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

30 Celebrities Photoshopped Side-By-Side With Their Younger Selves Show How Aging Has Changed Them

I know this isn’t my usual dating and relationship content, but I love these!

Dutch graphic designer Ard Gelinck makes time travel possible. At least, for celebrities. Gelinck has been photoshopping famous people as if they’re hanging out with their younger selves, and the images come out so cool, you can’t help but wonder if some of his subjects have them framed.

Gelinck has worked on these photomontages for about 10 years now, but it doesn’t look like he’s running out of ideas. On the contrary. The graphic designer continues to delight his 258K Instagram followers with regular uploads. Continue scrolling to check out the latest ones, and for his earlier works, fire up Bored Panda’s older articles here and here.

This post may include affiliate links.

Matt Leblanc

ardgelinck Report

The graphic designer said he’s always trying to challenge himself when it comes to Photoshop. “The ‘Then and Now’ series is quite old when you consider that me and my brother made the first image for it about 10 years ago,” Gelinck told Bored Panda. “About 5 years ago, I edited pictures for a lot of Dutch celebrities and it was a success, so I then started working with foreign celebrity photos. The first one was Madonna, and she even posted my image on her own Instagram.”

The Queen of Pop, however, isn’t the only Gelinck subject who has publicly admired his work. Rob Lowe, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Annie Lennox, BeeGees, Jason Priestly, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Carice van Houten, Sylvester Stallone, Robbie Williams, Michael Douglas, Ricky Gervais, and many more have also given him a shoutout. “When I think about it, the list is quite impressive,” Gelinck said.

Carrie Fisher

When the Photoshop wizard is composing the pictures, he’s often trying to make the subject and their former self embrace one another, be it an arm on the shoulder on a hug. “[The actual pose] depends on a lot of things. I’m trying to find one where they’re standing next to each other.”

The graphic designer thinks that his project has become so popular because people enjoy taking a trip down memory lane. Each of Gelinck’s images is like a shot of nostalgia that brings back past moments of enjoying music chart hits, TV shows, and movies.

Daniel Radcliffe

David Bowie

Ryan Reynolds

Kevin McCallister & Macaulay Culkin

Jennifer Aniston

Conan O’brien

Tom Hanks

Robert De Niro

Brad Pitt

Queen Elizabeth

Will Smith

Pierce Brosnan

Tom Felton & Draco Malfoy

Ricky Gervais

Hugh Grant

Dave Grohl

Julia Roberts

Matthew Perry

Harrison Ford

Mark Hamill

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray)

The Rock

Sean Astin

Jamie Lee Curtis

Dolly Parton

George Michael

Whoopi Goldberg

George Clooney

 

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Sheavy

Formation and name change[edit]

Sheavy formed in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada in 1993, and originally performed under the name Green Machine. In 1994, the band discovered there was another band in the United States with the same name, so a decision was made to rename the band Sheavy. The band’s repertoire originally consisted of a sampling of Kyuss covers and an assortment of originals that would eventually make their way onto the Reproduction E.P.Slaves To Fashion, and ultimately Blue Sky Mind. A three-song 7″ vinyl record was recorded in early 1995 at Jolly Roger Studios in St. John’s. The band regularly performed in and around St. John’s for the first few years at small clubs and venues such as The Loft, Sam Shades; Junctions and the LSPU Hall.

Record deal[edit]

The band recorded and mixed their debut album Blue Sky Mind over a single weekend during the summer of 1995. Later that summer, the band’s bass player Paul Gruchy amicably left the band to focus on completing his university studies. There were about 1000 copies of the album released early in 1996, at which time Keith Foley also stepped in to complete the Sheavy line-up as the band’s bassist. Although the audio quality of Blue Sky Mind was low, the original master tapes later revealed a much-higher audio quality existed. On the strength and popularity of the recording, however, Rise Above Records in the U.K. signed the band to a three-album deal. The band now had more resources available and were better prepared for work on the second studio album.

The Electric Sleep[edit]

The Electric Sleep was recorded in St. John’s in the summer of 1997. Recording Engineer Don Ellis helped the band capture the simple, powerful sound they’d been searching for. The result was an album one British reviewer deemed “the best Black Sabbath album in 25 years.” Black Sabbath comparisons were nothing new for the band, but for every review filled with praise another came along that maintained they were little more than clones. The album’s doomy title track could even be found on the web described as a lost Sabbath track. After a short tour of the U.K. and an invitation to play the Dynamo Open Air Festival in the Netherlands, the band headed back to the studio.

Sheavy lineups
1993(as Green Machine)
1994–1995
1996–2004
2004–2005
2005–2008
2008–2009
2009–2012
2012–Present
  • Steve Hennessey – vocals
  • Evan Chaulker – guitar
  • Jason Williams – drums
  • Glenn Tizzard – bass

Celestial Hi-Fi[edit]

Recorded in the summer of 1999, in the workshop of Ren Squires’ parents home, Celestial Hi-Fi, showcased the diversity of the Sheavy sound. The delicate nuances of “Persona” gave way to the doom of “Tales From The Afterburner,” while tracks like “What’s Up Mr. Zero” and “Strange Gods Strange Altars” illustrated the band’s ability to throw hooks into the mix. Reviews of the album were generally positive.

Synchronized[edit]

In October 2001, the band converged on Keith’s new home in EdmontonAlberta to write and rehearse for what would become the Synchronized sessions. Recorded in November 2001, with former Black Sabbath Producer/Engineer Mike Butcher at the helm, Synchronized once again saw the band diversify its sound with the addition of synthesizer, piano and drum loops. Despite, and perhaps because of the addition of Butcher, the album has been described as the band’s least Sabbath-like release and nothing less than a sincere tribute to ’70s rock. Written largely in the studio due to time constraints, the album’s rock-solid production showcased a raw power unseen on the Sheavy’s previous releases.

In September 2004, the band reunited in St. John’s to begin writing songs for a new album. Due to a number of outside obligations, consummate band leader and drummer Ren Squires stepped quietly out of the spotlight. Kevin Dominic, a long-time friend of the band, was brought in to keep the rock n’ roll machine running. By November the band emerged with 11 new tracks. Over the next month, with the help of friend and Producer Rick Hollett, the band tracked Republic? above a Duckworth Street club called The Republic. Billy Anderson mixed Republic? in San Francisco, California, and the album was released on Rise Above Records in 2005.

In 2006, the band travelled to Europe for a two-week tour, which included a number of countries and festivals.

The Machine That Won the War[edit]

On March 3, 2007, Sheavy filmed a live performance at the Holy Heart of Mary High School auditorium in their hometown of St. John’s. This performance was released as a DVD that accompanied the CD. The band recorded the studio album via analog instead of digital, and vocalist Steve Hennessey acted as the producer. The CD booklet features panels of artwork by a number of Newfoundland musicians and friends connected to the band, including two panels by Sheavy’s original bassist Paul Gruchy. Each panel is directly inspired by, and corresponds to each track on the album.

Following that release, both Tommy Boland and Kevin Dominic amicably parted ways with the band. Evan Chaulker, who had previously toured with Sheavy, was brought in on guitar, and Jason Williams joined the band on drums.

The Golden Age of Daredevils/Disfigurine – Present[edit]

In April 2009, original guitarist Dan Moore resigned from the band and announced his decision to the band’s Facebook fan group – both via email. The band enlisted guitarist Chris White on guitar and premiered the new guitarist and new material at local St. John’s venue Distortion in October 2009. Recording began on a forthcoming album, Disfigurine, roughly around the same period. Prior to its completion, though, the band took up the RPM challenge, which invites musicians to record a whole album of music, 10 songs or 35 minutes. The end result was an album entitled ‘The Golden Age of Daredevils’ which was released in late May 2010 and included songs written by the new lineup as well as material written by Dan Moore prior to his departure. The album ‘Disfigurine’ was later released in August 2010. Featuring a more metal style and some of the longest songs the band had ever written, Disfigurine pointed to a number of stylistic changes for the band.

The band played a handful of shows in the St. John’s area between late 2010 and 2012 but song writing continued at a steady pace. Citing personal and family commitments bassist Keith Foley and guitarist Chris White parted ways with the band in the spring of 2012. In order to keep the song writing process rolling Steve asked local St. John’s guitar players Barry Peters and Glenn Tizzard (bass) to get together to jam and write. While Tizzard was able to join the band on a full-time basis, Peters helped to write and record but was unable to fully come on board due to out of province work commitments.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Demos/EPs[edit]

  • The Reproduction E.P. Cassette (1994)
  • Slaves to Fashion Cassette (1995)
  • Untitled 3-song 7″ EP (1995 Mag Wheel Records)
  • Born Too Late split CD with Church of Misery (1997 Game Two Records)

Compilations appearances[edit]

Video[edit]

  • Republic? at the Masonic Temple DVD (2005)

Live at Holy Heart bonus DVD in the deluxe “Machine that won the war”

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

The One Personality Trait You Need To Be Irresistibly Attractive — And How To Get It

Be the one that commands attention.

When it comes to attraction, charm, and magnetism, what do attractive people have that makes everyone like them without even trying?

How many times have you been at a party when someone enters the room and immediately commands everyone’s attention? Have you ever thought, “I wish that was me”?

As it turns out, it can be — you just need to embody one specific personality trait.

So, what makes someone attractive and charming? It all comes down to charisma. And the good news is scientists have proven that charisma is a trainable trait.

The game-changing step to becoming more magnetic is learning how to be present and live in the moment.

Think back to the last time you were in contact with a true charmer — you probably felt connected and special, like you were the only person that mattered at that moment.

That’s because captivators understand the sheer power of being and living in the moment.

Did you know that the human mind reads facial expressions in as little as seventeen milliseconds?

This means that “fake” listening is impossible. As soon as your mind wanders, subtle subconscious facial movements and body language take place.

Whether your eyes gloss over or your effect has a split second delay, the other person picks up on those indicators and knows that you’ve lost interest.

You end up pissing off your friends, insulting your partner, or disrespecting your boss all because you’re trained by society to be partially present.

In a culture that encourages multitasking, it’s never been more difficult to pay attention.

In fact, according to a 2,250-person study from Harvard University, we miss out on 50 percent of our lives by not being present.

The world can be your oyster when you learn the art of being present in the here and now.

Whether you want to climb the ladder or become the envy of the party, tap into this powerful skill and you’re one step close to getting what you want.

How does your lack of presence affect your personal and professional life?

It’s seen as rude and inauthentic, which basically means that nobody will trample over others to get to you nor will they trust you.

No matter if you’re trying to win over the guy, half-listen to your wife’s sob story during the big game, or survive your boss’ boring story about his pregnant poodle, you’re a fraud and everyone’s subconscious knows it.

But, the good news is that presence is a learned skill. All you need is practice and patience.

To get you started on learning how to live in the moment and train that personality trait of charisma, here are 2 exercises to try.

1. Breath Meditation

This exercise is super easy, all you have to do is breathe.

Breathe and pay attention to how the air flows in and out of your body. Do that over and over until the time is up.

Start this practice for 30-seconds every day for the first week and then increase by 2-minute intervals each week until you can sustain focused attention on your breath for 5-6 minutes.

2. Chocolate Meditation

Yep, you read that right!

Place a foiled Hershey’s Kiss in the palm of your hand. Take a moment and look at this tiny piece of goodness. Next, slowly peel back the wrapper and pay close attention to the increased chocolate aroma spilling into the air.

Place the bit of heaven on your tongue and just let it sit. Notice the texture and taste. Slowly allow your mouth to move the chocolate around.

Try and make it last for as long as you can. Your goal is to have this exercise last at least 5 minutes.

When your mind wanders — and it will — just gently bring your awareness back to the exercise.

How do you know if you’re fully engaged? There are 3 signs.

  • You feel what the speaker is describing: If they describe a moment of humiliation you experience signs in your body that only gross embarrassment could illicit.
  • You’re captivated: You’re so in the moment that you can experience what they are feeling inside their own body — relaxed, irritated, or maybe stressed.
  • The story gets juicier: When the speaker feels your undivided attention, they will become more and more vulnerable — it’s a beautiful process.

When you notice that you’ve trailed off, simply take in a deep belly breath and tune back in.

Yes, it’s that simple to learn how to be more attractive.

Start this week and retrain your brain to stay in the moment.

Commit to 30-seconds a day for a week, and you’ll notice a difference. By the end of the second week, others will take note. You can even go for the full 21-day challenge and you’ll be the person that commands the attention.

Pure attention is extremely rare these days. That means that you can take advantage of this little trick and reap the benefits from your discipline.

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Phicklephilly Is Now A Dot Com!

Yesterday, I decided that after much research I should upgrade my wordpress account to a premium account.

For nearly four years, I’ve been writing phicklphilly on this platform. It’s been great. I started this blog in the summer of 2016 with a single post and hoped that I could stick with it.

So many times creative people start projects and never finish them. It’s sometimes hard for the creative mind to stay focused. The ideas are good, but the difficult part is bringing the body over with the mind.

My brain wants to be a writer, but the hard part is the actual writing. I think we can all relate to that. It’s like deciding to get in shape. You may say you’re going on a diet and starting a work out regimen, but getting the body to come along with that idea can be the major challenge.

So I paid the fee with some trepidation and navigated through the process. I wanted to monetize my site because I figured after four years I should have enough monthly traffic to get approved for that.

What I quickly realized is that once you upgrade, if you want to really take advantage of all the features of a premium account, you need a domain.

WordPress offered some horrible options. phi-ckl-ephi-lly.com, phicklephillies.com, phicklephilly.me, phicklephilly.tv. Just awful.

I’m like… I’m not using any of these crappy domain names.

But then I remembered something…

Three and a half years ago, when I was six months into writing Phicklephilly, I went on GoDaddy and bought the domain, Phicklephilly.com for $60. It was mine for the next five years. It was cheap because phicklephilly is a made up word. So there was zero competition to acquire the name.

I called GoDaddy last night, and spoke with a nice young man named Casey in Iowa of all places. We chatted and I explained my dilemma. I assumed there wasn’t much threat of coronavirus in Iowa. Who has any reason to go to Iowa? But he told me they were in quarantine too. All of the restaurants and bars are closed. So he’s been refinishing his basement. He has a couple of his buddies over and they put up drywall, shoot pool, play darts and drink beer. Sounds like a fun time.

He went into his system and found my account. (I had to go dig back into emails from 2016 to find my customer number!) He sent a transfer notice over to wordpress and that was it. It was that easy. I couldn’t believe how simple it was.

I got an email from wordpress to say they were accepting the transfer of my own domain. They proceeded to charge me and $18 fee for that. (I think I have to pay that every year, but who cares? That’s cheap!) I’m so glad I thought of doing this years ago.

So, if you look in the browser you’ll notice it now says, phicklephilly.com and no longer says, phicklephilly.wordpress.com anymore. It’s so cool to have the 24/7 support of wordpress, google analytics, more memory for data, photos and videos and of course ad space. Now that I have a solid domain and a blog website I own, I can now monetize the site. No pesky pop up ads, just digital banners around the site. Top and bottom and maybe one in the sidebar.

So with the sales from my books, and hopefully some revenue generated from the blog, I could see some return on my investment from my new premium account.

You shouldn’t see any real change in phicklephilly, which for me is comforting. I’ll just keep cranking out the quality content that I hope people continue to enjoy.

Also when I publish, the posts copy to Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. So there’s an expansion in my reach.

I’m very happy about being able to take this step. It’s nice to see the site continue to grow. I suppose when the quarantine is over, I’ll order some new business cards!

Thanks to you all for your continued support of my work. It’s a delight to write phicklephilly everyday!

 

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Maryana – Moving Quickly Too Slowly

I met a girl on the beach in Venice and hit it off right away. She lived about and hour away, and she said she wanted to go to a local national park (Buckhorn) and go hiking and have a picnic. I’m not really a camping kind of guy, but she was super hot and I couldn’t say no. To me the great outdoors is where I keep the car. Roughing it is a hotel without room service. The wilderness is Walmart.

I get to her house to pick her up and see that she has packed a tent, sleeping bags, a cooler, and basically a full weekend worth of camping equipment. I told her I thought we were just going hiking and she said “I figured we could just camp out overnight. Just get me back home in time for church in the morning.”

Church? Umm… okay.

So we head out, we set up the tent, go for a hike, swim in the lake, have dinner in the lodge, head back to the campsite, make a fire, and settle in for the night. Later, in the tent, stuff starts happening. After awhile she says, “Can we wait a bit on that, and just go to sleep?”

I oblige and we sleep.

In the early morning hours, she wakes me up by making it very clear the wait is over. We get it on and it’s glorious.

After we finish, she starts crying. She apologizes and says she’s not ready to be in a relationship. I tell her I understand but I’m pretty confused by this point.

We pack up everything and I drive her home and drop her off at her house.

I go into work and there’s a call for me on the house phone. It’s my roommate/bassist Frank. He asks “What the fuck are you doing?” I tell him I have no idea what he’s talking about. He says “The Sheriff’s department just came by here looking for you and asking if I knew your whereabouts. You’re wanted in the disappearance of some girl. Her family said she never came home last night. They went to her place first but nobody was there.”
Apparently, she wasn’t home for church and her family freaked out. I called her and told her to please contact the Sheriff and let them know she was not, in fact kidnapped. She laughed and then called them.

That scared the shit out of me.
We never had a second date.

 

 

Rebecca – Chapter 13 – Airport – Part 1

“As I step from the train and begin to make my way towards the terminal, the old feelings creep back in like black serpents.”

I met Rebecca 3 years ago on a date. Rebecca has recently made an appearance in my life so I thought I’d re-run this series so everyone won’t have to go back and search for her series to catch up. Enjoy!

Fall of 2016

I solemnly rode the train to Philadelphia International Airport. Rebecca was leaving for South America to work as a nurse overseas to assist in a third world country.

This sucks. I’m having anxiety about all of this. I try to think about the airport as a place and not think about what is about to happen to me. To us.

To most, it’s missed connections and frantic jogs through security. It’s fast food and no outlets. But to me, an airport is one of the most romantic of places. Yes, I will admit, I have a love affair with airports. The romance of an airport is unlike any relationship I’ve had with other places.

The magical lights of the departure airline lists. The scrolling list of the television, filled with exotic locations – so many of which remain unexplored by my own two feet. “Departing,” “boarding,” “delayed.” Three words that bring a rush of energy coursing through my veins, each specialized and unique than the next. The sorted lines at security that empty out into the faraway destinations, some a skip away and others thousands of miles away.

I look to the woman ahead of me in line and I wonder, to where is she going? To the family of four, I ask, are they vacationing or leaving for a new life? And to the quiet, elderly man, I question, is he saying hello or goodbye? The romance of an airport is the diversity of the people that encompass it. The ethnicities, the religions, the ages, the families, the solo travelers, the young, the old, the excited and the anxious. All of which must go through the same lines as myself, and all of which await their adventures. The romance of an airport is that it is a microcosm of civilization. It is a glimpse of the greater world.

Each airport I’ve visited all share the same quality, they are a place of transition. No one stays, everyone leaves. Just like me. I will corner myself in a comfortable seat, next to the husband and wife double checking their seat assignments. I will put on my headphones and anticipate my upcoming adventure. But I, like everyone else, will depart.

But to see each person, in their vivid, bold realities – whether living through a nightmarish layover or seeing the glimmer in their eyes as they look forward to beginning a new chapter – it’s romantic.

Remember…

The next time you enter the airport, remind yourself of these romantic notions. The romance of an airport is present when you look for it. Savor the (hopefully) short amount of time you have in a place as alluring, diverse and transitionary as this.

But as usual, I digress…

I’ve found that like my father, when I’m facing anxiety, I focus on something other than the current dilemma.

But as I step from the train and begin to make my way towards the terminal, the old feelings creep back in like black serpents.

I think about how before 9/11 one could walk all the way to the gate where the plane was boarding.

Now, you can get as far as the waiting area, and that’s it. No more can you embrace your friends and family and watch them walk through that little tunnel onto the awaiting jet.

The jet. That flying bus that takes your loved ones from you. That bad restaurant at 20,000 feet in the sky that serves tiny bags of pretzels and cups of soda.

I was always terrified of flying. Well, to be fair, I was always terrified of anything new and different my whole life. That’s the curse of having anxiety. But back in the early 2000’s I worked as a consultant and had to fly all over the country for work and became quite good at it all. It just goes to show, that if you have fear about something the best thing to do is to walk towards it over and over, and after awhile you’ll see it’s not so bad after all. Look at all of the idiots that fly all the time and nothing happens.

But today isn’t like those other times.

I text Rebecca.

She responds immediately.

She gives me her location and I approach. I see her across the busy waiting area. She’s sitting there with another girl who I assume is a nurse too. They’re chatting and looking at their phones.

Rebecca hasn’t seen me yet.

I pause.

I take a moment to think about who this woman is to me.

We met on a Tinder date. It was lovely. I see her and then I don’t see her. She drifts in and out of my life like the turning seasons. She’s so much younger than me. So what else is new? I always end up with these young beautiful women. It’s my curse. I fall in love with them and they with me. (Or, what I represent) But all of these stories end the same way. My own madness. They all grow out of me. They all move forward in their lives with what they perceive they should do and the learned choices they should make. They all eventually want to marry and have a family with a loving husband. I’m almost always that guy… but only almost. Almost honest. But never really.

I look upon her from a distance. She’s so beautiful. So alive. So full of hope and time.

Me on the other hand, I’m running out of time. I’ve had all of the love, relationships, sex, fun, laughs, break ups, and divorce. Who am I kidding? This could never work. This will never work. Rebecca will go the way of Alis, Michelle, Annabelle and probably Cherie. They all end the same. My madness drives me to make the same mistake over and over again.

But I’m addicted to the drug of love and romance. To me it’s better than sex. Romance is the best part of any relationship. At least for me. After that I lose interest. Like a lion after a kill. The hunt is everything.

Annabelle had cleared the cache for me to ever invest myself with anyone ever again. It all seemed a waste of time.

The tide rolls in full of life’s bounty, and then is ground into sand by the powerful waves of reality.

But with Cherie I was ready. I went into that relationship fully prepared with a safe exit strategy. I never did that before.

My father once told me that if I ever got into a relationship with a woman, I should always have a way to get out of it.

What an asshole.

But he was right. At least for me. I never believed his words, but I do now.

But Rebecca has a certain something that I find intriguing. There’s just something about this rare bird that’s simply different. She evokes a certain dark attraction unlike other women I’ve known. It’s not anything unusual… just different.

I’m old and experienced enough to know myself and my feelings. At my age, I know it’ll probably go down like the rest of my failed relationships. But in reality, I feel that in this moment, I may have lost an opportunity to do what I usually do and fail again.

Could the going of Rebecca be the thing that finally cures me from getting mixed up with all of these mixed up young girls?

She’ll get on a plane and leave the country and in a month or two forget all about me. She’ll be in a totally different place and time and I’ll be left back here in Philly. Just grinding away at what’s left of my life.

She’ll save me by leaving now instead of eventually leaving me later.

I’ve had all of the romance and courtship with her and now she’s decided to get away from me by leaving the country.

But that’s not entirely true. She’s young and has a wonderful opportunity to do some good in the world. I can’t make this about me. She’s not leaving me. She’s just going forward with her life. She has to do that. I did the same thing at her age. I went to California to play rock and roll.

I can’t stand here and agonize over this.

I have to go over to her and say goodbye.

 

 

19 Things Unhappy People Do

Everyone has their off days, but why cause more negativity if you can avoid it? If you work on thinking positively about yourself and others, you will be that much closer to being your happiest self. Below are 19 things unhappy people do that we should all try to avoid.

Steer Clear of these Losers…

 

Fucking Number 9!

 

1. They worry about things they can’t change

We are all guilty sometimes of wondering what might have been if we had chosen or acted differently. But in most cases, this is a dead-end street. Unhappy people tend to brood about the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ves” of life, but it’s important not to worry about things we can’t change; instead, we should learn from our mistakes and simply try to do better next time! We may even end up being happy that we made some mistakes.

2. They give up when things get too hard

Unhappy people tend to back down when they are presented with a challenge. It’s easy to throw in the towel when things seem like a lost cause, but powering through and persevering will usually yield good results. Giving up just leaves you feeling defeated. Regardless of the outcome, following through boosts confidence and reassures us that when all is said and done, we did everything we could to make it happen!

3. They take themselves too seriously

People who take themselves too seriously tend to take life too seriously in general. If you are able to take a step back and laugh at yourself and the absurdity of life every now and then, things won’t seem so dire.

4. They never exercise

Exercise has countless mental and physical benefits. The more you exercise, the better you feel about yourself and the more likely you are to live a healthy lifestyle. Ditching exercise for a more sedentary way of life can have an overall negative effect on mood, health, and happiness. Here are some workouts that match different moods!

5. They set unattainable goals for themselves

We all know that setting goals for ourselves is important; it’s the only way to get things done! But it can be a problem when the goals are unrealistic and unreachable. While we think it’s great to always reach for the stars, people who hold themselves to impossible standards will be left feeling disappointed if they don’t succeed. The key is to set small and attainable goals for yourself, and you will feel great when you meet and even exceed them. Remember — nobody is perfect!

6. They eat unhealthy foods often

Everyone has their guilty food pleasure, and we fully support the occasional indulgence. However, unhappy people tend to let their indulgences become their habits. Eating healthy foods can lift your mood, give you more energy, and improve your physical health. Plus, there are so many great healthy recipes out there to try.

7. They don’t get enough sleep

Sleep is essential! The amount of sleep you get corresponds with how happy and productive you are the next day. You may think that putting in that extra hour of work is a good idea, but nine times of out 10, work — and most other things! — should take the backseat to a good night’s sleep. Check out some good bedtime habits to aid your beauty sleep.

8. They focus on their weaknesses, not their strengths

We all have our insecurities — the key is to embrace the good and try not to focus on the bad. Self-improvement is important, but unhappy people tend to dwell too much on their weaknesses instead of working on having a positive self-image. We should recognize our flaws and own them but never let them hold us back!

9. They spend too much time on social media

These days people lay out their whole lives online, and there are many drawbacks to this kind of social media over-share. For one, we can spend too much time comparing ourselves to other people. It’s great that your friend just got a new job, got married, or had a baby, but it’s OK that you are at a different — and just as important — part of your life. It’s a good idea to take a step away from the screen and get some perspective. Unhappy people tend to get caught up in social media and worry too much about how they appear to other people, which can have a negative effect on how they view themselves.

10. They stay in their comfort zones

It’s easy to stay in our comfort zones where we feel safe and where the potential for risk is low. But staying there too long means we may be missing out on some great things in life. A huge contributing factor to unhappiness is boredom — and this can be easily remedied by trying new things and taking some risks! We don’t necessarily mean that you should drop everything and go skydiving, but maybe try a new type of food, go see a show that sounds unusual, or take a weekend trip somewhere that you’ve never been.

11. They worry about what other people think

Unhappy people tend to care too much what people think. At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do to please other people, so what matters most is loving yourself.

12. They gossip or speak negatively about others

If you can’t say something nice, then there is no reason to say anything at all. People who are unhappy sometimes try to bring other people down in order to make themselves better, but this never works! A better remedy is to lift others up and work on feeling great.

13. They work too much

Everyone deserves a mental health day! People who work too much can often neglect their needs, and sometimes all you need is a day to take a break from work and focus on yourself.

14. They isolate themselves

When things get tough, it’s easy to withdraw from the people who care about you. But spending time with close friends and family when you’re unhappy is actually a great way to feel better. Sometimes being with people can take our minds off whatever is bringing us down, so surrounding ourselves with people who love us most is a great way to turn things around.

15. They never indulge themselves

Happy people know that it’s important to take a vacation, splurge on a new outfit, or enjoy a spa day now and then. People who aren’t happy sometimes forget that taking care of themselves is just as important as taking care of others. Make sure to treat yourself!

16. They’re OK with settling

People who are unhappy often stay in their comfort zones and are content to settle for things. Whether it’s staying stuck in a relationship that isn’t making us happy or settling for one job when we have our eye on another one, staying in ruts can make us feel like our lives have plateaued. Happy people work to get themselves out of these ruts and make the changes needed to start heading in the direction they want to be going.

17. They refuse to forgive

Unhappy people tend to hold on to grudges, but there is freedom and peace in letting go of things and offering forgiveness to yourself and others.

18. They avoid planning and organization

Disorganization can leave people feeling like their lives are in a state of disarray. Even if it is something as simple as rearranging your room or trying out these DIY organization hacks, restoring order can help you feel like you have regained a measure of control over things. Unhappy people who avoid organization and planning ahead tend to be less prepared to deal with life’s twists and turns.

19. They focus only on themselves

While caring for yourself is essential, unhappy people tend to only think of themselves. Treating others unkindly or constantly focusing on yourself and your own problems can be harmful to your well-being and happiness. It’s amazing what a little bit of kindness and looking at the bigger picture can do for the soul!

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Sarah – That Girl With The Idea

As I awoke with piercing pain in my head became apparent, I was wearing nothing but a sombrero and some short shorts I owned.

Why was this happening to me?

Where was I?

And what had happened last night?

My buddy Frank was lying down right next to me passed out. I shook him to wake him up. He woke up slowly and sluggishly not without putting up a fight.

So I slapped him.

He woke up with a drugged and tired look. He asked why he woke him up. I told him all my concerns and what had happened to me.

He first told me we were at Sarah’s house in Venice for a little kickback with her and her friend. He had been a few places that night but ended up there at the end of the night.

He then asked if I remembered about the dare Sarah gave me.

I said no, so he filled me in.

We had all been daring each other to do stupid stuff and Sarah with her great ideas had decided to make me take 7 shots of putrid tequila consecutively; and then do a strip tease for her.

By this time I was already pretty buzzed and by that seventh shot I was having trouble thinking or staying up straight.

I started to take off my clothes and they cheered me on.

By the time I was only in my briefs I grabbed a nearby random sombrero. I guess my inner Mexican was screaming for the sombrero even after all the alcohol I took.

Then he proceeded to tell me they all took shots and were all around the same state as me. We all started to dance and I guess I tried to climb an imaginary stripper pole I thought was there and I fell and knocked myself out.

They laughed and proceeded to take shots and dance till they all passed out on top of me. We both laughed at the story and then went on to try to find some aspirin, water, and most of all, where everyone else was.

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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Sun Stories: Tis’ The Season

The salon is insane. We’re busier then we’ve ever been.

Tis’ the season. It’s Spring and everybody needs to get tan. Most people think that the busy season would be the Winter. It’s cold, dark and Seasonal Affective Disorder kicks in for most of us here in Philly.

But that simply isn’t true.

Sure we have our regulars and the folks that come in to prepare for winter vacations and SAD, but Spring is our Christmas fourth quarter at our tanning salon.

People going on vacation, prom, formals, weddings, formals, and just getting your base on for the summer are in high demand. We have 140 people roll through here a day on our 10 sun beds and one spray tan unit.

Sun Myst around the corner is a failure. Old city Tans died a year ago. Hollywood Tans vanished years ago. We’re the last and best tanning salon left in Philadelphia with the best most modern equipment and best pricing.

But… for some reason, this year I have the greatest part-time staff ever.

I’ve worked my butt off month after month maintaining this salon’s excellence with my partner Achilles. We’ve been through a lot and if you’ve been reading phicklephilly you know we’ve been through the ringer with staffing.

Hell, that’s why I came here in the first place. I did his advertising when I worked at the now failed Philly Weekly. I was looking for a fun part-time gig because I like to work. I saw the lithe clients and thought it’d be fun.

I was right.

Achilles was always complaining about his staff. But you get what you get for the price you pay in the hospitality business. Staffing was the bane of his existence until I came along.

I worked a lot of shifts and brought the salon to its current level like any job I’ve had in the past.

Excellence.

That’s all I can do.

If you’re going to do a job, do your best. Period.

I’ve spent 30 years in the rat race and mired in corporate America and it sucks. Sure the money’s there…but what a price we all pay.

I see bright-eyed college girls tanning for their events and then I see them a year later pale and broken in a corporate job. $50,000 in college debt starting their lives in some shitty job.

So sad.

Not the vibrant students I met a year ago.

Shit. I was in L.A. working as a short order cook and playing in a band when I was 20.

My own daughter Lorelei doesn’t even want any part of collegian life. She’s lived with me here in Rittenhouse for the last three years and has a great job in the restaurant business. She’s kicked it since high school. She’s been promoted three times since then and is killing it in the industry. That and being in a solid relationship for the last five years with her boyfriend. I’m a huge friend of this boy. He’s a good man.

Baby’s doing well.

 

My staff is amazing this season. Amelia and Eileen. I couldn’t have dreamed better employees.

Amelia with her smarts and charm. Her work ethic simply lights me up. She’s so forward thinking and industrious at 24 yrs old. When I work with her I feel like shess an extension of me in the salon. The things I’m dealing with… laundry, customers, maintenance, new intakes, cleaning… Amelia’s on it. When I work with her it’s like working with a better,  version of myself.

I’ve worked in corporate America my whole life. I’m a deadly sales guy. I’ve done every job and I’ve murdered it.

But the biggest problem I have always faced was being a sales manager.

I’m a salesman.

Like my mother’s father before me. I live to go out and sell.

I know what makes a good salesman.

I’ll correct that in a minute…

A good salesman serves his clients with quality products that meet their needs.

To me that’s a rep.

A great salesman is a guy that gets off on closing the deal while he’s meeting the needs of his clients desires but still meeting their needs.

I was a financial broker in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  I remember my boss asking us why we all got licensed to sell brokerage. It was during the Clinton administration and the economy was booming. It was a great spot to be in. (I like Bill, fucker that he is, but he had nothing to do with it. It was just the cyclical scale of commerce in the world and Clinton lucked out. Don’t fool yourself America.)

He said it was so we could make a lot of money.

Every guy in the room agreed with him.

I liked my boss but I silently disagreed.

I knew from my 20 years of selling VCRs,TV’s, liquor, and whatever else he was wrong.

Sales isn’t about money.

It’s about getting off on closing a deal and not about making money. It’s about providing a quality service to your client and building a relationship with them.  Providing long term wealth for their family was paramount.

The wealth you amass is not about making that money. It’s incidental to the hard work you did to provide your client with a valuable service.

That was always my goal.

I always knew, that if I did good honest work by my customer the reward would come, and it always did… automatically.

I made thousands and thousand of dollars at every job I ever I did.

Sadly, my poor life choices sucked my efforts from me.

An ex-wife I had to pay child support to for 15 years, and all of the other bills that come with wealth and possessions.

But I never minded. I paid my bills and I soldiered forward.

I love to work and I love all of the good people in my life.

Sure I worried about money, but we ALL do. That’s just part of life.

But I always knew I could make more. I can always generate more revenue. That’s what I do.

My father retired at 62.

He did zero after that.

I would have loved to seen my dad working in a deli, or a wine store or an antique store. He would have killed in any of these businesses.

Pablo Picasso was found dead at 92 working on a sculpture.

I don’t want to be that old, (I’m sure everything hurt by then!) But I want to be that.

I’m 58 years old. If I get 20 more trips around the sun I’ll consider myself blessed, but I’m cool with less. (Who gives a shit. Phicklephilly lives forever online!)

This piece was originally supposed to be Chapeter 7 for Eileen, but we’ll get to her in a second.

I never know when the blood is going to gush good emotions.

I’m going to write about Eileen and Amelia because as I said they are the best girls I’ve ever employed at our salon.

I’m so proud of both of them and cherish their dedication and friendship.

We’ve obviously got new Sun Stories to tell… so stay tuned.

Thank you!

 

Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.

 

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

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