Kamala Harris Breaks Glass Ceiling as First Female Vice President, First Woman VP of Color

The vice presidential glass ceiling has been broken.

California Sen. Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman elected vice president, now that Joe Biden won enough states to capture the White House.

Biden beat Donald Trump four years after Hillary Clinton came up short in her bid to be the first female president.

Harris, 56, was the first African American woman and the first Asian American person on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., raise their arms up as fireworks go off on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. Looking on are Jill Biden and Harris' husband Doug Emhoff.

Her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff, will be the first “Second Gentleman.”

Harris has said she expects to work closely with Biden, offering him a perspective shaped by a different background.

“It is about a partnership that also is informed by one of the reasons I think Joe asked me to join him, which is that he and I have – we have the same ideals and values but we have very different life experiences,” Harris said during her final fundraiser for the campaign.

President Barack Obama has called her an “ideal partner” for Biden who is more than prepared for the job as “someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers.”

Only the second Black woman to be elected to the Senate, Harris was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in San Francisco and attorney general of California.

Biden had faced tremendous pressure to choose a woman of color as his running mate because of the large role African Americans – and particularly Black women – have played in the Democratic Party and because of the racial issues thrust into the foreground by the coronavirus pandemic and the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police.

“There is no vaccine for racism,” Harris said during her vice presidential acceptance speech. “We’ve got to do the work for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor and for the lives of too many others to name.”

Announcing his choice, Biden called the former prosecutor a “fearless fighter for the little guy, one of the country’s finest public servants.”

Only two ran before her

Harris was only the third female vice presidential nominee of a major party ticket.

Her debate with Vice President Mike Pence was the second-most watched vice presidential debate, after the 2008 matchup between Biden and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was running mate to Republican nominee John McCain.

Harris’ response when Pence tried to cut in on her time, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking – I’m speaking,” sparked a meme. T-shirts, face masks and other products emblazoned with those words were quickly available for sale on the internet.

Biden’s age contributed to the public’s interest in Harris, as his 77 years increase the chance that he might not serve a full term or seek re-election.

Republicans sought to characterize Harris as member of the “radical left” who would control the more centrist Biden.

Voters had a divided opinion of Harris, with 46% “very” or “somewhat” favorable and 47% “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable, according to a VoteCast survey of 110,405 voters by The Associated Press. The difference was as polarized as the rest of the election. Those viewing her favorably almost entirely – 93% – supported Biden, while 87% of those viewing her unfavorably supported Trump, according to the survey.

Sen. Kamala Harris speaks on stage.

Breaking barriers of race and gender

Biden’s selection of Harris gave the campaign a big fundraising boost. Backers sent more than $34 million immediately after Biden announced his pick, and she headlined numerous fundraisers throughout the fall. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., which Harris belongs to, began donating $19.08. The sorority, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by Black college-educated women, was founded in 1908 at Howard University, her alma mater.

Harris was often dispatched to energize voters of color, particularly Black Americans. The first candidate on a major party ticket to have attended a historically Black university, Harris campaigned at HBCUs, barbershops and other places of significance for communities of color. For many virtual campaign events, Harris broadcast out of a studio set up at Howard University.

“I say it’s about time a graduate from a state university and a HBCU graduate are in the White House,” Biden said of himself and Harris at a drive-in rally in Atlanta.

Who is Doug Emhoff?

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband Doug Emhoff take the stage during a drive-in get out the vote rally, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Philadelphia.

Emhoff was also a regular presence on the campaign trail and formed a bond with Jill Biden, who preceded him as the spouse of a vice president.

Emhoff, who will be the first Jewish American in the vice presidential residence, was a regular Biden surrogate for campaign events targeted to Jewish supporters. He was also “sent all the time to probably the hardest spots,” Biden senior strategic adviser Greg Schultz said during an October campaign event.

Emhoff has been offered lots of advice on how to tackle his new role.

“Everyone’s got an opinion on this, which is nice to hear,” Emhoff said during the campaign. “Which means people are actually excited about the prospect of someone like me in this role – and I get that.”

He hopes to tap his legal background and focus on justice-related issues, particularly “access to justice.”

Emhoff still has the voicemail of a congratulatory call from Biden after Harris and Emhoff got engaged in March 2014.

It was Harris’ first marriage and Emhoff’s second. His son and daughter – named Cole and Ella after jazz legends Cole Porter and Ella Fitzgerald – came up with their own name for their stepmother: Mamala.

“To my brother and me, you’ll always be ‘Mamala,’ the world’s greatest stepmom,” Ella said in a video montage introducing Harris before her convention speech. “You’re a rock, not just for our dad, but for three generations of our big, blended family.”

During an appearance on Hillary Clinton’s podcast, Harris described how she had been teaching Emhoff how to cook after the pandemic confined them to their Washington, D.C., apartment.

Harris’ own passion for cooking was often a topic on the campaign trail. She has described it as “one of my joys” and recirculated a video of herself making masala dosa with actress and writer Mindy Kaling last year.

She told Clinton that one of Emhoff’s own culinary attempts went awry, setting off a fire alarm. Harris had to wave her briefing book back and forth to clear the air. The couple subsequently agreed that Emhoff should stick to three dishes he knows how to cook – “and we don’t need to experiment with anything else,” Harris said.

Kamala Harris, left, with her sister, Maya, and mother, Shyamala, in January 1970, in Berkeley, California.

Presidential ambitions

Harris had competed against Biden for the Democratic nomination but ended her bid before the first primary votes were cast.

She struggled to place herself in an ideological camp, particularly on how far she would go to enact Medicare for All. She also faced criticism from some on the left for her prosecutorial record.

One of her campaign’s biggest moments came during a debate when she challenged Biden over his remarks about working with segregationist senators. She described herself as part of the second class to integrate her school as a child after mandatory school busing, which forced Biden to apologize for his earlier comments.

Although Biden didn’t hold a grudge, Trump immediately called Harris a “phony” after her selection. He frequently made fun of her first name – which is Sanskrit for lotus – and hurled insults at her from his campaign rallies, included calling her a monster.

Women’s groups spent millions on ads to “push back on disinformation and racist, sexist attacks” on Harris and show her in a positive light.

“She has taken on some of the toughest fights…and she’s done it all with a sense of style,” said the narrator in an ad called “Chucks” that included footage of Harris wearing her signature shoe choice and a young girl dancing in Chuck Taylors. “Someday soon, anyone will be able to see themselves as president.”

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Milwaukee.

Daughter of immigrants

Harris was born in Oakland, California, to Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer scientist who emigrated from India, and Donald Harris, a professor of economics who emigrated from Jamaica.

Her first job was cleaning laboratory pipettes for her mother.

“She fired me. I was awful,” Harris said.

Gopalan would also tell Harris and her sister, “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something.”

Harris frequently mentions the “stroller’s-eye view” she had of the civil rights movement, as her parents marched for social justice – a central part of family discussions.

She wrote in her memoir that she was inspired to become a prosecutor in part because of the prosecutors who went after the Ku Klux Klan and because of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who sent Justice Department officials to protect the Freedom Riders in 1961.

But she had to defend to friends and family her decision to try to change from the inside, rather than the outside, a justice system they saw as too often offering injustice.

Democratic U.S. Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during an early voting mobilization event at the Central Florida Fairgrounds on October 19, 2020 in Orlando.

Prior record

Harris likes to tout a program she championed as district attorney to direct young people arrested for drug crimes into training and counseling programs instead of jail.

As California’s attorney general, she pushed for a tough settlement from five major banks accused of foreclosure abuse. One fellow attorney general who joined the fight was Delaware’s Beau Biden, the former vice president’s oldest son. The two developed a friendship before Beau Biden’s 2015 death from brain cancer.

After Harris joined the Senate in 2017, she put her prosecutorial skills to work grilling witnesses such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney General William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, the most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate,” Trump said of Harris’ questioning of Kavanaugh.

Breaking barriers means breaking things

When Harris found herself competing for the Democratic presidential nomination with three of her female colleagues, the rivals enjoyed lighter moments on the campaign trail laughing with each other and comparing notes on the still-rare experience of being a woman running for president.

“We have spent a lot of time together, sharing looks at each other across a room when statements are being made,” giving each other a “knowing look” like “Yeah, that just happened,” Harris said during a fundraiser that included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Klobuchar recounted how, during one debate, the women had banded together to demand the technicians raise the temperature in the freezing studio.

“I mean, like you couldn’t feel your feet,” Klobuchar said. “And on the break, we’re sitting there huddled together … and we said to the technician from NBC: `You know what? Women do worse when it’s so cold. This isn’t fair. You have got to turn this up, right now.’ And so they turned up the heat, as we did.”

Harris said that women who go first know the sacrifices they’ve made and hope to make it easier for women to come up after.

Breaking barriers, she said, involves breaking things.

“And when you break things, you might get cut. You might bleed. It will be painful,” she said more than once. “It will be worth it, every single time.”

 

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.

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15 Subtle Signs a Coworker Likes You & Is Deeply Infatuated by You

Before making your move on a coworker, you want to make sure there is some interest. So, you need to know the subtle signs a coworker likes you.

Many couples meet at work, but it is always a little risky to go for it in the beginning. You don’t want to get a reputation or embarrass yourself. None of us want to put our jobs in jeopardy, so knowing the subtle signs a coworker likes you helps make this choice a whole lot simpler.

Hitting on a stranger and getting rejected at a bar stings for a minute, but knowing you’ll never see them again takes away that rejection quickly. If you were to ask out a coworker without knowing whether or not they like you, things at work could get weird.

Do you already know the subtle signs a coworker likes you?

When you are nervous about asking out a coworker, you may be psyching yourself out. There is a good chance you already know the signs a coworker likes you but are overlooking them due to fear.

Instead, reassess your interactions with this person. Sometimes you don’t even need to know the signs a coworker likes you, you just need to feel a vibe.

If you still can’t clear your judgment, ask a trusted friend at work who will tell you what they see. Sometimes an outside perspective is exactly what you need. Getting insight from a third party can give you all the answers you need before making a move. 

How to spot the subtle signs a coworker likes you

If that didn’t help, and you are still unsure whether or not a coworker likes you, amp up your observation skills.

I’m sure you are already a touch nervous during your interactions with this coworker and are focused on your flirting skills. If you want to be sure your coworker likes you, you’ll have to be hyper-aware.

Because, just like you, they are probably nervous about liking someone from work. The signs this coworker likes you will be subtle. 

The subtle signs a coworker likes you

Looking for the subtle signs a coworker likes you is not exactly hard, but takes a bit of insight. You need to be able to read between the lines and just read people in general.

The chances are this coworker is trying to hide their feelings or at least not be obvious about them. But, if you are keen on making a move and asking them out, you will want to know if they like you for sure.

Here are the subtle signs a coworker likes you.

#1 They stare. This is one of those subtle signs someone likes you since first grade. When someone stares, they like you. And it doesn’t mean they are being creepy or ogling. They just are attracted to you and get distracted by that.

So, unless you have spinach in your teeth or toilet paper on your shoe, if someone is staring discreetly, it is a sign a coworker likes you.

#2 They know what’s going on with you. When a coworker likes you, they seem to always know what is going on with you. Whether they are up to date on all your Instagram stories or know the project you’re working on, they are always interested.

Knowing what you’re doing gives them a reason to talk to you.

#3 They make time for you. When you’re at work the priority is work, right? Well, a sign a coworker likes you is when they are taking time away from that for you. Whether they take an extra few minutes to chat to you in the break room or delay heading home to spend time with you, the chances are this coworker like you.

#4 They talk to you about non-work topics. We all have work friends. Someone who is showing subtle signs they like you will be more in depth. They won’t just rant about your boss or Angie in accounting messing up your check.

They will talk to you about their family and friends. Also, they will ask you about your life outside of work.

#5 They cling to you at work events. One of the clearest subtle signs a coworker likes you is the effort they make to spend time with you. Not only will they double check that you are coming to the company picnic or holiday party, but they will be waiting for you to arrive.

Once you get there, they will get you a drink and cling to you if they can.

#6 They make you a priority. This can mean anything from making sure you’re handling your workload to reaching out if you’re late or bringing you soup when you’re sick. They always make sure you’re doing okay and regularly check in.

#7 They remember what you say. This is huge. If you’re anything like most people, you probably zone out at work a lot, especially when your coworker is talking about their aunt’s Sunday brunch. But, if a coworker likes you, they will remember every detail.

If you told them you were going to your grandmother’s birthday party over the weekend and that you bought her a sweater, they will follow-up on Monday by asking if your grandmother liked the sweater. Taking note of small things is a subtle, but strong, sign a coworker likes you.

#8 They notice any changes to your look. Did you cut your hair or buy a new suit? This is the person who will notice that. I have cut my hair many times over the years and even my own family overlooks it. But, when someone likes you, they stare, which means they know how you look to the smallest detail.

So, even if you just get a trim or style your hair differently, they will compliment it.

#9 They notice changes in your mood. If there is someone at work that knows when you’re having a bad day and tries to perk you up, chances are they are showing signs they like you.

Even if you are good at hiding your annoyance with your boss or are down for another reason, a coworker who likes you will be more in tune to your moods. 

#10 Body language. Body language is a huge sign a coworker likes you. It is subtle because it is a coworker. If someone you met at a bar likes you ,they may rub your leg. But, that is inappropriate work behavior.

So, take note of smaller and more subtle signs of body language. Do they hug you and linger? Do they put their hand on your shoulder when helping you with something? And do they make eye contact?

#11 They avoid their phone when you’re together. Most people are glued to their phones 24/7, especially at work. If you have any chance to be distracted, you take it. But, whether chatting with you, having lunch, or helping you with something and their phone is out of sight, they give you their undivided attention.

It is hard to come by undivided inattention nowadays. If your coworker keeps their phone away when with you, they are showing signs they like you.

#12 They try to impress you. I do not mean they will try to impress you with their killer presentation, but rather they will try to make you laugh or share their wild weekend plans.

They want you to like being around them, so they will do what they can to impress you. Think Jim and Pam from The Office. Jim’s practical jokes were enjoyable for all, but when he impressed Pam it meant so much more.

#13 They remember your food or coffee order. I can barely remember my own order let alone anyone else’s. If this coworker surprises you with coffee or your favorite takeout when working late, they like you.

When they don’t have to double check your favorite drink or that you like extra pickles on your sandwich and they aren’t the lunch delivery person, they like you.

#14 They are nervous. Being nervous is a telltale sign a coworker likes you. If they are flustered when you come by their office or blush when you compliment them, they probably like you. 

#15 You can feel it. The most subtle sign a coworker likes you is the feeling you get. This is not a science or even something you can explain. If you feel the chemistry, you probably already know.

You may be feeling excited and restless yourself, but take a breath and keep an eye on these signs. If these subtle signs a coworker likes you pop up, it may be time to make your move.

 

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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George – The Rugged Outdoorsman – Part 2

I was going through hundreds of files, artwork, stories, and comics about a month or so ago. I was searching for some ideas for a future book or screenplay. I was going through some old stand up routines and jokes a friend and I had written. But during that process I came across a stack of the little comics George and I used to draw and laugh at in high school.

It’s been over 40 years since I’d seen or talked to him. I was reading the comics and laughing, and thought… I wonder what ever happened to that guy?

So like anybody, I went on facebook and searched his name. A couple people came up, and I looked carefully at their photos. But this one guy, who didn’t look like my 16 year old friend from high school, got my attention. It was the eyes. He had those kind eyes.

It’s weird how after 40 years you can look at a person and even though we’ve all changed a bit, you can recognize them.

I decided to take a chance and sent him a message. “Did you go to Frankford high?”

A day passed. Then I got this response: “Do you not go by Chaz anymore?”

Holy moley! It’s him! I found him!

That was easy. We exchanged numbers and started texting. I brought him up to speed. Wildwood, Rock bands, Los Angeles, more rock, back to Jersey, then into banking. Got married in ’92, had a daughter in ’96. Divorced in 2001. Worked in banking for 20 years, and advertising for 10. It was a storied, colorful past with it’s ups and downs.

After college, George got married in 1983, and went to work for an aerospace company. And not just any aerospace company.

At General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, they develop mission critical C4ISR solutions across the land, sea, air, space and cyber domains, but that doesn’t tell their whole story. When downed pilots are isolated in enemy territory, their equipment gives them a lifeline to call home. When a student opens a textbook to learn about the universe, they’re looking at data and pictures sent using their technology. When the government needs to share crucial top-secret information, their products help them keep this information out of the wrong hands. When sailors need to locate underwater mines, their technology allows them to find explosives with unmanned underwater vehicles.

Wow! All I wanted to do out of high school was get my van detailed, run off to LA and play guitar. This guy has really made something out of himself! That’s like some top level stuff! It’s the only career he’s had since college!

And… he’s still married to the same gal! He also has two grown children in their twenties.

So, dramatically different histories. But the memories remain.

I took pictures of the comics we used to make and sent them to him. He got a good chuckle out of our work, and we decided to meet up.

George lives up in the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania now. That’s not too far from Philly. Just a couple of hours. But his office is in Lancaster, PA.

I took a train up to Lancaster to meet him for lunch. It was nice to get out of the house during the pandemic. I always like going out on little journeys and missions around town when I can. Not being able to go to work, and sitting home all day writing has been a bit of a grind, so I’m always eager to get out of the house.

Now I was going to meet up with my long lost friend! I think the older I get the more I realize how important it is to stay connected from quality people from my past.  We have the shared experience that I just don’t have with all of my young lady friends here in the city. They’re great, but I really haven’t seen any of them in over six months.

This was a chance to reconnect with an old friend. (And old we are!) I always picture people the way they were when I knew them. Sometimes it’s a shock to see them years later. Everybody ages differently. But George looks basically the same and so do I. We’ve put on a few pounds and have developed ‘dad bods’ and a bit of grey, but we’re basically the same guys.

After a peaceful ride on the train I arrived at the train station in Lancaster. George was there to greet me, and we reunited both wearing our masks.

It was great to see him again after all this time.

I hopped into his SUV and we headed over to a local country club for lunch. We were actually allowed to dine inside. There were only two other tables of people in there at the time, and they kept us far apart.

George ordered a Manhattan and I did the same. We like the same things! A nice cold cocktail to kick off a lunch is always a good idea.

We chatted about our pasts and did our best to bring each other up to date. There’s so many more stories to tell, but we only had a couple of hours.

What I learned during that lunch is that George is a serious fisherman. He has been for many years. He writes articles for an sportsman magazine. (So yea, a published author like yours truly.) He has his own website dedicated to his fishing adventures, which is cool. It’s called Pocono Outdoors Guy!

When not on the water fishing, George can usually be found talking about fishing, sharing new tips, techniques, and new tackle with others through his Video Podcast (Weekend Round-Up) or his YouTube video series.

George will fish for just about anything that swims, Freshwater/Saltwater, 365 days a year. His favorite has to be Freshwater Landlocked Stripers as it is a local challenge in his own back yard. However, Smallmouth, Musky, Pike, Catfish, Salmon, Carp, Trout are always welcome targets.

After spending nearly 40 years in the aerospace industry as a senior executive, George decided to pursue his passion of videography in the great outdoors as Pennsylvania’s own “Pocono Outdoors Guy” and started “Lone Fish Studios” as a means to help others in need of these video and production services.

George Schauer is an accomplished videographer who partners with companies and organizations to grow their exposure through the creative use of video.

George knows what truly drives exposure on social media platforms.  Video, creative video! George states: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, video must be worth….well, you can guess”.

The Prequel S3:E5 Getting ready for some special guests... - YouTube

George has been on numerous outdoor TV shows (local, regional and national) and has taken that experience and put it to work helping create engaging video for companies.

Projects have included marketing, training, and safety videos, company event, tv commercials, and other social media content to increase awareness of their products/services and activities.

“I love working with people in the outdoor sports industry the most. Guides, tackle manufactures, distributors, lodge owners, etc. We all share the same passion, and I enjoy being able to help share their story to the world.  Increasing exposure they never thought possible through the use of creative video!”   

     ~ George Schauer

Simple, and to the point. There’s a gallery, fishing tips, sponsors, tackle, a fishing forecast, and video services. So cool, right?

Check it out! (Click the link below)

About

On top of all that, he also has a Youtube channel by the same name. It’s got all of these awesome videos of he and his friends doing what they’re great at…fishing! Boat, surf, deep sea, surf, river, lake, and even ice fishing! Yep!

The dude’s a pro! He even does a weekly live show from his own studio that runs every Sunday.

Here’s his Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwfJ_Gga6mtccVnz8d8rI_g

So, this guy is legit and has really made something out of himself. Not just the aerospace guy, he’s the cool fishing and outdoor pro! What a great catch! (No pun intended.)

I’ve done some fishing in my lifetime, but it’s when I was young and out with my dad. Some solid surf fishing, and a bit of fishing off a little boat we once had at the shore.

Oh, and did I mention George has a really nice boat too?

George has done quite well for himself! We’ve taken different paths in life, but George has managed to keep a steady home and career for himself. But the best part is, he has all of these cool things going on in his personal life.  He’s found his passion and has turned it into a cottage industry!

I’m really proud of him and I’m happy we’re back in touch.

The lunch was wonderful, and it was so nice to just sit and reflect with an old friend for a few hours over a delicious snappy lunch!

But there’s more…

George has a head for audio and video. I had been digging through more of my old stuff in storage, and came across some old masters of some songs I recorded in the studio over 30 years ago. I think after seeing and hearing what my daughter was doing in the studio with her music, I reawakened the itch.

I was texting him about it and we jumped on a call. George, although an accomplished musician doesn’t really play much anymore. I told him what I had, and he said if I could somehow get it into an mp3 and send it to him, maybe he could help me get my songs on Youtube! He’s a genius when it comes to stuff like that and frankly, I’m clueless.

So, hopefully he can help me make that happen. I knew once I had that conversation with him, that the story had gone full circle. 40 years ago he gave me the breakthrough I needed to move forward as a musician. Now here is again, back in my life and now he has the know how to get 3 of my original compositions onto Youtube!

Oh yea, he rides motorcycles too. badass!

George, you are the man!

The links are here. Check out his stuff. It’s all awesome! (Phicklephilly approved!)

Thank you for being in my life, George. I’m honored to know you, sir.

I want to schedule another lunch with my old friend soon!

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Death of Eddie Van Halen marks the end of something, not sure what

Death of Eddie Van Halen marks the end of something, not sure what
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/amp.buckscountycouriertimes.com/amp/5935906002

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

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

Beaver or 13eaver as it is better known, was a stoner rock band from the Netherlands. All of their CDs are considered rare, and are all out of print.

Beaver appeared on the Amsterdam music scene in the late eighties. Founded by guitarist/lyricist Roel Schoenmakers and drummer Eva Nahon, their line-up stabilized in 1992 with the addition of bass player Milo Beenhakker and ex-God guitarist Joszja de Weerdt. They started playing out on the European stages, supporting bands like The ObsessedRollins BandThe MelvinsFugaziKyuss and Queens of the Stone Age.

The results of their first three recording sessions at the Via Ritmo studio in Rotterdam were released on CD by the local W.E.R.K./WORKS label in March 1996. ‘B’ (13eaver) contains one hour of their heavy rocking metascience-fictional blues. The next trip to the studio yielded the Josh Homme-produced “Green”, the band’s contribution to the genre-defining ‘Burn One Up!’ compilation that came out in January 1997. The Beaver rhythm section teamed up with Josh’s ‘Queens of the Stone Age’ for the song ’18 A.D.’ This record got a lot of international press and put Beaver in the vanguard of the European scene.

In September 1997 their second album, ‘The Difference Engine’, was released by their new label Elegy. The album was written and recorded within weeks and captures the band in particular fine form, flaunting their trademark tortured guitar-riffing, odd time signatures and extragalactic soundscapes, lyrically hunted by the heaviness of the load.

The release of the Beaver/Queens of the Stone Age split-EP on Man’s Ruin Records September 1998 exposed them to a worldwide audience and drew a lot of positive reactions from fans and music press.

In 1999 Beaver toured Europe twice. After three appearances at the ‘Roadburn’-fest, they hit the road in February with Eindhoven’s finest 35007. September saw their second tour, this time with Spirit Caravan. In between they recorded their second Man’s Ruin-release at ‘The Void’-studio in Eindhoven. ‘Lodge’ was released in October 1999 and received 4 K’s in the British ‘Kerrang’.

2000 kicked in with a show at the Hollywood ‘Troubadour’, with Guy Pinhas on bass and Tos Nieuwenhuizen on guitar, a pre-1992 line-up as a matter of fact. While visiting the States they got the go ahead to release a full-length album. Recording started July 2000. Meanwhile, Tos had become a full band member again, replacing Joszja as lead-guitarist. The new line-up took to the road in November 2000 and toured extensively all through Europe, visiting the UK for the first time.

They went straight into the studio to finish recording what was to become ‘Mobile’, eight tracks that catches the band in transition from a five- to a four-piece. The release in May got overshadowed somewhat by the collapse of Man’s Ruin, their record label, a month later. The band kept a low profile for the rest of the year, playing some local shows and festivals, working on new songs.

Reunion

Beaver was reunited to play the Sunn O))) curated event at the 2011 Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands.[1]

Discography

Members

Former members

  • Roel Schoenmakers – vocals/guitar
  • Eva Nahon – drums
  • Klaas Kuitenbrouwer – bass
  • Guy Pinhas – bass
  • TOS Nieuwenhuizen – guitar
  • Jozsja de Weerdt – guitar
  • Milo Beenhakker – bass

 

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

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The Top of the Stairs

1970 – Philadelphia

I have three sisters. Janice who’s eighteen months older than me, was born in 1961. My sister April, was born in 1966, and Gabrielle born in 1970.

Sometimes when we went to bed and my folks had people over, we’d leave our rooms, and lie at the top of the stairs and listen to our parents downstairs. It was probably just out of curiosity. What are the adults doing downstairs? What are they talking about? Different voices and laughter. The sounds of adults having fun grownup time with their friends and neighbors. Kids don’t like to go to bed. They want to be up and a part of everything. But we could only listen from the top of the stairs.

Sometimes, we’d lie at the top of the stairs in our pajamas listening to my parents when there weren’t any guests over. Maybe we were hoping we’d hear some secret info about what Santa might be bring us this year. But sometimes, more often than not, there was no laughter. Their voices sounded angry with each other. What could they be angry about? We didn’t do anything. We were in bed. We would hear them fight and argue downstairs in the kitchen. I don’t remember what they argued about. It wasn’t so much their words, but the sound of their voices.

If I think back to the sound of our parents voices when we were little, the sound was more important than what they were saying. Children respond more to tone than to meaning. A young mind only has so much capacity for complex emotion. If the voice is soft and gentle, it’s usually followed by a smile and praise. But if the tone is loud and sharp, it’s probably followed by admonishment or punishment.

Like dogs, we learn the difference in those tones very quickly.

When you’re a little kid, and it’s time to go outside, what’s do your parents always say? Go put your shoes on. We’re going. Where are your shoes? We have to go. Because when you’re a kid, you like to run around in your stocking feet. Normally the shoes come off when you got home, because your mom doesn’t want you tracking dirt all over the house.

One morning, my father was getting ready for work. He couldn’t find his shoes. He looked all over and it just didn’t make sense. His closet was always neatly arranged full of ironed shirts, ties, and suits for his job at the bank.

He asked my mother if she’d seen them. Having no idea what had happened, she joined in the search. They finally found his shoes, and several other pairs stashed away behind some boxes in a different closet.

They began to ask us kids if we knew anything about it. Gabrielle was just a newborn so it couldn’t have been her, and Janice and I simply shook our heads.

My middle sister April, who was a very little girl at the time, but always outspoken, took responsibility.

“Why did you hide daddy’s shoes, April? You know he needs them for work.”

“I heard you and daddy fighting last night. I heard what he said to you. I thought if I hid his shoes he wouldn’t leave. You can’t go outside without your shoes.”

Such a simple act, but what an elegant plan for a four-year-old child to conceive in an attempt to keep her family together, and her daddy from leaving.

I’ll never forget that.

 

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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Chinese Chicken Salad

“Because of him I learned that if you’re funny, the kids on the corner won’t beat you up or pick on you anymore. Why kill the lowly jester? He makes us laugh. He entertains us. Let him live another day.”

Lawndale, Philadelphia – Mid 1970’s

When I was a kid I remember hearing my first Bill Cosby record. I don’t remember what it was called. I think it was my friend R.J who brought it over my house. But we may have listened to it on a little record player out in my garage. They were recordings of his stand up routines. When we were kids there were few places to access audio entertainment. The radio was one of the main sources, and any records our parents and older brothers and sisters listened to. That’s how we got our music back then. It was the Sixties and Seventies and resources were limited.

I think I only knew Bill Cosby from an animated show called Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids that was on TV on Saturday mornings. It was a cute show about this massive fat kid and his friends. There was always a heartfelt lesson at the end of each show. Bill Cosby even hosted the animated series. I watched it every Saturday around lunchtime.

Bill was a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. A comic who always worked clean and never blue. His stand up routine consisted of these long story pieces that were vivid and absolutely hilarious. We kids loved them. He had so many cool tales about his childhood. Chicken Heart, Ice Cream, and a trilogy about Noah and God. Just fantastic. Fun entertainment fit for everyone’s ears.

Other comics in the industry looked at Bill like he was a deity. A guy that could get up on stage for a solid hour or two and just kill with his delivery and stories. A wholesome man that was loved by millions. He was the first African American entertainer to ever star in a dramatic series in the history of television. A national treasure. America’s dad.

The First African American to Co-Star in a Dramatic TV Series

I remember for Christmas I would always get a Bill Cosby record. I remember getting, The Best of Bill Cosby, Wonderfulness, Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow, Right? and Why Is There Air? Just to name a few. All brilliant. Loved them all!

But as you get a little older, your tastes change. And this story is not about Bill Cosby.

One day my friend Jimmy Hunsinger came over and he had a George Carlin record. He was also a comedian. We had never heard of him before. I think we were all around the ages of fourteen through sixteen.

I remember Jimmy had a record by George called FM & AM. We popped it on the little green and white record player in the garage and let it roll. We had never heard anything like it. This comic talked like we did. He said a lot of curse words. Back then, most boys that age all spit, smoked cigarettes, giggled at anything remotely sexual, and cursed like sailors.

Carlin’s bits were absolutely stunning. He quickly became my favorite comic. His material was so irreverent and funny, you just lost your mind laughing at his bits. He wasn’t afraid to use the ‘whole language’ as I say.

I quickly absorbed all of his skits and could perform them verbatim. I remember the gang of big kids that hung up the corner would ask me to do his comedy for them. I would stand there and perform Divorce Game like a young George Carlin impersonator.

Because of George I learned that if you’re funny, the kids on the corner won’t beat you up or pick on you anymore. Why kill the lowly jester? He makes us laugh. He entertains us. Let him live another day.

It really worked!

I saw the power of comedy in George Carlin. Not just that he was hilarious and brilliant, but he knew how to use words and his wits to make things that were normal, really funny. He had a gift for seeing the world a bit differently than everyone else and was fearless in his delivery of the truth. Just an incredible, unique mind.

I acquired his record albums, FM & AM, Occupation: Foole, and Class Clown. All brilliant works. Writing this makes me want to go find all of those recordings and listen to them again. I bet I’ll be able to perform those bits right along with George because his words are so ingrained in my mind. (All on YouTube, no doubt)

 

Let’s jump forward to 1983. Santa Monica, California.

Now I’m twenty-one years old. I’m working at a place down by the beach on Main street called Merlin Mcfly’s. I have a previous post about it. It’s part of the California Dreamin’ series. You can read it here:

https://phicklephilly.com/tag/merlin-mcflys/

I started out working there as a cashier. I’d gotten a job there thanks to my buddy, Frank Roberts. He had worked there until he returned to his home in Belfast, Ireland. When he left I simply took his place. I would work from 4pm until midnight at the front of the kitchen ringing up food sales. I remember it was a big old upright cash register, where you would push big buttons and ring up the sales.

The Cash Register

I was making $4 an hour plus tips. When I say “tips” I mean a big jar I set on the counter with a sign on it. I would charm tips out of the customers. They would be split between me and the two cooks I worked with in the kitchen. If we each walked away with an additional five or ten dollars a night we were in good shape. That would buy cigarettes and beer.

But before Frank left the states, he told me about a thing he used to do that he learned from someone who worked there. He called it, The Moves. The moves were performed on a couple of cash food sales a night. Instead of ringing up the sale, you’d punch it in, then clear it, then simply hit the CASH button, and the register would open. This way, that particular sale was never recorded on the internal tape inside the machine. You’d take the customer’s cash, put it in the drawer and give him the appropriate change. At the end of the night when you were upstairs counting your drawer, there would be some ‘extra’ cash in there. Your drawer would be over by maybe twenty dollars. I would take that overage and split it among the two cooks. They never questioned their portion of the tips I gave them. But it was a way to skim a little extra cash out of the company and help out the hard working guys. It sounds bad, but at the time we were earning so little, a few extra bucks a night wouldn’t hurt anybody. We never got greedy, so we’d only take a little each night. This went on for some time.

There was a chef that worked during the day, named Smedley. Her real name was Brenda but for some reason everybody called her Smedley. I never found out why. I do remember she made all the soups. So pound for pound, she was the best chef employed there at the time. Her sister Lisa had recently come out from New York and needed a job. Management approached me and asked if I wanted to become a cook. I came from a world where my mommy made all of my meals for the first 20 years of my life. I couldn’t cook a damn thing. But they told me it was $5 an hour, so I leapt at the opportunity to increase my earning power by a dollar at this fine establishment. Lisa became the new kitchen cashier and ‘the moves’ went away. Too risky.

Lisa became known as ‘Lis’ the Piece’ because she was a provocative and sexually aggressive girl. She fit nicely into our rock n’ roll world. I have fond memories of my time with Lisa. There’ll be a future post about her and it’ll be quite lurid. But let me focus on the story at hand.

In the kitchen, I worked what is called the cold side, as opposed to the hot side of the kitchen. The more experienced cooks always worked the hot side. Which was primarily the grill. Burgers, chicken and steak. The cold side was less glamorous and actually a bit more complicated than the hot side. I was in charge of making all of the salads, sandwiches, anything fried, and other assorted tasks. (French brie in the microwave topped with toasted almond slices!) I remember one night after work I met this girl at a party in Venice. She said I smelled like fried food. I told her I had just come from working in the kitchen at Merlin’s and she laughed and said, “You’re cute and I love chicken strips.”

I think that’s the first, and last time smelling like delicious appetizers ever worked in favor of anyone’s romantic endeavors.

Working in that kitchen actually taught me how to become a proficient cook. It’s a talent I’ve carried with me my entire life. I’m grateful for the experience, but vow to never work in the hospitality industry ever again. It’s brutal work.

The great thing about working in the kitchen was, you could eat whatever you wanted on the menu. The rest of the staff had to eat the employee meal, and if they wanted anything better had to pay extra for it. So being a poor musician in LA, I knew that at least I would get one nutritious hot meal every day. Which is sustaining for a young lad.

I remember we had this really big guy that was a doorman. His name was Mike. Picture a good looking, muscular guy that was easily 6’6″. I think he did gigs as a stunt man. He would come up and usually order the same thing… the Chinese chicken salad. But he would say, “Can you throw a little extra chicken on that?” Of course I would always oblige, because when he came to pick it up he would grab the big wooden bowl, and drop a couple of joints on the shelf. I would stuff them in my pocket and smile. The same would go for certain cocktail waitresses we liked. They’d get a little extra something and bring us a coke spiked with rum. It’s just what we did back then to help each other. Trade and barter. I’m sure as you’re reading this, someone is pulling some sort of a move in a restaurant at this very moment.

Chinese Chicken Salad - Damn Delicious

One night, I was just working my shift and one of my favorite waitresses, a honey blonde named Colleen, came to me with some news.

“Do you know who’s sitting over in that booth?”

“I can’t really see from here.”

“George Carlin!” she whispered.

My heart began to flutter and I got really nervous and excited. Fame is a strange and unnatural thing. You experience the same dopamine drop meeting your favorite celebrity as you do when you’re about to see someone you’re falling in love with. But you don’t know the celebrity. It’s an odd feeling, but exhilarating nonetheless.

“What did he order, Colleen?”

“He got the Chinese chicken salad.”

Oh my god, he’s my favorite comedian of all time. I love him! Is he finished eating?”

“Yea. They’re just sitting there chatting.”

“Do you think I could go over and meet him?”

“Give it a shot, Chaz.”

Thinking quickly, I grabbed a guest check and a pen and headed over to the booth where my idol was sitting with his wife and another couple. I cautiously approached the table.

“Hello, sir. Excuse me. How did you like your salad?”

“It was great.”

“I made that for you.”

“Well, it was terrific, thank you.”

“Mr. Carlin, I love all of your work. I have all of your albums. I used to perform your bits like Divorce Game and Hal Sleet, The Hippy Dippy Weatherman for the big kids up the corner so they wouldn’t kick my ass. May I have your autograph, sir?”

“Of course! What’s your name?”

“Chaz.” (hands him the guest check and pen.)

He signs it and hands it back to me with a smile.

“Thank you Mr. Carlin. It’s been so nice to meet you.”

“You too, Chaz. Next time make it George.”

“Okay, George!”

And that was it. I walked back to the kitchen clutching the signed guest check like it was the Rosetta Stone. It was a magical moment in my life and I’ll never forget it.

Sometimes when someone tells me an extraordinary story, I always wonder about the validity of the details.

That’s simply not the case here.

 

That sacred artifact still hangs on my living room wall to this day. I’ll never part with it.

Thank you George Carlin for all of the joy and laughter you’ve brought to me and the world. You’ll never be forgotten.

Take it away, George…

 

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

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.

 

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