Thursday, March 17, 2022

Overheard at Table 4: Russian Soldiers AKA ...

"Oh, don't call them baby-killers! That's mean!"

"Did they kill babies?"

"Well ... yes."

"Then they're baby-killers."

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Overheard at Table 1: Feed the Hungry

"Jesus says we should love others the way we love ourselves."

            "So what's that mean exactly?"

"When you're hungry, what do you do?"

            "Get myself something to eat."

"When someone else is hungry, what should you do then?"

            "Tell 'em to get themselves something to eat."

*sigh*  "What if they don't have any money?"

            "Tell 'em to get a job."

"And what if they can't get a job?"

            "Then they probably brought it upon themselves.  God says you reap what you sew, right?"

"Yes, you do.  Yes, you surely do."

Monday, March 14, 2022

Overheard at Booth 4: A Short Psalm

A Short Psalm

Oh Lord I cry in my distress
My voice calling from the wilderness
Lord, please fill my emptiness
With the sound of Your presence

Señor, lleve en mí
Tu voz, asi que pudeo oírTe.
Porqué no puedo oírTe,
el ruido de mundo está tan poderoso
tan fuerte
so loud.

Tengo qu callarme
pero no puedo 
sin Tí
No puedo
sin Tí


Sunday, March 13, 2022

Overheard at Table 4: A Few Horrorprompts



#horrorprompt 584 From Beneath You


You are sitting in your chair

at dinner time

with your wife, your children, then,

suddenly, from beneath you

hands and arms burst from the floor,

grab you, drag you down,


you scream,


your family continues eating.





#horrorprompt 582 Earth


The Earth,

a dull dead

husk of ruin,


and your fellow human beings

continue lethargic in their

inveterate desiccation,


their spiritual decay

is the crumbling of this clay.




#horrorprompt 581 Tired


She was tired, so tired,

but she couldn’t stop.


The thing behind her,

in the shadows, in the dark,

the thing was not tired.






but her heart,

her muscles, her


she fell,

she shattered,


the untired thing





#horrorprompt 579 Lull


When there was a lull in the fighting,

Jerry turned to Zack, saying,

“If we can just hold out to morning.”


No answer.

Jerry looked, saw Zack’s half-gone

face, burnt hair, the blood


had been congealed for hours.


Overheard at Table 2: Seedpods


we didn't notice them at first.
on buses,
at train stations,
in grocery carts.

then, a noise, like locusts hum
that filled the sky,
and all the seedpods broke
open at once, and all the 
so hungry.


(possibly written while on vacation in El Salvador)

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Overheard at Booth 4: Birraporretti's


walked in without reservations, which was a bit of an issue.  still, it was before the rush, so they were able to get us a table within 5 minutes (even if it was the table for two right in front of the host station, where all those with reservations stood around staring at us while we ate)

the food was well-worth that price as well, and for being downtown Houston and for being in the times of great inflation, the prices were not exorbitant.   we shared the mushroom caps appetizers, which were very delicious, with the perfect blend of cheeses.  my wife had the personal pizza and I had the crab cakes, which were done to delicate perfection with a flavor that was so wonderfully seasoned that it was a simple joy to eat them.

definitely a place to make a reservation, so that you can have a quiet table to enjoy your meal, away from having to hear some lady ask the hostess if they were short staffed.  

the hostess, not skipping a beat, replied, "no ma'am, we are fully staffed.  we're just short on tables."

Friday, March 11, 2022

Overheard at Table 4: Numbers

Numbers can be considered to be like words, and mathematics can be like any language.  Both numbers and words are created by humans, but the concepts that they represent exist (i.e. a rock "is" just as pi "is") but those concepts would "be" even if the words "rock" and "pi" were never thought of by human beings.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Overheard at Booth 1: The Statement of the Arbiters of Cultural Heritage (ACH)

The Arbiters of Cultural Heritage (ACH, for short) step up to the podium and, gathering around, tap the microphone and state, "We, the Arbiters or Cultural Heritage hereby declare that, to take a stand against Euro-centered White-pseudo Christ Imperialism and all its detrimental effects, all deeply held ancient cultural traditions are to be honored and respected."

"Awesome!" shouts Japan, "Now we can go slaughter some dolphins!"

"Wait, what?" 

Newfoundlanders jump up and say, "Righty-o, lads, we're off to shoot some seals!"

ACH leans into the microphone.  "That's ... uhh, not what we meant!"

A coalition of African, Middle Eastern and Asian groups, led by a group from Ghana, shout, "We are glad to hear we can finally stop getting Western pushback for removing the clitorises from our pre-pubescent girls!"

The ACH huddles together.  "Err ... we might need to rethink this a bit."

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Overheard at Booth 4: Intersectionality

"Mom, what does intersectionality mean?"

"It means you get to choose from among several different cultural traumas."

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Overheard at Table 3: Ukraine Invasion in the Two Medias

At the gym the other night, I'm on the treadmill and watching the huge panel of screens in front.  There were about twenty, all down the length of the wall.  From each position you could only see about six or seven with any quality.  I didn't have any headphones with me, so for 40 minutes I was watching all of them by their subtitles, which actually proved to be a great equalizer, of sorts.

The stark difference that was most clear was the difference between CNN and Fox News.  CNN was discussing the Russian war in Ukraine, and for the entire span of time, there was detail about Russian troop movements, where they were advancing and where they were bogged down, there was discussing about their targeting of the nuclear facilities, there was a story about a "heroic" boy who walked alone for a day to the Polish border with nothing but his passport and a sandwich (to which I immediately thought, "Central American children do this all the time, but with no passport and no sandwich.")  The coverage seemed clear, concisely stated, thorough.

Fox News, by contrast, was nothing but a barrage of scattershot.  There was one guy before Tucker Carlson, but both seemed to be of the same thread.  The articles were: Joe Biden has been dangling NATO membership for Ukraine for years, Joe Biden has been playing Ukraine for years, Hilary (note they used her first name and not her last) admits that US could be tougher on Putin.  There was also a segment with some former military official discussing Russian troops missteps in Ukraine.  

Also, there was a brief segment about Russian troops finding chemical making facilities in Ukraine.  This seems to be alluding to the Far Right Q-Anon conspiracy that Putin (aided by Trump) is trying to find and destroy secret storehouses in Ukraine where Dr Fauci is making some sort of concoction to rule the world).  It was a brief segment, but interesting to note: it seems as though Fox News keeps throwing stuff out there to see what sticks.  So, if this idea gains traction, they can say they broke the news first, and if the story goes away, they can quietly bury it.

Fox News also caught onto Joy Reid's segment in which she claimed that the world is watching Ukraine because Ukraine is filled with white people.  What saddens me about her stance is that it really does nothing but give more fire to Conservatives to say, "SEE!  They make EVrything about RACE!" ... Fox then went on to mock the Democrats:  "Media Blames Ukraine Invasion on Racism and Trump"

Fox kept saying, "Media" as though they are not "Media" ...bizarre.

Fortunately, both CNN and Fox were separated by Chopped, a cooking competition show, and "Ride Along" with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.   Chopped was competing with lobster, and Ride Along was right at that hilarious scene in which Hart thinks he's on a 126 in a strip club where two guys are brandishing guns and threatening to shoot, and he (thinking it's not real) keeps taunting them.  That was a very well done piece of cinematography and screenwriting: really builds the tension with a balance of danger and humor.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Overheard at Table 1: Barr the ... Buffoonery

Billy: Heard William Barr on NPR today.

Joe: Still bloviating?

Jim: Says Pompeo played Trump.

Bob: How's that?

Billy: Says whenever Trump was chewing Pompeo out about something, all Pompeo had to do was say the word "Russiagate."

Joe: Then Trump would go off chasing that tangent.

Jim: And he'd forget what he was mad about in the first place.

Bob: So, his inner circle treated him like an Alzheimer's patient.

Billy: Pretty much.

Joe: And Barr says he'd vote for Trump in 2024?

Jim: Yup.

Bob: That kinda shows you how much Barr hates this country, don't it?

Billy: As if we didn't already know.

Joe: True.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Overheard at Table 3: Gas Prices

"Wish everyone'd stop complaining about the high gas prices.  I mean, it's not like paying an extra dollar a gallon is going to make you have to choose between rent or heat or light.  Effin give up your lunches out for a week, or hell, ONE dinner out.  Give that up and you got the extra cash for the gas!

"And besides, there are positives to high gas prices: people start to carpool more, which gets more cars off the highways, which reduces wrecks and road rage.   Saves also the wear and tear on the cars not being driven.  Also, makes people plan their outings better, so they save time overall.

"Me, I see high gas prices as a more accurate measurement of the cost of raping Mother Earth of her natural resources.  But again, that's just me."

Friday, March 4, 2022

Overheard at Booth 3: MBS's Modus Operandi

Just read an article where MBS says that he's tired of getting asked questions about Khashoggi.  He says, "If that's the way things were done around here, Khashoggi would be 1,000th down the list."

To me, that doesn't sound much like a refutation.  And it sure don't sound like he's sorry the guy's gone.

Mohammad Bonesaw Salmon, ladies and gentleman.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Overheard at Table 4: Fish City Grill



Fish City Grill, Beryland Mall, Beryland TX


Cajun, and y’all know what that means… spicy.

Some of you Cajun food lovers might actually consider it not as spicy as you’d like it, but seriously, why does everything have to burn?  Breaks Rule #1 of Food.

OK, so we walk in, and the host is so stoned that for a moment he seemed not to understand why we were there.  I was thinking, man what is the deal with the weed in Beryland?  ALL these restaurant workers are so baked!

He was able to find his way to our table and our waiter was sober (thank the Lord) and while he couldn’t count off all the appetizers or describe them in any detail, he made a great attempt to do so, which, in these days, is better than nothing.

We had the Smok’n Hot Shrimp, which, if you’ve ever had Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish, this is the plate for you.  Spicy but no burn, just a delightful sting.

My wife thought the Garlic Caper Chicken was passable.  I had the Andouille Chicken and of course, immediately wondered why I do this to myself.  Andouille always sounds good, but the burn … lawdy!  (Sidenote: I took the majority of it home and had it for breakfast: pan fried and mixed with two eggs over easy helped to curb the burn and left me full and satisfied for the next day)

My wife had the bread pudding.  She offered to share, but this happens to be my fasting month, for which I’ve given up both breads and processed sugars.  So I got to enjoy the delicious aroma and the watch the wonderful steam pouring forth from that volcano of delicious syrupy goodness.