Boardless in Raleigh: Stripped, Whipped, and Dropping Pins Everywhere

imageI’ve never denied that I’m obsessive, a bit Pollyanna-ish, and prone to take the world and all of its moons just a little too seriously. It was that combination of traits that made me an ideal Catholic School student in the Sixties. If I didn’t receive 100 on a Spelling quiz, the Daughters of Charity felt my pain. In tandem, they’d often quietly add to my pain as well.

Today, I feel such pain. I bet today the sore bleeds and throbs more dramatically. I have no advocates remaining in my corner. That is certainly the case with a certain networking site. I won’t pussyfoot any further. I was zapped this afternoon by the Pentagruels of social networking sites in the most unholy of ways.

I have been suspended, removed, or deleted … whatever the proper term is. I no longer exist in that milieu. The censors have pissed on my keyboard and seized my almost 50,000 images posted to almost 350 albums. They will not return the fruit of a half year’s passion and detail. It is collateral damage.

There is no Customer Service department to contact. There is only an address to which I can send an email, with only my address as context. There is no outlet for inquiry or in which to plead a case.

The afternoon has gone terribly wrong. No one can really see into my mind and determine how I actually do feel. No one really “feels” my devastation. No one feels the extent of the violation.

For six months,said site has engaged me for an amalgate of probably one entire month of online term if not more. Over 750 hours.

True, the entire process has provided me with entertainment at a time when there is so little. Since the only time I leave the house is for a doctor’s appointment, it just gets me from A to B each day.

But the love affair has ended. There is neither an iota of fanfare nor the slightest brouhaha.

There seems to be no small way with which to make a bad situation good. Or to even just lessen the anger and sadness!

I will not shed a tear for Social Networks of any color Nor will I dance into a Hell of heartbreak.

I shall save my pins now for intricately and specifically fashioned voodoo dolls.

Other folks best pin away “ad infinitem”, eh Tartuffe?

“Farewell, Mein Lieben Herr!”

I remain your humble poster, Boardless in Raleigh.

(Image: Poster for “Orpheus in the Underworld” by Gerald Scarfe, 1989.)

The Practical Art of Manipulative Disclosure


Not that I need a moment’s nostalgia at 1:20 am, but I’ll probably soon clear my throat, enjoy that last forced sip of tea, and dive in “head first”. Of course, neither you nor I shall mention that unfortunate recent tumble of mine.

To use the cliche “dive in” would be reckless, insensitive, and at my expense. But the bruises and flashbacks are finally gone and I really don’t want to relive my fall or subsequent hospital holiday.

Well, in any case: early last evening, this 1910 painting by Britain’s Charles Spencelahr whispered into my good ear: “remember?” I’ll never let that tale out for a spin on its own.

It was the summer of ’65 and all mine, Mr Adams and Mr Davis. My parents, sister Polly, and I were in staying at one of those almost extinct grand hotels of downtown America.

Before we left Chapel Hill the day before, I had surreptitiously placed my very small pet turtle in a dish on the floor in the back seat of our car. Hal and Margy didn’t notice Nat until we were already well on the way. I’m not absolutely certain that they even knew I had a turtle. I had learned in my earlier years of Catholic school the art of manipulative disclosure.

Okay. Okay. You and I both know what happened. Nat passed away, rather froze. I had put the bowl on the air conditioner to make him comfy. But when we came back to our room after dinner, he was already beginning to stiffen up.

I’d like to say that I cried, but I didn’t. That milestone was two decades later, when I lost a puss to another animal’s blood lust. Now, THAT was tragic and sob-worthy.

That was the last time I made that mistake again. In fact, I haven’t even held a turtle since.

Hal, on the other hand, then had a sweet little anecdote that he could embellish. He, more than once, worked it into a speech he’d deliver.

I was embarrassed those times that he brought up Nat … publicly or privately. But I’ll give him those recollects.

I would later have much bigger and better tales to tell. I’d have much more time and clarity to “embellish” to properly mold them.

After all I was my father’s son.

Astro-Boy Abandons Red Carpet for Hooked Rug

Not all nostalgia warms one’s cockles or demands a quick sob. Some, sadly fills us with regret, loss, perhaps anger, and naturally frustration. Such is the Sad Case of Our Dear Astro-Boy.

Born in Tokyo in 1952, Ab was very active in the late sixties and seventies. However, while Reagan was President, his thoughts turned to the eventual joys of retirement. He was a still strapping young man. He had already made his fortune. And he would yet excitedly receive royalties ad infinitem.

Astro was ready to either visit his elderly parents, Chad and Debbi Atomi,  and their extended family in Tokyo. Or they’d, perhaps, travel by  souped-up Winnebago to a yet unidentified exotic location.

Or, as Astro-Girl reminded him, the pair could actually relocate to Aruba, a favorite vacation spot. She vowed to apply his sun screen every morning. In the end, though, it was his decision.

Astro and his common-law mistress agreed on one requisite: they had to leave Hollywood. The hooplah, chaos, invasion of privacy, and the sadness of his celebrity sucked the joy right out of them.

The phone was constantly humming for his attention to attend galas or fundraisers. Astro, however, no longer enjoyed the late hours. He no longer wanted to wear a tuxedo. He hated the “bump and shove” of it all. He loathed crowds and long lines.

He and Astrid enjoyed each other and their amenities at home. Their estate was grand and beautifully drawn. The incredible creative team at Hanna-Barbera was responsible for the upfitting and outfitting. Remember: the original designs were supervised by the same crew that had originally built Disneyland.

The mansion was constructed with Quick Draw McGraw’s Wright-inspired showplace to them on the left. To the right was the fabulous 6,800 sq foot bungalow shared by the first true Bel Air power couple, expatriates Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Boo-Boo Bear lived across the street with daddy bear Yogi. Yes. You got it right, Irma.

All of his neighbors and the other animated superstars now seemed superficial if not plastic. They all must’ve augmented their appearance with digital makeovers and the much more expensive hand jobs. They didn’t really have much in common with the Quests, the Jetsons, the Addams, or the unfortunate Rubbles, who had died in a tragic and uninsured auto accident back in 1992.

Astro and Astrid today smile whenever they hear of Madonna or Cher. He knew bigger one-named superstars: Josie, Shaggy, his wife and second cousin Velma, Shazam Sr., and that sometimes a-little-too-slutty trollop, Miss Dora. Don’t forget Dora’s scandalous longterm liaison with the slightly older Miss Jane. Theirs was the first “mixed medium” marriage. It was their estate, remember, to which both Portia Rossi and Anne Heche had retreated in the last decade.

Professionally, their was little to keep him from collecting his watch and moving to Florida. Disney had purchased their production company and Oprah had acquired the Astro-Boy merchandising rights. Donald Trump had seized his beloved Atlantic City casino. The mogul spearheaded a hostile takeover two decades ago and elected himself the grand poohbah of “Astro-Boy’s Golden Nugget Celluloid Casino” and its’ Starbucks-by-the-Slots.

These days, the studios looked for someone younger or, at least, redrawn. Producers had tarnished Astro’s powerful name power with gaudy remakes of his classic and pioneering television show and films. Younge wannabes were cast in leading roles in successful light porno fare such as: “I Know Why Your Feet Stick to the Floor!” And Disney’s new Broadway musical “Do Me In the Next Frame”, the Astro-Boynow in try-outs in Branson, Missouri.

As I conclude, I urge you to keep his fire alive and his name remembered. Just think Tetsuwan Atomi, or Mighty Atom.  In Tokyo, volunteers pasted 138,000 metro tickets into a collage of Astro in his iconic flying mode. “Astro-Boy 4.0” has debuted to critical success on the new Pat Sajak Network. And finally, there are several websites now dedicated to all things Astro-boy!

Henry and I have included a few photographs of the early anime star, including a rare baby picture. We both wish the couple a relaxing and fulfilling retirement wherever and whatever they do.

I am nearing sixty and will always remember Astro-boy fondly.

It’s a wrap, Irma. Oh, just watch Mighty Mouse okay?


Shake it Off, Irma

.There was a time that I’d hide such an infirmed or cautious state. ‘Twixt slippery lips, a shiny cup, and those “eagerest” of Ears, options start to reel: whether to keep up the conceal or lastly reveal. “Boots don’t walk forever” nor, in my case, dirty dirty bucks. I pant. I huff.

No, silly. I gave up the puff a few years back when my diagnosis seized my life.

Until I finally receive said heart and “le’ go my L-Vad”, my pace belies a caution, a yawn, a whimper. Or its growing need or diminishing timeline.

Please let me breathe or leave me alone.

I’ll join the Underworld’s Orpheus for a jaunty jig or a stolen reel. That is, if I “Can-Can”.

When it actually takes effort and energy to take a nap, that is the time best spent with eyes closed and hearts open. The Universe listens to prayer, no matter what we call it.

In fact, Irma, a prayer doesn’t even require a name, proper or otherwise.

The Perfect Wine to Compliment a Face Mask


Freshly picked berries, a still warm Bundt, a Gewürztraminer with an odd hint of basil, and an unopened jar of an Erno Lazlo facial mask cream. The hummingbirds hovered closely. The year-round inhabitants of New Jersey’s historic Joyce Kilmer Service Area privately smiled politely, not quite sure whether they should be nervous.

Toby and Damian questioned their motives and were now certain they were indeed sending mixed signals.

Fleur de Lisa and Neeley shared a sweet, questioning wink … albeit of a private and reassuring nature. Were they leading the boys on simply by remaining open to the notion? Aren’t all Saturdays meant to provide both score and script?

All four picnickers felt some type of guilt. And that guilt placed in four distinct notches on the Sieber-Markle Continuum of Guilt and Other Malfunctioning Emotions.

By that point, Toby had poured each of them a “separate but equal” glass of wine. The story in their eyes traveled quickly around the blanket, coming to rest on the bottle’s neck.

“Salut” “Here’s to the noble hummingbirds!” “To us! To our individual stories and the one we’ll pen together” “Cheers, my friends, and dance. The Bossa Nova knows no shame.”

Damian went to his truck to fetch another chilled bottle of wine. He also needed a few moments of privacy in his Dakota to rearrange his sexy charm and to rehearse the verbiage.

It’s a boy thing.