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

Phicklephilly Has Gotten 50,000 Page Views In 2020!

History is written by winners, baby…

Wow! Thanks so much folks!

2020 has had it’s challenges, but we continue to march forward here at Phicklephilly. When I look back on how the site has grown over the last four years I’m pretty amazed.

Back in 2016, I started the blog in May, but really didn’t start writing anything until late August of the year. I got a total of 963 page views for that year.

In 2017, I increased my content and added some new subjects and features. My page views for that year came in at 17,000. An incredible increase!

In 2018, we hit 33,000 page views, nearly doubling the previous year’s views!

By 2019, we closed out the year at 43,000 page views. We added another 10,000 pages views that year.

Here we are in 2020… 6 months into the year, and we’ve already hit 50,000 page views for the year so far! Crushing last year’s number! I love it!

So that brings us to over 143,000 pages views since inception!

I couldn’t be more pleased! Thanks to everybody for visiting my little blog here in Philly. I look at the stats. It’s nice to see what people from all over the world like to read.

Okay, stay safe and healthy everybody. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and practice safe social distancing.

It’s been hard writing a dating blog and not being allowed to go out and date! I feel like I’m grounded!

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing 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

Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips

For every occasion, there’s always this one individual who seems to captivate everyone. Her smile lights up the room, people gather to talk to her, and you can’t help but be drawn to her. She may not be the prettiest person at the event, but something about her feels exciting and inviting.

Who is she? How is she able to appear so likeable to both men and women?

The answer is not in her choice of clothing or her witty remarks (although those are important, too). Her allure comes from her body language. Want to capture the audience the next time you walk into a party? Practice these 10 tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming instantly irresistible.

1. Have an open and relaxed posture.

Whether you’re standing, sitting, or walking, having the right posture not only makes you look charming, it also helps you to appear taller. If you’ve been slouching for a long time, there are plenty of easy exercises to fix your stance. It also helps to observe yourself using a full-length mirror. Sit, walk, and stand in front of it for about 5-10 minutes each day until you have the correct posture. This means:

  • Head straight and relaxed
  • Shoulders back
  • Abdomen in
  • Knees slightly bent

Once you have mastered good posture, you’ll find that you feel more comfortable and confident when facing people.

2. Smile with your eyes.

Your smile is one of your most potent weapons to instantly make you likeable. A genuine smile is supposed to reach your eyes, creating tiny crinkles that light up your face. This suggests that you are truly happy, and nothing is more attractive than a person who smiles like they mean it. According to research, smiling also alleviates stress and can influence your level of success.

Believe it or not, you can enhance your smile simply by practicing it every day! Face a mirror, take a deep breath, hold it, and slowly exhale before smiling. You’ll notice that you feel more relaxed and your smile looks genuine. Try this a couple more times until you feel confident!

3. Subtly mirror tiny movements.

Mirroring is a body language technique that successful people use to gain rapport. When done right, it should make you more likeable without much effort. It’s part of our psychology to respond positively to individuals who are like us. In fact, a baby’s body functions (like its heartbeat) sync with the mother even before birth.

Good mirroring begins by first observing the other person’s movements. Is he leaning forward? Crossing his legs? Nodding? Reflect these actions with your own body to quickly develop a bond of trust. This method has been proven numerous times in different experiments. So at your next party, watch people closely. Mirror their movements to connect better with any person in the room.

4. Use a quick touch on the forearm or shoulder.

Don’t underestimate the power of a quick pat on the back or a friendly touch on the arm. Unlike words, these are universally understood and can convey more meaning. For example, if you really like a person, you may lightly touch their arm during a conversation. Similar to mirroring, this builds rapport with people you meet. Remember not to overdo this though! Just a light tap is enough — never linger!

5. Maintain good eye contact.

There’s no doubt that making eye contact is one of the most powerful body language arsenals in your book. However, doing it wrong will make you look creepy. Combine this with tip #2: smile while making eye contact to instantly make yourself irresistible. Ten seconds is a safe time limit before looking elsewhere. Otherwise, you will trigger a person’s defense mechanism and make them feel uncomfortable.

6. Turn your body towards the person.

Also known as the “big baby pivot,” this involves turning your entire body towards another person. This body language trick got its name from the way most folks turn their attention to a baby. When being introduced to someone, make sure to give your undivided attention by pivoting your body towards them. This delivers the message that they’re special and you’re interested in them. True interest in another person makes you super irresistible in return!

7. Use open hand gestures.

The handshake that we practice today was, in fact, an early custom to prove that you’re not hiding any weapons. That’s why we have suspicions when people don’t show their hands. With this in mind, use gestures to make you the most memorable person in the room.

When conversing or speaking to a crowd, use certain hand gestures to create an impact. Here are a few:

  • Use your fingers when listing points
  • A solid fist means you’re determined
  • Make a sweeping motion to mean “everything”
  • Bring hands to your chest when talking about a personal experience

Consider your audience when using hand gestures. Remember: one sign could mean a world of difference in another culture, so use with caution!

8. Pause for a few seconds.

This is a subtle yet very effective part of your body language. You can implement quick pauses during conversations or speeches when:

  • You’re asked a difficult or personal question (this gives you enough time to think of a good answer)
  • You want to build a dramatic effect (pausing between statements is a sign that you’re about to deliver big news)
  • You want to create an air of mystery (particularly when coupled with a small smile)

Pausing is also great when used just before you smile. It shows that you’re not someone who gives it away so easily.

9. Nod to show confidence in opinion.

According to one study, nodding doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with something. Rather, this simple action strengthens an already existing opinion. In a gathering for instance, nodding your head to the speaker reinforces whatever he or she is saying. This creates a connection between you two — even if you don’t really agree with everything they say. It’s also a sign that shows you’re paying attention.

10. Avoid fidgeting.

Feeling nervous during an important event? Need to calm your nerves before meeting with clients? If you want to be instantly irresistible, one of the things you should avoid is looking restless. If you have the habit of fiddling with your fingers when worried, it could signal to others that you’re insecure. Project an appealing aura by standing tall yet relaxed.

If you’re still feeling anxious, be sure to bring something familiar with you, like your favorite pen or necklace. These are usually called “comfort objects.” According to experts, carrying something you associate with good memories will help reduce anxiety. Look at it or hold it in your hand for a few seconds to remind you that everything’s going to be okay. Then, proceed to be your best, irresistible self!

 

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

Out of Work Strippers Launch Boober Eats, the Topless Meal Delivery Service

With so many people staying home and avoiding the nightmare that is the supermarket at the moment, meal delivery services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats are exploding in popularity. But a new player is threatening to take a stranglehold on the market, and frankly, we aren’t complaining. Dancers at the Lucky Devil Lounge in Portland, Oregon have launched a new meal delivery service that combines the convenience of fast-food with the pizazz of a strip club. That’s right, Boober Eats might just be good old-fashioned American ingenuity at it’s thriftiest.

Out of Work Strippers Launch Boober Eats, the Topless Meal ...

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-CGrbGhjle

According to reports, once you order a meal online (generally pub grub and wings), Lucky Devil Lounge will get cooking immediately, dispatching two nearly-topless women in pasties to hand-out the goods. It all started as a joke on social media for Lucky Devil Lounge owner Shon Boulden, but after receiving hundreds of positive messages about the idea on St. Patrick’s Day, he decided to give it a shot.

“It’s crazy,” Boulden told the Oregonian. “We mutated our one business into a totally different style of business. All the calls, people are just giddy and fun. Sometimes it’s a surprise for someone, sometimes it’s a birthday, sometimes it’s people that are really stoned.”

While Boober Eats is a hilarious way to get in on the growing food delivery arena, Boulder’s initiative is actually doing a lot of good. About 25 of the original 80 Lucky Devil Lounge dancers are running Boober Eats deliveries after the club essentially shut down for patrons. What’s more, the strip club’s bouncers are also back to work, operating as drivers and security guards for the nearly topless delivery girls. If there’s one thing to be learned from the Boober Eats tale, it’s that amid a tireless tirade of negativity and despair, there are good stories everywhere.

God bless America.

Portland Gentlemen's Club Launches 'Boober Eats' Food Delivery Service

 

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

How Can Restaurants Recover From Coronavirus?

Dining out has been one of the many social and economic casualties of the coronavirus contagion known as COVID-19. City and state governments all over the country have closed restaurant dining rooms, which were never really set up with social distancing in mind anyway. Only delivery and takeout orders are allowed for the foreseeable future.

Many restaurants have shifted to the new, hopefully short-lived reality. Many more have closed entirely. Whether they’re gone for now or gone for good remains to be seen. But for the time being most restaurant staffers find themselves unemployed, and people who might dine out under normal circumstances find themselves ordering in, if they can even find a place to take their order.

The restaurant industry is suffering, like most of the economy. But there will come a day when people will eat out again. And while the landscape will be drastically different, the experience may be strikingly familiar. Once the health crisis subsides, what will it take for restaurants to open their doors?

Jason Bowell is the assistant general manager at the Beatrice Inn, a traditional New York chophouse that prides itself on its innovative yet timeless meat dishes. Bowell has been managing restaurants for about a decade and worked in the restaurant business for the better part of three decades.

“The restaurants that are going to have not as much trouble getting back on their feet are going to be restaurants that are involved with larger chains,” says Bowell. “Restaurants that are able to pivot well enough to create a good enough online delivery business — delivery and takeout business — are at least going to weather the storm a little bit. And people that are savvy enough to understand how to work their way through getting relief from the government. There are loans being offered, especially for restaurants that are keeping people on staff as paid.”

A successful pivot, even if only to tread water in the short-term, is far from assured for most establishments. There are many factors at play.

“Places with high overhead, like large places that would normally really focus in on getting a lot of guests in and turning those guests over, they’ll be struggling pretty bad,” Bowell points out. “If your business model is based on having large groups of people in your place… your costs per square foot is going to be really hard to cover by doing delivery.”

Those costs could be anything from fixed costs like rent on the space to variable costs like electricity and other utilities. Variable costs, of course, drop with decreased usage. Restaurants sharply reduced their labor costs when governments closed dining rooms and eliminated it entirely if they opted for hibernation. After all, as Bowell points out, “the most important difference between a restaurant that’s going to succeed and one that’s not going to succeed is whether or not you can cover your current costs.”

While reducing or eliminating labor costs may bide time in the short-term, those tactics will also make re-opening that much harder when that time finally comes. “I don’t see the point of not employing people, being in business if you can. If you’re not, not only are you going to have a really hard time not completely folding while the restaurants are closed, but also getting yourself back up to speed when you’re actually allowed to start taking people again.”

Having a staff ready to go when the economy opens its doors again could be the difference between a strong comeback and a dismal end. “It’s about staff retention,” Bowell bluntly puts it. “If I retain my staff, I could probably be open in four or five days. And that’s just to make sure that we’re getting all of our product in and that we’re prepping everything and all the things we need to have ready to go for service are ready to go.”

Not retaining staff means using time for hiring and training that might otherwise be spent serving, and making money from, the public. Another potential hurdle is restocking restaurant kitchens with ingredients.

“You’re going to have a lot of people ordering a lot of stuff really quickly,” says Bowell. “And that’s going to cause issues getting product from point A to point B if you’re having huge, massive orders come across your board. Keep in mind, you make those orders for all that food, it’s all perishable. So it’s all about timing. Restaurants are going to have to wait until they’re stocked up, until they’re prepped and then take a day to open. It might be staggered when those restaurants are opening.”

The few restaurants that can stay open, retain staff and ramp up quickly, can expect banner days as all the pent-up demand fills the marketplace. Diners should expect a far different landscape, however, with fewer dining-out options. According to Bowell, “a lot of those places that shouldn’t have been open, that were on the cusp, are going to be closed. So all the restaurants that are still open are going to benefit from that for awhile.”

The in-house dining experience may largely return to what it was before the pandemic, and restaurant scenes everywhere will find some sort of post-coronavirus existence. But Bowell doesn’t see the world returning to the way it was. “I don’t think there’s ever a normal again after this, because this is really rewriting the way all restaurateurs think about their businesses. It’s going to be a different playing field. I think a lot of people learned a lot of lessons about how their businesses run during this thing. It’s going to change the way they run their businesses right now.”

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

Life In The Time Of Covid-19

“When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…”

If you write a blog and you’re reading this, you know we always write ahead. Just to beat the deadlines of our own publication. I’m a huge fan of planning and staying ahead of what I want to publish here. 

But tonight, I’m just going to write something for right now.

This is new to us. We’ve lived through 9/11. As terrible as that was 20 years ago, it happened to other people. It was an isolated incident that changed America forever. When I say ‘other people’ I mean the rest of the country watched in horror at the events that unfolded on TV that day, but we lost nearly 3,000 lives. (2,977 to be exact.)

We’d never seen anything like it. The worst attack on US soil in the short history of our country.

But today’s different. 

A virus that’s transmitted from person to person like a cold. We’ve all caught colds, had the flu, stomach viruses, etc.

But nothing like this. 

A virus so strong that it’s easily transmitted and passes between people. No animals are affected by this virus.

Just humans.

This is just a taste of how fragile our existence is on this planet.

I don’t know where this came from, but hopefully we’ll find out, and create a vaccine for it.

But for right now, we’re all behaving very well in the first few days of this quarantine.

 

I tell my stories here about all of my dating foibles and relationships on this blog. I’ve been a decent dad and a fun boyfriend, but when comes to domestic relationships, I’ve never been able to submit.

I appreciate all of the friend and fan support on here, but as I dish out all of the dating and relationship advice, I’ve found that very thing quite the quandary.

I give advice on what to do on a date and how to maintain your relationships.

I’m good at that. I like to write words and lyrics.

But words are hollow unless applied to deeds.

I’d like to believe that my words mean something, and maybe make a small difference in the lives of the people that take the time to read this blog everyday.

And for that, I’m grateful.

 

For the moment, I’m employed by a restaurant in this city. So is my daughter, Lorelei. We’re both in the hospitality industry.

I worked last week. It was business as usual. We were gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness was on the way. We should have made a bundle last weekend. A payday so big it would have covered the last two months of winter.

But none of that happened. No one came in. No crazy drunken crowds of people wearing green, or funny beads, or fighting, getting shitfaced for no reason, and throwing up in plastic hats at the curbside.

None of it.

Are they all so broken that they need to drink to the point of illness to celebrate the dissatisfaction and mediocrity of their lives here in Philly on a designated day?

Nothing happened.

 

Nah, something did indeed happen.

Covid-19.

 

Saturday I normally work from 2pm until at least 11pm. I came in at 5pm and was cut at 8:30pm. It was so slow that even being scheduled was a gift from the owner. When I got there, he told me I was off on Sunday. Normally, I work from 12:30pm to 10:30pm. But I was off. I haven’t had a Sunday off since August of 2019.

Monday I was scheduled to come in at 10:30am and work until 10:30pm. My typical Monday is a twelve hour day on my feet. I don’t mind. I like to work and be busy.

But by Sunday night, I was told not to come in until 4pm that day.

By 2pm I was told not to come in at all.

Off again.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now today… Friday.

Still off.

Why?

Because every restaurant in this city has been closed for the next 14 days because of what’s happened. I was on the phone with a friend when my daughter called and told me she wouldn’t have to go into work for the next two weeks.

I told her the same.

I’ve had my share of struggles financially in the past and also with employment. Many times by my own design.

But this was different.

Everyone in the entire industry was affected.

I think they told us two weeks so we wouldn’t lose our minds. But I don’t see this ending anytime soon.

Restaurants can only do pick up and take out. No one is allowed to hang out in any bar or restaurant in this city.

That leaves most places with scheduling one cook, a clerk to ring up and take out orders, and a delivery guy.

That’s it.

The rest of us are fucked.

Well, we’re all currently fucked.

One of my brokerage accounts is down over $7k. Bills and rent are due. So yea, if my little life is an example… then yea, we’re fucked. 

Forget me for a second. Think of the people that already have the virus.

How about the people that have it and don’t know it?

But are we?

Let me take a moment as the phicklephilly guy that you’ve been reading for the last 4 years to say a few things about this.

We’re all stuck at home and can’t go out. Income is either running out or is gone. I don’t expect to be paid anymore from my current employer. I think this could go on for awhile. But here’s what I’m thinking about, and I’m going to share it with you all.

If you have your health right now, embrace it and help others that need you.

I know that sounds a bit cliche, but hear me out…

Call or text all of your friends and loved ones today and through this weekend. Just check on them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect and reconnect with everyone you know. It won’t be weird. Don’t make it weird. Just call and check on them. This is your perfect opportunity. Because for the first time in the history of this country, we are all experiencing the same thing. 

This is what we have in common right now.

Exactly the same thing.

The enemy is the virus. Not a man, or a country, or a race, or an idea, or a religion. This enemy doesn’t care about your race or your religious beliefs. A virus is a living entity that wants to take you over for the last time.

As a species we’ve been a scrappy lot. We’ve successfully moved to a spot that isn’t even in the food chain anymore because we’re so good at killing everything.

We are the best and the worst thing that Earth has ever known.

But we’ve made it ours and for now, Earth is where we’re hangin’.

This is an opportunity.

Right now you have your health.

Appreciate that.

Got laid off from your job? Cut your hours? Not allowed to come in because of the virus?

Use this opportunity to plan.

Humans have always been great planners. That’s how we beat everything else. Plan for the rest of your life. You’re alive now. What if you get it and you die?

Embrace this time. This forced quarantine. Think! What are you grateful for? Do you really like that job you’re currently not having to go to?

I’m a writer. I’m always planning the next few chapters in anything I’ve ever written here. 

When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…

After that…

After this.

This global pandemic. 

That is some scary shit. 

I’m actually surprised in the moment that I write this. The the films, Outbreak and Pandemic are very popular on Netflix. Oh, the irony of our own fate! I’ve always been a huge fan of Art imitates life, imitates art.

There’s no anarchy.

Not yet.

I’ve been off work for over 5 days now and I haven’t had this much free time in years.

Monday I went to breakfast, wrote, talked with friends and loved ones, had dinner, and watched my shows. I, for once… had nowhere to be.

Tuesday, pretty much the same.

Wednesday, More of that just living and breathing thing. Daughter came home. I was happy to see her. She went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of food. She cooked dinner for the two of us and we actually sat and ate, and chatted like a real family.

It was elegant and beautiful.

We never do that.

We work in the industry and pass in the night, and crash here.

But for the first time in a very long time, we actually sat down as a family and broke bread together.

Lorelei made an amazing stromboli from scratch. She’s vegan, so she made it that way. But for the life of me I couldn’t tell, and it tasted so delicious, I went back for seconds!

That wouldn’t have happened if not for today’s circumstances.

Embrace that. Your partner. Your children. Your health. Yourself.

(ok… here we go)

You beat 250 million other sperm to get to here.

You were racing for your mom’s egg, and there were 249,999,999 dudes chasing you.

You got there FIRST.

You won.

Embrace and appreciate that. You’re partner, your children, your friends, your employer… everybody you’ve ever met got here the same way.

You’ve earned your right to be here on Earth today. 

 

Embrace what’s good in your life right now. We all have the same problems at different degrees in this life.

But in this moment… Today. You are reading this and I hope you’re okay. If my blog suddenly stops you’ll know Capt. Trips got me. (look it up!)

Be thankful everyday for your health.

Surround yourself with good people. (But no more than 10, okay? Just for now!)

Find something to do. If you’re home, find something to do with your free time. For a workforce that’s accustomed to working themselves too long and too hard, you may find this sudden stop a bit jarring.

Are you in love? Are you feeling loved? If you have it, embrace that. It’s the strongest force in the galaxy.

No love? Stop lying. Somebody’s worried about you right now. Give them a call. This is your opportunity to forget the past. All bets are off. You can call anyone, ex, old flame, enemy, frenemy…. reach out and just check on them.

I’m going to call and check on my landlord. Who knows, maybe my diplomatic charm will get her to slide me a free month during this crisis.

Think of all of the projects and other thing you’ve been saying you want to do. But you never have any time to do any of them because you’re always working, and when you have free time you need to rest from the life of work you don’t even really want.

Go clean your house. It’s Spring! Clean up. Get rid of stuff. Have fun. Take a nap. Have a drink. Smoke some grass. Call your mom.

Have something to look forward to. Remember what I said about planning? This is your opportunity to plan for the future.

The world is on pause right now.

(I wish the fucking Dow Jones was on pause right now!)

Take this time to do whatever you want. Lean into your free time.

My goal is to crack off 3 volumes of Crazy Dating Stories by the weekend. And I’m going to fucking do it.

All I do is cry about how I don’t have anytime to write because I work so many hours.

I have no excuse now.

And neither do you.

Do something. Anything. Try something new. Even if it’s you having the ability to be at home alone in the quiet of your own mind and just take a break.

Here’s your break from everything.

 

I’ve been walking the city. This is MY city. I’ve walked it’s streets. Drank it’s wine. Danced with it’s women. Taken my share of the money that’s available here. (In my jobs, you idiots!)

The city is deserted. Sure, there are some people and kids about. Folks out walking their dogs, but it’s different right now.

It’s like nothing any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.

I’d like everyone that reads this today to contact just one person you haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s not like you won’t have anything to say to them! We’re all experiencing the same thing right now as a species.

You can do it!

I’d like to see some comments about this idea and what you folks did.

I have a translator widget on this blog so no one has an excuse to not do it.

Contact someone, and write your results in the comments section.

Stay safe people.

 

“Don’t be the tree that falls and makes no sound.” – Phicklephilly

 

 

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!

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21 of our Favorite Holiday Gag Gifts — All from Amazon

I love this crap!

Happy Holiday, Everyone!

 

A warning to those who leave their children unattended in cafes

unattendedchildren

Amazon

“Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten” sign, $12.99

Perfect for that friend who owns a cafe and just can’t figure out how to deal with the unbridled children of their caffeine-fiend clientele.

 

A (loudly) screaming goat figurine and booklet

screaminggoat

Amazon

“The Screaming Goat” book and figure, $7.55

If they still can’t get enough of that Screaming Goat video on YouTube, this is as blood-curdling — and annoying — as you might imagine. Trust me, I have one on my desk. My colleagues love me.

Blinker fluid, for the uninclined

blinker fluid

Amazon

Blinker Fluid, $6.95

We can all think of someone who this is for. Maybe they’ll get the message now.

The world’s smallest violin

violin

Amazon

3-Inch Miniature Violin Replica (with case), $11.98

Sorry, no pony this year, either, kiddo. Play it, momma.

A mock video game to drop the hint that it’s time they pull their weight around the house

extremechores

Amazon

Extreme Chores: Motion Controlled Video Game (empty box), $7.49

For little Lord Fauntleroy. Yeah, maybe coal didn’t quite get the message across, but this ought to do the trick. Note that this box comes empty, so you can also fill it with coal, if you so please.

Your face on a pair of socks

facesocks

Amazon

Custom Photo Face Socks, $15.59

Put the mug of their best friend (or worst enemy) on a pair of socks. Either way, they’ll wear them. Trust us.

For those who ask too many questions

'what if? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions'

Amazon

“What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,” $11.49

Great coffee table (or commode) material for the coveter of useless information.

Help them slow that little tyke down

toddler tamer gag

Amazon

Toddler Tamers (gag kit), $7.99

Parents, rejoice!

An ice cream lock, so they’ll stop blaming you for being the culprit

icecreamlock

Amazon

Ben & Jerry’s Euphori-Lock Ice Cream Lock, $24.19

For the stingy one who’ll never share their ice cream.

Poems by cats about what cats do best

icouldpeeonthis

Amazon

“I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats,” $9.89

For your friend, family member, or housemate who’s just a little too in love with their feline and could stand a reality check.

A muffler whistle, to terrorize both them and the neighborhood

mufflerwhistle

Amazon

Muffler Whistles, $8.79

To the know-it-all mechanic(s) in your life: Fix this!

Your face (or theirs) on a real potato

potatoface

Amazon

Potato Pal, $17.99

Your face on a potato. How could they not savor this forever and ever?

One dozen rattlesnake eggs (keep warm for best results)

rattlesnakeeggs

Amazon

(Fake) Rattlesnake Eggs, $7.99

Best delivered incubator-warm.

A bag of “the world’s strongest coffee”

deathwishcoffee

Amazon

Death Wish Coffee Co. Coffee, $19.99

We only hope they’ll get this is a gag.

An impossible-to-solve puzzle

ravensburgerpuzzle

Amazon

Ravensburger Puzzle, $15.68

Something to finally stump that very special whiz kid you know.

A remote-controlled scorpion (be sure to pre-open and gift-wrap this one)

rcscorpion

Amazon

Remote-Controlled Scorpion, $15.99

Have the remote handy for when they open this one; it’ll work a lot better.

A game for the whole family

relativeinsanity

Amazon

Relative Insanity Party Game, $14.16

Think “Cards Against Humanity,” but for some wholesome fun for the whole family.

A personal cleansing wheel (in lieu of the bidet they keep asking for)

rotowipe

Amazon

Roto Wipe Personal Cleansing Wheel, $7.99

So they’ll finally stop pestering you for that exorbitant bidet thing they all love so much over in Europe. (Note: This is just an empty box in which to wrap your real gift.)

Instructions for gracefully approaching (and achieving) senescence

crotchety

Amazon

“How Not to Become a Crotchety Old Man,” $6.39

Dear Dad (or Grandpa)…

Snot (and tear) mittens, for those who work outdoors, or just won’t stop wiping their nose on their sleeve

snittens

Amazon

Snittens, The Original Snot Mittens, $19.99

One side for snot, the other for tears. Maybe after receiving this, they’ll stop wiping their nose on their sleeve, or their bare hands. Probably not. Either way, they actually work!

A practice putting green for the bathroom

toiletgolf

Amazon

Toilet Golf, $9.95

If their Golf Digest subscription just isn’t cutting it on long trips to the john anymore, they can always stand to work on their short game.

 

 

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

What is a VSCO girl? Meaning behind latest trend taking over your Instagram

WEARING scrunchies, a seashell necklace and rocking a pair of Birkenstocks has taken over Instagram – and it has a name.

It’s called “VSCO girl” and popular among teens. Here’s what we know about the latest social media trend…

 

One of the most popular VSCO girls is YouTuber Emma ChamberlainCredit: @_EMMACHAMBERLAIN

What is a VSCO girl?

A VSCO girl is all about the accessories and very specific fashion taste.

They wear the iconic 90s scrunchies, brightly coloured backpacks, seashell necklaces and carry a hydroflask decorated with stickers.

A VSCO girl’s brand is to save the environment, so they are usually carrying a reusable straw.

They wear oversized tie-die shirts, denim or biker shorts and ribbed white socks.

For footwear, it can be anything from Vans to Crocs to Birenstocks.

VSCO girls wear little to no make up and keep their hair long and wavy – like they’ve just come back from the beach.

 This meme explains what a VSCO girl is

2
This meme explains what a VSCO girl isCredit: Instagram

What does VSCO stand for?

VSCO stands for Visual Supply Company.

It is an app that was created in California in 2011.

It allows users to capture photos and edit them with preset filters and tools.

The app lets pictures look like they were taken with a film camera.

What’s a typical VSCO girl?

The typical VSCO girl has a beachy, California style combined with a drop of 2000s or 90s nostalgia.

One of the most popular VSCO girls is YouTuber Emma Chamberlain.

The trend has been criticized for being exclusionary.

The VSCO girl’s love for expensive brands such as Urban Outfitters and Fjallraven Kanken backpack is one of the most criticized thing about the trend.

Also the typical VSCO girl is tall, white and thin – drawing more criticism.

 

 

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

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Lovely Lauren – The Most Beautiful Bartender I’ve Ever Met – Part 1

Look at our Lauren. So pretty. A lovely queen.

Let’s go back to 2013. Let’s go back to a time when I worked for a start-up site. Let’s go back to a time when I really believed the words people told me were true. That there were investors and we would build the company I worked for.

We would build this company into an international brand and it all was all a lie.

It happens in business.

We decided to write some articles about some of our paying clients on our drinking publication. It’s a magazine to show you where to get happy hour and places to go drink.

People… we have YELP for fuck’s sake.

I did what I could for this publication. When I was hired I thought this was going to be a well-funded brand that was about to go national, but we never got the funding and in the end I was fired because they could no longer afford me.

I loved working there, but my goodness, guys.

We had a great client that I acquired. Stratus.

Amazing rooftop bar. Kimpton property. They were paying us every month and we went to see them about their new mobile bar options.

I asked the general manager if there was anything he wanted us to write about.

He said go in there.

He waved me away to the private room Vapor.

I walked to the room and entered.

 

And that’s when I met Lauren.

 

I laid eyes on Lauren and she was one of the prettiest girls I’d ever seen.

I mean… Lauren is absolutely gorgeous.

She’s pretty, fit, and so affable.

I think. This is it. The perfect interview and photo shoot with this lovely woman.

My boss is with me. This is a rare paying client. He’s taking photos. The pics are good. I hope I don’t look too old with this hot baby.

 

I write up a bunch of questions. I’ve never done an interview before. But I try to write an interesting conversation with a beautiful lady for our paying client.

 

Lauren comes to the office so I can interview her.

We’ve already taken so many hot pics of you. I appreciate you coming in to do the interview.

I’m so excited to meet her. This is the hottest bartender I’ve ever met.

Now she’s coming to the BNY Mellon Center to come to our trick/phony rented office at our little drinking publication. (Without investors, we’re doomed in this business model.)

Sweet Lauren shows up. She’s wearing a tank top and a pair a daisy dukes and its killing me.

Her legs are spectacular.

She was great in her photo shoot. Her forced shoot. Pimped out by her manager and us.

I feel bad for the first time at my job at the publication.

Sad thing is this work will never be published.

It’s a fun amazing interview with a smart, pretty girl. When I turned it in to management at the drinking publication, they told me they wouldn’t publish it because it wasn’t a match for the ideology of the site.

This breaks my heart. We have a paying client that asked us to write a piece for them and put it in our magazine.

I loved meeting Lauren and interviewing her, and I thought it would be a really great article that our readers would enjoy.

Something new and different with a pretty lady that would get people excited to go to Stratus at 5th and Chestnut and support our paying client.

But no. Our publisher turned it down. I think he liked it but that wife of his would have freaked out about us talking to hot women. I really believe that.

 

But…

I recently found the interview and all of the photos.

I want to honor lovely Lauren and publish it here.

So please enjoy meeting the prettiest and most charming bartender I know here on Phicklephilly.

Thank you Lauren, and I’m sorry about all that nonsense in the past.

Hopefully my followers will enjoy your story.

Tune in tomorrow for more…

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly      Facebook: phicklephilly   Twitter: @phicklephilly