New Car – Part 3

1986

I was working at Midlantic Union Trust Bank in Wildwood. Life was good. I had resigned to the world of the rat race. Short hair, and suit and tie every day. I looked good back then, and was making my way.

That’s me at my sister, Janice’s wedding. (Sup, ladies…)

One Sunday, I was driving out somewhere in the Villas just taking a drive and listening to my cassettes in the stereo. I was traveling north and it had been raining and the road was a little wet.

From the left at an intersection a green sedan pulled out. A Cadillac traveling south that was going to fast, swerved into my lane and struck my Subaru head on. I tried to pull away to the right, to deflect the impact but she slammed right into me. She had lost control and skidded right into the oncoming lane.

It all happened so fast. But then because your mind goes into hyperdrive, everything starts to move in slow motion. I saw as the woman fell sideways down on the seat in her Caddy.

I looked over at the passenger seat beside me. The cigarette that I was smoking was sitting on the cushion. I quickly snatched it up and put it in the ashtray. (Funny what you do when you’re on auto pilot.)

The cassette in the stereo continued to play as all the lights came on and the motor quit. It was the song, Critical Mass from Aerosmith’s 1978 album, Draw the Line. (Oh, the irony)

I couldn’t get out of my door, because it was jammed shut. I unhooked the seatbelt from across my hips. I then crawled out across the seats to the passenger door which I was able to open. I got out of the car, and felt like the wind was knocked out of me from the impact. I was also in a bit of a daze. I remember spitting out blood, but that was from when my tongue had jammed into my teeth and was cut on either side.

I slowly walked around the front of the car and the entire front end was destroyed. Radiator fluid poured from the wounded vehicle. I uttered the following words:

“Damn… I only had six more payments.”

Some people ran towards me saying they had seen the whole thing and it was all the Cadillac’s fault. Of course it was. I was just cruising along in my own lane when that woman came crashing into me.

Dazed, I walked across the street. (Left the scene of the accident) I went into a gas station and used the payphone. I called my dad and told him what happened, where I was and asked that he come out and get me. I had never been in a car accident before.

I hung up and returned to the scene of the accident. By then the police were there and I told them I was the driver of the Subaru. They interviewed me and the witnesses. An ambulance arrived and took the lady in the Cadillac to the hospital.

A wrecker came and moved the cars off the road. My XT coupe sat in the parking lot of the gas station where I had placed the call to my dad.

My father arrived and was glad I was okay. He said that when I called he had been taking a nap, and stated that when told him I had been in a traffic accident he thought he was dreaming. Odd, but here he was within a half hour. I remember him saying he originally didn’t think the accident had been that bad because I looked fine. But then he walked over to my car and looked at the front of it, he was surprised I wasn’t in worse shape than I was.

Another ambulance arrived, and at the recommendation of the police and my father, I let them take me to the hospital. I remember them affixing a support frame around my head and neck and putting me on a stretcher and placing me in the ambulance.

I was securely strapped in and off we went to Burdett Tomlin Hospital in Cape May Court House. I felt okay, but was having a bit of anxiety strapped to a gurney in the back of a van looking out the back windows as the sky and treetops went by.

When we got there they checked me out. I had been wearing a t-shirt, a flannel button down and a thick black peacoat. That’s three layers of clothing. I had been hit so hard that through all of that I had the beginnings of a yellow bruise on my chest from the impact. The seatbelt that went across my lap, had cut through my jeans and I had lacerations across both of my hips. (Right through my pants!) The cuts on either side of my tongue were minor and no longer bled. They checked all my vitals, and after some chatting and joking with the nurses, I was released to the custody of my dad.

He reiterated that he didn’t think it was that bad of an accident until he saw how badly damaged the front of my car was.

“After seeing that son, I will never drive a car again without wearing a seatbelt. I know now it saved your life.”

No one wore seatbelts back in the sixties and seventies. Some cars didn’t even have them! But after that day I never saw my dad drive without wearing one. So, good things can rise from the bad events in our lives.

The only after effects from the accident were, feeling a little dazed for a couple of days after the event, and a sore neck. I did notice that for a few weeks after the accident when I did drive a car, I was a little nervous and a bit more cautious when approaching an intersection.

The insurance came through after the usual nonsense and they had deemed the car undrivable. They settled, and the car was totaled.

I went back to the dealership, and got another XT just like it. It was identical to my former fallen steed. But you know what? It was never the same. It was simply a replacement to my first love. It was as if someone I loved had passed away and I got a girl that looked just like her, but it just wasn’t her. Make sense?

I drove that XT for many years after that, but eventually traded it in for  a’94 green emerald pearl, Toyota Camry. I was married and it was nice to have a big spacious car with air conditioning.

I’ve owned several cars after that, but I’ll never forget my first New Car.

The days when I was the one with the coolest car in town.

On a final note…

Here’s a shot of the last great car I owned and loved. A Mazda Millenia!

Check out those vanity plates!

I had a girlfriend named Kate that I was in love with at the time. She was my first muse and inspiration for Angel with a Broken Wing.

 

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

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New Car – Part 2

1984

I remember when my dad and I went to the dealership to look at the car. At that time they had a few white ones and a couple blue ones. I really liked the white one. I had never seen a car like this before. I loved that it looked like a spaceship and had flip up headlights like a Corvette.

We worked out the financing and my father basically made the deal. I was too busy drooling over the car. I had the VW minibus, and then the Fiesta, but this was a brand new car.

My car.

I remember when they made delivery of the car, I was so excited. I clearly remember this exchange with my dad.

“I love this car! It’s so beautiful! I can’t believe it’s mine!”

“You will when you start making the payments on it.”

My dad being the banker, made the deal on the financing, and didn’t want me married to a car payment for a long period of time. The sooner I could get it paid off, the sooner I’d have equity in the car, and be free of the payments.

But what that caused me was an incredible financial hardship. The payments were around $300 a month and I really wasn’t making much money back then. I was married to that car for years. It sucked. I wished he would have done a 60 month deal, but what did I know back then? Zilch. I just wanted to drive a cool car.

When you’re a young man and you get your first new car it’s like a rite  of passage. It’s like the car becomes an extension of yourself. It becomes part of your identity because you don’t have much of one yet. It’s like someone handing you a box full of cool. It’s your chariot. The stereo booming, while you speed down the road in your machine of metal is a feeling like no other.

I know that many men never get past the importance of owning a cool car. Sadly, there are so many underdeveloped men that feel that they are defined my driving an exotic and/or expensive automobile.

I’ve known men that think that if they drive a high performance car they’re successful or powerful. When in reality, most women don’t care about cars, and they’ve invested their money into a depreciating asset.

The moment you drive your car off the lot it begins to lose value. Why would you want to invest your money in something that’s a money pit? I remember talking to a man with real wealth who told me this: “Don’t look at what kind of car the guy drives… look at his house. Anybody can lease a nice car and live in their mom’s basement.

But at age 23 it was an incredible rush to own a cutting edge, never seen before, cool car. I remember it being described as the “technological flagship” of the Subaru line.

I found these photos in an old album of mine.

There’s my baby right in front of the house in Wildwood, NJ!

Loved that car!

I remember I was working at Circle Liquor in Somer’s Point, NJ. There was a girl named Lori that worked there that I was in love with. I don’t think she held the same feelings for me, but I did go out on a couple of dates with her. Her dad worked at the Showboat Casino, and I think she just worked there until her dad could get her a job at the casino.

I went to pick her up one night, and it was snowing and I cleaned all the snow off my car out front of her house so she could see the car. But she didn’t really care about what I was driving or me for that matter.

She was really pretty, and I just couldn’t get her to fall for me. She ended up going to work at the Showboat, but I stayed in touch with her.

I remember one night I was supposed to meet her for dinner in Somer’s Point. I drove up there and was at the restaurant. She was supposed to meet me there and didn’t show up when she was supposed to. I called my friend Ferd as to what to do. “Order Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and stay cool. She’ll show up.”

I was an anxiety ridden mess as usual back then and my nerves were shattered. I ended up calling her at a payphone and talking to her. I may have spoken to her two times that night while I was waiting. She eventually bailed on our date and I knew I was dead in the water.

I sadly drove home in my iron steed.

I talked to my father about it, and he said the following. “Maybe she doesn’t want a guy who works at a liquor store. A warehouse type. She works at the Showboat now. She probably wants a better class of man.”

Thanks for grinding my self esteem even lower than it already was, dad.

Those kind of statements are what propelled me to get a job in a bank like him. I figured if I had a good job, I would be able to get a quality woman.

Little did I know that that would be the beginning of some of the worst decisions of my life. 20 years in banking. Marrying a girl who came from a nice family for all the wrong reasons. It was the beginning of me losing my true self. But millions of men have made the same choices and been miserable for decades.

I remember describing my future wife to my dad and why I wanted to marry her. His response was, “That sounds like very republican thinking.”

But you’re the one that told me to be more than a warehouse worker, dad!

They’re all equal now, and none of it means anything to me from where I stand in my present life, but these were defining moments.

I loved everything about the car. I just felt so good when I was in it and driving around. I remember when it was new I’d be stopped at a light and people in the car next to me would look at it and say, “What is that?”

It was that cool in the mid eighties. I loved being that guy.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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SUN STORIES – Tales From a Tanning Salon, Now Available on Amazon

Yes. It’s now available on Amazon.

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

I was working at a local media company here in Philadelphia. One of my advertising clients was a tanning salon. I became friendly with the owner. He was always complaining about his staff. I asked if I could start moonlighting there for some extra income.

He immediately hired me. One shift became two, then three, and within a month or so, I became full time. I was tired of working at the media company where I was currently employed. A publication that was no longer relevant in this city. Print was basically dead… but tanning salons were hanging by a thread.

But I enjoyed working there. It was a fun job. I met a lot of great people during my time there. But with every job, there’s always challenges… and temptations.

Sun Stories: Tales from a Tanning Salon, takes you on a sunny, and sometimes dark journey of my time working there. It’s filled with funny, unique, and sometimes cringe worthy tanning stories. But there were other forces at work there. What began as an easy part time gig, slowly evolved into a story filled with love, obsession, sex, and misadventure.

When I was editing Phicklephilly 2, I had a revelation. I realized that Phicklephilly 2 was all about the relationship I was in with my girlfriend, Cherie. The love affair, the passion, and the infidelity of that glorious celebration of two people coming together.

But, I looked at Sun Stories, and saw that it ran parallel to Phicklephilly 2. It was a complete documentation of my work life during that period. Phicklephilly 2 was about my relationship with Cherie, and Sun Stories was my work life.

They’re both happening at the same time. I have to release them together.

That’s my whole life between 2016 and 2018. It’s everything. I have to release them both.

Cherie. I loved her. But after Michelle and Annabelle, I was now armed with how to navigate my future relationships. Secure myself and see what happened. I’d never enter into another relationship without my armor on.

I was working at the media company that was the last cool paper in the city. When I think about going to that publication, I think of Ronnie James Dio. He once said that when he joined Black Sabbath to replace Ozzy Osbourne, he called it, the second coming… or going, of Black Sabbath.

That’s how it felt when I joined this dying publication. I loved all of the people I worked with there, but knew the paper was doomed. It’s greatest days had come and gone. I only did it because I was about to be fired from the start up where I was working. I had such high hopes for what I was going to build with that little start up. The money was great, and I’m forever grateful for that. But they never followed through with the investors to build it out into a national site.

That site is dead now.

It was heartbreaking for me to leave them, but I’m sure the owner was relieved he no longer had to pay me. Why did he never follow through? It makes no sense. I guess I’ll never know. We could have built something wonderful. I jumped to a local free publication and made a go of it. That old publication was in a state of flux, and the changes that unfolded for that sweet paper destroyed the very thing it once was. I worked hard at what I’m good at. Acquiring accounts and building the business.

But the writing was on the wall. They had brought in a fool to run the daily operations. He systematically destroyed the advertising department at the paper. Can you imagine that? The guy gets a job to grow a struggling business and all he knows how to do is ruin it.

He did that. All of the meetings. The Monday morning kickoff meeting. The Wednesday Sales Meeting. The Thursday One on One. He should be horse whipped. He broke the spirit of everybody who worked there.

There are no clients in any of your foolish meetings you silly asshole.

How could he be such a failure as a leader when he seem like such a nice guy?

Detritus.

My father passed away, and I was fed up. I was the only sales guy on the floor. Rocco was a fixture and an account rep. He can’t sell. The new manager brought in a couple of retards, and I could see there was no future there. The place was a rotten husk.

It kind of sucks, because back in the day, I LOVED that publication and the CITY PAPER. They were god to me. If you wanted to see what was up in Philly, they were the papers you grabbed. They were in honor boxes around the city. I would always read them every week. Everything I needed to know was in those sweet papers.

But, here I was working at this anachronism. It was over. My daughter will never touch a newspaper. It’s over. It’s been over since 2008. Print is dead.

Oh, but here we go…

Tanning is dead too.

I had a client who actually spent money with me to advertise his brand. I did my best for him. I believed in his products and services. I gave my all. I came up with creative ideas because I cared. I wrote killer copy for his ads. I did what I’m good at.

I liked it so much, I went to work there to escape the dungeon of selling print advertising in a paper whose epitaph had already been written.

But I had no idea it would open a flower I had never seen before.

This is the most lurid book I’ve ever written.

So let’s begin.

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

 

 

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

My new books, Phicklephilly 2 and Sun Stories, are 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!

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!

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Tobacco Road – 1977-1996 and 2008-2018

I started smoking cigarettes when I was around 14 years old. I was going on 15 but it was just something kids did back in the 70’s. Everybody smoked cigarettes. It was so widely accepted despite the health warnings. Everybody I knew smoked cigarettes. Back then you could buy a pack of smokes for $0.51 a pack at Rite Aid. That’s super cheap! A whole pack of cigs for half a buck? Incredible!

The odd thing was, at our young age, my friends and I always had a story ready if we were ever questioned by any of the shopkeepers in any of the stores where we bought them. The story was always, “Oh, these are for my mom.”

But no one ever asked us who the cigarettes were for. Ever. We had no problem buying cigarettes anywhere we ever went.

I remember my ‘straight A’ student sister Janice taught me how to inhale.

When you start fooling around with smoking, your young lungs aren’t accustomed to breathing in toxic smoke. So you just puff them to look cool. But to get the full benefits, taste, and rush of smoking, you have to inhale the smoke. So one night my sister Janice showed me and my friend Anthony how to do it. We were standing down by the bulkhead at 8th and JFK blvd. in North Wildwood. She said, “take a small puff and then suck the smoke into your lungs like you’re being startled.” You suck it in really fast and in it goes. You get the full taste and then blow it out.

What I didn’t know is that once you do that, the nicotine enters your bloodstream and gives you that little rush that smoking cigarettes brings.

That is also the first day of your addiction to cigarettes.

I smoked and enjoyed cigarettes for the next 20 years.

Then my daughter Lorelei was born and I decided to quit smoking for health reasons. I didn’t want to sniff her baby head and have the smell of cigarettes present. But I was in my 30’s then and firmly addicted to smoking with a 20 year habit. So I bought the nicoderm patch. The patch is a sticker you place on your arm and it releases nicotine into your system without smoking.

Dosage & Steps | NicoDerm CQ

It was tough but I slowly got myself off cigarettes. It probably cost me $600 in patches but it eventually worked. I was free of smoking but as one ex-smoker once said to me, my blood was hungry for cigarettes for over 2 years after quitting.

But like anything else, if you stop doing it, it eventually fades from your life and you no longer want it.

 

Jump forward 10 years, and I was divorced for over 8 years and I started dating Michelle.   https://phicklephilly.com/2016/10/31/my-michelle-2007-present-part-1/

I loved Michelle. Probably more than I’ve ever loved anyone else in my life. We would be out at night touring the city and pounding cocktails.

Michelle smoked cigarettes and sometimes she’d have problems lighting them in the evening breeze. Having been a long time smoker, I could get a cigarette lit in a sandstorm with one match left on the beaches of Wildwood. I’d help her.

Me getting her Parliament lit and handing it off to her went from that to me taking one sweet puff.

Michelle worried I’d get re-addicted to cigarettes doing that. I assured her I wouldn’t. I told her, “I’ll only get hooked if I start buying them again, and that’s not going to happen.”

But back in 2008 I was madly in love with her and my life in general with her. It wasn’t long before I was picking up a pack of Marlboro lights on a regular basis.

I didn’t care. I felt alive with her and really loved the taste of cigarettes again. There’s nothing better than a cold cocktail and a delicious cigarette. It’s like sex.

But like everything awesome, if you do it often enough you begin to tire of it.

 

Jump to 2018.

Michelle was long gone and all that remained was my addiction to tobacco.

But things had changed. Cigarettes were now $10 a pack and I found myself growing tired of smoking in general.

I was older. Better in touch with who I was and what I wanted. I found that I really don’t have an addictive personality. I have more of a compulsive personality.

I would buy a pack of cigarettes and only enjoy maybe 2 of them. My favorite was the one after work. The celebratory smoke of finishing the day. An addict craves their drug of choice all the time. I was sick of smoking but still doing it. My mind wanted to give it up I was sure, but I needed to bring the body over with my thought process. And in that lies the true challenge.

I was tired of the smell, the dirt, the ashes, the health risks, and most of all taking it on the chin for $10 bucks a pack!

The only part of smoking I liked was the actual act of smoking. Holding it in my hand, puffing on it, watching the smoke blow from my lips. Not the actual need to smoke. I no longer had that. No addiction, just an annoying holdover from my past life. Something I no longer enjoyed, but just did out of ritual and habit.

(This factor will play out in another vice I would soon address.)

But what to do? I knew this chapter in my life had to end as I continued to evolve through my 50s.

I was moonlighting at the tanning salon one night and was cleaning one of the rooms. People are always leaving things behind in the rooms. I’ve found all kinds of things. Money, jewelry, drugs, underwear, etc. But this time I found a small, grey colored metal stick with a tiny light on it sitting on the table. I had no idea what it was and just figured it was some sort of wifi gadget for a computer.

But I was wrong.

The girl who had left the object behind came back asking for it. I gave it to her.

“What is that?”

“It’s called a Juul. You smoke it. Like a vape pen.”

I had heard of people vapeing but it all seemed weird to me.

“You can smoke that like a cigarette and nothing’s burning or making ashes?”

“Yea. You can charge it on your laptop, and you have these little pods you stick into it. They have different flavors and there’s nothing burning, no ashes, no smell, no real smoke, no carbon monoxide. It’s awesome. I love it.”

“Is there nicotine in that thing?”

Image result for juul

“Yea, but only 5%. Which isn’t much, but it’s so much better for you than smoking dirty cigarettes.”

I was sold. The next day, I went to my local 7-Eleven and bought the starter pack of Juul. The unit, a charger, and 4 pods with different flavors. Virginia Tobacco, Cool Mint, Creme Brulee’, and Berry.

I charged the unit up at work that night and liked the results. I’ve been smoke free since May 2018 and have never looked back. I don’t smoke my Juul that much, and have zero desire to have a cigarette. When I see someone smoking a cig now, it looks dirty to me and wonder how someone could enjoy such a primitive filthy habit.

Ahh, the reformed smokers are the worst!

I’m so happy cigarettes are gone from my life for good.

I know what you’re all thinking… Oh, you’re still getting nicotine from that thing.

They make nicotine free pods now, so you can simulate smoking with no ill effects.

Image result for cyclone pods

 

So now I can still enjoy the celebratory smoke after work with no addiction or health issues. I feel great and enjoy my Juul very much.

 

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

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8 Reasons You’ve Stopped Having Sex in Your Relationship-And How to Address It

THESE ARE THE MOST COMMON ROMANTIC ROADBLOCKS YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER.

As a therapist who specializes in modern love and studies the science behind connection, I inquire about the sex lives of dating individuals and couples constantly. What I hear in my sessions mirrors recent data, which indicates an upward trend in the number of U.S. adults who reported having no sex in the past year. That number peaked at 23 percent in 2018, according to a report from the General Social Survey.

Social scientists, psychologists, and economists have weighed in on rationales for the “sex recession,” citing everything from the increase in social media and phone use to newfound awareness of unwelcome and assaultive sex. And while there are surely societal influences that may be impacting our sex lives at large, there are also elements that are unique to our individual relationships. That said, here are some of the most common interpersonal reasons people in relationships stop having sex, as well as how to address them.

1. You focus on cultivating intimacy but not desire.

Desire, our capacity to succumb to our pleasures without guilt or shame, is selfish by definition. On the contrary, long-term relationships are built on mutual respect and mindfulness of the other person’s needs. In order to have a thriving sex life, we must wrestle with the contradictions between our values and our innate desire. Intimacy thrives on security and stability, while desire feeds off newness and is stifled by routine.

One intervention is to find opportunities in your relationship to be sexually transgressive. Consider writing or stating an erotic fantasy to your partner. Identify a new space (room, city, state) to have sex in. Simply talking about breaking the rules, even if you don’t actually break them, can invite a playful and adventurous spirit into your sexual connection.

2. You don’t spend enough quality time together.

In 2010, research from the National Marriage Project found that couples who spend time alone with each other at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy above-average levels of sexual satisfaction than spouses who did so less frequently.

Investing time and energy in your relationship promotes a connection and could lead to increased sexual satisfaction. If life feels “too busy” to carve out this time, consider scheduling date nights or sex like you would a meeting or workout class, to ensure it is prioritized.

3. You don’t know what you want—or how to ask for it.

Experiencing pleasure requires that we have a clear sense of what we want. Pleasure is sometimes viewed as self-indulgent and narcissistic, two qualities that most people don’t want to be defined by and therefore resist exploring. But instead of judging our preferences, we must own them. Masturbating on a regular basis can help nurture a relationship with ourselves. Through experimentation, we can identify what feels good and how we like to be touched.

It is our right to have our needs met—and clearly stating our sexual preferences to our partners is like giving them the road map to helping achieve that. Show or tell your partner how to satisfy your needs. You’ll both be better off for it (and so will your relationship).

4. You’re not comfortable with your body.

Several aspects of body image, including weight worries, sexual attractiveness, and preoccupations about the body during sex, predict sexual satisfaction in women, according to 2009 research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Men are also impacted by these concerns; one 2016 study published in Psychology of Men & Masculinity found that around 20 percent of “normal” weight men report hiding an aspect of their body during sex.

This evidence suggests that it is not our bodies themselves that impact our gratification, but rather our feelings toward them. Implementing positive self-talk has not only proven to increase confidence but also to internally remodel the negative grooves in our brains. Additionally, building awareness of what we allow into our field of view by limiting our intake of body “inspiration” on social media can positively impact our self-concept.

5. You’re experiencing a life transition.

In all rites of passage—consider the shift from childlessness to parenthood, singlehood to coupledom, married to divorced, or rebuilding after an affair—there are role exits and entries, where we must let go of an old identity in order to inhabit a new one. Anxiety, depression, and inner conflict tend to ensue when we experience a role transition. Walking into the unknown, even if it’s the most beautiful uncharted territory, is going to ignite fear.

The primordial human response to fear is to self-protect and clamp up. Normalizing this transitory period by removing expectations to behave like you “used to” or “do better” may help you relax and therefore open up sexually. Start by executing small and approachable sensual acts that will support you and your partner in building a track record of success. Couples that view their sexual narratives as continuous know that transition periods are chapters and not endings.

6. Your sex life is a reflection of another impasse in your relationship.

Our sex lives can be a barometer for other roadblocks in the relationship. For example, if you’re constantly being told that what you’re doing is wrong, you may notice a decreased attraction to your partner. Power struggles outside of the bedroom bear down on what transpires beneath the sheets. Underneath each criticism we have about our partners is a wish, an unmet need longing to be granted. To break the negativity cycle, begin to phrase your disapproval as requests. When we state our desires with intention and vulnerability, making it about ourselves rather than others, there is a higher likelihood that they will be well-received and met.

7. Your technology addiction is inhibiting your sex drive.

Modern life provides ample material for stimulation. Having more modes of conveniently accessible distraction on our smartphones can intercept our appetite for human connection. Start to build cognizance of when, where, and how long you are using your phone. Get curious about how your engagement with technology may be distracting you from stressors in your life or impacting the quality of your face-to-face relationships.

Making intentional decisions to engage and disengage from technology—such as removing TVs, laptops, and phones from the bedroom space—may help you have more satisfying experiences with both your digital and human interactions. Keeping the bed sacred for sleep and sex can train the brain to associate this place with these two acts, increasing the likelihood of both.

8. You’re not in the mood (for a variety of reasons).

A lack of sexual desire may be influenced by physiological challenges, psychological issues, or a combination of the two. Certain health conditions, like diabetes, or medications, like anti-depressants, may impact how turned on you feel. Life stressors, subsequent worries, low self-esteem, and a history of sexual abuse can all promote sexual distance. Expressing these mind and body experiences to a trusted partner, friend, or therapist may reduce their grip on the sexual connection.

On top of sharing our truths, building scientific knowledge about how our bodies are wired, may reduce guilt and shame related to low desire or arousal. The sexual response cycle that we witness in movies and other forms of entertainment—which is desire, arousal, and then orgasm—does not align with most of our lived experiences. In consensual sex, many of us do not feel desire or arousal until the act begins. Meanwhile, some individuals may not even be seeking physical satisfaction with sex, but rather emotional closeness. Reducing the pressure to achieve orgasm may enable couples to enjoy more aspects of the journey.

Approaching our sex lives as living, and therefore malleable, gives us permission to change the dynamic at any time. Having the will to revisit the erotic narrative in a relationship encourages us to look deeper into our own desires and those of our partners, having the potential to lead to more and better sex. And if you’re not sure if your sex slowdown is a bigger issue than you might think.

 

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

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How To Improve Your Dating App Profile For 2020 So You Get Way Better Matches

One from the ladies…

For a long time, I left my bio blank on dating apps. I hated reading cheesy bios with lame jokes in them that make it seem like someone’s trying way too hard and I didn’t really get how this would help improve my dating app profile for better matches. I didn’t use any of my allotted 500 characters in the bio section — until recently. It’s not that I had fewer matches without a bio but that my matches didn’t exactly know how to strike up a conversation or hold my interest, which was partly my fault. I didn’t give them any clues about the kind of person I am or the things I’m interested in. I didn’t even link my Spotify or Instagram accounts.

In 2018, I plan on making a few more changes to my dating app profile that will hopefully lead to better matches and more first dates. It’s all part of my ultimate 2020 resolution, which is to give fewer f*cks but get a lot more.

I spend a lot of time swiping through other people’s profiles on dating apps, which uniquely qualifies me to determine which profile hacks actually work and which you should probably leave in 2017. It’s simple, really. Photo of you and a dead fish (or any dead animal, really)? Delete ASAP. Five mirror selfies in a row? Remove at least three of those and get your friends to take some plandids. Listing your anthem as “All Star” by Smash Mouth? Well, I suppose not all that glitters is gold. Here are a couple other things you could do to improve your dating app profile in 2020.

 

1. Update That One Photo You’ve Had On Your Profile Forever

I don’t care how much you love that photo of you on vacation in Cabo San Lucas with your family from three years ago. Surely, you’ve done fun and exciting things since then and managed to capture photo evidence of it. All of the photos on your dating app profile should be recent, especially if you’ve drastically changed up your look within the last few months. You wouldn’t want to be blindsided by an old photo of one your matches who looks completely different now, so don’t do the same to them.

 

2. Mix Up The Order Of Your Photos

Luckily, Tinder will do this for you if you turn on the Smart Photos feature in your settings. Smart Photos will continually test which of your photos give you the best results and periodically select a new one to show first. This is perfect if you live in a college town and you’ve gotten used to swiping through the same people over and over. By keeping your updated photos in steady rotation, you increase your chances of matching with people like you who might be excited to see a new face (or, at least, the same face with a different Snapchat filter).

3. Swap The Emoji Bio For Actual Words

You’re a grownup. You can do this. If you really want to improve the quality of your matches and the conversations you have with them, you’re going to need to say a little more than *pink double heart,* *rainbow,* *prayer hands,* *wine glass.* If the idea of honestly completing your bio makes you feel too vulnerable, try including a quote from a favorite song or movie that best captures your personality.

4. List Your Job Or School

Trust me on this one. A quick way to let people know a little more about you is to include your job title or school’s name in your profile. You’ll be surprised how much you might have in common with someone simply because you both intern at an attorney’s office or took the same classes your freshman year. Plus, if you’re too shy to message your matches first, this is the perfect clue to give them for a thoughtful conversation starter.

5. Play Around With Your Settings Every Now And Then

Every time I adjust my settings on Tinder, I enjoy an entirely new swiping experience. There are tons of ways you can mix things up, like widening your location radius or changing your age preferences. The app will recalculate your pool of potential matches, giving you more chances to swipe right on anyone you might have missed before.

 

6. Splurge On The Paid Version Of Your Preferred Dating App

Premium versions of any dating app are bound to increase your chances of finding the perfect match. For example, on Tinder you can opt for one of two in-app subscriptions. Tinder Plus gives you unlimited swipes, lets you undo any accidental swipes (this is revolutionary), adds five Super Likes to your account every day, and boosts your profile once a month so you can swipe as one of the top profiles in your area for 30 minutes. Tinder Gold offers all of these features, plus the coveted knowledge of who has swiped right on you without you having to reciprocate. Best of all, both of these packages also offer Tinder’s Passport feature that allows you to swipe in any location across the world. Parisian men, here I come.

Technology is only going to keep getting better — you definitely don’t want to be left behind simply because you haven’t looked at your dating app profile since you set it up a few years ago. In 2018, commit to a better dating app profile, better matches, and a better life!

 

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 available now!

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No, There Is No Such Thing as ADHD

There is no brain condition that generates some disease called ADHD, and none has ever been demonstrated. And no child should be given amphetamines.

No, there is no such thing as ADHD.

 

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the understanding that kids come in all shapes and sizes. Some kids are active, some are quiet; some kids are dreamers, others are daring; some kids are dramatic, others are observers; some impulsive, others reserved; some leaders, others followers; some athletic, others thinkers.

Where did we ever get the notion that kids should all be one way?

Parents these days are subject to pediatric “experts” who proclaim that kids should follow some prescribed rates of physical, mental, and emotional growth. If they deviate from the “mean,” then there is a problem. Parents are intimidated and worry that there is something wrong with their babies.

Every child matures in his own way, in his own time. Every child is different. We need to throw away all the bell curves of “normal” — you know, developmental milestones. Parents worry if Johnny is a happy breastfeeding pudge-ball, heavier than his appointed weight; or crawls differently; or isn’t walking yet; or isn’t talking at his appointed hour; or still isn’t toilet trained (very few make it to adulthood without getting toilet trained).

There are experts at every turn, such as those who proclaim knowledge that a pudgy baby will create fat cells that will create weight problems for life, which is nonsense. Parents, leave these poor kids alone and enjoy them. Raise them well — you know, with boundaries and love.

Apparently, differences mean that we should make children conform to the idea that there is some ‘normal’ that all kids should be. If they’re active, give them amphetamines; if they’re moody, give them Prozac; for fears, give them benzodiazepines; and while we’re at it, let’s give them antipsychotics, or Lithium and other mood-stabilizing drugs.

What in the world are we doing?

My focus is on the interplay of temperament and trauma to demonstrate how the fiction of ADHD took hold in the first place. Dr. Peter Breggin and others have addressed the issue of giving amphetamines to children with compelling clarity. (see a “Towards a Ban on Psychiatrically Diagnosing and Drugging Children”).

Every single person is absolutely unique. No two of us are alike. Even identical twins are not the same. We all have our unique constellation of temperament. I want to emphasize that by temperament, we are talking about inborn temperamental styles, not pathology. (See “The Nature-Nurture Question—The role of ‘Nature’ comes from our genetic temperament.“)

Our temperament digests our parental nurture all the way through our development. Together, they create the varied and wonderful scope of human personality. Our cortical imagination, oriented by our temperament, writes a specific and nuanced character world in each of us, which is as unique as our fingerprints.

And so it is with nature and nurture for all of us. Our temperaments differ; our salient environments differ; our parents, our culture, and the happenstances of our lives differ. The specific qualities of our parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and the moment-to-moment experience of our lives are all unpredictably alive. Our adult character is created out of all of these forces and is absolutely unique. No two snowflakes are alike, but we are all snowflakes. And we all form the same way.

To understand ADHD, we need to look at differences in temperament, as well as the degree of responsiveness, abuse, and deprivation that is digested into our plays of consciousness.

A typical child, often a boy, may have an active temperament. One can readily tell whether a child is active or passive. Active children sit and walk and climb early in childhood. They take off at the beach. The active child is naturally physical, physically expressive, and action-oriented. He is oriented to active, muscular, good aggression. In the context of good-enough loving, the active child, identifying with his active strength, operates as a take-charge doer.

(The passive child is not oriented by muscular, good aggression. In basic orientation, he is more absorbed elsewhere. He tends to be off daydreaming. The passive child depends more on someone else to provide shelter from the storm. He identifies as the recipient of action rather than as a doer.)

The next temperamental attribute is that our active child tends to be an externalizer, rather than an internalizer. What does this mean? The orientation of an externalizer is to look outward. With good enough love, he feels secure with love from others. In the context of deprivation and abuse, he is predisposed and oriented to feel attacked or criticized by others. He locates the source of attack, hatred, or criticism as coming from a person outside of him. For example, from a legacy of shaming abuse, an externalizer experiences being actively shamed by a person outside of him and will react to it. His orientation is as a blamer. As such, he would be inclined to blame and fight with others.

(An internalizer will carry a source of loving internally. In the absence of good-enough loving, instead of blaming and fighting, he will attack himself. It would manifest as self-hate: “I’m bad; I’m inadequate, I’m stupid, I’m ugly,” etc. In the context of shaming abuse, an internalizer, would feel ashamed.)

Our active child would tend to be more narcissistically inclined than echoistically oriented. His orientation is to operate from his sense of self, as opposed to an echoist who operates from the point of view of other people. In the context of deprivation and abuse, his “me” orientation focuses on himself as the injured party and isn’t as centered on thinking of others. He is furious and outraged at slights and injuries directed at him from others. He leads with an exposed nerve and indignantly feels, How dare you treat me this way?

And finally, this child tends to more of a participant and less of an observer. A participant is naturally oriented to be immersed in and emotionally involved in activities. He easily and naturally engages through feeling.

(The natural orientation of an observer, on the other hand, is to process at a distance, rather than be immersed in the feeling relatedness of the scenario of the play. An observer tends toward thinking, caution, circumspection, reticence, and figuring things out.)

So what do we have? An active, externalizing, narcissistic, and participatory child. Remember, there are no pejoratives associated with these qualities. This type of constellation generates the attributes of leaders and athletes. In many cultures, these children are valued rather than devalued. They grow up to be fun energetic people. They may show behaviors that get them called ADHD, but they are normal kids. They are easily bored, need to run around a lot, and may have short attention spans, except when they are interested. These actually are stereotypical boys. They can be fidgety and impulsive and may concentrate poorly, but there is nothing wrong with them.

In the context of deprivation and abuse, they may be prone to spin out of control. They may act out more and blame and fight. This may be a signal that something is problematic in the family and needs to be attended to. Many families don’t like to hear this, but the attention deficit may mean that the parents are giving insufficient loving attention to the child.

What is called ADHD, in general, is merely one part of the constellation of temperaments that make up the human condition. Even within this group, temperaments will vary. No two children are the same. And the specifics of deprivation and abuse vary with every child. Not only that, but there are also many other issues that can be very misleading. I give one example in “How Do Our Children Get Misdiagnosed With So-Called ADHD?

Certainly, symptoms present themselves, but they need to be correctly understood. All of these children need to be properly evaluated to understand what they need. It might be help for the family. It might be a more open classroom. It might be to help teachers be better teachers. But one thing is for sure:

There is no brain condition that generates some disease called ADHD, and none has ever been demonstrated. And no child should be given amphetamines.

 

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!

 

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COVID-19 Update: 9 People Infected Because of Air-Conditioning; Don’t Use AC, Experts Say

According to MSN Lifestyle’s latest report, air-conditioning may increase the risk of further infection caused by the novel coronavirus.

In the United States, 5.4 million air-conditioning units were manufactured in 2019 to prepare for this year’s summer season. However, experts say it isn’t the best time to use ACs as two studies discovered that COVID-19 particles can spread by ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning.

(Photo : CDC on Unsplash)

9 People Infected By COVID-19; Air-Conditioning Is The Main Cause Experts Say; Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use AC!

According to the report, most individuals spend 90% of their lives in built environments like cars, public transportation, and buildings, breathing in shared indoor air and touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

“Air conditioners will take air and re-circulate it through the room, and it’s through that mechanism that these coronavirus droplets can be transmitted,” said Qingyan Chen, a mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University.

Chen brought up that the 700 individuals out of 3,000 passengers on the Diamon Princess Cruise Shop got infected. “After quarantine, many people still got sick on the ship and I suspect that the air conditioning system could play a role there,” he said.

However, other experts are skeptical about the report. Meghan May, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, said that prioritizing physical distance is more important than worrying about air-conditioning.

“I’m not yet convinced it is a concern. But if it is, I would say air-conditioning is the least of your worries in mass transit or apartments,” she said in the report of Business Insider.

Nine people infected by COVID-19; Air-conditioning is the main cause, experts say

According to MSN Lifestyle, a study discovered that nine people in a restaurant were infected because of air-conditioning which blew the coronavirus droplets.

The study was published in the Journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on April 2, focusing on the infected causes in a restaurant located in China which raised concerns about AC’s risk factors.

(Photo : Ashkan Forouza on Unsplash)

Nine infections in Guanzhou were linked by the researchers to one 63-year-old woman. Most of the infected individuals didn’t have direct contact with the woman, but they sat on the tables near her. The study concluded that the air-conditioning of the restaurant blew the particles around infecting the other individuals.

The report stated that the finding is alarming since it implies that air-conditioning can increase the risk of getting the virus without having direct contact with an infected individual.

However, it was also stated that the droplets which came from the infected woman didn’t spread too far from her position; only 10 individuals out of 83 customers of the restaurant were infected.

The study serves as a warning to those restaurants and other establishments with wide air-conditioning units that are looking to open up for the summer to take precautionary measures to avoid further spreading the virus.

 

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

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8 Zoom Hacks To Try During Your Next Work Meeting Or Virtual Happy Hour

Instead of meeting friends downtown on your way home from the office, virtual happy hours and working from your couch are quickly becoming the new, strange norm. And even if you’ve already hopped on the Zoom train, there’s always room to learn more about the conference call app. Whether you’re on the clock or just catching up with … Continue reading “8 Zoom Hacks To Try During Your Next Work Meeting Or Virtual Happy Hour”

Instead of meeting friends downtown on your way home from the office, virtual happy hours and working from your couch are quickly becoming the new, strange norm. And even if you’ve already hopped on the Zoom train, there’s always room to learn more about the conference call app. Whether you’re on the clock or just catching up with your friend group, consider testing out some of Zoom’s not so obvious hacks during your next meeting.

The spike in Zoom app downloads makes sense when you think about the statewide and citywide “shelter in place” orders encouraging people around the country to stay put unless they absolutely need to seek medical treatment or buy essentials like food and medicine. In total, over 15 states including California, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Louisiana, and New York recently initiated statewide “shelter-in-place” rules, according to a map published by Wired. And more states might join as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Thankfully, whether you’re stuck at home or somewhere else for the time being, video chat apps make it possible to stay connected with the people who matter most. If you just downloaded Zoom, here are some of the most useful hacks to remember next time you join a work meeting or chat with family:

Hack #1: Change Your Virtual Background On Zoom

If your bedroom wall isn’t cutting it as a backdrop for work calls or you just want to make your friends laugh, Zoom gives you the option to change your background to any image you want. Go to Settings on either your desktop or mobile and then click on the Virtual Backgrounds tab. From there, you’ll see all the pre-installed backgrounds Zoom has, like the New York Skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, and even outer space. But if you’re not too fond of the options that are available, you can upload pictures of your own, from pretty landscapes to your favorite memes.

Hack #2: Use Zoom’s Annotation Tool

Bryan Veloso

@avalonstar

When your friends find out that @zoom_us has annotations.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 

If you’re a big notetaker during meetings, there’s no need to bring out the pen and paper. Zoom lets you make annotations and take notes right on your phone or even your desktop with its whiteboard feature. Just go to Settings, hit Meetings, and double check that the Annotations option is checked. Then, using your finger, a stylus, or your mouse, you can make as many notes as you’d like, either for yourself or for everyone in the meeting. Jot things down on slideshow presentations for work or draw up funny doodles to your friends in the middle of video calls.

Hack #3: Share Your Screen On Zoom

You can share your screen during Zoom meetings to provide a visual aid for other members.

If you’re giving a presentation or want to share a funny Instagram post or Tweet with your friends during a virtual happy hour, Zoom’s screen sharing feature is key. All you have to do is tap the Share Screen option at the bottom of your screen. You’ll be able to choose whether you want to share your entire computer desktop screen or just your screen when you’re on specific applications like Microsoft Word. Plus, you can pause your screen sharing so your coworkers don’t have to see you awkwardly fumble between apps.

Hack #4: Share Multiple Screens On Zoom

Multiple people within a video conference can share their screens at the same time using Zoom.

If there are multiple people trying to give a presentation or get their points across, test out Zoom’s multi screen-share feature. That way, more than one person can share their screen in a meeting — it’s perfect if you’re trying to compare documents or complement each other’s points. Just make sure that the host clicks on the arrow icon to the right of the Share Screen option (on the bottom of the screen) and turns on the “Multiple participants can share simultaneously option.”

Hack #5: Record Zoom Meetings For Later

Zoom allows you to record your meetings so you can go back to them later.
Zoom/YouTube

Zoom users have the ability to record meetings to a Cloud or their computers, so that important points and discussions are always on file. Just tap the Record button at the bottom of your screen and click where you want to save the video. Afterwards, you can access the video and any others you recorded by logging into your account and going to the My Recordings page.

The only catch is that the type of account you pay for dictates how much storage you have within your Cloud. For example, a Zoom Education account (usually for educators) gives you 0.5 gb per user. If you have a free account, you have the option to upload the recordings to your computer as opposed to the Cloud.

And this isn’t just for work meetings. If you’re having a convo with friends, you could always record your hangout and then post a snippet of it to Instagram or Twitter to show everyone how much fun you can still have while social distancing.

Hack #6: Record Transcripts Of Zoom Meetings

Kane Fulton

@KaneFulton

It’s an absolute joy to read through an interview that’s been conducted over @zoom_us and transcribed by @otter_ai with pretty much flawless accuracy. Means I can conduct interviews with just my AirPods in & note down topics to search for in the transcript once it’s processed. 🙌

View image on Twitter
See Kane Fulton’s other Tweets

Being able to record a meeting is super helpful, but sometimes having a readily-available transcript of your meetings is even better. Just go to your Account Settings, click Cloud Recording, and then hit the Recording tab. From there, go to Advanced Cloud Recording Settings, click Audio Transcript, and then Save your settings. Once you have your transcripts, you can even search them using different keywords.

Hack #7: Put Zoom’s Touch-Up Feature To Work

Stacey (Kendall) McCain@staceykendall11
Replying to @zoom_us and 2 others

I was totally joking, but thanks for being so responsive. I will have to give the smoothing filter a try😉.

Zoom

@zoom_us

Haha ok : ) Cool, check for the “touch up my appearance” setting under settings > video. Happy Zooming Stacey!

View image on Twitter

Just rolled out of bed but don’t want anyone to know? Zoom’s Touch Up My Appearance option puts a soft focus filter on your video feed, giving you the appearance of a good night’s sleep (even if that’s not really the case). You’ll look more polished, and you won’t have to worry about wiping off any makeup once your virtual meeting is over.

Hack #8: Try Out Zoom’s Gallery View

Zoom

@zoom_us

Zoom’s Rockin’ Some Serious Green Gallery View Style

View image on Twitter

Whether you’re on a work call or just chatting with friends, sometimes you want to be able to see everyone you’re talking to on the same screen. Well, with Zoom’s Gallery View, you can do just that. The feature lets you display up to 49 participants in one screen. Go to your Settings and then Video to open up your Video Settings options. There, you should be able to enable Gallery View. Then, all you have to do is start or join a meeting, and you’ll be able to see everyone in the video call all at once. You can also just click the little grid icon at the top right of your screen once you’re in a meeting.

 

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

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