you can go out and play!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Overheard at Table 1: To Teach or Not to Teach the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots

High School: So today we're going to learn about the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots

Conservative Group: You can't teach that! 

HS: Why not?

CG: Because it will make white kids feel bad about themselves.

HS: Why would it make them feel bad about themselves.

CG: Because Black people got killed.

HS: And why should that make white kids feel bad about themselves?

CG: Because they got killed ... by white people.

HS: And did these kids - both either black or white - actually do the killing?

CG: Of course not, they weren't even born then.

HS: And did you or I do the killing?

CG: We weren't born then either.

HS: Then why should any of us feel bad about ourselves when we learn what other people did to each other before we were born?

CG: Because we look like them, blacks and whites.

HS: And how, exactly, would NOT teaching about the 1921 Race Riots change what we look like now.

CG: Not at all!  And that's the way we like it!  Keep everything the same.

HS: Keep the country a place where the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots happened, continue to happen, and will happen again.



Monday, August 2, 2021

Overheard at Booth 1: If Writers Spoke Like Hip-Hop Artists

 If Writers Spoke like Hip-Hop Artists

Charles Dickens “I am the greatest of the greatest!  Ain’t no one drop tomes like my tomes!”

Williams Shakespeare, “Bitch, please!  ‘tis a crime to ty to touch my rhymes, my plays are the most sublime across all time, women and men alike quicken and quake at the rapt ecstasy of my prosody!”

Stephen King, “It’s in my name, I’m the KING!  I can write one sentANCE and make y’all piss yo’ PANTS.  My stories are chock full of gory glory and glory gory halleLUjah, you know you been read to the dead once I been through ya!”

Emily Dickinson, “My poetry so tight, make you beg to get wid me tonight, but you just keep on beggin, a’right?  Cuz this lady is OUT-A-SITE!!   And don’t you try to get up in here wid no queer beer, this lady deserves the fine wine, before you get to dine, and if you be kind, I might just give you a taste …”

Langston Hughes, “I’m the only one here who is STREET with a BEAT! Boom! Get back to yo’ room!”

Toni Morrison, “My books got the hooks, and they leave the people shook, to the core and more, after MY game ain’t no one ever the same.  Ain’t no other writer ever come CLOSE to the power of my PROSE!”

Jack Kerouac  “I can drop a novel in three days and not even sleep and still drink everybody under the table cuz my prose got the jazz beat and the beat is a beat down and cross the country from town to town and when you get beat by the Kerouac, Jack, you KNOW you done been beat, you don’t even try to get up off the floor, you just stay down, clown!”

Ernest Hemingway “I write novels with six words.”  *drops mic*

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: Every Word a Myth

The Atheist: Every word of the Bible is a MYTH!

The Follower of Christ: Every word?

A: Every.  Word.

F: Even Proverbs 15:1?

A: Yes, even that one.

F: A soft word turns away wrath?


F: How is that a myth.

A: 'Cuz you're sitting there all quiet and smug and I'm still PISSED OFF AT YOU!!!!