Johnny R. – Needle in the Groove – Part 1

Another fun day with my friend who loves vice.

I love this day. I finally get to write about Johnny R. with a little vice because I planned it that way. Art imitates life.

I sleep in on Saturday, because it’s the only day I  am technically off from my two jobs. The real day off. That’s plenty of time for me, because I like to work.

Johnny texts me that he will roll into Suburban Station around 1pm. I have to get out of this bed. I am drifting in and out of the arms of Morpheus and listening to NPR. I have to go out and be with my dear friend.

His train is coming in and I am walking towards the station. He says he is busting for a piss and is going to Tir Na Nog. That’s the closest bar to the train station, and a beloved spot for him because they have a satellite dish and play all of the liverpool soccer games that he loves all the time. I don’t get it because I’m not a sports guy but he loves it. I know when Johnny says he’s heading to Tir to take a piss that means he’s going to be drinking 5 minutes after that, so I need to get there sooner than later.

I arrive and he looks great and we’re happy to see each other. Tir Na Nog is obviously an Irish bar on 16th street near Arch. It’s a good spot but normally is a sausage bar. Lot’s of dudes and sports fans. Never my cup of tea. I prefer hotel bars with pretty nubile waitresses eager to please me.

Johnny is sucking on a bud bottle and seems surly. He says he has no coke or adderall so he’s probably going to behave but be tired later on. I don’t mind. As long as I can spend time with my friend and we get our kicks, I know we’ll all be better for it and his wallet won’t hurt tomorrow. (Nor will his soul)

He tells me he hates the raven haired Irish female bartender that’s currently on shift. I love his rage about everything. I ask him why, and he tells me that he sat here with an empty bottle and she ignored him and went to talk to her friends at the end of the bar. Normally I would hate this too but I have a little surprise that I didn’t see coming for my friend Johnny.

Johhny: “I fuckin’ hate her. Shitty service.”

Me: “Hello Sheila! I haven’t seen you in a while. How you been?”

Sheila: ” Hey, great man, I’ll come by the new salon soon!”

Johnny looks at me incredulously.

Sheila: “Hey, this round is on me.”

Johnny: “How?”

Me: ” She tans at the salon so she doesn’t look so pale when she goes back to Ireland every year.”

Johnny: “Wow. Thank you.”

Me: (I point to me and then him) “Honey… vinegar. It’s all good dude.”

That was a huge savings and an elegant meeting spot for me and Johnny. It had history, soccer and free drinks in it!

We head down to Locust Rendezvous for some food, because all I’ve had in the way of food today was beer. We get there and the place is chill. We sit in our usual seats at the end of the bar and I order a Yards Pale and some chicken fingers. Johnny goes for the plain grilled and I of course go for the buffalo.

Locust Rendezvous is a clean little dive down at 15th and Locust. Local crowd. The food is good and cheap. The staff is consistent and sweet. They have a fantastic $5 burger lunch special there. Check it out if you’re ever in Philly. Worth it! We’re chatting and sipping our beers. Johnny with his Bud bottle as always. The food comes out and it looks great. Johnny complains that his chicken is tough but he bitches about everything. It’s actually endearing and one of the reasons I love him. It’s like hanging out with comedian Bill Burr.

Our day is unfolding beautifully, until he gets a piece of chicken lodged not in his throat but in his esophagus. He has a thing. It’s not serious but you know how deadly chicken and it’s bones can be to humans and dogs.

Johnny pauses. I turn. “Are you okay, dude?”

“I’m fine. Just a piece of chicken that needs to keep going to my stomach.”

“Is there anything I can do?” I’m getting worried about my friend.

“”No. I just need to go to the bathroom.”

I’m concerned, but it’s his thing and he knows how to deal with it. Chicken is dense and you gotta take little bites.

I continue to drink my beer and rip into my delicious “moist” buffalo chicken fingers. After a few minutes he comes back and he’s fine. I’m relieved and he’s still pissed about his dry chicken. But that’s just Johnny. It didn’t kill you, so eat it brother.

I finish my meal and I know what’s going to happen. Since all I’ve consumed has been beers and buffalo chicken today and that has been breakfast and lunch, I need to go. It’s called middle age. You put something in your body and the system turns on and things start moving. I tell him I’ll be right back and I walk to the back of the bar to the men’s room. It’s funny because the bathrooms are labeled. “Nuts” and “No Nuts” and they have pictures of a boy and a girl squirrel. It’s pretty obvious what bathroom has been appointed to which sex, but I just wonder why they went with that theme here. It has nothing to do with the bar.

I really have to go. The machine is running and I need to deal with this. Forgive me readers for going here. Some of you may hate anything bathroom related, but I promise if you stay with this scene, you’ll enjoy it.

I go into the “Nuts” bathroom because I have a pair, and I tie my button down dress shirt in a knot at the bottom so it’s away from all of the action. Every time I do this I always think of Rod Stewart tying the bottom of his shirt and looking gay. Nothing against the gay community or Rod, (No pun intended) I love gay people but this move always makes me feel a little gay.

I drop my drawers and have a seat. It’s a tiny bathroom. Just one commode, a sink and that’s it. Just me, my phone and my thoughts. I’m cool. I’m having a good day with my pal who’s at the front of the bar probably sipping his beer and playing with his phone.

I finish and life is good. I feel relieved and I’m having a great day with my dear friend. Hopefully there’s more fun and deviltry to come. So I’m ready to get up and I look around. First casually, then frantically. There’s no toilet paper in the men’s room. Not a stitch. Not a square. Nothing! There is a little soggy wad next to the toilet on the floor in the corner. I’m not touching that!

What the fuck am I going to do? I can’t wipe!

I’m panicking now. I’m trapped in the Nuts room and I can’t leave.

Wait! I brought my phone in with me. I’ll call Johnny and tell him my situation and he’ll tell the bartender and someone will run back a roll to save me!

I pride myself in knowing where all of the liquor stores and clean bathrooms are in this fine city. I’ve done this my entire life. Sometimes I get tummy troubles and a man need to know where to get a clean restroom. This comes in really handy with the fairer sex. But I’m being held hostage by my dirty ass right now and I have failed myself as a good bathroom vigil.

I grab my phone and call him. You can’t text your friend at the bar when you are trapped in the bathroom. You have to call! He’ll pick up. I’m with him right now. I dial his number.

Ringing…

“Pick up…”

“Pick up…”

“Pick up Johnny….”

“Pick up you fucking asshole!”

(voicemail) “You have reached (phone number) Johnny is not available…”

“Are you fucking kidding me???”

How is everybody chained to their phones and you are literally sitting at the bar with me in the same bar and you are on your phone and I am calling you and you are not picking up you fucking asshole???

He never picks up.

I’m stranded in this bathroom. I want to kill him. I really want to kill him. I’m going to kill my friend next time I see him.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I have been in worst situations so I need to get creative and do what is necessary. I get up off the seat with my pants around my ankles and turn my butt toward the sink. I hop towards it and get to the sink. I grab the porcelain and hoist my ass up onto the sink. Apparently the sinks in Locust Rendezvous are strong enough to support the full weight of a grown man. I reach back behind me and turn the spigot on. The water is running now. Is it the hot water or the cold? Should I turn them both on?

I feel like a little kid now. Sitting on a another toilet with my little legs dangling in the air a foot of the ground because I’m small. I reach back to check the temperature of the water with my hand. The water feels ok, so I realize the inevitable. I lean forward and get my ass as close the water stream as close as possible to my sweet star fruit. I reach back and literally scrub my asshole with my bare hand under the fresh stream of water from the faucet.

How do they even open their bar on a Saturday and not even check the bathroom situation? At the beginning of my shift at the salon I run patrol on the whole place. Well I suppose this is how you earn the title, “Dive Bar.”

So I scrub my asshole clean until it squeaks. There isn’t even a way to dry my butt because they have an air dryer for your hands in there. And I am not going to be able to do the gymnastic to do a head stand on the sink and get my balloon knot up under that blower to dry off my turd cutter. (Yea, I’m using creative names to make it even funnier than this sad situation already is.)

I hop down when I’m done and am actually a little proud of myself for my resourcefulness and creativity in a bad situation. Urban survival techniques!

I thoroughly wash my hand with their soap. I use it copiously! Then I get to take advantage of their modern hand air dryer in the bathroom with NO TOILET PAPER! Because if they had any paper hand towels I would have totally ripped them up and wiped my sorry ass with them. If it clogged up the toilet I would have been fine with that because that’s your punishment for not doing your fucking job and checking the bar before your shift! Now you have a REAL mess to clean up, lazy! (I kidding…I wouldn’t really do that)

So I walk out of the bathroom and back to the bar with my super clean, still wet ass and I see Johnny just sitting there sipping his beer.

“You wouldn’t believe what just fucking happened to me in the bathroom!”

“The redhead blew you?”

“Really, dude? No! there was no toilet paper in there and I had to use the sink as a fucking bidet on my butthole!”

“(Nonchalantly) Oh…I saw that you called.”

“Why the fuck didn’t you pick up?”

“I just thought you accidentally butt dialed me.”

“Yea! My butt was crying out for help and you left it literally blowing in the wind!”

“Alright. I got lunch. Wanna go to McGlinchey’s?”

“Dude! I needed your hel… You got lunch?”

“Yea.”

“Okay. I’ll buy the first round at McGlinch…”

“I hate when you abbreviate everything.”

“It’s my thing. It’s what I do.”

“We know. Let’s go.”

We step out onto 15th street headed to the foulest bar in the city.

“Why couldn’t you have choked on that piece of chicken.”

“What?

“Love you….”

 

 

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7 Habits that Guarantee a Happy Relationship

Disclaimer: This is a fictional piece that was written in 2017 that uses stock photos and a made up name.

Looking for love? Or simply aiming to be happy with the partner you already have? While the media is awash with information on finding true love, once you’ve met your match you’re expected to simply live happily ever after.

But according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 42 per cent of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce and many of us could do with some guidance in the relationship department.

The secret to lasting love

To avoid being one of these disconcerting statistics, help is at hand. If you want to be part of a happy couple, Dr Robert Epstein is your guy. The renowned American psychologist, along with colleagues Regina Warfel and James Johnson, conducted in-depth relationship research at the University of California San Diego and found strong relationships boil down to seven key skills.

‘No matter what your personality, or the state of your relationship, improving these skills will help your relationship work better,’ he says.

According to Dr Robert Epstein, the seven key relationship skills you need to follow are as follows:

1. Communication

This means knowing how to listen, sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly, refraining from criticizing and encouraging your partner to share his or her feelings.

It’s all about opening up, and letting your other half open up too, in a judgement-free space. Sounds simple enough!

2. Knowledge of your partner

What’s his shirt size? What’s her favorite food? After communication, simply knowing a lot about your partner is a powerful way to show them you care, and makes you better equipped to tend to each other’s ongoing needs.

When she gets home from a stressful day and you’ve run a bath with her favourite lavender oil and poured a cup of Pinot Grigio, she’ll know how much you really do care (and listen).

3. Being mature about conflict resolution

Conflict-resolution skills include techniques like staying focused on the topic, staying in the present, being ready to forgive or apologize, and knowing when to take a break. You’re going to disagree, so make sure you do it in the best way possible.

4. Brushing up your life skills

Do you plan for emergencies? Do you exercise and stay fit? Studies show people want their partners to take good care of themselves and also want them to contribute a degree of security to a long-term relationship.

We’re not saying you need the survival skills of Bear Grylls, but being calm in a crisis and having a plan B when things don’t work out makes you a far more appealing mate.

5. Being able to self-manage

This is not the same as life skills, Epstein insists. People who are skilled at self-management take inventories of their strengths and weaknesses and always strive for improvement. They know how to interpret disturbing events in positive ways and they work hard to reach their goals.

This skill is also great for life in general, and it can help boost everything from professional success to your relationships with your children.

6. Being romantic and intimate

What does having strong skills in sex and romance look like? Inquiring and caring about how to please your partner sexually, setting aside time for intimacy, refraining from blaming each other when sex doesn’t go smoothly, and trying to stay physically attractive for your partner. So lay off the donuts and make time for romance!

7. Stress management

Do you know how to use breathing, meditation, or imagery techniques to help you fight stress? If you know how to avoid or fight stress, you’ll be better able to love and support your partner.

 

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I woke up one morning and I was 50! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else

 

Seriously! It just happened to me, I woke up one morning and I was 50!! Well it didn’t exactly happen just like that and actually I am not even sure where in the world I was when I officially turned 50…You see I left one country one day and arrived in another country two days later on my birthday so somewhere over the Pacific ocean I turned 50!

via I woke up one morning and I was 50! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else

 

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Tales of Rock – Guns N’ Roses’ Izzy Stradlin Ends Up in a Coma for 96 Hours After Swallowing Drugs

Guns N’ Roses rode to massive popularity as part of a wave of L.A. ’80s bands that made a career of looking like degenerates.

Guns N’ Roses rode to massive popularity as part of a wave of L.A. ’80s bands that made a career of looking like degenerates. But GNR eclipsed their peers because they walked the walk down to a man. Axl Rose largely stopped doing hard drugs once the band was successful, but had enough experience with “Mr. Brownstone” to sing about it and clearly didn’t dial down his propensity for rage, drinking and insanity.

Slash kept at it; he once told GQ magazine that his smack habit amounted to; “However much I could get my hands on. If I finished a batch, I’d go hunting for it. It never stopped.” Entering Japan on tour and ordered by GNR’s tour manager to get rid of all drugs in his possession, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin swallowed his entire stash and ended up in a coma for 96 hours. Bassist Duff McKagan abused drugs so heavily that in the ’90s his pancreas exploded resulting in third-degree burns inside his body.

Yet, the worst drug casualty of GNR was surely Steven Adler, who was kicked out of the band for being too fucked up in 1990 (Stradlin later claimed Adler’s dismissal ruined the band’s sound) and in the 22 years since, has basically done nothing but occasionally show up in news stories about the band, always supposedly newly sober.

 

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6 Dating Mistakes Women Make — A Thomas Point of View

This is a roll call to all the women out there who’ve made mistakes while dating. You date men only to find out that the man you thought was the one was in fact a dud. You start to review the reel of your relationship no matter how small or insignificant in your head. You […]

via 6 Dating Mistakes Women Make — A Thomas Point of View

Liz – Bridal Blues

“How dare you stand me up?”

Probably one my worst two dates were with one girl in particular. This was a few years after my first marriage had ended. In this period I had been on lots of awkward dates, lots of lovely dates, but never had any where I really clicked with anyone.

Anyway, a friend suggested I should go out with a friend of hers. She was sure we’d be a great match, so she gave each other our email addresses.  She lived in a city around 70 miles away, (Seemed a bit far for me) so we emailed and called each other quite a few times over a couple of weeks and seemed to get along quite well, so we decided to meet up and go on our first date. She said that the coming weekend she had a friend’s birthday party to go to and suggested that I be her “plus one”. The party was being held at a restaurant in the city where she lived, and it was decided that I would meet her there.

I arrived, she texted me she was running late, but she was with the guest of honor, so it wouldn’t start until she arrived. Eventually she arrived, with the birthday girl…  my ex-wife!!!  Well, that was awkward! My ex and I hadn’t parted on good terms back then.  I suggested I should leave, but my date said she wanted me to stay. I remained polite, as did my ex, but it kinda put a damper on the evening. It turned out my date and my ex had been childhood friends, had fallen out of touch, and had encountered each other only a few months prior. Consequently my date knew nothing about us having been married. After the evening my ex briefly spoke with me, and wished my date and I well. My ex suggested we should get along well.  OK, so after the initial shock, the evening ended on a positive note. But I didn’t really get to know my date at all.

The next week, I was invited to another party with my date. This was pretty uneventful, and to be honest I can’t really remember any of it.

I was getting along well with this girl, but still hadn’t had any alone time with her, so the following weekend we decided to go out for lunch on the Saturday.

This is where things went sideways.

I was to pick her up, but she wouldn’t give me her address. She said her place was hard to find, so I should first go to a particular strip mall, call her once I was there, and then she’d give the directions to her place. So once I arrived there, instead of giving me directions, she told me to wait there and she would meet me there. OK, this was a big warning sign, but I went along with it.  I had to wait for nearly an hour, and got to the point where I decided I would leave if she didn’t show up by a certain time – she arrived just before the deadline.

She arrived, but had a friend with her. Apparently that’s why she was late. She hadn’t seen the friend in years, and she happened to drop in this morning, so she invited her along. This was supposed to be our first date with just the two of us, but apparently not. She seemed to have issues about being alone together, but maybe the story was true.

Anyway, I suggested we all jump in my car (My black Mazda Millenia), but she insisted we take her car, and I had to ride in the back. Her car was an old Mazda (the shitty 3 series) – it was a mess inside, had no air-conditioning, springs were coming out of the back seat, it was horrid. In retrospect, I should have told her not to bother right there, but I went along. She decided that we would go to a swanky restaurant in a resort town about 50 miles away, so off we went, with her and her friend in the front, and me in the back. Her and her friend talked the whole way, with absolutely no conversation including me. Not that I could have been included, the noise in the car was so bad, that I couldn’t hear anything they said anyway.

We got to the restaurant, and again her and her friend talked the whole time. I was only included in the conversation occasionally. I may as well have not been there. Well I was there for one thing – her and her friend left me to pick up the bill, for all 3 of us!

The return trip was a mirror of the trip down, except my mind was absolutely made up, that I wasn’t going to bother seeing this girl again.  So we get back to the strip mall (thank goodness my car was still there unharmed, as it was a sketchy area), and she says to me that we need to talk.

OK.

She starts by telling me that she really enjoys my company but that I’m too demanding on her time (what?), that I can’t expect to see her every weekend, and she thinks it best that we stop seeing each other. At this point I’m just agreeing with her, because I really didn’t want to see her again and if she’s breaking up (not that we had anything to break up from), then as far as I’m concerned she’s saving me the hassle. Inside I’m happy, outside I’m trying to look a bit disappointed but agreeing with her.  But, when she said we stop seeing each other, she hadn’t finished her sentence. She didn’t mean stop seeing each other completely, she meant stop seeing each other as regularly because…

Because she was planning our wedding for June the following year, so we had heaps of time to see each other before then.  To say I was dumbfounded is the understatement of the century. I didn’t know what to say, and didn’t say anything. I just got in my car and drove home in shock. We had been on 3 dates, had never spent any alone time together,  I didn’t even consider that we were “an item”, definitely not engaged.

We were supposed to get married! We were (my name) and Liz! We were “Chiz! My friends could refer to us as Chiz!”

Should I just move to another country at this point?

After I got home, I didn’t contact her, and she didn’t contact me, so I figured maybe she was just trying to shock me out of her life.

Some time had passed and I was happy, had started seeing someone else, and had pretty much forgotten about crazy “fiancee” lady.

Until some 6 months later, I was at a function and she happened to be there. I politely said hello, and her response was literally “Hi. Did you know there’s a ball on next Friday night at [venue], I’d love to go but I refuse to be asked out a week before. Oh, there’s [friend], bye”. I thought it was weird, but didn’t think any more of it.

That is until about 11pm the next Friday night, when the phone rang. “How dare you stand me up?”
“Huh?”
“I waited all night at the ball, but you didn’t show up.”
“I never said I was going.”
“You’re a terrible boyfriend for doing that to me, I’ve devoted 6 months of my life to you, and you can’t even take one night out for me. I don’t want to break up with you, but maybe we should.”
“Uh, yeah, maybe we should.”
In the middle of sobbing I was called every bad name under the sun, before she hung up.

That was more than a dozen years ago, and thankfully haven’t seen or heard from her since.

Recap: Date unwittingly invited me to my ex-wife’s birthday party. Third date she brought someone else along and expected me to pay for them all. When I thought she was breaking up from something that never was, she announced our wedding date. I considered it over, but six months later she rang me to break up because I stood her up for a date that I hadn’t agreed to go on.

 

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Ann Marie – Rose Among Thorns

“Oh come on Jimmy, we all know why you always sit at the very end of the bar. Just so you can check out Ann Marie!”

I did some work in the morning, and then was to meet up with Church for lunch. We met at one of my favorite Monday lunch spots in Rittenhouse. Can’t beat a $5 cheesesteak and fries or tots to kick off your week at Cavanaugh’s.  I get there and of course my girl Ann Marie says hello and immediately delivers to my table a water and diet coke. She always uses my name and provides outstanding hospitality. I always get the same thing when I go there on Mondays and she knows exactly what I want. It’s a little slow in this sports bar, so Ann Marie hops up in the chair across from me and we start chatting.

I ask her how her trip to California was with her Mother. Ann Marie is getting married in October so she and her mom and sister went out there to pick up a special Vietnamese wedding dress.

While traditional clothes of Vietnam have always been very diverse depending on the era and occasion, after the Nguyen Dynasty women began to wear elaborate Ao dai for their weddings. These dresses were modeled after the Áo mệnh phụ (royal Áo dài) of Nguyễn Dynasty court ladies. The style of the Nguyễn Dynasty has remained popular and is still used in current-day Vietnamese wedding attire. The difference between the Áo mệnh phụ and the typical Áo dài is the elaborateness of its design. The former is usually embroidered with imperial symbols such as the phoenix and includes an extravagant outer cloak. This gown is preferably in red or pink, and the bride usually wears a khan dong headdress. The groom wears a simpler male equivalent of the dress, often in the color blue.

Apparently she’s having a Vietnamese wedding and then a Catholic wedding after that. Then there is the reception of course. So basically Ann Marie’s wedding day is going to last from 11am till the last person stumbles out of the reception.

An engagement ceremony usually occurs half a year or so before the wedding. In the past, most marraiges were arranged by the parents or extended family, and while children were sometimes consulted, it was nearly always the parents’ final decision. It was not unusual for the bride and groom to meet for the first time at the day of their engagement. However, in the last few decades, Vietnamese women and men marry based on love rather than arranged marriages.

Preparation for the traditional Vietnamese wedding begins with choosing a date and time for the marriage ceremony. This is decided by a Buddhist monk, Spiritual leader, or fortune teller due to the spiritual nature of the occasion. This tradition may change if the family is Catholic. (Which our westernized Ann Marie is)

The wedding consists of an extensive set of ceremonies: asking permission to receive the bride, receiving the bride at her house, and bringing the bride to the groom’s house. Both Vietnamese and oversea-Vietnamese who desire to have a hybrid traditional Vietnamese and Western-style wedding will often incorporate the last two ceremonies with the Western-style wedding.

And then obviously at the end of the ceremonies, there is one reception for the two families and guests. Sounds like it’s going to be a big day for our girl.

“I told my bridesmaids to just keep me hydrated and energized to make it through a very long day!”

I’ve known Ann Marie for a few years now. We never hang out, I just know her from the sports bar. There are a million sports bars out there, but your staff is really what makes the difference. That goes for any business. There are bars I go to and I love the guy that works every Monday night, but I wouldn’t set foot in that place on a Wednesday if he’s not working.

Ann Marie’s great. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s really cute and fit. There’s a group of construction workers that come in and drink some afternoons and they only come in when Ann Marie is working. They love her like we do. There were days I would be sitting at my table in the back and I would be working on my laptop. I’d pop out for a smoke and one of the guys would be out there and we’d be chatting. Next thing you know he’s sending me a drink back to my table. Just good hard-working fellas.

I remember another time I was sitting at the bar and I was eating my sandwich. That same group of guys were there and they were drinking, laughing and busting on each other. The one guy says something like, “Oh come on Jimmy, we all know why you always sit at the very end of the bar. Just so you can check out Ann Marie!” Of course the guy laughs but doesn’t disagree with them.

I think to myself… “Fuck! That’s why I always used to sit at the end of the bar in the Spring and Summer, so I can check out Ann Marie’s legs. If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’m a leg man. Ann Marie may be petite but she has well turned legs.

Church arrives and we order our food. We go with the special. He goes with fries and I choose tots. This way, everybody wins. The place gets busier and Ann Marie is running around taking orders and serving at the bar.

Church and I are chatting after lunch and Ann Marie cruises by. “Can we get the check? I thought you were keeping me here.”

“I’m going to keep you here forever, dear.” She says with a wry smile.

That’s what I’m talking about. You come for the $5 cheesesteaks, you stay for that kind of hospitality and charm.

Update: Ann Marie has since left her post at Cavanaugh’s to pursue a career in Marketing. Oh well, hopefully her replacement can live up to the high bar set by Ann Marie. Oh, and if you’re reading this dear, You’re going to be a beautiful bride to a lucky gentleman.

 

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Annabelle – NYC – Chapter 11

I heard this loud bang under the car like she had hit a pothole that was covered in snow.

The holidays were upon us, and we decided the limit to spend on each other was $200. I would have no problem blowing $200 on my girlfriend.

I went out and got her all kinds of clothes and underwear and a robe, and other goodies I know girls like. She got me a ring. (Which shocked her mother and sister because a ring represents so much in our culture. I love that ring, and still wear it to this day. It’s just a steel worry ring with black accents. It feels like rock and roll so I wear it on my left middle finger everyday. I should probably take it off but it’s my thing now.

She also wrote a nice card and inside it were 2 tickets to see a Shakespearean play in New York City! I was excited to see it. I can’t remember which one it was, but it was the real deal. British actors performing the play just like they had 400 years ago.

So the day arrives. (It was around New Years 2014) I go to her apartment, and she rents a zip car. I heard that we were supposed to maybe get some snow later, but for now the weather is fine.

The car is a compact, and maybe 10 years old. She sets the GPS and we’re on our way. About half way to NY, the GPS, craps out. It just dies and stops working all together.

“Oh no! How are we ever going to find our way to New York City now?” Annabelle exclaims.

“Don’t worry sweetie. I used to live in New York. We’ll just follow the signs like we used to in the olden times.”

She laughs but I can tell she sort of half believes me. Young people today have never used a map or have had to navigate anything. They have all of that in their phones now. You could put me in a car pointed in any direction on the east coast and I could find my way all the way to California without even using a map. But these kids today, without their phones are lost. But that’s a small price to pay for youth and beauty by my side.

I get us into the city and we park the car in a garage for the day. This really is a great present.  The show is not untill 8pm tonight so we’ve got the whole day.  We stop at a cool spot for lunch and beer.

Then we head downtown to the Museum of Sex. You heard me right. There is a museum for that shit in NYC. Annabelle is all about exploring new things, and it was my idea so we went. It actually wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. But they have a lot of interesting exhibits. The works of William Kent, the sex lives of animals, sexy toys and sculptures, a whole exhibit about Linda Lovelace. Some erotic video.

I remember this huge video screen in one room where it’s just a woman deep throating a guy’s cock. It just loops over and over. It’s pretty amazing to see that incredible feat on a 12 foot TV screen. But like I said, the place is not that great. I wrote both our names in a little heart and tagged it in the bathroom. I don’t normally ever do anything like that, but it just seemed appropriate to have our names immortalized together forever in the bathroom of the Museum of Sex.

Later we stopped at a cool cocktail bar and chatted with the locals. Then on to an art gallery. I always enjoy my time with Annabelle when it’s just the two of us. Whether we’re at a museum, or the zoo, or just eating a meal I cooked for her at home. It’s always good. Once you bring in her chaotic work life or insane theater stuff, it just ruins everything. If we could just see each other occasionally and focus on each other it would be great. I get bored hanging around her apartment with nothing to do when she’s editing pictures or whatever else. (Or sometimes not even home!) I’d rather be home sipping some wine and watching netflix.

We walk to the theater. We’ve got some time so we go in and find our seats. The theater is beautiful.

The play begins and the acting is first-rate. They are performing this version just as they did four centuries ago. The only illumination on stage is candlelight. There are literally wooden chandeliers with big white candles all around them. Some times they melt and even fall onto the stage!

During the intermission, Annabelle wants to get us some water and use the restroom. During the first half of the play there was a guy a few rows ahead of me that somehow looked familiar to me. But when the lights came up I take another look at him. His people have gotten up and left and he’s just standing around stretching like I am. I realize he’s actor Timothy Oliphant from Justified and Deadwood! He looks at me and I look at him. He’s much better looking in real life than he is on TV.

“Timothy?”

“Yea.”

I go over and shake his hand. “I love you on Justified! I’m watching season 3 right now!”

“What’s your name?”

I apologize and tell him my name. I was delighted Timothy Oliphant wanted to know my name! We chit-chat a little bit, and because we’re in New York City and at a Shakespearean performance it just didn’t feel cool asking to do a selfie with him. It was just a private moment between two strangers who happened to be in the same place at the same time. Except one of them is a famous actor.

Later when Anabelle returned I quietly told her what had just happened. She had no idea who he was because she doesn’t ever watch TV and isn’t in touch with current media at all. So it was lost on her. But I was excited. No big deal.

The show was wonderful and I am so grateful for this unique Christmas gift. It’s been a perfect Winter’s day with the woman I love.

After the show we headed back to the garage to get the car. It’s probably a bit after 11pm.

It had already started to snow.

Heavily.

We head out of the city. The snow was really coming down. I remember getting on interstate 95 South. We had gone some distance but were still way up in North Jersey.

I heard this loud bang under the car like she had hit a pothole that was covered in snow. The right front tire blew out. I looked at the mile markers. We were 10 miles away from the next rest area. I told Annabelle to put on the hazard lights and slowly move into the right lane. I knew the tire would soon shred, but at least it would be cushioned by the snow-covered ground, so it may not shred as quickly and we’d be driving on the bare rim.

This was a harrowing experience. Total white out of a snowstorm, 90 miles from home, 10 miles from a rest stop, and tractor trailers roaring by our tiny battered car. I was trying to hold my shit together, imagining either the car becoming disabled and we’re stranded on the highway during a snowstorm in the middle of the night, or a giant truck simply smashing into us and killing us both.

That 10 mile drive was one of the longest of my life. We couldn’t go very fast because of the tire and the snow. I was feeling a lot of fear. I have to say, Annabelle kept the car on course and kept her cool during the harrowing drive.

After what seemed like an hour we finally limped into the rest area where there was a garage and some mechanics on duty. I was never so happy to see those guys!

They were all amazed we made it in there in one piece. I was so relieved just to be in the warm garage, off the highway and out of that car.

Annabelle called Zipcar, and told them what happened. They asked that she pay for a new tire on her credit card and they would reimburse her.

So we took some pictures of the damaged wheel and posted them on Facebook. While writing this I remembered I may still have those pics in Annabelle’s pic file on my Facebook. I don’t really go on Facebook anymore because I no longer care to share with the world what I’m up to and have no interest in what you had for lunch today.

I found the pics! Here they are. Shredded!

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It was around 2am by now, but we were both wide with adrenaline from our crazy trip.

The guys got the new wheel on and we were on our way. But the snow was getting worse as we pushed on back to Philly.

After what seemed like the rest of the night, we finally rolled into the city around 4am. Annabelle dropped me off at my house and I kissed her goodnight. I trudged through the snow up to my building and went inside.

Annabelle later texted me that she had dropped off the car and had gotten back to her apartment safely. I was so thankful it all worked out and proud of how Annabelle had handled the whole situation.

What a night!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

I know what “Sensuality and Sex” is…but what the heck is “Something Else?”

Source: I know what “Sensuality and Sex” is…but what the heck is “Something Else?”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Tales of Rock – The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones Dies in his Swimming Pool

When Brian Jones drowned in his swimming pool in 1969, he’d just been kicked out of the Stones as his drug consumption left him unable to contribute anything of musical value to the band.

There was a time when the Rolling Stones were the premiere rock band on drugs; they couldn’t even make it out of the ’60s without a member dying. When Brian Jones drowned in his swimming pool in 1969, he’d just been kicked out of the Stones as his drug consumption left him unable to contribute anything of musical value to the band. Some believe he was murdered, but his autopsy noted his liver and heart were enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse and his altered state likely contributed to his drowning.

The other Stones pressed on, both musically and chemically. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had been arrested and jailed in the 1960s for drug possession, and their excess continued as they became tax exiles and launched debauched arena tours in the 1970s. Richards in particular doubled down on his drug consumption; his descriptions of this period in his 2010 book Life read like an addict’s fetishistic bragging.

Even drummer Charlie Watts, long the most stable member of the Stones, started using heroin in the mid 1980s. Bassist Bill Wyman was more into girls than drugs and Jones’ replacement Mick Taylor entered and left the band relatively sober, but his replacement, Ron Wood, was a different story. By the time he joined the Stones he was an established rock star via his time in the Faces. In his forthcoming autobiography, Faces, lead singer Rod Stewart relays a story in which Wood showed him that he’d snorted enough cocaine to create a hole in his nasal septum.

 

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