Baggage Accents


I hear somewhere that Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest….

That somewhere is not here.

Sunday is the day where I do all the crap I can’t do when I’m working.

So there’s no rest for the…..

HEY!! WHERE DO YOUR SHOES GO WHEN YOU AREN’T WEARING THEM?…..

That’s right,  not here….get to steppin’ you gonna have to get a job eventually teenager that thinks there’s a promising future in laying around the house all weekend!

Sorry….where was I?

Oh, yeah…crap I can’t do during the week….

Sunday is my doing the laundry day. I have been doing this grand task every week since before we got married.

Why, you must be asking is the man doing all the laundry?…..

Because it bring me FREAKING PEACE.

And…

That’s how our family tumbles and dries ’round here.

I usually have around 5 loads to do. That is, as long as I remember to look under the bed, sofas, behind doors, on the ceiling fans, etc.

If you do laundry regularly, then you know the drill.

Sunday is also weekly grocery shopping day.

My wife and I experience this together.

Mainly because, if she goes by herself…I end up placing a missing persons report, due to the fact that there are TOO MANY LABLES TO READ throughout the store. She has multiple food allergies and wants everything….she just can’t have everything.

If I go by myself…..

I will get back so fast that I end up going back MULTIPLE times in order to get what we need.

It just works out better of we do it together.

So….

We get to our local chain grocery store and begin the slow one wheel is always clunky ride down the aisles with the cart.

About 45 minutes later we are at the checkout…..ready to deplete our bank account significantly.

Cashier – Paper or plastic?

Me– Plastic….I’m allergic to paper.

My wife – No your not. Plastic, please.

Grocery Bagger Guy– How would you like this sacked.

Cashier– He always asks that.

My wife– I want it sacked perfectly. Meats with meat. Cleaning stuff with cleaning stuff and so on.

Grocery Bagger Guy– Yes maam.

Me– I want it bagged alphabetically….and repeated back to me as it is done….with a European accent.

Grocery Bagger Guy– Ummm what…..sir

Me– You asked me how we wanted it bagged. I want it bagged alphabetically and repeated back with a European accent.

Grocery Bagger Guy– …….I’ve never been to Europe……

Sunday…..if ya can’t rest….at least make it worth it.

Acoustic Blue


Having a successful marriage means making time to spend time together.

It’s hard when both of us work full time jobs and have other interests that fill up the time on the clock quickly.

With only 24 hours in each day, it is imperative to show that even though those things are important…..

They are not as important as we are to each other.

We have been showing our importance for each other for over 7 years.

Last night we had our Valentines date night.

Yeah…it was a week late but the calender doesn’t tell me what day in Feb. we have to celebrate it.

We strut to the strum of our guitars in good2begone land.

Our date started with a drive to our local historic 100 year old theater to see a live show.

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An intimate acoustic evening with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October.

When we planned to do this. I wanted it with all the bells and whistles that could possibly go along with it.

When we bought tickets online, we also got to purchase meet and greet tickets.

Which meant, before the show, we got to meet and greet the artist.

I’m not a starstruck paparazzi stalker kind of guy….

But…..

When you get the real chance to meet an artist that is inspires and moves you,

That doesn’t involve hiding in the bushes or breaking into the DMV records department,

It’s a win win!

So….

We arrived at 4:30 to wait for the shindig to commence…..

In a line with about 100 other fans who wanted the same experience.

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(Picture courtesy of new friend Mac Cochran, who has a group site on Facebook called “For the love of Blue October”, check him out on there. He and his family are headed to the next show in Denton, Tx.)

We were all escorted into the theater around 6, and down to the orchestra section in front of the stage.

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Justin came on stage, sat in the chair, spoke to all of us for a few and then played a song that will be on the band’s new album that will come out in April.

He then invited all of us all upstairs to personally meet him, talk with him and get a picture and autographed poster from the show.

I got the poster, a tshirt, and a book of his lyrics and writings….signed…BOOYAH.

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The name of the book….and his home recording studio- “Crazy Making”…..no wonder I’m a fan.

Like I said, I’m not a celebrity stalker. When I had the chance to speak with him, I told him I hadn’t seen a live show since getting sober. His show would be my first.

He shook my hand, said thanks, and asked how long I’ve been sober.

I said over 9 years. He smiled and said,

“I’ve got 4. It’s amazing isn’t it? Man, I hope you enjoy the show. It’s  all about my journey.  Thanks for coming and supporting me!”

After my wife talked with him and basically told him to write

“I LOVE YOU” on her signed poster we took a picture with him.

Can’t call me a stalker…..but her….hmmmm.
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Chicks always fall for the rock star.

Here is her signed poster, along with a tshirt and Cd from the opening act, Tori Vasquez.

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Who, by the way, is incredible. She played for about half an hour. Just her voice and an electric guitar. Definitely worth supporting!

We then, took our seats and waited for the show.

Justin came on around 9 and played for around 2 hours running through a sampling of the songs he had written over the band’s 20 year career.

The emotion and passion he puts into his craft is hypnotizing and emotional. 

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About halfway through the show, the mic went out.

Without missing a beat, he pushed the stand aside and finished the show without it.

Our date night finished around midnight…..Over 7 hours after it started.

A 7 hour date.

With the same woman I started it with.

I’m pretty sure this might turn into something special. 

Anatomy Of A Mom


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To some…..this is probably an odd family photo.

Not all of the individuals….look…..like family.

But alas, they are family.

My family.

This is a tribute to my Mom.

After her and my father got married. They yearned to start a family.

But,

doctors told her there was a higher than likely chance that she would not be able to.

That was not a deterrence in their quest.

The love of motherhood did not have to emanate from her womb, it could blossom from adoption.

My older brother, sitting next to her in the photo, would be their first child.

Fast forward a bit more than a year later.

The higher than likely chance of not conceiving a child turned out to be a false prophesy……

I was born.

That’s me in the top left of the photo…..kind of.

Now she was Mom to 2.

A year and a half later……

2 became 3 with the birth of my younger brother. That’s him with the bewildered look in the Grey shirt that matches my Dad’s shirt.

Raising 3 boys all similar in age was challenging I am sure.

We were more than a handful.

But,

my Mother always longed to have a daughter.

She was an only child.

She has lots of knowledge to pass on that her dirty muddy always breaking things boys just wouldn’t understand.

Fast forward 9 long years after the birth of her last child.

Her and my father turned to adoption, once again.

Through friends of friends they learned of a couple that was having a child that they could not keep.

They and there 4 other children were living in rough conditions and could not afford another child.

My parents were contacted and told them they would be there for the birth and if the child was a female they would adopt her.

Enter my youngest brother, standing next to me and above my Father.

When he was born, my Mother held him and looked into his eyes his newly opened eyes and couldn’t…..not…..adopt him.

That’s how 3 became 4.

Discouraged to be daughterless but overjoyed with her new son, life continued on………

For 1 month and 1 day.

With a single phone call, 4 would become 5.

We have family friends that live in Chihuahua, Mexico.

They knew of my Mother’s desire to have a daughter.

I’m not sure if it is still true or not, but, back then having a child out of wedlock was a big no no in Mexico.

The phone call told the story of a prominent doctor who had a daughter who gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock. She would not be allowed to keep her.  They preferred to have the child grow up in America.

Before my parents could hang up the phone, they were loading up the car and driving to receive the gift she always wanted.

A daughter, standing at the far right of the photo.

A photo may be worth a thousand words.

To the 5 kids surrounding the woman in the center of this one, it only says one-

Mom.

Paint It Black


I don’t do death well.

I can make up stories with it as a main topic, watch stuff on the dummy box that is engulfed in it, read the news every day where it is a mainstay of virility.

But in reality, it’s not that easy.

It is the end result of life.

Once the first cry out of the womb is bellowed, the clock to the end…..begins.

As expected as it is…….whenever it happens it is almost never expected.

When it does happen…and it is someone that at one time or another I ran around with, it becomes hard for me to deal with.

You know…..I’ve been clean and sober for quite a few years now.

The actual length of that time really doesn’t matter to me anymore. I don’t and haven’t been in AA or any other support group for a considerable length of time either.

I love being sober.

I just don’t feel I need to talk about it to be able to maintain it.

I just do.

I also hated seeing people coming in and out, in and out, in and out……until some just quit coming back in.

“Someone may have to die for me to say sober” I would hear in meetings.

Which I think is crap, by the way.

Anyway….

There’s this guy I used to sponsor when I was in AA.

Every time I saw him I would say,

“Dude….you’ve got tattoos….ON YOUR FACE!”

I would say that, because he did.

He would come over and have dinner with my family almost every night. We would talk about what was going on and my wife and I would give him suggestions.

Always to the point….never beating around the proverbial bush.

Before I sponsored him, he had like 12 other sponsors.

After me, probably many others.

Regardless of the state of his sobriety and my exit from AA, we remained friendly and in contact.

He would come around.

Then be gone.

And….repeat.

We got word yesterday that he got killed by getting run over by a car shortly after getting kicked out of a sober living house.

I hadn’t seen or spoke to him in a few months but he will be on my mind every day.

I drive a beat up truck that was green when it rolled of the factory floor decades ago.

When I got it, it had been completely spray painted black….with individual spray paint cans and recently repossessed by the owner for lack of payment. 

The guy who it was repossessed from was the same one who spray painted it.

And was the same guy I used to sponsor that had tattoos on his face.

I’m just kind of numb.

Emotions aren’t my thing either.

I just hope he is now at peace.

As for me…

I will keep on truckin’

Memory Lane


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Norman Bates: …..No one really runs away from anything. It’s like a private trap that holds us in like a prison. You know what I think? I think that we’re all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and we claw, but only at the air, only at each other, and for all of it, we never budge an inch.

Marion Crane: Sometimes… we deliberately step into those traps.

Norman Bates: I was born into mine. I don’t mind it anymore.

Marion Crane: Oh, but you should. You should mind it.

Norman Bates: Oh, I do…
[laughs]…..But I say I don’t.

Quotes from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”

Image by good2begone.

Gilligan’s Planet


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Bad ideas happen everyday.

Most of the time the person or persons who have the idea believe that it is actually the greatest idea of all time…..until they put it into action.

Months of planning, high fives, chants of “you can do it” and “this is a virtually foolproof idea” culminate in that faithful day where the inevitable happens.

It turns out to be a…..

Bad idea.

Age will tell if you get this reference or not-

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The famed Snake Canyon rocket bike jump by Evil Kneivel.

Se that arrow pointing to the bottom…..that’s where he ended up…..live….on TV.

That entire event from obvious drunken bet with friends to getting pulled out of the canyon was a bad idea.

Now….

The world greatest daredevil association, known more commonly as NASA, has an idea that they plan to put into action in around 10 years or so.

And…

They already have 100 volunteers that are getting the high fives and hearing what a great idea it is and are willing to participate in going on a one way trip to Mars.

There will be no return flight because there is no Chevron on Mars…..

Or anything else for that matter.

At least, that’s what I get from the video sent from the lego toy robot we supposedly have there already.

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I don’t know how they picked this special group of 100, but I would think that seeing how our planet is made up of such a large cross-section of people that each section would have to be represented.

I did a few Google searches on our planet….first was “How many countries are in the world”-

U.N. Members: 193
U.N. Observer States: 2 
States With Partial Recognition: 2  
Inhabited Dependent Territories: 45
Uninhabited Territories: 6
Antarctica: 1
Total: 249

This where my first red flag went up. There are more countries than people being sent.

Which ones will start the political uprising for being left out?

Next Google question, “How many languages are used in the world?”

While many believe the number of languages in the world is about 6,500, according to Ethnologue, there are 7,106 living languages as of 2014. Although this number might be the latest count, there is no one clear answer as to the exact number of languages that still exist. There has always been the question as to how many languages are there in the world. One might think that linguists will have a definite idea on the exact number, but as it turns out, there are many different reasons why determining a full count of world languages is quite difficult. It cannot simply be attributed to the fact that there are still parts of the world that have not yet been fully explored, such as the Amazon forest areas and the highlands of New Guinea.

RED FLAG #2!!!

Unless a few of the 100 are fluent in a more than 2 languages then we are not representing everyone.

RED FLAG #3

Whoa! Hold on just a second….there are still parts of Earth that are not fully explored? Shouldn’t we finish screwing up every part of our world BEFORE we start venturing off to one that has been just fine without us?

Question #3, “How many religions are there in the world?”

 A comparative survey of churches and religions – AD 30 to2200, there are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones.

RED FLAG NUMERO QUATRO!!

The people of Earth love their gods. Can we really afford to leave any out. What if the one that isn’t represented is the one that knows Mars the best?

So many red flags……

No wonder we are going to the red planet.

Obviously, there was a more scientific way to figure out the 100.

I just had to think in terms of castaways…..

planetary castaways.

They will have to have someone to get them there. It will take 7-9 months to travel 140,000,000 miles.

They need a guide. A navigator. A map knowing person-

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There really can’t be a colonization of a new planet without someone who knows a lot of stuff. You know….scientific stuff…a brilliant mind sort of stuff-

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You gotta have chicks. Chicks have style and grace. Every planet needs style and grace-

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Not just chicks….but country chicks as well. Style and grace only gets you so far. You gotta have a country chick that takes no crap and can show the rest of the planet how to agriculturally prosper-

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This whole venture ain’t goin nowheres without the rich folk. After all, it’s going to take a lot of money to complete this one way trip. A few of them are going to have to go along-

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The rest of the hundred are more or less supporting cast members that will do what the rest tell them and just be happy to get away…..forever.

Except for the one guy that goes on the trip that no one accounts for. He may screw things up, make every one mad and is a constant thorn in the side of progress but he is everyone’s little buddy.

Mars…..meet your leader-

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Regardless of how the 100 are picked, this is a bad idea.

I can’t even go the Walmart with my family without having an outburst.

And,

There are no rest stops between here and Mars. I hope they remember to pack the febreze.

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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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….

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.