I write because I can’t sleep.

Sometimes I can't get things off my mind and they keep me up at night. Here are some things I've wanted to stop thinking about....

In Search of the Hysterical Jesus

By Paul Thomas Zenki

The lighter side of Jesus of Nazareth … When comedian Alan King was asked “What is the essence of Jewish humor?” he answered with a story. A guy’s having lunch at a Jewish deli. He flags down the waiter and says, “Taste the soup.” The waiter asks, “Is something wrong?” “Taste the soup.” “Is it […]

How I Taught Myself to Lucid Dream, and Lived to Regret It

By Paul Thomas Zenki

The perks and pitfalls of mindful dreaming … I was still a little boy when I became terrified of falling asleep. You see, I was being murdered in my dreams. Sometimes, my stalker was me. Looking back, I think it was the onset of an early adolescence that triggered the nightmares. My old self had […]

Five Popular Lies You Hear About Consciousness

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Neuroscience is both more and less advanced than it’s rumored to be … Aside from the eternal mystery of why reality exists at all rather than not, our own conscious awareness of it is likely the most baffling puzzle humans face. Our discoveries since the dawn of neuroscience in the mid-1800s are genuinely astounding, and […]

How (Not) to Make a Proper Tortilla Española

By Paul Thomas Zenki

What you leave out means as much as what you put in … There are three sides in a triangle. Four gospels in the New Testament. And five ingredients in a tortilla española. Eggs (5), potatoes (3), onions (2), olive oil and salt. Nothing more, nothing less. Así se hace, so it is done. Back […]

Why “Fish Don’t Fry in the Kitchen”

By Paul Thomas Zenki

And who grills beans anyway? … A rolling stone gathers no moss. A watched pot never boils. Fish don’t fry in the kitchen. And beans don’t burn on the grill. It is known. But wait, hold the phone a sec. Of course fish fries in the kitchen. Where else are you gonna fry it, the […]

Why a Biblical Priest Dismembered a Concubine

By Paul Thomas Zenki

And shipped the pieces all over Israel … Surely you recall the story from Sunday school: A rural priest is traveling across Israel with a member of his harem. They stop over in a town where the young woman is gang raped and beaten to death. So the priest cuts her body into a dozen […]

14 Extremely Useful English Words You Probably Don’t Know

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Once you know them, you can’t forget them — even if you want to … Some words, when you learn them, you wonder how you ever got along without them. And sometimes, there’s just no right word when you need one, so you have to make your own. These 14 words fall into both categories for me. […]

1st Rule of Trump Club Is: Never Stop Lying

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Because the fight is never over … Damned if I didn’t stumble across yet another article today by yet another befuddled onlooker wondering why in the hell Matt Gaetz doesn’t just hang it up and go home. Nobody likes the guy, even in his own party. And after all, it costs a person exactly nothing […]

Southern Pecan Pie: A Personal History

By Paul Thomas Zenki

This recipe is easier than it used to be … When I was a little boy, a pecan pie was a helluva lot of work. Especially for the kids. I was born on the Florida panhandle in what used to be a fishing village, but grew up in a Georgia mill town. Our house stood […]

What “Bless Your Heart” Really Means in the South

By Paul Thomas Zenki

If you think you know, you don’t … Lord have mercy, if I have to hear another Yankee say that “bless your heart” is Southern for “you’re an idiot” — or worse — I think I might just blow a gasket. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t entirely blame non-Southerners for this misunderstanding. I have a sneaking suspicion […]