Staring At Walls

As I sit here blindly or knowingly staring at walls into nothing looking for a couple of words with a blank numbing dumb, I realize that gratefulness has it’s moments, that still breathing has it’s advantages, at least when it comes to trying to tell a story. Even with “It was a dark and stormy night” as a best of friend recently joked at the thought of starting her book being enough as long as these digits can still type even a time honored cliché.

2020 couldn’t have been worse, we’re all well aware of that, so much pain and loss, along with so much disarray, so much anger, so much divide, so much stupid, and a stupid that just doesn’t want to give up it’s stranglehold on our everyday it seems, a hopeful tomorrow that you wished might come just a bit easier continues to mock you everyday on your waking.

It’s a bad Groundhog’s Day as I roll over and look to that Pirates clock on my wall that says “Yeah, you’re still here numnuts, but good luck … tick, tick”.

So, I blindly or knowingly stare at walls into nothing, digits at the ready, while still continuing to breathe, wanting to find a simple, a sense of normalcy that I’m afraid will always now elude us.

So just some trivial notes of a me with a breath instead. It’s the only “normal” I got.


It was like the arrival of Steve Martin’s phone book, the excitement I felt at another Steve, the boss at WHUD, bringing me a package upstairs to my little studio … and without a sheet or sheets of paper of new imaging stuff in his hand.  I wanted to jump up and shout to M Emmet Walsh “my new underwear is here, my new underwear is here!!”.

It’s silly but I recently posted about my underwear (I know, for like the 11 of you that follow me, you’re saying “that’s why we visit the Attic Frankenberry … underwear”) and being struck by the revelation that I got a gift card from the boss here and from that friend and even some welcome cash from another that I could now actually buy some new pairs and replace the disappointing ones I bought not too long ago at a K-Mart close out that just decided to give up the ghost on doing what underwear does, namely staying on my ass and not, instead, sliding down to my thighs underneath my sweatpants. He even gave me a second gift card as a genuine thank you for my work so I splurged and added some socks and plain solid colored T-shirts to the order … I think.

A livin’ on the edge understandable jumping excitement right?


For the last week I fostered a cat, a kitten from downstairs. “Drumstick”. An unfortunate name stemming from an injured leg that came about from the indifference of those that just shouldn’t cat or just shouldn’t dog or just shouldn’t pet, period.

He was a cool little guy, let me pet him but only from a bend down, breaths out knee creak grunts, lay on my side on the hardwood outstretched hand underneath the dresser or the couch kinda thing. Though I did see some venturing out from the beneaths, even happily noting that he enjoyed the top of the couch on a comfy blanket on my old man trips to the bathroom only thinking I had to pee in the middle of the night he really wasn’t comfortable here, his anti-social being a thing which I understand

Celie said she would take him to her sister’s place, a one who is better at this type of thing.

To me though it was a bit of a defeat. Yes, I’m happy that he might have a better shot at acclimating with Celie’s sister but my catness took a blow, especially when I consider my stray gray Grayson, my great save, who I took so much time and care with to bring into the fold from his angry combative seemingly feral band-aid inducing lonely outside world to a warm one with friendship, comfort and soft places with Bella and I at the old apartment and who turned out to be the best of friends, even, after a nudge at my nose, sleeping on my arm under the covers on cold winter nights.

Freakin’ Yin and Yang.


Celie got me an air fryer for Christmas this year which makes that matte black metal hang on small walls pineapple thingy I got her pale in comparison. But she likes pineapples and, as we  get each other gifts every year, things not necessary, but so welcome, I hope a small matte black pineapple might find a spot.


Got an email that a package had been delivered to the station on New Year’s Eve, just after I had left (I actually got a chance to leave early on one of these “Eves” as is always the case with the boss and the rest of the gang but not always with me. It was nice). It even came with a picture from the delivery person of it sitting atop our station mailbox, though that’s kind of cold. I’m thinking successful delivery pics should come with a selfie and a smile. I don’t know you but for the briefest of moments I did, so maybe a share.

“My something is here, my something is here!!” I bounced happy from home to M Emmet Walsh again, a “something” because, in my glory of a couple of nice sized gift cards and new underwear splurge, I can’t quite remember what I ordered.

Well, I do like surprises.


One of the cost cutting measures here at the beginning of the nightmare of this past year was to cut our voice folks, the ones you hear with the zips and zaps and quick effects between songs, a female and male voice bouncing back and forth, pieces I build. But those voices have to be replaced if they’re not to be paid, thus I’m the new one on the male end of one of the big stations here. I always thought how cool it would be to be that voice, to tell my Ma or my Sister or my Brother to listen, or even Dad years ago like with a cassette of one of my on air shifts as a jock as a sort of validation for my choices. “Hey Dad, that’s me!”

Has it afforded me much? Well, I guess that’s relative. If somehow continuing to pay the rent and to buy beer and cat food is relative then so be it.

I’ll take being that voice as a matter of pride for the moment though getting paid for it is in order eventually.


Well, back to walls and a stare … damned words.  Sometimes they’re so difficult to find.


Another email of yet another package being delivered.

Shit dude, what the hell did your flurry of gift cards bring?

Did I mention that I’m grateful and love surprises?

Still breathin’.

Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper

A good friend at work thought to try something new this holiday season, a box of different snacks from around the world to maybe share with his family for a bit of fun. Who wouldn’t want to sample snack treats from across the globe, to see (taste) what other folk’s version of chips and cookies and popcorn and other assorted indulgences were like? To maybe make a connection with unknown friends as to what were their favorite munchables were while all doing the same things we do, watching the tube, enjoying little get togethers with stuff in bowls or on plates or just mindless grabbing and popping while working at your desk or working from home?
He said it didn’t go quite as planned.
I think I might know why.
Nothing says “shared snack experience” like a chip that approximates, and I definition quote “a sheep’s or calf’s offal mixed with suet, oatmeal, and seasoning and boiled in a bag, traditionally one made from the animal’s stomach” … BUT with black pepper in chip, or crisp form (and you don’t even want to go further for a definition of “offal”).
I know black pepper could possibly be the game saver but still …
Maybe next year just a box of snacks from your local deli my friend and the knowing that we all snack worldwide and just leave it at that.
Some simple, boring Lays chips all around gang … with dip.
Haggis & Black Pepper Crisps

An Early Wakeup And Cheap Underwear

So, Christmas Eve morning I actually got up a bit earlier than my alarm, which is normally set at 7:45am with a clock’s math that’s been well figured after 3 plus years in this spot at an hour and a half from the time of wake up to the arrival at work at 9am.

I know, for those quick clock mathed of you, you’re saying “well that clock’s math is a bit off there Frankenberry, that would get you there at 9:15am”. Yes, it would. But I tell myself two things.

One: If I uncurl up yawn legs facing left as always from underneath my comforter a little faster and throw them to the right side of the bed foots on the floor a little quicker. If I wash tomorrow’s cats bowls the night before so they’re at the ready. If I walk with a bit more haste to the shower and only give Bella two belly rubs amid her morning “Steve’s awake” yawn from my other comforter layed perfectly spot in the large closet instead of three, If I don’t tiredly sing that song stuck in my head all the way through, only maybe the chorus, while soaping and rinsing, if I don’t say good morning for too long to Celie in her kitchen downstairs as she coffee’s, if I only also say good morning to just half of the fur and feather here on the hill instead of all of them (which I could never do) as I try to hit the door I might be able to shave a couple of minutes off of the 9:15am.

But you’re probably also saying “Well, why don’t you just set your alarm for 7:30am instead of 7:45?” Nonsense I then say!! 7:30am is always the intention but that 15 “extra” minutes is huge the night before as you time out a wakeup and how much is left of that episode of your latest obsession that you told yourself not to start.

Two: Fudge. You do have an App for the timeclock on your phone and an eye for cops who might think you’re texting or maybe leave the door open to your little studio the night before with your lamplights on as if you were there, leaving any who may get to checking to think you’re just downstairs morning Frankenberry sandwiching.

Anyway, I actually got up a bit early, around 7, right side bed foots and a silencing of my alarm, as I had things to do at work that have been pressing on me and I thought an early start might actually allow the 3pm leave early that is always the hoped case on Christmas and New Year’s Eve which of course didn’t happen (screw you universe). I even tried to take all of the steps in point one to save me MORE time after this early wake up though Bella’s yawn demanded her third belly rub … seconds Bella! You’re costing me seconds!!

But after my shower singing only the chorus of that song in my head which thankfully wasn’t Mariah Carey’s “All I Want Is You” from a couple of mornings ago – what a nightmare, but instead was my head’s go-to  of Counting Crows “Rain King” which, for some reason is always there, somewhere in the back, and as I grabbed my underwear off of the futon dresser from last Saturday morning’s throw of a hamper of the washed and dried I realized I was trying to pick out which pairs wouldn’t fall off of my ass below my pandemic sweatpants, the new pairs I had bought not too long ago. Seems elastics are not all that lasting these days. Hell, I’ve got some sundries older than your kids that still do the purpose and you can’t give me a waistband that will last now? What happened in the interim from my age old undies to this new useless version?

Then I remembered Bruce. The boss, a good boss.

No, hold that Spock-like single raised eyebrow question. Thinking of the boss and your underwear in one thought? Yeah, that worried me too, but you can put that eyebrow down and stop that think of calling Bev in HR. It was just a quick Eureka moment. Dude? You’ve got a gift card. From Bruce. A Christmas thank you. Some bucks to spend. I guess that eureka moment came because I don’t buy things, other than the keep yourself and the cats alive kinda stuff. I’m so accustomed to just not thinking of anything other than that, plus with my never inclination to shop it was a few dollared revelation.

Beer, cat food, Steve food, or cat food, Steve food, beer or, hell whatever order they’re in and I’m good. Ok, litter and toilet paper as well – we all gotta go – and that’s pretty much it. My stuff works though old it may be. My t-shirts t-shirt, my Pirate hats Pirate, my sneakers sneak, though with a cue ball smoothness to the tread on some, my coats coat, my socks sock, my underwear underwears. But, as to the latter, and the “new” ones, they don’t really underwear anymore which is disappointing as I had actually shopped and bought something new. But I now had what can be almost be considered disposable income (woudn’t that be nice). And I have to use it at a particular website, I can’t turn it into cash for the aforementioned sustenance things as is always the first thought whenever I come about an extra. (future reference – always give me specific gift cards if you are ever inclined to do so as I’ll be forced to use them for things for myself).

When our local K-Mart was going out of business a few years ago I took full advantage of their 25%, 40%, 60%, 75% deals as their days counted down. I know I just said I don’t buy stuff, but my one of two “extra” paychecks happened to coincide with their countdown (I get 26 paychecks a year, but I pay all of my stuff with 24 of them, so two are my “extra”) so to not at least check out what they had to offer in their liquidation would have been just criminal. Ok, not criminal, I wouldn’t walk in and stuff my pants and then present an innocent look at the checkout, but just dumb.

Since Christmases or birthdays no longer come with the obligatory underwear and or socks of days of a prescient Mom of old that you shook your head at the time I thought to stock up.

And thus this underwear that proved to be such a disappointment, with a now unexpected gift card, can be replaced.

Yeah, I just wrote a post about underwear. What of it?

Go me.

The Bagel Dilemma

We get a morning tray of bagels and some cream cheese delivered to work once a week. It’s a small but nice thing from a cool little bagel shop that brightens the day and is definitely appreciated. This once weekly has been the case for as long as I can remember at this place. Now, I don’t always get one as they’re pretty popular but, more often than not, it’s simply because I just forget and am only reminded of bagel day when I see the tray on a table after making make my way downstairs to the kitchen at lunch to the toaster oven for my cold cut & cheese toasted bread sandwich of the day/week or to the microwave to heat up some Beefaroni with hot sauce, or something else Chef Boyardee depending on how flush I am that week or the mood (I really like Chef Boyardee).

On those most occasions when I have forgotten bagel day, I am reminded by this …

Bagel Dilemma

… one or a couple of bagel half remainders in the tray and a partially used cream cheese with a plastic knife or two (no, no one ever thinks to put the cream cheese in the fridge) and I am, again, also reminded to continue to be fascinated by the mindset of whoever it is that tears a perfectly good bagel in half and then puts the other half back on the tray, as if almost being generous.

“Well, I don’t want a whole bagel, just a half, and I would surely be remiss, almost greedy, if I didn’t leave the other half for someone else to enjoy right? Plus I’m even spreading the wealth of a limited supply of bagel bounty” I think they say to themselves with a self-satisfied nod.

It’s kind of like trying to figure the mindset of that person who can peer into the at work kitchen’s community fridge and, knowing that not only HAVEN’T they purchased whatever it is that’s in there or that their mother did NOT make it for them, still find it possible to justify the taking of something. Like the devil on their one shoulder, after giving the angel on the other the heave-ho while flipping them off on the way down, has convinced their human that “well, it IS something that you like, and you HAVE bought something similar in the past so it must therefore be POSSIBLE that it’s yours”.

I realize the two things, the bagels and the fridge are different (and as to the fridge it’s the reason that I have my OWN medium sized one in my studio – greatest birthday present ever from years ago – thanks Ma, Beck & Nick) but it is the mindset of both that is so fascinating.

As to the bagel dilemma here? A few things.

One: When in my forgetting of bagel day and the eventual said discovery at lunch time of one or a couple of bagels torn in half being the last survivors note that this is the case, every fucking week. And they come pre-sliced for god’s sake making this even more ridiculous.

Two: it continues to happen because the bagel tearers obviously don’t come back down to the kitchen after sitting upstairs enjoying their torn half while just as surely enjoying the largess of their consideration for others.

Three: If they did come back downstairs they might understand that no one wants the other half of their manhandled bagel, EVER, especially now, though sadly, they would probably be more inclined to wonder how the rest of us could be so ungrateful as to ignore their gesture.

Four: I’m reminded now to buy a loaf of bread, preferably Rye, and put it in my fridge.

Five: Does this mean anything? No. I mean I still ain’t gonna be grabbin’ some half a bagel that has had someone’s meat paws all over it but I was just wondering at the silly and the mundane to pass some time. So necessary.

He’s The Deceiver

I’ve discovered after quite few parody tunes over the last number of years that I don’t just like to skewer the Orange, something always well deserved, but that I just like singin’ ’em, that I like the “let go” my little studio affords on an occasional Friday night when the work gang has left to whatever weekends might await them to then just be left alone to my own device, a singular one with headphones on, new words to play and a foot stomp underneath my board that I try my best to edit out or at least soften later on as I’m having fun.

This is another such fun.

Is it any good? Well that’s not for me to decide, I guess. I think they’re all good but to tell ya the truth I don’t really care. I mean, I’d like that you thought they were ok, that lyrically you’d be impressed and that you wouldn’t have to cover your dog’s ears at my singing. But in the long run? They’re only me doing karaoke with new words in my little comfort zone of a studio just minus yet another pitcher of beer and friends egging you on with hands at your back. Fun is fun and that’s been in short supply for a while now. I’ll take it where I can get it or, more to the point, where I can manufacture it.

Here’s to the occasional Friday.



He’s The Deceiver

 I thought e-lections were just a people’s choice

Stand in line or use mail as you saw fit

But he powers in delusions

Make see through his allusions  

To fraud as truth to prove out all his schemes


Then he lost the race

But still the deceiver

Fraud’s the claim

No doubt in small minds

It’s cult love


What a deceiver

True dead believers

Fall in line


A hundred so Repubs did take a bold dumb stand  

Support sedition no matter what the-e cost

Ignoring what we stand for

Destroying what we asked for

Instead just backing true great leaders screams


But we know the face

A one of deceiver  

Though he lost the race

He won he’ll tell kind


It was a scam


He’ll tweet his deceptions

Ask for corrections

Stay by his side




He just keeps on tryin’

Courts take attempts to dyin’

Ignoring all to try to stay his reign  


Now we know his face

The one of deceiver

Preach vio-lence

It’s the only real way

If you want a say


In a new order

Where truth’s still given no quar-ter   


All you’ll get is pa-ain

If you’re not a believer

All you’ll get is ra-ain

Of facts to disdain


Now he’s the deceiver yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah a yeah


No he’s the deceiver

Truth’s got no place


No he’s the deceiver

No doubt in small minds


Now he’s the deceiver

No doubt in small minds

The Snow Was 17 Feet

The snow was tall, just tall as enough tall it needed to be against the front door to keep it from opening as I remember now, though 17 feet at least it seemed in my head then, though bear in mind that my tall was small (but with hope of a big someday). I was only seven or eight or so and I was mad. My parents had just bought their first house, a something numbered address on Archer road in Mahopac NY with me in tow. But I was mad, not the mad that some might attribute to me and my now of cats, a crazy cat lady guy and a need for solitude, that kind of mad, but with a just being mad … why the fuck can’t I open the front door to the glories of snow?

I hate snow, or at least I hate it now, the cold that it is and the down of that cold, the darkness of a light’s short days that come with it. But, again, I was seven or eight or so. Snow was a wonder then, something just waiting for the play.

It certainly, the snow, wasn’t 17 feet tall but it feeling taller than me it could have be 30 feet, or a hundred feet, or a however many feet that were necessary to dwarf me. It was as far away as just a glass door, that extra door that you doored on top of a perfectly good door, one that could become a screen in the summer months for a bit of air and I pushed, pushed against not 17 feet of snow, but enough, against the door, a silly angry kid pushing against a door. And I even had my galoshes on. Ready. Snow.

Man, that shit could bleed, knuckles after the mad and it’s push to open a door that didn’t want to be opened, a door that just said “leave me be son,” “I’ve been holding this off all night” “have ya seen the snow? It’s almost 17 feet.” That was my first scar, a one right atop my right hand. A fist knuckle and a hard punch. The only thing missing was the “motherfucker” exclamations that would come years later for all of the times snow would be 17 feet tall.


Jonna and Keryl give me a pass, I think, as to our guests. It’s a show, Happy Hour, that we’ve been doing since dinosaurs searched out self helpers and what to do for their inadequacies. “I’m too big with short arms” “Mom wasn’t around for the long names that would come based on my bones” “I was a vegetarian though three stories tall and a bit ungainly”. They know I’ll never read the books, I can’t, I don’t read anything that isn’t filled with the wonder of places imagined, some of swords and kings, some of spaceships and distant planets, all of a simply not here, instead of just “self help” vaguereries that tell you of who you could be if only you could be. But surprisingly, some things, even in my cynicism seep through, our guests, all, have their moments for me. I Just patch them together, grab bits and pieces that may mean something and move forward. A lot of them are the same, just a more well known “same” than others, a some who just wish to be that same. But I grab that patchwork, a good patchwork mind you, and roll. No need more.

Recently in one of our shows Jonna talked of finally wanting to write her book. A something she has in her, like Keryl who has two now, Jonna’s Facebook posts evidence of the writer.

Jonna if you’re going to write a book please don’t think of it as the topic of a future interview for a podcast with a couple of ladies and some dude interviewing advice within a small world of such. Just write your book and a just a you book. Write too much, even make shit up if you must, but just be a book that books as a Jonna book will book.


Bella has one PC chair while I sit in the other. I have two. One is the “Shoes” chair the spot he owned from the moment I took it out of the box years ago and layed my thin Steelers blanket on it trying not to have any assembly pieces left over. Then there’s the one slowly becoming the “Bella” chair as I sit on all nights and she sits with me after a dinner shared with Cricket the Blind on her footed paper towel for the recognized bits of food to come feel and an attempt at the same with Mimi the Quirky.

Bella is the most patient of cats, there’s not a of one of us who couldn’t be better off with the kind of patience she shows, not liking Cricket the Blind and only minding Mimi the Quirky, she exhibits her patience just for me, holds back any anger she may have at these “others” who have invaded our space for belly rubs on her dot of a small bit circle of carpet in the living room I never use in this two room place or another rubbed belly on her crunchy paper (my sister sends powdered vitamins once a month worrying of my possible vitamin deficiencies in a box that doesn’t really need any packing but she still does with that hard edged brown paper stuffed to the left or right of that packing box, depending on how you opened it – I think she knows it’s not needed but packs it just the same – she knows cats). It’s Christmas day every month for Bella when I get my vitamins and she gets a new lay on new crunchy paper layed out next to last month’s flattened such.


I know this is a little disjointed but it’s one of the ways I like to think, in short blurbs of current things or memories that may not be connected or they might. This one is the former but it’s where my thoughts were this weekend, as some of you might be able to relate to disjointed thoughts, the brain being a bit of jumble during the upside down we live in. But it is a weekend where I’ve taken Monday off to give me 3 days, to at least breathe a bit (though apparently not to get my thoughts into any cohesive form here). I get 3 weeks a year of vacation time, or PTO for those technical. 15 days to do with as I will. I do this once a month and this month is a bonus with the holidays giving me a couple of others. I almost feel guilty knowing that the holidays afford me my once a month twice without paperwork and a minus #’s on my paystub but I’m not going to let that deter. A once a month Monday is a once a month Monday. The holidays are just gravy. Could I take a week at some point, call it a vacation, sure. But I’m a single dude always strapped and I have my charges. Plus, where am I going to go, especially now?

Some of you might be alright with believing a normal exists but I’m not a one and it doesn’t.

There’s so much that is 17 feet tall, hell, most of our lives are spent trying to deal with 17 feet tall, a seeming insurmountable task of too tall walls, placed there daring us to scale maybe even bloodied knuckles to come from the attempts.

But I’m in no mood to scale today. This is simply my acknowledgement of such. 17 feet? I gotcha. Tall you are. But I’m just gonna take an extra day and sit and surveil a tall wall for no reason other than no reason, and hunker a bit away, just me and the girls.

Cindy Lou Who’s Cat

A one of two kittens that come by the pair, replete with four mittens and a wide eyed small stare, he moments to pause from a kitten cat’s chores, to jump and to hop and to run and to plop atop sibling who mistakenly stopped and a … plop … ahead of fast sibling play … a ball now of rolling fur squeaks, screeches, giggles, if kits do it seems take then to giggle and squiggle though surely they’ve no trouble to wiggle and wriggle into places way small, to thrust paws out by ones, after one, one by one with back ‘gainst small’s wall, they defend fun to the alls till an open can sounds … stop … plop … whatchya got?

This little fat tail (downstairs at the house) is what I imagine Cindy Lou Who’s cat would have looked like if Cindy Lou Who had had a cat … and that.

Cindy Lou Who's fat tail kitten

… the other of two kittens that come by the pair … he thinks he likes sinks, knows he likes sinks and of your opinion of his thinks of said sinks? Well, he’s decided that he’s just not one to care … so there.

Cindy Lou Who's sink kitten

Trump Star – Lapdog

I know that hoping after losing the election that there might finally be a lack of Trump material was a fool’s thought.



All Star – Lap Dog  

Somebody once told me a stupid could get lonely

Allow an autocrat to pla-ay

In a nation of ideals this stupid gets the feels

A lun-acy embraced instead as a new spiel  


Well, four years got them running to the altar of the dumbing

Elevating them with welcome adoration  

Ignorance proved be an asset for drumming

A bold new stand with a white raised gun


They don’t want see, how they were used  

Blinded tools conned as nothing but fools

Allowing lies as a nor-mal

Dismissing truth for a new show


Hey now, you’re a Trump star

Get your ig-nor-ance on

Hey now you’re a trump star

Raise your white now, new Czar


And all Trump glitters fools go-old

Shiny old lie normals, you’re still in the fo-old


It’s a lost race but a loss that gets bolder

With every new challenge the truth it goes further

Claiming fraud but proof not forthcomin’

Claims shot down as the hits keep comin’


The lies they state, state by state

The Jenna’s & the Giuliani’s try to rate

Loyalist’s hoping to rise above fray

To prove they’re the best at holding down a Trump day


Hey now you’re a lapdog

Won’t you pet me they pray

Hey now you’re a lapdog

Crazy barks try hold sway   


Trump throws balls out for play

They take those balls

And jump as high as Trump will say-ay




Hey now you’re a Trump star

Spittin’ maskless you gloat

Hey now you’re a lapdog

Desperation by rote


And all your subjects do do-ote

Hoping burn it down   


You rail loud ignore tasks that you pledged with right hand asks

To try protect us from a world gone astray

But that stray, is yours alone

Self interest was always the norm

As it’s always been since day one

Nothing’s changed there’s only you number one


Well conman’s still connin’, coffers still fillin’

Taking cultist’s money claiming fraud’s his cunning

He claims each fight is his necessary right

To prove he won being cheated a blight

While fights are lost he blusters more

And just fills pockets while out the back door  


He’ll keep himself in the Trump glow

Someone else’s buck that is the Trump show


Hey now you’re a Trump star

Spittin’ maskless you gloat

Hey now you’re a lapdog

Desperation by rote


And all Trump litters fools go-old


No matter truth they’re stayin’ in the cu-ult  


And all Trump litters fools go-old


A coin tooth check confirms what we were so-old

Ma, Gratitudeyness & Annoyances

So now that we’ve gotten all gratitudey … and eaten, I think it’s safe to possibly air out some annoyances. I was gonna do it yesterday but I didn’t want to step on all this gratituding going around, especially when it was so well called for, so necessary in such a sad, sad year as this one and not just for reasons of a pandemic alone.  An Orange tinge hovers, blusters. Plus, it would have bothered my Mom as she was so enjoying my shirt and tie on our Thanksgiving Zoom call with her and my Sis. I told her that Zoom has a code of fashion conduct that you have to follow in order to sign up for their services, that you have to look presentable so thus the shirt and tie. But I also told her that that code didn’t include pants. She looked at me, with a wry smile, as if to say stuff it Stephen.

Gotta love getting a laugh out of Ma, who has such a genuine and infectious one, even as her days are different now, that they come with a slide. My sister and I, along with her had looked into assisted living places just before the pandemic, even found one that would just do. A just  “would do” wasn’t enough though, I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the details. But then there was the lockdown and the stay at home and Beck took her to her house near Albany with my nephews and cats and a Razzy, the definition of sweetest of dogs.

Now I have written of this before but why not a bit of repeat? Heck, it is MY blog so why not? When Beck told me, as some pandemic time passed and while I wore the same pair of sweatpants to work every day for three months, maybe even four, my own way of trying to cope by being silly amid a scared crazy, even if no one noticed other than me, I just thought these sweatpants were funny (they were clean by the way, well, as clean as butt aired out every night on the back of one of my one or the other computer chairs and then thrown in the wash every Saturday can be) but when Beck called me on one Friday and told me that she was going have Ma stay with her instead of that facility I said “that’s great” we talked some more, I held in, said “Love You’s”, hung up the phone and then broke down. Hard. Puddle.

This shitty thing, this shitty ass time, this fearful adapting had actually brought some good and, in my world, our world, that was a huge good, the best of possible good. If not for it then Beck and the boys and the fur may never have had the opportunity to discover that having Granny around was a good thing and so much better for her than some place full of strangers, to help slow her slide with all the interaction and stimulation of a house with the non-stop action of a teenager, a 20 year old, cats who don’t always get along, sometimes never and with noise, a beyond loveable dog who adoringly sits on her hip and even a crazy kitten who garners a ton of “Bloody Hells!!!” from that English lady in the extra bedroom. She was finally away from the solitude of a little one bedroom place that, though she loved, was killing her.

Yeah, my gratitudeyness yesterday was that Zoom call, and seeing Mom in some fancy dangling earrings that she so loves to sport and laughing that laugh of hers and my Sis, in a Pittsburgh Pirates sweatshirt, in an our Pittsburgh Pirates sweatshirt, seeing the gang lounging Thanksgiving comfy in whatever spots I could see through Beck’s laptop cam. So, I held off on airing annoyances until today.

But gloves are off now Mr Gratitude you thankful baastaad! You had your day and your food coma now back the hell off!!

Passwords or security measures needed to be able to log into whatever account I’m logging into? Oh, how they annoy me. Not from being the understandable thing to protect ourselves and our places online but what some of these places require of them. I mean, I’m all good with setting up a user and password and being done. Knowing that I’ve done what is necessary for access and then leave be.

But don’t tell me, after some set amount of time, that I now have to change what has become a somewhat easily remembered thing. You can’t just take somewhat easily remembered things away for fuck’s sake! I’m getting up there and have 3 pages of users and passwords, trying to remember is not the strongest of skills these days.

It’s another thing I’ve said before, but I don’t want to change my freakin’ password, I don’t need to change my freakin’ password!! And it’s always for mundane accounts that no respectable hacker would ever try to crack. If you’re a hacker that can get some sort of thrill out of this mundane then I’m going to call your mother and tell her to make you find your own basement couch and a job. And It’s not from accounts that matter, like my checking or my credit cards telling me I need to update. Hell, accounts like that SHOULD make me periodically update them. Damage could be done at those places.

No, I get accounts like our payroll site at work, where I simply punch in and out, forcing me to change like there is someone out there who would want to hack into a site where they can see my paystubs. Look, if some hacker finds my paystubs to be worthy of an unwelcome look all the power to them. All that’s going to do is have them search me out, apologize and give me 10 bucks and a hug.

Or the security questions I had to answer to set up an account at the medical site of the place I still owe way too much money to for my time spent in the hospital 4 years ago or any of the regular health check ins. 5 questions? Really?!

So, the road I grew up on, my first pet, my first grade school, my mother’s maiden name and my first girlfriend are all coincidentally named Bob (first girlfriend would have been short for Bobbie or Roberta by the way if that had been the case). Answers. Bob. Howya’ do?

And the requirements are always way too much. A number, a capital letter, an obscure utility infielder from the 70’s of your favorite baseball team whose name you can’t remember, a symbol and a flower (though I like the flower one … that’s pleasant).

There are more annoyances on this post day of gratitude to list, don’t get me started on proper yielding, or a lack of such around the Mid Hudson Bridge that force me and BB to slow down or hard break when we shouldn’t have to, but maybe even these annoyances are a form of gratitude. I’m still sarcastically bitching about them aren’t I, still breathing to talk about this shit that annoys me?

Ma, you looked good, proud look dangling earrings an’ all and though I held off.  I think you and I could share some stories of annoyances, at least some you could remember in the moment of the telling.

Sheer Keyboard’s Thanksgiving Thought

It’s been a long year, a too long a year filled with too many painful reminders of how fragile this all is. I wrote a lot of words last night given the time of an extra day/night (a favorite of things), getting lost in waaaaay too many of those words that kept me up, but all of them were shit, thrown away.

I tried to be profound, hoping for a “wow” that didn’t come.

I tried to sound sagely but lord knows, though I’m old and know a few things, I couldn’t pull it off and I knew no one would listen.

I tried to force some of those words through sheer keyboard.

I even thought to ingratiate myself to the myriad pets and their charges who don’t know they’re charges with tails of a simple cat guy owned, maybe even with an “Awwwwww” picture or two. Usually that’s a slam dunk. No go.

I don’t know what your day is, or how you plan to spend it.

But I hope it’s a safe spend and not one of silly defiance.

We’re still breathin’, hopefully without labor or assistance and still talkin’ of such.

Be thankful for that.

A Zoom call awaits with my Mom and Sis and the gang later (brother Nick proving to be the hardest working guy I’ve ever known as always) . I might even wear a tie for Ma just for the laugh.

I mean, gotta look good on Thanksgiving day right?