PHICKLEPHILLY 2 is Now for Sale on Amazon and Kindle!

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

“Love is a many splintered thing” – Andrew Eldritch

Here it is! The long awaited sequel to the best selling Phicklephilly! Thanks to everyone who bought the first book, and to all of my readers and subscribers on this blog!

Without all of you, none of this would be possible!

You can get it here!

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

When I started writing Phicklephilly back in May of 2016, I never realized how much it would grow and flourish as I went forward. It began as an earnest effort to start writing again. After a few false starts through the summer, I finally decided that if I was going to start writing again, I should stop talking about it and just do it. 

It began like most creative works. Slowly. Once I published my first post, I thought; how am I going to do this every Monday? I had no followers and no exposure anywhere. Instead of worrying about that, I decided to dig in and start to tell stories from my recent past. But since then it’s grown exponentially. It’s a dot com now and has hundreds of thousands of page views. I’ve monetized the site and secured advertisers that generate revenue to support my work. It’s been a lot of fun!

In the beginning, my inspiration was a server named Maria who worked at a local restaurant. I sort of had a crush on her but it never became anything. But it was enough to get me writing again. When I met her I had already been in Philly for almost ten years.

 My first relationship with Michelle had only lasted about three years before she left me. She was approaching age thirty and the alarms were going off in her head to get married and make babies. I had already been married and divorced years before that and had a daughter. I wasn’t going down that painful and expensive road again. The odd thing about my relationship with Michelle was, it was the first time I had a girlfriend that after we broke up, stayed friends with me. We were best friends. Isn’t that the key to all successful and loving relationships? 

Michelle reconnected with her former high school boyfriend. Normally that never works but I think this time it might. I think Michelle broke up with him, left Delaware and came to Philly because the guy wasn’t on the road to success. I think Michelle needed to explore the world a bit. She did that for a while and then met me. I was new and different and we had the time of our lives together in the city. But what neither of us realized was that was all we really were. A couple of people who loved the city and it’s nightlife. The drinks flowed and the laughter ensued. But once we got an apartment and moved in together it was the beginning of the end. We didn’t know it at the time, but domestic life never suited our relationship. We were best friends who liked the social excitement of going out, and being a deadly couple in the city. Once the adventure ended it was over. 

We tried it for a while, and did all of the things that couples do. Celebrate the holidays, birthdays, family stuff, and all of the other grinding aspects of domestic life. But we just got to a point where Michelle realized I wasn’t going to marry her and give her kids. We remained friends for several years after that until she moved to California in 2013 to be with her former boyfriend. He had become the man she had hoped he’d be many years ago. She married him, and at the time of this writing has a baby daughter. So it all worked out for her. She achieved the American dream.

I on the other hand started dating Annabelle in 2013. Annabelle is a failed actress and photographer. She makes her living shooting head shots and weddings. The reason things failed with Annabelle was our obvious age difference, and absolute opposite lifestyles. I was the corporate sales guy, and she lived in a world surrounded by theater people. It was like oil and water, and the only thing we shared was our mutual attraction to each other. Annabelle served as a temporary stand-in for my friend Michelle. The relationship lasted a tumultuous nine months and ended. It was fun in the beginning, but all romantic endeavors are. Once the reality sets in that you’re not a match, normally the relationship dissolves. Both of these relationships are well documented in the first Phicklephilly book.

Michelle is long gone, but her memory continues to haunt me of what could have been.

Near the end of the book I met Cherie. When I started writing the blog I realized I had to get back in the dating game. So I did what most people do. I went on Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and whatever else was available. I went on a bunch of crazy dates, but things clicked pretty early on with Cherie. 

I realized I had an ending to my first book. I had burned through a couple of relationships, and then met my love, Cherie. Everything was right in the world. She made me happy and we shared some wonderful times. Over the first couple of months we became close and Phicklephilly had a happy conclusion. It seemed like the perfect ending to a great story. I had reached my destination, and had found love in Philly!

Also, when I was with Michelle and Annabelle, I wasn’t writing. Their stories were told from memory, so it’s basically our greatest hits. But phicklephilly the blog was alive and well when I met Cherie. A rich history indeed!

But what happened after the end of the first book? We’re both in love with each other and things are going great. The story has to continue. I can’t just let the tale end there. There’s so much more to reveal. 

Please join me on my continuing journey.

 

You can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

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

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

Tales of Rock – Kurt Cobain’s Custom-Built Fender Mustang Is Up For Auction

Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang is being sold at auction by Julien’s Auctions. The custom-built electric guitar was played by Cobain during Nirvana’s In Utero tour, and after his death in April 1994 it was given to a fan by Courtney Love.

Cobain’s Mustang is being auctioned as part of Julien’s Icons and Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll collection, which also sees lots such as a 1988 Guild GF-60NT formerly owned by Eric Clapton and the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s 1993 Gretsch Duo Jet. And hygiene be damned; there are even a couple of Bob Dylan’s old harmonicas on there too.

The Mustang was built by Scott Zimmerman of Japanese guitar manufacturer FujiGen, who held the Fender Japan contract from circa 1981 to 1997. Fender reached out to Zimmerman in 1993 because the Fender Custom Shop was not equipped to build left-handed Mustangs.

(Image credit: Julien’s Auctions)

(Image credit: Julien’s Auctions)

(Image credit: Julien’s Auctions)

The Mustang was among 10 ordered by Fender, with six in Fiesta Red and Sky Blue finishes being sent to Cobain before his death. It was shipped along with another Mustang on 22 October 1993, and those are the only two to have the “Offset Contour Body Patented” decal on the headstock. This Mustang was later modified by Cobain’s guitar tech, who affixed a Gotoh tune-o-matic bridge and installed a Seymour Duncan JB-1 humbucker in the bridge position.

The label on the case indicates the guitar was called the Skystang III, and the guitar comes with the case and a letter from Courtney Love to a fan, plus FedEx receipts and other ephemera as proof of authenticity.

Bidding is presently at $75,000, with one bid accepted. Julien’s Auctions expect it to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000 when the auction closes on 25 October.

See Julien’s Auctions for more details on the guitar and to view the other items in the catalogue.

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon 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

4 Telltale Signs the Sexual Tension Is Mutual

Do they want to sleep with me, or are they just being friendly? Its the age old question that many a man has failed to answer. When wrong, and you pursue a sexual or romantic relationship, you risk losing a close friendship or put yourself in a situation where you can get brutally rejected. (There are few phrases more devastating than: You know I like you. I just like you as a friend.)

4 Telltale Signs the Sexual Tension Is Mutual

Thomas Barwick

But if you don’t go for it, and they do in fact want to have sex, you’re missing a golden opportunity. They could have been that incredible lay (or serious partner) you’ve dreamed about since adolescence. So how do you know if the sexual tension you feel is real, or if you simply want it to be real? How do you know if they want to get down, too?

Here are four telltale signs that the sexual tension is mutual.

1. You’re both sustaining eye contact.

The eyes are not just a window into a persons soul, they’re also a direct highway to pound town. Eye contact provides some of the strongest information during a social interaction, a social psychologist who studies eye contact, The Scientific American. Its why your mother always told you to “look him directly in the eyes while shaking his hand.”

When there’s a strong sexual desire, our eyes can make that abundantly clear. Sustained eye contact, and were taking 3 or more seconds, is a huge indicator. This is even more true if you find yourself still making eye contact during a lull in the conversation. If no words are being said, but you’re still intensely gazing at one another, they likely want to rip your clothes off right there.

2. Your conversations feel a little awkward.

Sexual tension is all about, well, tension… and tension can be awkward. While you may want to passionately go at it in one of the handicap stalls, you’re instead standing by the water cooler asking when they plan to finish their .

Those reports, clearly, are not whats really on your mind. Its undeniably awkward speaking about something banal when your mind is off imagining what the two of you could be doing together. Since its distracting, you might not be focusing on whatever it is they’re actually saying, which can cause you to miss a beat in the conversation or ask them to repeat themselves. That leads to a hell of an awkward conversation.

Still, you need to make sure that they, too, are acting awkwardly because they feel the sexual tension not because they’re uncomfortable.

“In the midst of what you think is sexual tension, be sure not to get blinded by your own excitement,” Billy Procida, host of , tells Men’s Health. “When there’s an awkward pause in the conversation, does she smile while nervously looking away, giggling as she fidgets with her hair? Do his cheeks get red? Or are her eyes trying to locate her phone so she can make a quick escape?”

“You need to ask yourself,” Procida makes clear, “are you reading sexual tension in her body language, or are you seeing what your desires want you to see?”

3. You’re in close proximity while talking.

There’s actually a large field of research called , which studies how human space affects communication, social interactions, and the larger population. While it , in the United States, most people (without sexual tension) stand about 4-12 feet away in whats called a social distance. Personal distance, which is usually only for friends and family is categorized as 2-4 feet, whereas intimate distance is 0-2 feet. If you find yourself naturally talking to them in the intimate or personal distance space, then yeah, there’s probably something going on. I mean, for the love of God, its called intimate distance when it’s that close, so they likely want to be intimate with you.

4. There’s something going on with all that touching.

Sexual tension can be present with or without touching, which can make this a tad bit confusing. The thing is, we often experience sexual tension with someone because we cant or shouldn’t be with them. This can include a co-worker, boss, a best friends ex, teacher, or anyone else where there are valid reasons why it would be deemed inappropriate to have sex. Because of this, you both may want to touch but are keeping your hands to yourself. In these situations a lack of touching doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of sexual tension, but rather, an extreme form of sexual tension.

On the other hand, if you’re in a situation where it is okay to touch, and you find that they are taking every opportunity that have to touch you and I mean platonic touching then there’s likely sexual tension.

“He’ll put his hands around your back when he’s talking, or maybe he guides you through a crowded bar,” Rachel Hoffman , LCSW, M.Ed., previously told INSIDER . “If he reaches for your hand… then you can almost guarantee that he’s into you.”

And if they’re putting their hands on your thigh while you’re sitting down, yes, Jesus Christ, that’s some sexual tension, and you should act on it.

So what should you do if you sense that they, too, are feeling sexual tension?

First and foremost, don’t get too ahead of yourself. There’s likely a reason you haven’t acted on the sexual tension already: they are someone you shouldn’t be boning. But lets say its not an employee or sister-in-law, then what?

“We take a shot,” Procida says. “But you want to make sure that taking a shot is consensual and respects the other person. This isn’t a movie it’s not cool to ‘take a chance’ by pushing someone up against the wall, kissing them, and hoping they were down for that.”

So why not ask them out on an official date? From there, its a lot easier to actually have sex, since your intentions are clearly innuendo and more enthusiastic consent. The key to asking just in case you’re wrong and they totally don’t want to screw is giving them an easy way to reject you. This can actually make it less uncomfortable for both parties involved.

I typically say, I’m not sure if I’m reading this right, but do you want to go out on a date? Then if they say, Oh, no you can be chill, and reply with, Okay! Yeah, just needed to get that out of my system. Totally misread. Will it be slightly awkward for the next few days? Yeah, obviously. But if you’re both mature adults, you’ll get over it and move to a place of friendship without sexual tension.

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 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

 

Michelle – Chapter – 23 – One More After This, And Then I’m Done

I don’t really go on social media anymore.

I don’t care about your lunches, or dinners or events or your social events

It means nothing to me. I used to post everything I was doing on my social media when I was working in advertising.

But no more. I live a private life and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Social media’s a sad symptom of our society that gives every moron on Earth a voice.

I’m tired of you all. I see you all for who you really are and the pool is so shallow I see nothing in any of you anymore.

But for a moment I saw something that caught my eye.

My former girlfriend Michelle was pregnant with a little girl due in June. (It already happened)

She’s finally reached all of her goals of having her health, a happy marriage with her husband and now a child is on the way.

Well done.

It’s good we’re no longer in touch.

My work is done and you have no longer any use for me.

Perfect.

I’ve lifted you to the place I have hoped for you.

I think we both agree that what you have now is what we both hoped for you all along.

Well done, Michelle.

We had a great time, but you’re needed where you are now. You made it, and now you have all of the things you want.

I am honored we had the time we had together. It was the best time of my life, but now you’ve found true happiness and all of the things you wanted.

God Bless you both and I wish you all only health, happiness and the wellness of your child.

Michelle, you finally got the perfect life you always wanted. You have the perfect marriage with the man you’re supposed to be with, finally! I’m so happy for you. You live in the place you’ve always wanted to be in and have the job you always dreamed of.

Perfect.

I hope your baby girl is born happy and healthy!

God bless you all!

You did the right thing.

 

I’ll be at the bar…

 

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon on Amazon!

 

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Phicklephilly Reaches 100,000 Visitors!

Well, we’ve reached another milestone here at Phicklephilly! We finally achieved 100,000 visitors!

 

When I started writing this blog 4 years ago, I never thought I’d reach these kind of numbers! Thank you to everyone who’ve taken the time to visit, read, like, comment and follow Phicklephilly. 100,000 visitors has translated into 168,000 page views so far. I hope to get to 200,000 by years end!

I’ve tried over the years to bring you the best, fun, and informative content I can. A lot has happened during 2020! Despite the obvious challenges we face in the world right now, I’ve taken this time to let my creativity flourish.

In the Spring, I released the book, Crazy Dating Stories. I compiled as many insane dates from hell from my life that I could remember. The book’s done well. Apparently people like to read about insane dating stories.

Summer brought the publication of my first work of fiction, Angel with a Broken Wing. That’s been a great seller and I’m so happy it’s done as well as it has. I have another work of fiction I’m currently working on entitled, Below the Wheel. It’s a hard boiled detective story that takes place in Camden, New Jersey. A couple of young private investigators get caught up in a serial murder case. I hope to publish that in early 2021.

100,000 Visitors!! Thank You!! | The Swiss Rock

I’m happy to announce the anticipated release of the sequel to Phicklephilly next week! The long awaited, Phicklephilly 2 will drop on the 14th! This book picks up where the first book left off. I was now fully ensconced in an exclusive relationship with my girlfriend Cherie, and how that all went along over two years. Michelle makes a few appearances, and there are some surprises along the way. (Some good… others, not so good.) I had a good time, but I really learned a lot about myself being in that relationship, and writing that book.

I can’t promise anything, but there is a possibility that the long awaited, Sun Stories: Tales from a Tanning Salon, may be dropping soon as well. I’m just working through some contractual things and issues in pre-production on that book. It’s a wild story that starts out with some interesting funny stories, but slowly transforms into a series of intense encounters with some of the female clients. I never expected any of that to happen, but life is what it is, and why not do it all with a great tan! If I get a green light on that project I may have that out sooner than later!

I’m hoping to publish a book that compiles stories from my young life in 2021 as well. Two of my sisters think it’s a good idea for a book, so I think it would be fun to write.

I have also been in talks with a long time friend and comedian of mine, about writing a comedy called, The Last Video Store. So there’s a lot going on here at Phicklephilly studios!

Thanks again to everyone who visited the sight! I will continue to bring you interesting and engaging content everyday!

Onward and upward!

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon 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

COMING SOON… PHICKLEPHILLY 2

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

Love at First Swipe! 

Phicklephilly 2 is the sequel to the best selling book, Phicklephilly: One man’s journey to find love in Philadelphia. In the first book, our hero returned to the city in search of the perfect girlfriend. It was a funny, and sometimes heart wrenching tale of a man trying to navigate the pitfalls of the modern dating world. 

After two failed relationships, he turns to online dating. He goes on several crazy dates, but finally finds a woman he really likes. She’s a bright, unique beauty, but like all relationships, they face several challenges.

Phicklephilly 2 continues his journey and shows you what it’s like being in a relationship, and the dynamics that play out living in the city. But several factors work against them both at every step. Will the couple survive the pitfalls and demands of being in an exclusive committed relationship?

He doesn’t always do what’s right, but neither does she. This is his intimate story of what that’s been like for him. Join him to see if he wins… or loses again. 

There’s always three sides to every story. His side, her side… and the truth. 

 

PHICKLEPHILLY 2 will publish on September 14th!

 

 

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

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

7 Mistakes To Avoid Making On Bumble

Bumble, which by many has been labeled “The Feminist Tinder,” is not only one of my personal favorite dating apps, but it’s also one of the best downloads for single people who identify as women. Unlike Tinder, Bumble allows women to have more power when it comes to their matches. You’re still meant to swipe left or right, but if you match with another person, it’s up to you to message them within 24 hours, or else the match disappears (and poof, no more chance to talk!). For women seeking other people who identify as women on the app, either person has 24 hours to make the first move or that connection will disappear, too. (Bonus: It also boasts a female founder, Whitney Wolfe, who was an executive at Tinder before launching Bumble.)

But like most dating apps, there are still plenty of mistakes to be made when swiping along. One of the most obvious? Treating Bumble like it’s Tinder. Yes, the two are very similar, but the app was specifically created by Wolfe, Tinder’s co-founder, to give people who identify as women a dating platform of respect and autonomy. So you shouldn’t be using it just like you use Tinder, even if all the swiping makes you feel as though the two are similar.

Similarly, David Bennett, dating expert and founder of Double Trust Dating tells Bustle it’s important to take swiping through Bumble seriously. “Some research shows that a lot of people get on dating apps for weird reasons: attention, wasting time, ego boosts, etc.,” Bennett says. “Unfortunately, many people view Bumble and other dating apps as something to do to waste time. However, this isn’t going to lead to meeting a great person. Just like anything else, if you want to meet someone high quality, then it will require thoughtfully engaging people on the app, in a timely manner.”

To give you an idea of what to avoid doing, here are a few mistakes most of us are guilty of on Bumble.

1. Not Talking With Your Matches As Soon As You Get Them

Since you have limited time to talk to your matches on Bumble, it's important to message them as soon as possible.

Ashley Batz/Bustle

One of the best things about Bumble is that you are the one who can start the conversation as you choose. But if you wait too long, your matches will disappear. Jennifer Stith, the VP of communications and brand development over at Bumble, tells Bustle that the whole purpose of the app is to encourage you to say something.

“The ephemeral nature of the app means you’ll have less time to sit on your hands and will really be presented with a small amount of time to decide who you really want to talk to. We’ve found that this leads to more confident connections,” Stith says.

If you get notifications sent to your phone, the app will let you know when a match is about to expire. But to prevent this from happening, message them soon after you become a mutual match. This way, they will know that you’re interested in pursuing a conversation, and you don’t run the risk of losing out on a potentially cool person.

2. Neglecting To Read Their Bio

This is a common mistake when it comes to dating apps. You’re swiping along, making quick judgments based on a person’s pictures, but disregarding common interests or the few sentences they’ve decided to write about themselves. Dating apps are designed to be easily navigated and quick, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a moment to find out who you’re matching with. We’re not given many words to share our life stories, so whatever words they put there, take an extra second to look. This way, you may have a conversation starter for when you do match.

Similarly, don’t forget about yours. “Take the time to fill out a bio,” Stith says. “A little humor always goes far.”

3. Treating Bumble Like It’s Tinder

Bumble was designed very differently than Tinder, so the two apps shouldn't be treated the same.

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Like I said, Bumble isn’t Tinder, and it was specifically designed to be something a bit different. So don’t fall into the “swipe right to everyone” trap you may fall into when you’re Tinder-ing, and don’t sit and wait for someone else to make something happen. With Bumble, it is completely up to you — which, yes, can be scary. Wracking up matches for the sake of it also isn’t an option, because not speaking to your matches means they won’t be there the next day. Unlike Tinder, this app gives you little option but to get to know people, so embrace that!

4. Being Too Negative In Your Profile

While striving to be authentic in your bio is always a good thing, it’s important to steer clear of being too negative. This can ward off potential matches, and not give them the impression you’re actually trying to achieve.

“One of the biggest issues I have seen is that many people use their profile to list out the things they don’t want in a partner or just send out a negative vibe,” Bennett says. “While this is understandable since many people are trying to repel incompatible people, it actually has the opposite effect. This creates an overall pessimistic vibe that may cause good people to swipe left, and invite matches with people that don’t care if your bio is negative.”

It’s important to be discerning, and be clear with what you want — especially on dating apps where people are often not on the same page — but a brief, humorous bio can take you a long way. Once you match, use your conversation as a gauge for whether or not you may be compatible.

5. Starting A Conversation with “Hi”

Starting a conversation on Bumble with "hi" will rarely lead to an interesting conversation.

Ashley Batz/Bustle

This is a rule of thumb for dating apps/websites in general. Starting a conversation with “Hi” is boring and unoriginal. And if the person does answer you, they’ll likely have nothing original to say back.

“On Bumble women make the first move, and despite many women lamenting that most people can’t be bothered to say more than ‘hey,’ many women open with something just as disengaging,” Bennett says. “If you want to stand out to the person you’re messaging, open with something unique. I usually suggest asking a question or making a comment about something in the person’s profile. If you’re going to just say ‘hey’ at least add an emoji with it.”

It’s hard to develop an interesting conversation from that, because you’ve already started on a pretty mundane note. You don’t have to be the most clever person that ever graced Bumble, but if you start a convo asking them about a picture, or their “about me” (which you read), you’re sure to get a more interesting response.

6. Being Too Strict With Filters

While filters can definitely help tailor your search to someone you’d find compatible, it’s important to keep your options open as well to not exclude potentially good matches.

“This may seem like it’s not a mistake, but when I work with my coaching clients, many of them describe their real life crushes, and in many cases their Bumble filters would actually exclude many of the people they really like,” Bennett says. “I suggest being more generous in your filters so you can give a variety of people a chance to see if a connection might happen. This is how love works in ‘the real world.’ This is especially true if you meet a lot of ‘duds’ whom you are finding through your strict filters. Maybe you don’t even know what you want, and you’ll find it better if you are more generous.”

7. Taking It Personally When Someone Doesn’t Answer

It's hard not to take it personally if someone doesn't answer, but it's important to try.

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Because the shoe is on the other foot for women seeking men with this app, you may begin to notice that you’ve started some conversations, and people just aren’t answering you. Don’t take it personally. Ghosting is pretty common on all dating apps, but it’s especially felt on Bumble. For whatever reason, the person just didn’t decide to answer. So what? Keep on swiping, and talk to the other new matches you’re sure to get.

But when someone does answer you, be sure that the conversation eventually goes beyond Bumbling. “The ultimate goal is for both parties to feel comfortable enough to perhaps exchange phone numbers as a first step and then, ultimately, to meet in person. If too many messages are exchanged without this happening, it’s easy to meet a dead end,” Stith says. So don’t be afraid to ask for their number, and start things outside of the app.

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon 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

Tales of Rock – How The Cars Upgraded Rock and Roll

The late singer Ric Ocasek conquered the mainstream with oddball energy and an understanding of how machines can amp emotions.

Ric Ocasek understood rock and roll as a machine, but he also knew it as a vessel for passion, mystery, and defiance.Michele Eve Sandberg/Invision/AP

A 1979 Rolling Stone feature on The Cars opened with an image from Ric Ocasek’s Ohio adolescence that seemed out of American Graffiti or some other idealization of post-World War II suburbia: a teenager souping up his dad’s car to race against his friends. In secret, Ocasek had tweaked the exhaust pipe of his family’s Mercury Comet so as to at least make a louder vroom, if not a faster ride. When his dad eventually found out, “there was hell to pay,” as Jon Pareles wrote. Of his then-livid father, Ocasek said, “he never understood why I did it.”

That story feels oddly resonant after Ocasek’s death at age 70-something (he long hid his birth date from the press). The grin-worthy yet heady music of The Cars partook of consummately American traditions while also rewiring them. Ocasek was a rule breaker, but a meticulous one. He understood rock and roll as a machine, but he also knew it as a vessel for passion, mystery, and defiance.

Formed in 1976 after Ocasek had organized and abandoned a series of less-successful projects, the Boston-based Cars arrived with a miracle of a debut single, “Just What I Needed,” which is still its signature song. “I guess you’re just what I needed—I needed someone to feed,” went Ocasek’s lyrics, subtly defacing a familiar love-song line with an ambivalent sneer, a move he’d repeat over the course of his career. The song’s guitar splatters conjured lineage stretching from Chuck Berry. But the cool blue tones of the keyboard and the precise tick-tock of the percussion also signaled a new era. Or rather a “new wave,” the term that would describe both the disaffected punk of the ’70s and the synth-powered dance tracks of the ’80s thanks to the bridge The Cars built.

The band served up an impressive number of hugely agreeable singalongs from the time of its 1978 debut album The Cars through 1987’s Door to Door, after which the band didn’t play together again for more than two decades. Its catalogue includes the clap-and-moan fun of “My Best Friend’s Girl,” the peppy MTV staples “Shake It Up” and “You Might Think,” and the reverberating, poignant ballad “Drive.” These are songs that everyone knows; they’re also templates for vast swaths of modern pop and rock. The New Pornographers owe Ocasek a debt, but so does Taylor Swift. It’s fitting that Ocasek served as an album producer for Weezer and No Doubt, two acts that were already zipping down a road that his band paved.

It’s also notable that Ocasek produced works by the band Suicide, whose diffident and experimental noise-pop never had a chance of approaching The Cars’s success. For all his mainstream appeal, Ocasek had an ear for the weird. His lyrics pushed pop’s frivolous clichés into droll jokes, as heard in the plodding, hypnotic title mantra of 1978’s “Good Times Roll.” He made no apologies for splicing electronic elements into guitar rock, even at a time when doing so was often written off as suspect and cheesy. In this, he presaged a lot about how popular music would move in the decades after his band’s debut. His fascination with then-novel sounds began in high school, when he’d spend hours in his family’s basement fiddling with keyboards.

This adventurous sonic sensibility matched his misfit persona. Writers tagged him as “impenetrable” or “dispassionate,” and he copped to being awkward. Though he wrote almost all of the band’s songs and was an arresting singer, he ceded lead vocal duties on some of the band’s biggest and flashiest songs to bassist the Benajamin Orr. He hated touring and spent decades avoiding it after the Cars’s breakup, and instead spent his time recording solo music, producing others’ albums, writing poetry, and painting. When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted The Cars in 2018, he rejoined the band for a performance that, he said, would be a fitting end to the group’s run. It did turn out to be Ocasek’s final show, capping a career that changed music by adhering to his own internal standard: “Success to me,” he had said in 1984, “is actually being able to write songs and like them when I finish them.”

 

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!

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Iris – Happy Birthday, Papa Squirrel

You can read Tuesday’s post about Iris here:

https://phicklephilly.com/?p=65472

I woke up on Sunday. It was my 58th birthday. I was alone.

I knew I’d be alone, because I was supposed to have dinner with my friend Sabrina but she was having car troubles and couldn’t get down here. I’ll be writing about her in an upcoming post. Sabrina has several chapters from a couple of years ago. You can search for her in the Search bar and you can read them all. Interesting stuff. But we’ll get to her next week.

My daughter had left me a card in a sealed envelope and a candle before she left for the weekend to go to a music festival with her boyfriend. She left the envelope on Thursday night before she left and I told her I wouldn’t open it until Sunday. I did wait and there was a lovely gift and sentiment from her. I’m surprised and grateful! Thank you Lorelei!

Before she left, she said that Iris had left something here and that she may swing by over the weekend to pick it up. She told me she had given my cell to Iris and I may be getting a call or a text, if or when she was going to come get the article.

“I told Iris I was leaving Friday to go away with Neil, so she knows that if she didn’t come early I’d be gone and she could maybe get it this weekend from you.”

“I’ll be here. I’m not going anywhere.”

I went to my favorite breakfast spot and picked up my bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and headed back home. I just figured I’d spend another quiet day at home working on my next book, Below the Wheel.

Frankly, I was amazed at the outpouring of love in the form of texts and messages on social media. Family, friends, former band mates from two different bands, former co-workers… it was amazing. You know, you get older and are locked up for four months and you think you’re basically forgotten by everyone. But apparently not yet. I’m really grateful for all the birthday wishes I got from so many. Thank you! I was trying to write a piece about a bar band I loved as a teen and was interrupted so many times from well wishers I simply gave up writing it. (If you’re reading this, it’s already been published and it kicks ass!)

The Dead End Kids

At some point early in the afternoon I was doing what I do everyday. Typing away. It’s a grind, but these books aren’t going to write themselves. I got a text on Instagram from Iris. “I’m coming to Philly today. I left my wax there, so I might stop by to pick it up and say hello to my Faja!!”

“Please do. Lorelei told me she gave you my cell and that you may be swinging by.”

“Yay!”

There was some more chatter and somehow the subject of fruit came up. She went on to explain to me that banana flavoring is lost to world now. “The original bananas grown back in the day taste totally different than the GMO produced now.”

“Really? Like real bananas don’t taste like the bananas from 40 years ago?”

“We used to get our bananas from Central America and South America but there’s a certain type of disease that prevented them from shipping successfully so they grew something called a Cavendish which is a type of banana strain resistant to the Panama disease.”

“Mind. Blown.”

“When I learned this, my heart broke. All faith in humanity disappeared.”

“I love bananas, but now it’s got me thinking. Anyway, how are you getting to Philly?”

“I’m going to Uber. I got some credits.”

Wanna go somewhere and get food?”

“Yea!! I can just Uber to you and have my friend pick me up after you and I eat! She’s cleaning her place and whatnot since her man child left for a week to go to Texas for some stupid social media influencer garbage lol.”

“Okay. Sounds good. When are you coming?”

I’m ordering an Uber now!”

So some time later Iris arrives at the Squirrel House as planned. She got stuck outside at first because in the hot weather the front door swells and is hard to open. I run downstairs and let her in. I’m happy to see her.

When we get up to the apartment she drops the bag she packed, because I’m assuming she’s staying over at her friend Allie’s house for the next couple of days. We get ready and head out. Since it’s my birthday, I’m happy I have someone to celebrate it with. The last good birthday I had was when two of my friends set up a little party for me at the Ritz Carlton a few years ago.

Since this was our very first outing together I wanted it to be special, so I suggested we go to Parc for brunch. It’s one of the nicest restaurants in the city and everybody goes there to see and be seen. We get there and I ask the hostess what the wait is. They tell me an hour and a half. Screw that. I hate Parc anyway and all the people who go there. Iris heard some older woman make some sort of a sugar daddy comment. I didn’t hear it, But Iris told me. As we walked away from the place I told her about how Parc, Devon and especially Rouge, (Three restaurants in a row on Rittenhouse square) are all notorious for sugar babies and pros. I told her how an any given night you can see a guy 10 to 20 years older than me sitting at one of the outside tables with someone he obviously paid for. It’s kind of pathetic. Men with real game don’t need to pay for companionship. Companions find them and want their presence. (Thank you, father.)

We’re walking and I’m doing my nervous talking things and telling her some story about wherever we are. I think it was about on of my ex-girlfriends, Annabelle. We happened to be walking by what was once the bar where she worked and where I had met her. But I digress…

I suggest my new hangout, Lou Birds. Iris is down for that and off we go. We walk through the park and it’s a lovely day to be out. I’m happy my birthday has taken this unexpected yet pleasant turn.

We get there and there’s plenty of tables. She lets me pick and I go for the one all the way down on the end in the shade. Incidentally, it’s the table I sat at alone when I finished writing Angel with a Broken Wing. I had my celebratory Manhattan at that very table for the very first time after two and a half months of quarantine.

Our girl Jade the server swings by, (I guess Sarah had the day off) and brings to cups and a big bottle of water. I love that. Gotta stay hydrated on a hot day in August especially when you’re going to have a drink or two. She offers us a choice of several beverages but mentions they have a couple of frozen specials, so Iris goes with the Froze’ (Think, Rose’ wine slurpee) and I go with the lemon and vodka frozen drink.

A cool thing that has risen out of the pandemic is the elimination of paper menus. There is a barcode thingee stuck to the corner of the tabletop. Iris instructs me on how to simply open the camera on my phone, and hold it over the thing. The menu appears in my phone like magic! I think that’s so cool! Technology!

I haven’t had a burger in over five months, so I go with a bacon cheeseburger with fries. They even put an onion ring on that bad boy! Iris went with the lobster mac ‘n cheese. Good call, lady!

Delish! She let me try a spoonful of her mac and of course I let her take a queen sized bite out of my burger. The food’s great! That’s the first time I’ve ever eaten there. Well done, Lou Bird’s! Iris took all the food porn photos and a few selfies to document the event.

We loved our brunch and the conversation was lively. You never know how these things will go, but it was a lovely afternoon. We even ordered another round, and she tried the lemon vodka thing I had and she loved it!

So despite the warnings from my comrades who aren’t parents, I was right along. Something is only weird or wrong in the minds of others. I’ve never let other people’s hangups or fear direct my will. Why change now? If you’re not doing anything wrong and your heart’s pure, you have nothing to worry about. If somebody doesn’t like it or thinks it’s wrong, that’s their trip, not mine. I knew everything would be fine with me spending time with my adopted squirrel!

Iris is a lovely young woman and full of life. She has a great mind and a razor sharp sense of humor. I can see why my daughter loves her. Simply put… Iris rocks.

I paid the bill and was happy to do so. (She kicked in for the tip!) I was honored that Iris chose to spend the afternoon with me.

We headed back to the house and she got her stuff together. We just chilled for a bit to cool off in the A/C but she had to get going and meet with her friend, who was probably waiting for her.

I bid this fair maiden farewell and wished her safe passage on her next adventure. She made my birthday extra special and perfect. What began as a quiet day alone became an afternoon of fun, frolic and frivolity!

Thank you Iris for making my birthday great! See you soon.

 

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

Dating experts offer tips for lovelorn singles over 50

Carol Greenfield, 68, has had her share of bad app dates. She misses meeting people in person: Chemistry, she says, is hard to capture on a screen.

Over 50, single and ready to mingle? Here are some online dating tips, profile pointers and meetup guidelines from experts who know how to get seniors back into the matchmaking game.

Don’t fudge your profile photos

“Authentic dating profiles get the best results, and in midlife, no one expects a six-pack or perfect body,” says Julie Spira, a relationship expert with senior dating app OurTime. So opt for pics taken in 2019 that capture how you’d actually show up for a first date: in nice clothing, at your current weight and without a filter erasing your crow’s feet. A full-length body shot is essential, Spira adds — people will pass if they think you’re hiding something. And limit yourself to one group shot.

Don’t play it coy

“It used to be that once you connected with someone, you waited three days to get in touch again because you didn’t want to seem overly interested,” says Spira. “Technology has made that obsolete. If you don’t respond in three hours, your hot lead for romance is going to go cold.”

Raise your age cutoff

Many 50-plus singles vainly reject the idea of dating older, severely limiting their potential mates. Psychologist Chloe Carmichael recommends that people be open to dating those who are as much as five years their senior. That way, she says, you can greatly expand your dating pool without creating major age gaps.

Keep it brief

Most older singles have had rich life experiences, but the “About Me” section isn’t the place for your long-winded memoir, says Spira. Aim for three to five sentences that focus on your present life, possibly with a funny quote or a few emojis to quickly convey hobbies and passions.

Steer clear of TMI

Your matches are sure to ask about your relationship history, but that’s not an invitation to divulge your ex’s five-year affair with the dog walker. Be ready with a simple, blame-free sentence. For example, “The marriage ended a few years ago because we ultimately developed some trust issues, and I’ll be happy to tell you more down the line.”

 

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

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