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ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is Now For Sale on Amazon! (kindle and paperback)

PUBLISHED!

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https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

The day is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! This has been a long time coming and a labor of love. I’ve been working day and night to get this baby written, and I think it’s my finest work yet! I hope you enjoy it!

 

I wanted to create something new. Not a non-fiction, compilation of stories from my blog. Something new. A story. A fable. A love story that included all of the elements of all the films I liked. A thriller, road movie, romance, mystery, an action yarn, that would be full of twists and turns.

The world had gone a bit mad, and I wanted to create a world I could control. I wanted it to take place in a time before there were smart phones or social media. A story about a boy and a girl trying to fall in love, during extraordinary circumstances. Let’s put a fancy car in there. Have them drive across the country on a road trip. Let’s throw a bad guy in there. That’ll keep them on edge. Let’s make it a mystery too. Let’s ‘David Lynch’ it up a bit with some interesting, unique characters. Let’s make them all flawed in some way. They all have the potential to be good, but they’re all struggling with themselves. They all want something, but they don’t know the right way to get it. A collection of misfits all trying to find themselves. All broken in some way. They want to fly, but their wings are broken, so they choose to run.

What if you could just run away from your current life?

Christian Blackmore works as a manager at a local finance company in New Jersey. He’s burned out from all the bad loans, and making collection calls every night. He spends his days laboring at a job he hates, and his evenings drinking at a local bar with his best friend. 

When his favorite uncle dies, and leaves him a unique inheritance, he begins to question the path he’s taken in life.

He decides to take a road trip across the country with a woman he just met. She’s a mysterious beauty, who may hold a dark secret. 

What begins as a romantic journey, becomes a nightmare, when he realizes he’s being followed by an elusive stranger. What does he want? Is it Christian, the girl, or something far more sinister?

Angel with a Broken Wing, takes you on a terrifying, coast to coast thrill ride across America. Can one man fall in love, and stay one step ahead in a cat and mouse game with a killer?

You can check it out here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

I want to first thank my daughter. Thank you for coming into my life. You are my inspiration. I love you! I can always come to you with an idea and you make it perfect.

Scott Macintosh. You’re my best friend. You’ve been with me since the beginning. Thank you for staying on the ship, even when it was sinking. 

Will Ball. Thank you for your friendship, the films, the laughs, and of course, the cocktails. I’m honored to have you in my life as a friend. 

A.M. Homes. Thank you for answering my letter with a personal note so many years ago. I was so inspired by your words, it gave me the courage to write my story the way I wanted to tell it, without fear.

Thanks to the amazing team at Amazon Kindle. Without you, I’d be lost in a sea of technology. I can write the words, but you guys help me turn them into books.

Thanks to everyone at Amazon. I became a member over 20 years ago when you were just a giant bookstore. After crawling on my hands and knees to agents and publishing houses for years, Amazon finally gave me the biggest platform on Earth to bring my literary work to the world!

A special thanks to everyone at WordPress. Without you, I couldn’t publish Phicklephilly everyday for the last four years! Now we’re a dot com and I’ve monetized the site with ads! You gave me a home to bring my work to everyone! Thank you!

Thanks to all the folks over at GoDaddy. You made the transition from just another blogger, to a dotcom look easy. Thanks for always being there when I needed you. You’re the best!

Thank you, dear readers, and subscribers for all of your support over the years I’ve been writing this little blog. I appreciate you all, and try to respond to all of your comments. I love your comments!

Please buy my new book. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. It’s quite a ride!

This is a great book to read at the beach this summer!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, EVERYONE…EVERYWHERE!!!

 

Zoolon Forever!

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Think You’re Too Broke to Date? You’re Not Alone

If, like 30% of millennials, you believe you’re too broke to date, we have a few suggestions for you. 

It appears that searching for a soul mate just got a little tougher, at least for some millennials. According to dating app Match, 33% of young singles believe that their financial situation is getting in the way of dating. What’s more, 20% don’t even think they should be dating at all until they achieve a particular income level.

Why is money getting in the way of dating?

Singles managed to find a way to court during global wars, depressions, political upheavals, and pandemics. What’s different about today, and why do a third of young singles believe that earning more money would make a difference?

The great recession may have played a role in the way millennials feel about finding their soul mates. For a large swath of millennials, the recession set the stage for their early adulthood. In 2008 alone, 2.6 million jobs were lost, and the total number of unemployed surpassed 11 million.

Into this dreary economic picture emerged fresh-faced millennials, 40% of whom held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2016. But being the most educated generation yet did not help them get a job. For example, only 44% of law school students who graduated between 2009 and 2017 said they had a good job waiting for them.

In fact, millennials of all education levels were impacted by the recession. For the 60% without a degree, jobs in farming and manufacturing had dried up. It was more difficult to start a business due to tight credit, and there were fewer opportunities for apprenticeships. A generation earlier, it had been blue-collar jobs that kept the economy humming, but now those jobs were scarce.

And with full-time employment hard to come by, many have been pushed to take part-time jobs. According to a study on underemployment by The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), in 2018, 11.1% of young college graduates were underemployed, up from 9.4% in 2007 and 6.9% in 2000.

The term underemployed includes graduates who are unemployed as well as those who could only find part-time jobs. Other research puts the total unemployment rate for millennials (with or without a degree) at over 12%, which is much higher than the national average.

Employment is not the only area where millennials are struggling. They are also a lot more reliant on their parents. A study by The Ascent found that 63% of millennials still depended on their folks financially to some extent. And no fewer than 33% of 25–29 year-olds still live with their parents or grandparents, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly three times more than in the 1970s. It makes sense that young people might want the stability of their own apartment before finding that special someone.

All in all, many young adults are working hard just to find jobs and get homes, which pushes dating down the agenda. Millennials have become the largest generation, outnumbering baby boomers by 11 million. That means more competition for everything they do, from landing a job to dating.

The high cost of dating

In 2018, the average cost of a date — including two dinners, one bottle of wine, and two movie tickets — was $102.32. That number does not include other costs, like gasoline. For a millennial buried in student loan debt or struggling to find a job that supports them, $102.32 per date may feel excessive.

Fortunately, there are other ways to get to know someone without breaking the bank. If you really want to get out there but feel stuck financially, here are some ways to make it happen:

  • Check out local museums. Some offer free or discounted ticket days. It’s a great way to show a potential love interest that you’re cultured.
  • Have a pool day at your neighborhood swimming hole.
  • Get friends together and enjoy a bonfire and s’mores.
  • Attend a lecture or book reading (it’s much more interesting than it sounds and can spark a great conversation).
  • Tour a cool business. Wineries, breweries, chocolatiers, and bakeries often offer tours that also allow you to sample the goods.

Get your finances in order

Whether you are struggling to find a job or keen to pay down your debt before you get into a relationship, there’s plenty of things you can do right now to become financially stable. According to research by The Ascent, 70.7% of people identified setting financial goals as a desired trait in a romantic partner, so perhaps that would be a good way to start.

These four steps are an easy way to begin:

  • Find a consistent source of income. If you’re unable to land a full-time job, look for two part-time jobs that allow you to use your talents while getting your financial house in order.
  • Create a budget. Our research showed that 70.4% of people value a partner who follows a budget. Even if your bills are few and your income is low, a budget allows you to fully understand your monthly expenses and set savings and debt repayment goals.
  • Build up your credit score. You don’t need to earn a lot of money to have a high credit score. Make sure you pay bills on time and try not to spend more than you can pay off each month to keep your credit utilization ratio low.
  • Save up an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses. That way if your car breaks down or you need to do some unexpected house repairs, you’ll be able to pay for them without going into debt.

Don’t put off finding love just because you aren’t where you want to be financially. There are plenty of affordable ways to date, and you need to get finances in order, no matter what your romantic status is.

Savings account rates are skyrocketing — Earn 23x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts can earn you more than 23x the national average savings account rate.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

15 (Hilarious, Kind Of Sad, But Also True) Signs It’s Time To Get Laid

We all go through dry spells. We all know what it’s like. So let’s give ourselves permission to laugh about those moments when you realize it has been entirely too long since you last had sex. Here are 15 signs.

1. When you feel around on the empty half of your bed, you find a single snow boot, a Life Magazine from 1967, and a half-eaten animal cracker that you swear is judging you with his frowny circus animal half-face.

2. You didn’t know “condom dust” was a thing, until you checked the hidden pocket in your wallet.

3. You’ve stopped saying uber-confident stuff to your friends like, “Tonight, I’m going to Bonetown, Virginia!” and now mutter quietly to yourself about how you yearn for physical intimacy. And then you shed a single tear, unbeknownst to the revelers around you, who are, in fact, there for your birthday party.

4. Your mom’s like, “Are you getting enough sex, dear?”

5. Your friends don’t even ask anymore.

6. You’ve kind of pretty much totally forgotten how to lip-kiss.

7. You have not plucked your Creepy Nipple Hair since before Carly Rae Jepsen was a thing.

8. You have looked at your naked reflection, stood tall, and said aloud, “I’m not that bad.”

9. You have looked at your naked reflection, stuck out your stomach, jiggled it around, frowned at your bellybutton, then ate ice cream in bed until you fell asleep.

10. You have almost successfully convinced yourself that nobody else in the whole world is having sex when your roommate — who has the same name as one of your parents — comes home with the loudest. One night stand. Of all time.

11. You know what’s better than sex?! Cheese. And RPGs. And watching Louie on Netflix, alone, in bed, with a box of white wine. Seriously, you all are missing out.

12. You’ve envisioned telling your next sex partner how long it’s been since your last sexual encounter, in case you do something severely incorrect.

13. Sometimes it feels like you are being beaten in the genitals with a wooden plank, but when you look down, nothing’s there.

14. Sometimes you forget you have sex parts.

15. You take comfort in knowing that you went 16 years without sex. Granted, that was from age zero to 16, but dammityou can do it again if necessary!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

9 Things That Suck About Bad Boys (And 1 Big Reason Women Stay)

You’re just a good girl with bad dating habits.

The simplest definition I’ve heard of a bad boy is that he’s any guy who’s bad for you, period. I like that definition — it fits well.

The problem is that while a fling with a bad boy can be fun, bad boys are the junk food of the dating world. They’re good for a quick bite in a pinch, but bad for your long term health. And as any dating advice will tell you, ending up in a toxic relationship is something to avoid at all costs.

Here are 10 signs you’ve hooked a bad boy and why you should run before you get your heart broken.

1. He fails to follow through.

He might say that he’ll call or go out with you, but when the time comes, he flakes. He often comes up with lame excuses later, but somehow manages to make up for it just enough to get you to see him another time.

If you call him out on it, he is only slightly apologetic, or acts like you’re the one who is making a big deal out of it.

2. He’s a lone wolf.

You haven’t met his friends or family, and he seems committed to keeping it that way. He doesn’t really talk much about either group. When you ask about his family, he remains tight-lipped and changes the subject.

3. He keeps you off balance.

He should have knobs on his forehead that say “hot” and “cold.” No behavior of his is too small for him to be unpredictable with. One minute you two are in bed, and the next, you’re wondering if he’s disappeared completely.

You can’t get a read on what is happening between the two of you at all since there is no identifiable pattern to your interactions. Late nights are spent talking to your girlfriends, trying to analyze his behavior.

4. He seems to have a pack of women following him.

Even if you’ve never seen or met these women, you can just feel it. When you’re around, he seems interested enough in you, but something about him gives you that feeling that there are other women waiting in the wings.

He may intentionally give you this impression or it may just be a feeling that you get.

5. He has a lot of baggage.

Abusive childhood? Check. Horrible past relationships? Check. Sob stories about being “misunderstood”? Check.

Bad boys often make us feel like if we could just get close to them, we could somehow “fix it” with our love and make their deep well of pain go away. Whether he’s really feeling pain or not, this is a masterful technique, since he manages to just make you feel bad enough for him that you want to stick around and make excuses for his bad behavior.

If he’s “too raw” from his last relationship to call you and follow through with plans, you might have hooked a bad boy.

6. He’s allergic to planning.

The bad boy holds out for the “bigger, better deal” when it comes to plans. This is why he’s so resistant to nailing things down in advance.

He isn’t concerned with scheduling dates since it leaves him in a position to cancel if he meets someone else or simply doesn’t feel like seeing you. He’d rather fly by the seat of his pants and “surprise” you when he’s feeling the urge.

7. He suggests a lot of “hanging out.”

The “date” isn’t really something that he’s interested in, per se. He’d rather suggest that you both “hang out” at his place or yours, so that there is less financial investment, formality and obligation.

It’s also easier to take your clothes off at his house while watching than it is while you’re dining at Le Cirque.

8. He will tell you he’s too conflicted/damaged/busy for a relationship.

The bad boy is perpetually “conflicted” about relationships. He will wax poetic about how he just “can’t do a relationship,” but he’ll keep calling you and trying to hang out. It’s a classic case of him doing one thing and saying another.

He might make you feel like you’re the only one for him, while telling you that he “just got hurt too badly” to start a relationship. When anyone says they don’t want a relationship with you, believe them and run fast.

9. He’s selfish and indifferent.

At no time do you sense that he puts your needs over his own. He’s selfish and indifferent to your feelings.

When you get upset with him over his unpredictable behavior or anything else, he shakes it off. It just doesn’t seem to bother him that you’re upset with him or that he’s responsible for causing a problem.

10. The bedroom is hot.

Bad boys are pros in the sack, which is a massive reason why women even get hooked in the first place. Bedroom prowess alone obviously isn’t a sign that a guy is a bad boy, since tons of good men are wonderful in bed.

But sexual bravado combined with the other signs on this list could signal that you have a problem on your hands.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

18 Science-Backed Ways Men Can Appear More Attractive To Women

  • Romantic attraction is complicated.
  • Lucky for us, scientists have generated insights over the years into what might make men attractive to women.
  • Men who look older, sport a light beard, or do volunteer work are generally considered more appealing.

Romantic attraction is a complicated thing that scientists still don’t completely understand.

But, through research and experimentation, they’ve come up with many ideas about what draws one person to another.

Below, Business Insider has rounded up some of the most compelling scientific insights about the traits and behaviors that make men more appealing to women.

None of the items on this list require you to get cosmetic surgery or do a major personality overhaul; we’re talking small tweaks, like acting nicer and swapping your deodorant.

Read on for simple ways to step up your dating game.

Look for the universal signals of flirtation.

wolf of wall street margot robbie

Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures

Rutgers University anthropologist and best-selling author Helen E. Fisher says that women around the world signal interest with a remarkably similar sequence of expressions.

It goes like this:

“First the woman smiles at her admirer and lifts her eyebrows in a swift, jerky motion as she opens her eyes wide to gaze at him. Then she drops her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and looks away. Frequently she also covers her face with her hands, giggling nervously as she retreats behind her palms.

“This sequential flirting gesture is so distinctive that [German ethologist Irenaus] Eibl-Eibesfeldt was convinced it is innate, a human female courtship ploy that evolved eons ago to signal sexual interest.”

Look for someone “in your league.”

Master of None

Netflix

Men — and women — are attracted to people who are as attractive as they are.

In one study from 2011, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the behavior of 60 heterosexual male and 60 heterosexual female users on an online dating site.

While the majority of users were inclined to reach out to highly attractive people, they were most likely to get a response if that person was about as attractive as they were (as judged by independent raters).

“If you go for someone roughly [equal] to you in attractiveness, it avoids two things,” Nottingham Trent University psychologist Mark Sergeant, who was not involved with the study, told The Independent. “If they are much better-looking than you, you are worried about them going off and having affairs. If they are much less attractive, you are worried that you could do better.”

Many men are delusional of their own worth. Many aim too high but fail to realize they lack the ability to acquire a woman that is far out of their league.

Present yourself as high status.

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley

A 2010 study from the University of Wales Institute found that men pictured with a Silver Bentley Continental GT were perceived as way more attractive than those pictures with a Red Ford Fiesta ST.

And a 2014 study from Cardiff Metropolitan University found that men pictured in a luxury apartment were rated more attractive than those in a control group.

Interestingly, men don’t seem to be more attracted to women when they’re pictured in a high-status context.

Grow a light beard.

david beckham beard

Larry Marano / Getty

In a 2013 study from the University of New South Wales, researchers had 177 heterosexual men and 351 heterosexual women look at images of 10 men in one of four conditions: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, or full beard. Participants rated the men pictured on several traits, including attractiveness.

Women said the most attractive beard length was heavy stubble.

“Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression,” write authors Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks.

“An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive,” they add.

Build muscle (but not too much).

Steph Curry

Ezra Shaw/Getty

In a 2007 study from University of California, Los Angeles, 286 women looked at pictures of shirtless men and indicated which ones seemed like they would make the best long- and short-term partners.

Results showed that women were more likely to want short-term relationships with the guys who had big muscles.

The evolutionary signal that might be at work here?

Characteristics like muscularity are “cues of genes that increase offspring viability or reproductive success,” say authors David A. Frederick and Martie G. Haselton.

But Frederick and Haselton took away another telling finding: Less-muscular men were thought to be a better fit for long-term relationships. So if you want to catch a woman’s eye and hold her attention, you may be better off not going overboard.

Be kind.

ryan gosling omg

Rommel Demano / Getty

One of the best documented findings in psychology is the halo effect, a bias where you unconsciously take one aspect of somebody as a proxy for their overall character. It’s why we think beautiful people are good at their jobs, even when they aren’t necessarily.

As psychologist and writer Scott Barry Kaufman notes, the halo effect works in other ways, too.

In a 2014 Chinese study, more than 100 young people looked at images of men and women’s faces and rated them on attractiveness. Each face pictured was paired with a word that described either a positive personality trait — like kindness or honesty — or a negative personality trait, like being evil or mean.

Results showed that the people described with positive traits were rated more attractive.

“Even though beauty is an assessment of fitness value, there is no reason why assessment of fitness needs to be purely physical,” Kaufman writes, meaning that acting kind can make you appear more attractive.

Wear red.

will smith red

Mike Coppola / Getty

A 2010 cross-cultural study — with participants from China, England, Germany, and the US — found that women are most attracted to men wearing red.

In one experiment from the study, 55 female undergrads looked at a color photo of a man in either a red or green shirt, and then rated the man’s attractiveness.

Sure enough, the man was rated significantly more attractive when he was wearing a red shirt. The results were similar when researchers compared the red shirt to other color shirts as well.

Interestingly, participants generally weren’t aware that the man’s clothing color was influencing their perceptions of his attractiveness.

Make your partner laugh.

couple on date

Shutterstock

Multiple studies indicate that women are more attracted to men who can make them laugh. Interestingly, men generally aren’t more attracted to women who can make them laugh.

In one 2006 study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers asked undergraduate students (who didn’t indicate their sexual orientation) to say how much they valued a partner’s ability to make them laugh and their own ability to make their partner laugh.

Results showed that women valued both their partner’s sense of humor and their own ability to make their partner laugh; men valued only their own ability to make their partner laugh.

Walk a dog.

Dog

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

In a 2014 experiment from the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel and the University of Michigan, 100 Israeli women read vignettes about men.

Some of the men were described as “cads”: They would cheat on their partner and get into fights. The other men were described as stereotypical “dads”: They would work hard at their job and take good care of their kids.

Whenever the story featured a cad who owned a dog, women rated that man as a more suitable long-term partner than a cad who didn’t own a dog. Cads with dogs were even rated slightly more attractive than dads with dogs.

The researchers concluded that owning a pet signals that you’re nurturing and capable of making long-term commitments. It can also help you appear more relaxed, approachable, and happy.

Play good music.

ed sheeran

Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

In a 2014 study, researchers at the University of Sussex asked about 1,500 women (whose average age was 28) to listen to simple and complex pieces of music and rate the attractiveness of the composer.

The results showed that women preferred the more complex music, and said they would choose the composer of the more complex music as a long-term partner.

Practice mindfulness.

In 2015, Australian researchers studied undergrads participating in a speed-dating session, and found that mindful men tended to receive higher attractiveness ratings from women.

Before the session began, 91 students were asked to fill out a mindfulness questionnaire in which they indicated how much they agreed with statements like:

  • “I perceive my feelings and emotions without having to react to them.”
  • “I notice changes in my body, such as whether my breathing slows down or speeds up.”
  • “I’m good at finding the words to describe my feelings.”

After each interaction with an opposite-sex partner, students privately indicated how “sexy” they found their partner and how much they’d like to date that person.

Results showed that men were generally more drawn to physically attractive women. (Independent coders had rated the students’ attractiveness beforehand.) But women were generally more attracted to mindful men.

Play extreme sports (carefully).

Hiking up a snowy mountain skiing

Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

A 2014 study led by researchers at the University of Alaska at Anchorage found that women are attracted to men who take what the researchers call “hunter-gatherer risks.”

More than 230 undergrads filled out questionnaires about how attractive they would find a partner who engaged in certain risky behaviors, as opposed to a partner who engaged in low- or no-risk behaviors.

Hunter-gatherer risks included mountain biking, deep-sea scuba diving, and extreme rollerblading. “Modern” risks included plagiarizing an academic paper, casually handling chemicals in a lab, and not updating the virus-protection software on your computer.

Low- and no-risk behaviors included biking along paved paths and carefully handling chemicals in a chemistry-lab class.

Results showed that women said they would be more attracted to men who engaged in hunter-gatherer risks — the kinds that were similar to risks faced by ancestral humans. Women said they would be less attracted to men who engaged in modern risks, which might seem just plain dumb.

Wear a scented deodorant.

Simply knowing that you’re wearing a new fragrance can make you act more confident, and even make you seem more attractive to other people.

In a small 2009 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers gave one group of male undergraduates a spray with antimicrobial ingredients and fragrance oil, and provided another group with an unscented spray that didn’t contain antimicrobial ingredients. Over the next few days, the men who used the scented spray reported higher self-confidence and felt more attractive.

The strange part? When a group of women were shown silent videos of the men, they found those who were wearing scented spray more attractive, even though they obviously couldn’t smell them. The researchers determined that the men using the scented spray displayed more confident behavior, which in turn made them more attractive.

Chow down on garlic.

Ken Christopher holds a garlic plant at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, California, U.S., March 29, 2019. Picture taken March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Ken Christopher holds a garlic plant at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy 
Reuters

The smell of garlic on your breath is generally regarded as an instant romance killer. But a series of studies from researchers at Charles University and the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic and the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom suggests a different story when it comes to body odor.

In one study, eight men ate a slice of bread with cheese and 12 grams of fresh garlic; another eight ate bread and cheese without any garlic. For the next 12 hours, the men wore cotton pads under their armpits and were instructed not to use any deodorants or fragrances.

The following day, all the men returned to the lab, where 40 women sniffed the pads and rated the odor on pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity. Results showed that the garlic group was rated more pleasant and attractive and less masculine and intense.

Do volunteer work.

Diego Prada (C), Maria Luisa Pombo (L) and other volunteers of the Make The Difference (Haz La Diferencia) charity initiative prepare soup to be donated, at Maria Luisa's kitchen in Caracas, Venezuela March12, 2017. Picture taken March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Thomson Reuters

A 2013 study from UK researchers found that women find men more appealing when they do volunteer work.

About 30 women looked at a picture of a man with a brief description of his hobbies, which sometimes included volunteer work. The same procedure was repeated with about 30 men looking at a picture of a woman. Everyone rated how attractive they found the person pictured for a short- and long-term relationship.

Both genders rated the person pictured as more attractive for a long-term relationship when they were described as a volunteer — but the effect was stronger for women rating men.

Show off your scars.

Heidi Klum Seal Thumbnail

Getty

That scar on your chin from when you fell off a bike could help you attract a mate.

In a 2009 study, researchers at the University of Liverpool and the University of Stirling took photos of 24 male and 24 female undergrads. They digitally manipulated half of the images so the subjects appeared to have facial scars — for example, a line on the person’s forehead that looked like the result of an injury.

Then the researchers recruited another group of about 200 heterosexual male and female undergrads to rate all the people pictured based on attractiveness for both short- and long-term relationships.

Results showed that men with scars appeared slightly more attractive for short-term relationships than men without scars. Women, on the other hand, were perceived as equally attractive regardless of whether they had scarred faces.

Use open body language in your online dating photo.

flirting

Getty Images

A 2016 study — from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University — suggests that we’re more attracted to people who display expansive body language.

In one experiment included in the study, the researchers created profiles for three men and three women on a GPS-based dating app.

In one set of profiles, the men and women were pictured in contractive positions — for example, by crossing their arms or hunching their shoulders.

In the other set of profiles, the same men and women were pictured in expansive positions, like holding their arms upward in a “V” or reaching out to grab something.

Results showed that people in expansive postures were selected as potential dates more often than those in contractive postures. This effect was slightly larger for women selecting men.

Look proud.

Oscars

AP/Jordan Strauss

A 2011 University of British Columbia study revealed a curious finding: heterosexual men and women prefer different emotional expressions on potential mates.

In one experiment included in the study, researchers had nearly 900 North American adults look at photos of opposite-sex individuals online.

The researchers were specifically comparing people’s perceptions of expressions of pride, happiness, shame, and neutrality (other people had already identified the emotion behind the expression in the photo). For women evaluating men, the most appealing expression was pride, and the least appealing was happiness.

Even weirder, an expression of shame was relatively attractive on both men and women.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

20 Questions to Ask Your Ex after a Breakup to Heal & Find Closure

Ending a relationship is never easy, but it can be a lot easier to move forward if you have the perfect questions to ask your ex after a breakup.

You’ve had your breakup. The tears have been shed and the sweatshirts have been returned. But, there is still a lot of confusion, which is why these questions to ask your ex after a breakup matter.

A breakup rarely ends everything. It may end the technical parts of your relationship, but it likely left a lot of feelings and probably quite a few questions.

We don’t always get the chance to talk to an ex and get all our questions answered, so if you do, be smart about it. I know you have a lot of unresolved feelings, but there are some questions to ask your ex after a breakup that will help you move on.

Are you seeing your ex after a breakup?

When you are talking to your ex after a breakup, it is really the most beneficial if you do it in person. If you start texting your ex it can get out of hand. You can start saying things you might regret. When you are talking virtually you have an invisible wall protecting you from embarrassment or regret.

When you text your ex, things can turn around and take you back into a potentially dysfunctional relationship. Texting to ask questions to get clarity is just like going to their house to seek closure.

Seeing your ex privately, especially while feelings are still fresh, will lead to more harm than good.

Try to meet your ex somewhere in public to ask questions and get closure. You can go to lunch, meet at the mall, or anywhere that you will be able to keep things calm and cordial without lashing out or rekindling unresolved emotions. 

Questions to ask your ex after a breakup

If you have found a neutral place to meet your ex and are hoping to get closure by asking them questions, you’re in luck.

It may sound impossible, but it isn’t. Now, closure doesn’t mean you will come away with these answers feeling unfazed by the end of your relationship, but the end will feel more meaningful and like there is a reason.

This is what you want from these questions to ask your ex after a breakup. You don’t want to dwell on the past or what could have been. You want to learn from this relationship and move forward with knowledge and clarity.

With that, there are some questions to ask your ex after a breakup that will help you heal and move on.

Be prepared for some unexpected answers, and some that might upset you at first. But, all in all, the truth is what gives you closure.

#1 Can you give me the full truth? Starting here sets things off on the right foot. As your ex, they may think lying will protect you from hurting more or protect them from accountability. They may not want to see you cry or get upset.

Let them know no matter how you react now that you want the whole truth in order to move on and will offer the same to them. 

#2 When were we done in your mind? This can give you a lot of insight. Something a lot of us do when a relationship ends is wonder how long our ex wanted to end things. We think the breakup was a shock. But, if we can know when things took a turn, we can be more aware in the future.

#3 How did you know this wasn’t going to work? This will let you know why they gave up. You may still be wondering why you didn’t make it work or try harder. The answer to this question will give you closure.

It will let you know what straw broke the camel’s back, so you don’t have to wonder what if.

#4 What do you think went wrong? This may seem similar to the last question but is a bit broader. The answer to this won’t necessarily be about the end of your relationship but the beginning of the end.

#5 Were you ever unfaithful? This is not something everyone will want the answer to and yes it will hurt at first, but in the long run, you will be more confident in the end of this relationship once you know.

#6 Do you think I was unfaithful? This will clear things up for your ex and you. If you want to ensure they know you were faithful or that you weren’t so they can move on too, this is the time to talk. 

#7 Do you think we both contributed to this ending? I would say in most relationships both partners almost always have a hand to play in the end, but that isn’t always the case. Talk to your ex about this. Do they think they fully ended things on their own or that it was your fault?

#8 What do you think are my best qualities? This can be cathartic to hear from someone that is hurting due to the end of your relationship. It isn’t about what they think of you, but what you can take away from this.

Knowing that they still see good in you no matter the ending shows that you are both mature and that things didn’t get too out of hand before ending.

#9 Do you think we are different people than we were when we first met? Knowing if you changed since the beginning of your relationship can give you a lot of clarity. You may think you are the same person but your ex could point out the ways you’ve changed. And that isn’t a bad thing.

Sometimes we grow and our partners don’t. Sometimes we grow in different directions. And sometimes we grow and the relationship doesn’t. Knowing these things helps you take away more from this relationship.

#10 How would you describe our breakup to friends? This is not your business in every situation, but if you share friends it is best you two are on the same page so that there is no unneeded drama.

#11 Do you think we should distance ourselves for a while? I always think cutting off communication with an ex for a while is the best move. You can adjust to not having them in your life. But, see what they think. Do you need to interact because of work or other circumstances? 

#12 Did you ever trash talk me to your friends? This is another thing that can be hard to hear, but when asking your ex questions after a breakup this helps you be in control. Feeling like a fool after a breakup is one of the worst feelings, so knowing as much as you can now will help prevent that.

#13 Do you wish we never met? A mature person will look at a failed relationship as a way to grow and improve. If your ex wished they could wipe out your entire history together, they are not mature and this realization will help you move forward. 

#14 What do you think you brought to our relationship? This is the time for you to get clarity and closure, but can also be a time to learn more about your ex and for them to learn something too. Seeing what they think they did right in the relationship can be very eye-opening.

This can take away a lot of bitterness you may have built up and help you both regain confidence.

#15 Will you be okay with me moving on? Will seeing you with someone new hurt them? Will they be happy to see you happy? This lets you know what stage of the breakup they are in. If you know you’ll be seeing someone and posting photos online, you can mute or unfriend each other for a while until you are both past it.

#16 Are you happy? Knowing your ex’s state of mind is important for both of you to move forward after this conversation. Are they doing okay? Are they struggling? It is not your priority to keep them happy, but it is helpful to know where their mind is for your own sanity.

#17 Are you seeing anyone? You do not want to be surprised when your ex brings their new partner to a mutual friend’s party or posts pictures with them online. Asking them this prepares you for seeing that. You can even ask them to let you know if they do start seeing someone just so you aren’t taken off guard.

#18 How are we going to handle our mutual friends? This is something a lot of ex’s don’t talk about, but if you have mutual friends it can help. Maybe you just want to go back to how things were before you dated. But can you? Maybe you’ll switch off events with them until the tides have calmed?

#19 Moving forward do you want to keep in touch? I wish I had asked this question to all of my exes. It prepares you for that random text or for radio silence. Do you want to try to be friends down the road or are you going to go your separate ways?

Answering this now and getting on the same page prevents hiccups from spreading out the time it takes to move on. 

#20 Is there anything you want to ask me? This conversation is meant to offer clarity and closure to you post-breakup, but your ex deserves that too. Give them the same honest responses to their questions that you expect from them.

Try not to ask your ex if they miss you, if you could have done something different, or if they regret anything. These questions and others like these only pull you back into the relationship that is over.

These are questions to ask your ex after a breakup to move forward not back. So, keep that in mind and good luck.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Phicklephilly – Do It Yourself

“What’s with all the ads on my favorite blog?”

It’s been an interesting time during quarantine due to the Covid-19 crisis. I’ve had the pleasure of finally taking a rest from working 55 hours a week on my feet in a business that’s incredibly challenging. My daughter and I worked in the same industry, and we both agree that we needed a break. I think the workforce as a whole needed a break.

The first week or so it was just strange. Then we sort of settled into the fact that we couldn’t go to our jobs anymore.

What would we do with this sudden, paid free time?

We’ve had some ideas.  I decided to make phicklephilly.wordpress.com into my own domain. I bought Phicklephilly.com four years ago and own it. So I called the nice folks over at GoDaddy and had that integrated into my site. Now it’s more searchable on Google and has brought so much more traffic to the site. If you google phicklephilly now, it’s the first thing that comes up. That, and my books.

With that came wordpress ads. They run ads on your site, and that generates revenue. You have to complete a bunch of forms for that and give them all of your tax info. Because it’s real income.

But here’s the thing… the revenue for the ads run is minimal. They’ll serve thousands of ads on your site. But the return is tiny. Phicklephilly has been around for over four years and I have a tons of content. (Over 2,000 posts) I’ve always been prolific. I figured, more content, more page views. It worked, but I’d probably need millions of page views to make any money from these free ads thrown to me by wordpress.

I’m not complaining, but I felt I needed to do more. So I recently signed up for Google Analytics. That opens up the world of Adsense. Once that’s processed over the next few weeks, that’ll generate ads on my site which will equal more revenue. I’m looking forward to that. The site is really coming into it’s own. We’ve hit 50,000 page views so far this year, with 84,000 visitors, 2200 subscribers, and over 147,000 page views since its inception. So, we’re growing.

But while writing Angel with a Broken Wing, there was something nagging at me. The itch I had to create was being satiated by writing the book, but I felt there was something more I could do for Phicklephilly. The little blog that started me on this journey shortly after the death of my father in 2016.

I started to think… I’m putting all of these pieces together, is there something else I could do?

While creating Angel with a Broken Wing I would listen to music on Youtube. I’ve been listening to everything! It’s been great, but sometimes between songs they run these commercials. I don’t really mind it if it doesn’t go on to long. I grew up in a world where radio and TV were supported by commercials.

I worked in advertising for 10 years when I returned to Philadelphia from New York back in 2007.

I remember as I was typing one day, this ad came on for a company called, Dr. Squatch. I stopped what I was doing to watch it. Normally, when people are enjoying  a show or listening to music, all they want to do is skip the ads. But Dr. Squatch’s ads were so good, I was captivated by their brand. It was a brilliant, fun campaign to promote their male hygiene products. You know an ad is good when you WANT to watch it because it’s so engaging.

It got me thinking… all I did for 10 years in Philly was sell advertising. Digital advertising. For Philly.com, a happy hour website, and Philly Weekly. I started with nothing at all three of those companies and made it work. Most people don’t like to sell, or can’t sell. Either you have it or you don’t. No one likes rejection, and that’s 95% of sales. You need mad game to sell. It’s a ruthless, thankless business. But perfect for me. An over achiever with low self esteem, and a track record of closing impossible deals. In banking as a broker I was a million dollar producer every year. At Philly.com I was billing $40k a month. It all comes down to who will relentlessly make calls on clients, meet with them, close them, cross sell them, and get referrals. Then repeat that over and over again. That’s sales. Just run down the game and kill it everyday. Like a lion on the savanna, you hunt every day to feed your cubs. Most days you go hungry. But you keep at it. Most don’t have the will to keep at it. But if you do, like anything else, eventually you’ll make a kill.

So, here I am creating content for my dating and relationship blog here in Philly during quarantine. How can I write a blog like this in quarantine? I feel like I’ve been grounded by my parents and I can’t go out and do what I do socially.

But, while I’m waiting for WordPress and google analytics and adsense to all come together for me, I should maybe try to do what I’m good at.

Sell digital advertising while I’m waiting for them to get their act together. It’s what I’m good at. Selling stuff. Any job I’ve ever worked where I don’t get to create or sell stuff I usually fail. Because we have plenty of people that are built to take orders and work hard to build somebody else’s dream. Business leaders love cheap labor.

Don’t get me wrong… Phicklephilly, and writing books isn’t my dream. The only dream I ever had died 40 years ago in Los Angeles as a failed rockstar. Now the only dreams I have come to me during slumber and that’s just my brain dumping thoughts, feelings and images to keep me sane.

Phicklephilly has been a glorious hobby. Yea, it’s a hobby. If you don’t have a hobby, you should think about maybe getting one. It’s a lovely release from all of the things you HAVE to do everyday to survive. It’s a sweet little pleasure that you get to create.

It’s kind of cool to watch something that started as a passion or a hobby become something bigger. It’s like a garden. You tend the seeds and the plants and vegetables, with water, care and sunlight. It starts to grow. Because you care about it. You like it. It’s fun. It feels good. It’s not a job to pay the bills. It’s your thing. It belongs to you. 

I don’t know why I never thought about this back in March, but I guess I was busy writing my book. But it started to work on me about two months ago. Back in May I decided that part of my day would be dedicated to going through all of my leads and contacts. I have hundreds from New Jersey, New York, and obviously Philly.

I would spend only one hour a day for 60 days going through all of my social contacts, (business ones, not you drunken assholes) business contacts, business cards, Linkedin, old sales files from the last 20 years, and see what that would yield. I called on every advertising agency in my old book of business. I knew if I dug into all of my New York contacts, I could mine some gold. Sometimes the one hour goal would stretch beyond that, but I wanted to do it everyday consistently. I didn’t talk about it to anyone, in case it never came to fruition.

Which brings me to this.

The sight obviously looks different. Especially the sidebar. I wanted to fit them all in where I could.

At least for now.

What’s weird is… I remember being contacted years ago by acquaintances that had attached themselves to me like sea lampreys in the industry. They had their websites about Philly, or food, or music. They always wanted me to sell ads for them on their sites. I have no idea what their business plan was for their sites, but I can guess. Write a blog with some relevant content about something they were passionate about. But somewhere they thought they’d like to run ads on their site and make money. Sadly, they didn’t possess the ability to execute that part. So they approach some schlub to do it for them. They have no revenue to pay said individual. Sadly, all of those sites have failed, and hopefully those folks found jobs somewhere. I get it. Great idea. Poorly executed.

But don’t be nice to me thinking I’m going to do your job for you. That’s just fiction, man.

Most writers can write, But there aren’t really any writers out there that can sell.

So, I’ve been digging in hard everyday for the last few months to maybe monetize Phicklephilly. There’s no way I’d do this for free for someone else’s little dream, but for my little hobby…sure.

I haven’t sold advertising since 2017. But I still have all of my contacts from my corporate life. I haven’t had a platform worth selling anything on. But the cool thing is, Phicklephilly just sort of grew like a weed over the last 4 years. It grew because I gave it a lot of love. (Along with all of you reading this!)

So here we are.

Funny what you can accomplish when you don’t have a job to go to.

I know for the moment the site is looking a bit cluttered, but I wanted to show everybody that decided to run on my site. I’ll clean it up, and WordPress and Google will help me out.

I’m blown away by the support that all of these brands have brought to Phicklephilly. 

I want to take a moment and thank everybody!

ALYAKA, AQUATALIA, BERETTA, BERRYLOOK, HARD TAIL, TRETORN, BUXTON, EVERLAST (You guy have been great! I appreciate all of the rapid responses!) FREDRICKS OF HOLLYWOOD (I have a story for you guys from my youth when I first saw your ads in a Hollywood gossip mag!) GRAND SLAM – NEW YORK, JACH’S – NEW YORK, KATY PERRY (Katy… your agency is a delight to work with!) LANCER, LIFELINE, LUVYLE   (I love you guys! Thanks for Berrylook!), MADDA FELLA, MADISON STYLE, PURLISSE, ROYAL DOULTON (Thank you guys in London for being first!), SLEEPSTAR, SMOKO (Beautiful ads, guys!), WATERFORD, WEDGWOOD, YOUNGBLOOD MINERAL COSMETICS (Best models ever!)

You guys rock! You’ve all been so kind and patient with me. I can write, but I suck at all of the technical stuff. I just love that I was able to pitch you guys and you got it. I can’t run all of your stuff all of the time, but I’ll do my best to promote your brands on the site to the best of my abilities!

Thank you!

(If any of you readers have any opinions about the way the site looks, please let me know!)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Am I Being Led On? Experts Explain The Psychology Behind Breadcrumbing & Why People Keep Others On The Hook

Of all the annoying dating habits folks have developed over the years, breadcrumbing is possibly one of the most painful and confusing. If someone is breadcrumbing you, they’ll likely pop up at odd intervals to say hi and express their interest, only to disappear again shortly thereafter. It’s like ghosting, but it’s long and drawn out. And it just keeps happening.

In short, “breadcrumbing is a way of stringing a person along using text and social media,” Elisa Robyn, Ph.D., a relationship expert with a background in psychology, tells Bustle. “You might have had a few dates, or even been a bit serious, and then you wonder if you have been ghosted.”

But rather than straight-up disappearing, you might receive a random text message, a like on your Instagram photo, or perhaps a few phone calls here and there, Robyn says. It’ll seem like they’re making just enough of an effort to keep you in their life, without ever truly committing or taking things to the next level.

“The notes are fun and perhaps a bit sexy, and then they stop again,” she says. “You might schedule a few dates, but for some reason, they are always canceled and followed by a short text. You feel like you are following a trail of breadcrumbs, that someone is leading you on.” And you may very well be right.

Woman with phone

Shutterstock

So why does it happen? On one end of the spectrum, this breadcrumber may be attempting to let you down softly, Robyn says. Instead of being honest, or ghosting you, they choose to send sporadic texts, essentially letting the relationship die a slow and painful death. For them, it isn’t going anywhere and they know it, but they don’t ever do you the favor of saying so.

That said, they very well could be interested, but aren’t quite sure what to do or say next, hence all the confusing texts. “They are still ‘testing the waters’ in the relationship and want some space to do this,” Dr. Marni Feuerman, LCSW, LMFT, an author and licensed psychotherapist, tells Bustle. In this situation, you may have chatted about starting a relationship, but they are taking their sweet time, and stringing you on in the process.

Unfortunately, breadcrumbing can also be a sign someone is still in a relationship, and are texting you just for fun. “Often breadcrumbers are in a relationship they find unsatisfying and hope to enliven their life,” Robyn says, usually by sending flirty texts. They may take comfort in knowing you’re there, should they ever decide to call their current relationship quits.

When that’s the case, these messages might even be a way for them to feel better about themselves. For example, if they get rejected by their partner or have an argument, they might reach out to you as a way to boost their ego, Caroline Madden, Ph.D., an author and licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. They know you’ll text back and distract them, but it will never really be more than that.

Beautiful serious thoughtful and sad black woman with curly hair using smartphone on bed

Shutterstock

There’s no denying breadcrumbing can be incredibly unfair, so the more you can do to detect it early and cut things off before it gets to you, the better. While it can be tricky to spot, it can help to “watch for a pattern of canceled dates followed by several text messages and then silence,” Robyn says. “There will be just enough communication to keep you confused.”

If you notice these signs, “there are two options,” she says. “The first is to address this head-on and ask the person if they want to have a relationship with you or not.” Depending on how they respond, you can decide if you’re willing to wait and see where things go, or make a clean break and officially move on.

“Your second option is to block them on all your accounts and leave this unsatisfactory situation behind you,” Robyn says. If it isn’t working out, or you don’t like how this person is making you feel, call it off. Don’t text back. Block them on social media. Do whatever you need to do to move on, and protect yourself. Because nobody needs to be strung along.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 3

I decided to go back in my memory and try to remember all of the inspiring moments in my own life that helped bring this book to life. I published Part 1 and 2 the last two Mondays, so you can check them out to gather more insight into the book. Anyway, here’s some more stuff…

The Conversations: The interesting dialogue between Christian and the people in his life all came out of my head for the most part. I originally envisioned Angel as a play. It was about two people on a long car ride. The play would focus on all of the cool conversations they have together on a road trip. I wanted the stories to be diverse and engaging. Back in the 90’s, what else was there to do on a long trip? Read a magazine, listen to the radio or simply talk. I liked the idea and as the story grew, I incorporated all of those clever exchanges into the story.

The Villain: Although I’m always rooting for the hero, the bad guys in movies and books are always more interesting than the good guys. When I think about it, the villain has his on perspective of right and wrong. Both parties think they’re right. Superman wants to save the world, but Lex Luthor has his own agenda. The villain in Angel simply wants what he believes is rightfully his, and will stop at nothing to get it. I can’t really blame him, but I don’t agree with his methods. He isn’t based on anyone I know. I just envisioned the classic man in black from modern folklore.

The Route: Back in 1982, I took a road trip from New Jersey to Los Angeles, in a 1969 Volkswagen mini bus. I was with my buddy Frank Roberts. It was February when we set out, so we took the most southern route. It was interstate 10. Remembering many of the details and stops on that trip, I was able to create a similar route for Christian and Jill. Knowing that road and those towns along the way, I was able to bring the trip to life in a realistic way.

The Wagon Wheel: That’s a restaurant that Chris and Jill dine in one day. The name of the place is from a song by the band, Morphine. It’s a song called Thursday. I love that whole album, (A Cure for Pain) The lyrics always seemed so clever and illicit, that I felt that the song deserved a mention. Here’s the lyrics:

We used to meet every Thursday Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers and a game of pool
We used to go to a motel a motel
A motel across the street
And the name of the motel was the Wagon Wheel
Oh
One day she said come on come on she said
Why don’t you come back to my house
She said my husband’s out of town
You know he’s gone till the end of the month
Well I was just so nervous so nervous
You know I couldn’t really quite relax
‘Cause I was never really quite sure when her
Husband was coming back
Sure one of the neighbors yea one of the neighbors
One of the neighbors that saw my car
And they told her yea they told her
I think they know who you are
Well her husband he’s a violent man a very violent and jealous man
Now I have to leave this town I got to leave while I still can
We should have kept it every Thursday Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers and a game of pool
We should have kept it every Thursday Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers and a game of pool
She was pretty good too
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Mark Sandman
Thursday lyrics © BMG Rights Management
I just liked the song so I worked the Wagon Wheel into the book.

New Orleans: Back in 1982, on my real road trip with Frank, we pretty much stayed on highway 10. But I remember the day we left Mobile, Alabama, Frank expressed that he wanted to take highway 12 down into New Orleans. I’m so glad we did that. You can actually read about our whole trip in the series: California Dreamin’ on this blog! Just enter that into the SEARCH box and you can read the whole sordid tale. It’s such a unique and wild place I had to include it into Angel. Did I jump onstage and play with a band in a bar down there? No. But it just had to be a stop for our heroes on their trip because it’s just a neat place. I think after we left there I described it as… Sodom and Gomorrah with a two drink minimum!

Sealy, Texas: That really happened. It wasn’t as bad as I made it in the book, (the roaches!) but the whole bit about the desk clerk, his coloring book and him chasing us in his car down a dirt road, really happened to Frank and I on our journey back in 1982. Difference was, I didn’t have a bulldog .44 pistol. But I did have Frank, who was formerly a member of the Junior wing of the IRA back in Belfast, Ireland. I’ll never forget when he leaped out of the car, with an ice pick in his hand to face the guy chasing us. I obviously changed it up for the book, but yea…true story.

The Car: When I first started writing this book, I thought what kind of car should they take on an odyssey across America. The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz came to mind. It’s an enormous automobile built for the open road. Can you imagine trying to parallel park that beast in the city? You’d never even find a spot for a car that size. Here’s a link to some more info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Eldorado

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible ...

It just seemed like the obvious choice for a long trip across the country. It looks like a 1950’s science fiction spaceship.  Who wouldn’t want to step on the gas and let that massive chrome boat carry you to parts unknown? There was a song I heard on WXPN in Philly, (public supported radio) by a band called Southern Culture on the Skids. There was a song called Voodoo Cadillac that opens the album. It’s some good old fashioned shit kickin’ rockabilly. I loved the idea of the title. So the character, Jean from Haiti was born, and he’s the one who brings the car back to life. As we all know Haiti is where voodoo comes from. I always like the movie, Serpent and the Rainbow, so that was an inspiration as well.

I always loved the car, and even bought a little toy one when I was in Palm Springs with my wife back in the 1990’s! (I still have it!)

The Police: The two officers that visit Christian and Jill in Texas were based on a couple of my childhood friends. Michael Mitchell was a kid I grew up with in Philly. His father was a cop and he became a police officer as well. He had a decorated career but sadly passed away in April of 2020. Richard Sarlo was my best friend in Wildwood New Jersey every summer. He always wanted to become a police officer. Through the years he rose up the ranks and eventually became the Chief of Police in Collingswood, New Jersey. He’s since retired and is living a happy life in South Jersey.

Scene in the Texas desert: The scene where Jill and Chris have to hang for a day in Texas because of the police investigation, was born from an old film. One of my least favorite Alfred Hitchcock movies, To Catch a Thief was the inspiration. It’s just Cary Grant and Grace Kelly riding a scooter in I the Italian countryside. She has a picnic lunch and I just loved the vibe of that scene so I sort of dropped that into the story. To me it’s a throwaway scene from a throwaway movie.

More to come next Monday!

 

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Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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If Your Partner Is Really In Love, They’ll Never Do These 15 Small Things

When you’re happily in love, it’s so easy to miss signs that your partner isn’t exactly on the same page. While things like name calling and cheating are obvious red flags, it’s the little things you should pay attention to. Because according to experts, the small things can clue you in to how in love your partner really is.

“The reason why it’s so important to watch out for these seemingly small things is for the sake of kindness,” Julia McCurley, Professional Matchmaker and founder of Something More, tells Bustle. “Kindness, along with emotional stability, is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage.”

Small gestures of kindness are what make people feel cared for, understood, validated, and loved in a relationship. “Maybe you are OK with taking an Uber to the airport,” McCurley says. “But if it’s important for your partner to have you drive them, then you’re spending $100 of your time to make them feel like a million bucks.”

Although kind gestures are great and can make you feel loved, you don’t want to overlook the small signs of disrespect either. So if you’re curious about how your partner truly feels about you, here are some small things they likely won’t do if they love you, according to experts.

1. Say No To Driving You To The Airport

Ashley Batz/Bustle

In a true partnership, McCurley says both people should consider their partner a top priority. That means your partner should always be there to support you and try to meet your needs. If your partner really loves you, they won’t flat out refuse favors, like taking you to the airport, without a legitimately good excuse. If something is important to you, then your partner should find it important too, she says. “No questions asked.”

2. Tell You When They Think Someone Else Is Attractive, Even If You Feel Uncomfortable

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

There’s nothing wrong with finding other people attractive and talking about celebrity crushes once and a while. But if your partner actively comments on how attractive your friend, their friend or the server is when it makes you uncomfortable, they’re likely not thinking about your feelings. “When we’re in love, we tend to have tunnel vision for the person we’re with,” Amica Graber, a relationship expert with TruthFinder, tells us. “If the eyes are wandering, it’s a bad sign.”

3. Pick Petty Fights With You Regularly

Ashley Batz/Bustle

One petty fight may not make a huge impact on your relationship. But over time, “frequent fighting can take a serious toll on your relationship,” Graber says. These little fights over why someone didn’t do this or why someone always does that can really add up. If your partner constantly finds ways to argue with you over the smallest things, there may be a deeper reason behind it.

4. Forget The Details

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

When we’re in love, Graber says it’s a lot easier to remember the details about someone like the color of their eyes, the names of their siblings, or their favorite pizza toppings. “But if someone can’t remember any of the little details about you, they may not be 100 percent invested,” she says.

5. Air Your Issues Out In Public

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You may do something that frustrates your partner, but that is no excuse for them to be putting you down in front of other people. “If you’re having a dispute about something, a loving partner will discuss it with you privately, and not in front of your friends,” Graber says. That means no passive aggressive social media posts either.

6. Criticize Your Lifestyle Choices

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“Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is part of loving someone,” life coach Rebekah Storm, tells us. After all, when you love someone you’ll obviously want them to live a long and healthy life. But that doesn’t mean anyone should be criticizing what someone eats, drinks, or does to stay healthy. A partner who loves you will never make you feel bad for the choices you make in your life. According to Storm, shaming in any way is a sign of someone trying to feel superior, which can mean they feel insecure.

7. Compare You To Other People

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A partner who truly loves you won’t compare you to anyone else. Even seemingly positive comparison like, “You’re way better than my ex,” can be problematic. “Someone who loves you will not be thinking about ways you measure up against other people,” Storm says. You exist independently of anyone they know or have known in the past, and creating a comparison may show your partner’s mind is partially elsewhere.

8. Lie To Avoid Hurting Your Feelings

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“A partner who loves you will respect you enough to be honest, even when it might hurt a little,” Storm says. When you ask your partner for their honest opinion, you should be able to trust that they’re telling the truth and not just what you want to hear. Even though the truth is not always easy to tell, trust is important in a loving relationship.

9. Keep You A Secret

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“In my experience, partners who have never truly loved me have actively hidden me from their social media,” relationship expert and writer, Gina Daniel, tells us. “If someone loves you enough to want to be with you, they should at least let people know you are involved, even if it’s just at your request.” It isn’t “needy” or unreasonable for you to want to feel like your partner is proud to be with you. Even if your partner likes to keep it fairly private online, Daniel says they should still respect your desire to be seen with you, and you both can compromise to figure out what form that will take.

10. Be Too Busy If You Really Need Them

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

“If your partner loves you, they’re going to be there for you no matter what,” Bethany Ricciardi, relationship expert with TooTimid, tells us. Someone who truly cares about you and wants you to be part of their life will never be too “busy” to be there for you. “Don’t think just because they missed a call while at work that they don’t love you,” Ricciardi says. “You have to be respectful to their time and boundaries too.” They don’t need to drop whatever they’re doing to be with you at any given time. But if you feel like you can truly count on them during your time of need, you have a keeper.

11. Discourage You

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

“They might be realistic with you, and give an honest opinion about how they feel when it comes to what you’re doing, but they’ll never try and break your confidence,” Ricciardi says. A person who loves you may challenge you in order to help you grow, but they’ll always be your biggest cheerleader.

12. Say Things That Put You Down

Ashley Batz/Bustle

When you’re super close to someone, it’s easy to make a critique “out of love.” But as Ricciardi says, a partner who’s truly in love will appreciate you for who you are. They wouldn’t want you to change yourself because that’s who they fell in love with.

13. Make You Feel Alone

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“Surprisingly enough, many individuals feel like they’re in a relationship by themselves,” Ricciardi says. “If your partner cares about you, they’re going to make sure you’re drowning in their love.” They’ll make the effort to check in with you on a regular basis and you’ll never be left wondering when they’re finally going to see you. In short, they’ll be putting in the effort.

14. Monopolize Your Time

Ashley Batz/Bustle

If you’re in a healthy relationship, there’s room in your life for the other important people you love like your family and friends. “If your partner loves you, they won’t try and keep you to themselves,” Ricciardi says. “They’ll want to be happy in and outside of the relationship.” They might miss you when you’re spending time apart, but they’ll never try to make you feel bad about spending time with other people.

15. Make You Feel Like An Inconvenience

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

If someone loves you, they won’t you feel like you’re “just another chore getting checked off the list,” Ricciardi says. When you’re with them, they’ll be present. They won’t be scrolling through their phone or thinking about other things. They’ll be with you, 100 percent because they genuinely enjoy spending time with you.

When it comes to your relationship, the small things are extremely important to pay attention to. It’s the everyday stuff that makes up your relationship. If you can say that your partner doesn’t do any of these things, you can be sure they really do love you.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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Tales of Rock: Man Accidentally Trips On LSD For 9 Hours After Cleaning A Classic Synthesizer

Eliot Curtis accidentally tripped on LSD while fixing a vintage Buchla Model 100. He was tasked to repair a piece of history, but he didn’t expect to begin seeing history and time in front of him as tripped on acid. With his experience, he added another story to the history of the synthesizer, and it’s probably a good idea to making cleaning old equipment with gloves on a standard procedure.

The Buchla Model 100 was invented in the 1960s by Don Buchla of Berkeley. He completely immersed himself in counterculture, and in 1966, his synthesizers were put on a school bus converted to play music. The iconic bus of counterculture, Furthur, was purchased by Ken Kesey, an advocate for using acid. Among their crew was Owsley Stanley, a sound engineer and manufacturer of a potent strain of LSD. While these links can explain how the drug could’ve gotten on the synthesizer, it’s still unclear exactly how the LSD got on this specific one.

Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Manager for KPIX Televsion, was tasked with repairing the vintage analog music modular instrument they found in a closet at Cal State University East Bay’s music department. It was acquired by two music professors who taught in the university during the 1960s. During his repair, Curtis found something stuck under one of the knobs, and it appeared to be a crystal. He sprayed cleaning solvent on the residue to dissolve it a little bit, then he dislodged it from the knob to continue cleaning the area.

45 minutes later, Curtis began to feel strange tingling sensations. He speculated that he was tripping on LSD but thought that’s probably just his imagination. His original inkling, however, was true. His unexpected LSD trip lasted around nine hours.

Authorities later confirmed that residues of LSD were present on the instrument. According to reports, the place the synthesizer was stored made it possible for the LSD to remain potent. The machine was resting in a cool, dark place, so the drug’s potency was preserved so well that it was possible for the residue to be ingested through the skin. With his unexpected trip, Curtis learned a lot more about the 1960s counterculture than he could have ever imagined.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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