How lazy is lazy?

Yesterday (Saturday) I broke out the clippers, best 18 dollar investment ever though my lack of skill is clearly evident underneath my hat and stood in the shower (not running) as I always do when I break out the clippers and did a bit of a clip around the old noggin and the cheeks (face cheeks ya weirdo’s).

The hair that fell has been sitting on the floor of the shower since then just waiting for me to sweep it up and warning me, in my dozen or so trips to the bathroom in the interim (I’m old – I trip to the bathroom a lot) that I’m going to be pissed if it’s still there tomorrow (Monday) morning.

Well, just now, I finally brought in the broom and dustpan … and leaned them up against the wall by the light switch.

Lazy takes small steps.

Stink Bugs & Me

Stink Bug


  • any of numerous broad, flat bugs of the family Pentatomidae, that emit a disagreeable odor.
  • any of various other malodorous bugs.



  • in a Pittsburgh Pirates hat with cats, singular and thin (minus that beer bulb above his belt) of the family Frankenberry human
  • malodorous or disagreeable scents are only for cats to decide and they poop in an open air box so they’re not much to judge

Stink Bugs seem to be a fan of my apartment, and me, and I’m guessing some of you might be able to relate.

Stink Bug 02-20-21

Now, I’m not overrun, sometimes in the summer there might come the occasional mini swarm of ‘em but, though it is just a few, but there is never a time where there aren’t at least a couple to be found hanging around somewhere in this place, doin’ Stink Buggy stuff, which is generally just that, hanging around, on or in or under things and usually found with a bit of surprise. Now they  don’t freak me out, mind you, as they might some and there is no knee jerk to quickly kill them as could be the case with others or even you. It’s not a “me or them” kinda thing, they pose no real threat to my life as far as I can tell, well, except for maybe that one crazy for bug and bug country kamikaze flying stinker who might hit you full buzzing speed fly mid yawn to get lodged in your choking throat becoming a folk hero to Stink Bugs all across Stink Bug Nation but, otherwise, they’re pretty harmless.

My ex, Maria, was on the freak out end of the stink bug, or any bug reaction spectrum and found no humor in me finding humor in her freak outyness or my smiling indifference to complying with her demands to kill them as she cowered with eyes wide and a pointed finger. Even the JG, her son, cowered and pointed the same. And he was a kid. Isn’t gotta crush bugs right in a kid’s wheelhouse? I don’t know, maybe there was some early childhood trauma associated with bugs I wasn’t aware of before we threw in our hats. A spider on his pillow whispering nightmares, a centipede crawling leg legs legs legs legs over his arm in the middle of the night, an aunt that came out from under the floorboards and squeezed his cheek too tightly giving unwelcome kisses? If so, apologies for sounding callous JG, but Stink Bugs, for the most part, are pretty simple, slow meandering things who don’t really do much, flit to flying only on occasion, but usually are pretty easy to gather into my catch and release empty Friskies cat food can … have open window, will Stink Bug travel.

You see Stink Bugs and I here have come to a sort of understanding. You stay away from the bed, especially my pillow, you don’t buzz my noggin tower in the middle of the night, you stay away from my sundries and my bathroom towels, you back off on the Human vs Stink Bug wartime propaganda to try and keep your kamikaze prone in check and I in turn … won’t kill you. I think that’s pretty fair. I will even call all of you Ralph (apologies femme stinkies – and any Ralph’s that may be reading this … or hearing this) to sort of, though generically, personalize our relationship and make you feel more at home and give you a bit more reason to stick to our agreement.

Now occasionally there are those that will break the armistice though some of it is my own doing. I don’t use my bathroom hand towel very often, for example, so when I do come across a Stink Bug on it I can’t be overly upset and just resort to a, you know, willy nilly lobbing of killings at all Stink Bugs. It’s what they do. Ya leave an anything hanging too long, some rogue Stink Bug gonna test the waters, or cloths. I can give that a pass, but there was a situation a couple of evenings ago that seriously tested our truce.

After getting home and going about my routine of getting to the top of the stairs and greeting Mimi the Quirky (always waiting just there amid a tappy tappy toe toe tap tap to the floor stretch) with a pick up to my shoulder where she awkwardly enjoys my pets and hello’s in her quirky, old girl shy to the touch squirmy kinda way, then giving a pet and a wink to my little Bella and being quiet so as to NOT wake up Cricket the Blind, that’s when the meowling and counter clockwise circles pacing starts if you do, I began cleaning up after Cricket the Blind who can take the simplest of cat functions like water bowling or litter boxing and make them the not simplest of messes (she literally fights with the water in the water bowl and splashes it around like she’s trying to teach it a lesson for saying something it should regret before drinking it off her paw). Then it was to filling some cat bowls with some cat food, get a plate of some Steve food ready and get changed into some comfies all before I made my way to the bathroom for my evening … ummm … my evening make way to the bathroom.

When I was finished with this evening make way to the bathroom I stood, and just before my bend down for the pull up a Stink Bug fell … to the floor … from, oh God no please … to just between my heels inside my underwear waiting for that pull up and just before slowly Stink Bugging away.

I said earlier that Stink Bugs don’t freak me out, and they don’t, though this came close to qualifying. It had an at first glance obviousness that I was just unwilling to consider.

Could that have?

Is it possible it?

Am I a freak?

I detectived.

Did you feel any tickles or scratching during the day I said to a me?

No. (penciling notes on my little mental detective notepad)

Did anyone at work comment on your butt muscles moving in any strange way while you walked past them?


Plus that could have possibly prompted a call to Bev in HR. 

Were you the subject of a coolly looking though horrific scene in a monster movie watching under skin bumps slowly rolling, crawling from your brain to your buttocks?


Do you have any weird ass entomological predilections you should never, EVER, mention out loud in any company, mixed or not, if so?


Then, continuing to detective, I thought of other places that a Stink Bug could have fallen from to between my heels instead of out of what was just too much to consider.

Then, light bulb! (save my thoughts light bulb please).

I had just put on a long sleeve T-shirt that was laying on the futon from the Saturday before’s laundry and had been for almost a week (my futon is kind of like a dresser, just minus the folding, the drawers and the picture frames, with my actual dresser envious of the use and attention). Yeah, that’s it I thought. That’s the ticket. It must have just fallen from the inside of my long sleeved T-shirt I kept thoughting.

I went with that.

I had to.

Could I have, again, possibly started lobbing killings, as this could be considered a breaking of our Stink Bugs & Me treaty or do I instead go with the aforementioned understanding that the unattended can be considered fair game in Stink Bug Land?

Alright Ralph, we are good for now my friend. We’ll just call this a one off. But please, if ya can, just grab and hold on to shit in my closet that I never wear will ya? Stop falling out of the seeming unimaginable. It’s very  uncomfortable at the thought.

Stink Bug & Marvin


Yesterday morning, after a stand up from my … uhhhhh … make way to the bathroom in the morning pre-shower a something fell to the floor between my heels. Again. And it was a little on the hairy side. Bella, who is always my company around my legs and feet before I jump in the shower in the mornings, stepped over my feet to sniff at it … then promptly hightailed it out of there as if she had just sniffed at a cat demon or been bitten in the ass. Now it was nothing more than laundry fluff from yet another recently washed and dried long sleeve, layed on the futon dresser, but it scared the shit out of a cat enough to a mad sprint. Truthfully, it kinda concerned me a bit too. But,  at least it just stayed there, it sat, all hairy and maybe worrisome but, it just sat.

In Bella’s defense it was some pretty frightening looking laundry fluff – something that John Carpenter might have imagined could sprout legs and scamper off malevolently  – but it was still just laundry fluff.

Seems new agreements might need to be reached though with laundry fluff.

Dark Days – They Wish (Song) … Your Beer’ll Just Have To Wait

Just a few weeks ago I got a notification at Facebook of being tagged. It was a tag to a posting of a link to Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish”.  Seems the hearing of that song has always reminded a them of a me and our fond days of inhabiting a place called “Monico’s” in Pittsburgh back in the early 90’s.  A Rock ‘N’ Roll bar I bartended at part time around my radio schedule at WDVE back then. I responded back that I could still see myself playing the “air horns”, elbows up and dancing back and forth behind the bar, as if in choreographed unison with some unseen other members of the horn section, ignoring all drink orders until the song and my horns and imaginary bandmates were done.

It got me to thinking though. Could I maybe sing along with this one with some new lyrics as I’ve done quite a few times in the last couple of years deservedly skewering Great Leader/former great leader, the orange one, with some other tunes? Maybe a little something about our current state of surreal affairs? 

Yeah, I think I could. 

“What? You want a beer? Sorry, you’re just going to have to wait … hell, just milk it will ya? … I don’t give a fuck about your warm backwash … just wait … can’t ya see I’m air hornin’ and dancin’ and singin’ about some bat shit insanity?”

Dark Days (they wish)

Looking back on lost years and an orange headed lyin’ boy

Whose one and only con-cern was power and just how earn from ploy

We watched and listened sadly, the starkness of the thing

That had support too many, discipled GOP

Truth went out the window, propaganda became the truth de jour

Echoed many sides now, podiums to pundits even went on tour

The press tried too late stem tide, point out all the lies

But they opened up that window, just tryin’ now save hides

They were dark days … you’d … think we’d want no more

Some truly sad … days … attack norms at the core 

But some still want … those … days to darken doors

Now hold se-di-tious dreams, yeah, they hold a torch 

They hold a torch

The time came to be counted, a real count not a one that aimed at steal

Enough of us did stand up, a threat was posed and seen saw to be real 

But even then some hundred plus signed on to a deal 

To stand with former power mad with fraud as the new spiel

That led to insurrection, encouraged violence for a new rule

With help also from inside who even took some to tour of new school

Useful idi-ots follow dumb as useful tools

The Gaetz, Hawley’s, McCarthy’s fools who know the fools

They were dark days … you’d … think they’d want no more

Some truly sad … days … attack norms at the core 

But some still want … those … days to darken doors

Now hold se-di-tions dreams, yeah they hold a torch 

They hold a torch

Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doodah doo

Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

Trump: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election”

“Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Olivia Troye: “very concerned that there will be violence on January 6th because the president himself encourages it.”

Ted “Bad Beard Breath” Cruz: “We will not go quietly into the night. We will defend liberty. And we are going to win.”

Trump and Jr.: “fight like hell.”

Jr.: “We need to fight.”

Trump: “They’re not taking this White House. We’re going to fight like hell.”

“… and we fight, we fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Giuliani: “Let’s have trial by combat´

Mo “Box of Rocks” Brooks: “… Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Trump: “American Patriots,”

“… We love you, you’re very special.” 

Trump: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!



My sis, yesterday, posted, with a few pics, of a hangin’ with the girls, the blessed old guard, and of games played and laughs had, Mom, Aunt Lib and Aunt Elfriede, her own girl being one of mostly smiling fond observer status I’m sure (unless there were $ involved in the games – then I know all bets were off/on and someone definitely got fleeced). Cousin Josephine noted in a response to that post that all that was missing was her Mom, my Aunt Anne, Aunt D’Artagnan, to round out the three musketeers to the right four. Growing up these four were a mainstay and our rocks. if only Aunt Marie could have joined more often they would have made quite the formidable team and screwed up so many musketeer stories.

I sat in the middle at family get togethers when I was a kid. I loved the stories my dad would tell, joyfully being part of the rapt, while I kept my cousins at bay, never quite fitting with a kid’s day, playing just enough, but I always thought to be in the kitchen listening to Mom and the girls talking shit over a dinner’s prep and glasses of wine, Aunt Marie always giving them a nod and a smile from a table in the center.

These pictures Beck?


Aunt Lib has never forgotten my birthday in my 50 + years and always with a dollar or two in a card and a “Hey Kid” phone call knowing that however old I am I could use it, the dollars sure but more importantly the phone call. I can never do the same as how are you going to send a card with a 5 or 10 or 20 spot to your Aunt at 50 + years old? You can’t repay such things as an overgrown “kid” with dollars in a card so I make sure to well spend a call caught or a one back or make one myself and joke briefly about how we don’t agree on some stuff and how about them Steelers but most times just to listen to Aunt Lib doing all the talking rat-a-tat-tat-like as she always does, agree or not.

She talks … fast.

I dare you to get a word in edgewise.


Aunt Anne and Uncle Don welcomed me with open arms, so many years ago, when I needed a place to escape to from broken things, to try and start again, some Florida sun seeming the ticket and to join my cousin Connie, even taking my Benny (the Ben) at the time into the fold. They had their couch spots and chair spots in the living room for some TV at the end of a day so you just had to be Ok with floor spots crosslegged if you were going to hang. I was good with that. Always so much more room and nothing uncomfortable or too close on a floor anyway. Aunt Anne always allowed a stretch out with a welcoming, hearty and so infectious laugh. I’d fall asleep there sometimes if I had a pillow for the stretch.


Aunt Elfriede has the most perfect of names. Elfriede. It seems to fit and not just because that is all I’ve ever known to call her but that it seems elf-like and fantastical just like her. She calls me “Stephen” in the most wonderful of tiny lady German accents, accents that just can’t be lost no matter how long the time stateside, like my Mom’s English. I can joke about how I might take a step back at the calling me Stephen, a stop, the full name call indicating that I might have something to explain or apologize for. I’ve always just been “Frankenberry” a name with silly distinction but one I’ve tried to own since a pink sugary cartoon character arrived with bad jokes and prank phone calls when I was 7, on the radio or “Hello customer service? Name? yes Stephen with a “P H” and “Frankenberry” just like the cereal.

But when Aunt Elfriede says “Hello Stephen” I’m good, no stop. There’s no admonishment to follow. It’s just warm. And who doesn’t love the lilt of an accent at the sayin’ of your name?


I get lost on occasion, I anger at the world and the stupid we seem forced to endure, the dangerous empowered stupid that keeps us on an edge that none of us want, especially now, a stupid that is almost too much to bear sometimes but then my sister posts a picture, pictures, of the girls, and I remember that there is a tether.

Thanks Beck.