Phantom Bridge


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“And so you haunt me. Always with me, you are the invisible diner at our table, the constant presence that trails me as I go about my daily routine…. In the darkness of a closed-lidded world, you are alive and vital, unchanging, mine. You are the ghost of everything that once was lovely… a shadow casts its majesty over everything that remains…”

~Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Art of Devotion

Photo taken and edited by good2begone.

Out Of Shape


Being a stepfather means being willing to help the kids with homework……

There are other important aspects of the commitment, but, in order to be involved in their lives, I  have to do things that I wasn’t willing to do when I was their age.

Like homework.

I may been released from the wonder years known as high school almost 30 years ago, but I think have a few brain cells left that weren’t destroyed by keg stands and the everlasting bong hit.

I haven’t touched the sauce or the wacky weed in over 8 years….but I’m sure the inside of my skull is still caked with resin.

Anyway, back to the topic-

My stepdaughter needed help with with algebra….or geometry… or whatever subject that has shapes, letters and numbers….

And she came to me for help.

Me….the homework king.

“I need help with some math. I left my book at school and I need definitions for these shapes.” She politely asked.

I quickly looked at the odd looking multisided objects on the page, flipped a few pages to see what sort of trouble I was getting into and said,

“Hmm..why don’t you Google the definitions….”

She looked up at me and said,

“The storm has knocked the Internet out.”

“CRAP!!!” I yelled from inside my head.

“Ok, I will give it my best shot.” I replied aloud with no confidence whatsoever.

“The first one is polygon.”

“……….”

“Hello!! Do you know or not?”

“A polygon is something that leaves multiple times.”

“WHAT? That doesn’t even have anything to do with any of the shapes.”

“Sure it does….the more times it leaves, the worse shape it’s in each time it comes back….” I reply with a even less confident smile.

Without writing down my brilliant answer she hits me with another one.

“That’s ridiculous….what about an octagon?”

I crack the tension out of my neck and answer,

“2 men enter…..one man leaves….”

“Uggh..let’s try another one….What is a tetrahedron?”

“That’s an easy one…A tetrahedron is a male robot that is a master at Tetris. He’s like the Darth Vader of shapes. He stacks them up and knocks them down….”

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She frustratingly interrupted me during my epic rant.

“You know absolutely nothing about any of this…..do you?”

I stare back at her and reply,

“Look, I took 1/2 a semester of geometric shapes in college. I know what I’m talkin’ about, Willis. If you don’t want want my  help then I will be unigon.”

She looked at me with what had to be the classic teenage “WTF” look that’s all the rage, as I confidently walked away.

I had to get in one last definition before I left the room-

“UNIGON – I MADE MY POINT…AND I’M GONE….ONE TIME!”

It’s good to be da king.

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Java Talk


All I wanted was a jolt of ground bean goodness…..what I got was jousted by corporate campaign to barista my way into an open conversation about topical events.

“Welcome to Starbucks…how may I help you.”

She asked with way too much enthusiasm.

“Ummm….yeah…let me get a café Americana….black….with soy milk on the side…and a brownie.”

She repeated back my order and asked my name.

I smiled and replied-

“Bingo Medley.”

Her sharpie marker stopped just short of the Styrofoam cup. She looked up at me through the piercing in her eyebrow and said-

“Bingo….what?”

“Bingo….Bingo Medley…..its my porn name……” I replied with a smile.

She wrote it on the cup and said it would be ready shortly.

While I waited, I wandered around, and checked out the items on display shelf and pondered….

“I wonder…..would Chai Tea be proper to drink before…..or after a session of Thai Chi…..Or would the Chai Tea upset the balance of Thai Chi….hmmm….I better Google that later….”

As I began to drift into heated, inside my head, battle over the Thai Chi Chia Tea dilemma, my order was called out.

By my order and not my name.

Oh well.

As I picked up my coffee, milk and snack I happened to look at the cup to see if she even wrote my suggested moniker on the cup.

What was written there was not Bingo Medley….as I plainly stated when asked what my name was.

It said “Race Together”.

I looked up at the guy with beard way cooler than I could ever grow and asked-

“My drink says race together….did someone else order the same thing I did? I would hate to take something that wasn’t mine…..but I will take the opportunity to commend this person on their awesome menu selection.”

“No sir….its our new promotion to invite our customers to have an open, healthy conversation about race..” he said.

“What….are yall trying to raise money for the Starbucks 5k, nothing says healthy like running a race and then downing overpriced coffee.”

He paused for a moment and then replied-

“Our coffee is made with triple filtered water and we are not talking about that kind of race…”

I quickly interrupted,

“Oh well….rat race then? I’m not much for rats…..they have beady eyes and like cheese way too much.”

He inhaled and exhaled frustratingly and then replied-

“Sir…..sir….not the rat race….not a running race….we would like to have a conversation about race relations….you know racism and such….”

“……….” I began.

“Oh, I get it. It must be because of my order. Americana coffee….black….soy milk….brownie… I must be open to speak about it since I confidently ordered using all colors of the racial rainbow.”

“No sir….it was just random.” He sheepishly answered.

“Well…let me clear a few things up….I ordered the Americana because it’s the closest thing to actual coffee you all carry. Soy milk, because regular milk gives me the wind something fierce, and the brownie because I have a sweet tooth…..as far as your request on race relations….here is my take.”

“I would love to get into a back in forth discussion on this issue…..but the truth is…..personally….I have no issues with…..anyone. I was brought up to respect others….period. I’m a solitary kind of guy…..but when I have to interact with others…I do…..no matter what their ethnicity is.”

We stared at each other for a moment.

I then took a drink of my coffee, which was getting cold, returned my eyes to the barista and said,

“Look dude…tackling this issue is going to be taller than this Venti coffee here. It was around before I was born and will most likely be around long after I’m gone. I prefer to take the individual approach. Hopefully someone learns from it and it snowballs from there. I gotta go…my work ain’t gonna do itself. Thanks for the coffee.”

I leave him to ponder my words and head for the door.

A man entering saw I had my hands full and stepped aside while holding the door open for me so I could exit.

I turned to him and said “Thank you sir. I appreciate that.”

He smiled, nodded his head and headed into the coffee shop.

I turned around for a quick glance to check what race he was.

Yup, just as I thought….the human race.

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Family Ties


My wife’s older sister’s daughter’s daughter is staying with us for a while….she is 2 years old.

Not my wife…

Or her older sister…

Or her older sister’s  daughter….

The last daughter of the first equation is 2 years old.

I guess in family relations to me, it makes her my grand….neice….in law?

I have successfully avoided diaper duty for over 48 hours.

Which works out good for me.

Mainly because, no matter what she is fed….it comes back out smelling like pork rinds basted in dijon mustard.

It’s quite disturbing.

Other than that she’s quite cute and entertaining.

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Here she is….sporting my shades.

She likes to bring me things….

Over

And

Over.

She has brought me a book called “Learning A Different Language Book” about 987 times.

I keep telling her-

“Usted necesita aprender antes elglish español”

And then I put the book back.

She looks at me for a few seconds and then heads right back over and picks out the same book and gives it to me.

I then say to her-

“Vous devez apprendre avant elglish français”

Same drill….same response.

I’m running out of languages before she runs out of energy.

She also likes to have animated stuff running in the TV…..whether she is watching it or not.

Things I have learned from this exercise in insanity-

“Sunset Shimmer will never wear the princess crown from Equestria because Twilight Sparkle knows that the power of friendship will keep the band together.”

If anyone can decipher what that means,  please fill me in.

The Retinazation Principle


My new Eyewear experiment has been implemented over the last 4 days. I have no line bifocals. I really wanted standard prison issue frames…..

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The reason?

I don’t want to look smart and intellectual…I want to look tough and intimidating.

What better way to make people think you are tough and intimidating when you are actually passive and skinny than to wear frames issued by the correctional system.

Corrective Eyewear from the people who correct people for a living.

Well….I WAS framed…but not by the penal system.

I blame my wife.

Here are my eyes…newly framed.

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They are fashionable in a double wide sort of way…..

The downside of bifocals is-now I have actually look people directly on the eyes when I talk to them.

I’m normally a sideways glance, look over my glasses kind of talker.

I used to see clearly that way.

Now I dont.

Now…I not only have to look people in the eyes….

But I have to be interested in what they are saying as well.

Clearly that’s an issue.

Why?

Because I have terrible hearing as well.

Next…the contact experiment.

Here is what the eye doctor told me about the contacts.

The one in my dominant eye is for farther distances.

The one for my other is for shorter distances.

My powers of deduction tell me that when I cross my eyes I should see perfectly.

I tried to start reading a book with my contacts in. 

In order for the words to not have a blurry halo around them I have come up with 4 choices.

1-

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Great……a constant look of surprise….or fear…I will let you decide.

2-

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Even better…..a patch-less pirate. Arrr matey.

3- Change out the contacts and wear my glasses for reading purposes.

And lastly,

4-Audiobooks.

For which I would have to listen in mono bucause my hearing is nowhere near compatible with stereo sound.

When I use headphones I only need one side.

Unfortunately, they don’t sell headphone.

Unless I want to look like a telemarketer…..which I dont.

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They never look tough and intimidating….just whiney and annoying. 

The Cabinet Makeover


For some D.I.Y. stands for “Does Involve Yelling” and not it’s intended moniker of “Do It Yourself”.

But,

When you think about it, any project taken on usually involves raised voices of some kind.

I’m sure we have all had some sort of disaster that has occurred when trying to complete a task for the first time.

Pinterest can’t  make artists out of all of us…..

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And who doesn’t want to create origami sculptures sure to impress….

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Origami….na zo good.

My wife and I take on some DIY projects from now and then.

It’s something we enjoy and we can do it together.

We just recently finished refurbishing a wardrobe cabinet.

We magically turned it into a kitchen storage cabinet.

We paid $37.50 for the cabinet at an antique shop here in the sticks.

I don’t know about anyone else thinks but basically an antique shop is a yard sale encased between 4 walls.

It comes down to buying what someone else wants to get rid of.

I’m cool with that.

It was pretty rickety……the cabinet….not me.

But, we had grand ideas for it.

Initially we hit up the Home Depot and bought shelving, stain, clear coat and nails…..

“Home Depot – you can do it….now pay for your crap and get out.”

And had already spent more than we paid for it.

That upset me…Cuz I’m a cheapskate.

We took the cabinet shelving back… its an old cabinet…..why put new shelves?

I went to work the next day, where I am remodeling a house. I took off the siding from the house a few weeks ago.
The siding was put up in the ’70’s.

It’s old.

But it’s solid wood and was in tremendous shape.

Old cabinet…..old shelves…

And bingo was his name….OH

I lined the inside of the cabinet with the siding to strengthen it up. Put 2 upper shelves and one shelf that opens like a trunk door, in order to store our larger cookware stuff and things.

What once was old and neglected is now functional and brings new life to our kitchen.

Here is the start to finish collage of our creation.

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All that done for under $70.

And the only yelling involved occurred when I smacked myself in the head when the door snuck open while I was staining underneath it.

Maybe, it should stand for-

Don’t Injure Yourself….

Contact High


I have been alive for enough decades to make a bold statement about decay.

Over the last few denominations of time, marked in series of tens, my eyesight has seriously been veering toward out of focus Avenue…..which is one block past the intersection of read the bottom line of letters on the chart again street and do even know the alphabet lane.

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I used to be able to read the “are you tall enough to ride this ride sign” from the flea circus that was attached to my dog, Mr. Bungledorf, from across the room…

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Now….

I take my best shot at hoping to put a flea collar on the dog instead of the vacuum cleaner.

It would be easy to say that it just happens with age.

Not for me…

I blame global warming.

The stupid polar ice caps are melting and sending colder air down towards normally warm Texas….

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And it had been happening for decades.

This colder air has been getting into my eyes…..freezing my optic nerve sensory pupilated cornea globes and therefore causing my eyesight to worsen.

I have had to change my vision sensors…otherwise known as glasses, 3 times over the last 6 years.

Now I have to wear bifocals….

FREAKING BIFOCALS

Get me Al Gore on the phone.

Anyway,

My new coke bottle prescription will be in….in a week or so.

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I’m getting contacts, too.

But, not until Thursday because I have to be shown how to put them in and clean them.

There sending me to Contact High for the lesson.

How hard could it be?

Just grab some tweezers to prop the lids open and apart……put the contact upside down on my finger and shove it in.

Done.

Class…..I don’t need no stinking class.

I just need to see so I can stop peeing in the closet in the middle of the night.

I used to not have to get up to pee in the middle of the night….

But that global warming……..

The Faults In The Plan


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‘Til death do us part is not a wedding day challenge to see who will do away the other.

That does not stop my wife from asking me if I am planning to kill her.

I mean that in the sense that she asked me that very question.

I laughed.

And that only fueled her speculation.

So I had to ask….

Why?

She says it’s because I have become withdrawn and reclusive and spend too much time watching…”those shows” on the Netflix.

Withdrawn?…….

Reclusive?…….

Ok…..I can see that without killing any time arguing but “those shows”?

COME ON!

It’s just TV.

I really haven’t watched any TV shows in the last 5-6 years but once I became a mysterious recluse I had to have something to do, so I have been indulging.

I started with “The Blacklist”. A guy on the FBI most wanted turns himself in and wants to help them catch other most wanted dudes but will only talk to a rookie FBI chick if they agree. It’s fast and dramatic. Twists and turns ….blah blah blah. What is really great is the most wanted guy kills without discretion or emotion. He is quite the role model.

(That’s not helping my cause much)

Next….”The Killing”. All I can say about this series is after I was done with the 4 seasons is I needed a shower….badly.

Not because I watched it from start to finish without stopping but because every character made me feel gross about liking the show so much. Lying, shadyness, back stabbing, and the unthinkable killings…..just great stuff!

I just started watching “Dexter”. Police forensics guy who moonlights as a serial killer.

Like I said…..its just TV.

Anyway, I’m not planning on killing her.

And here are my reasons why…..

1- Any time a wife is murdered who is the first suspect?

The husband.

That would be me.

I get grilled when I don’t match the socks right and fold like a cheap suit when I try to deny involvement.

Lesson learned here….I am a terrible liar.

2- To get out of being a suspect an alibi is needed.

If you have read this far, then you will recall that I am a recluse…..a social misfit…more alone than a ribeye at a vegan festival.

I am either with my wife, alone or at work….where I work…..ALONE.

The only ones who could verify my whereabouts would be my dogs….and for a beef basted biscuit they would say anything….BUT THEY CAN’T TALK!

Lesson learned here…..don’t expect any meat n greet at vegan gatherings. That would be barking up the wrong tree.

and lastly…

3- We have been married over 6 years. I’ve never been with anyone who thought I was planning to kill them. It kinda warms my heart.

I’d like that warming to continue-

Til death do us part.