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

I don’t really go on social media anymore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well done.

It’s good we’re no longer in touch.

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

Perfect.

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

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

Well done, Michelle.

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

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

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

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

Perfect.

I hope your baby girl is born happy and healthy!

God bless you all!

You did the right thing.

 

I’ll be at the bar…

 

 

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

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

 

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

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SPECIAL REPORT: My Daughter has TWO New Original Songs Out!!!

 

During quarantine, my daughter has been working hard in the studio creating not one, but two new songs!

Check them out here!

https://m.soundcloud.com/innovatedtruce/jollyrancher

 

 

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

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

 

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

Iris – Happy Birthday, Papa Squirrel

You can read Tuesday’s post about Iris here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dead End Kids

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

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

“Yay!”

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

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

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

“Mind. Blown.”

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

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

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

Wanna go somewhere and get food?”

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

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

I’m ordering an Uber now!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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Iris – Quarantine Girl

Iris is one of my daughter’s friends. She’s 26 years old. I think she may be one of her best friends, because when she comes over they have such a fun time. They stay up to all hours laughing, drinking, smoking, talking and listening to music. It’s a grand old time here at the squirrel house as they call it.

The term squirrel house came out of something my daughter used to say when she was little. I was working in New York at the time but kept an apartment in Haddonfield, NJ for awhile. This was back in 2004, so Lorelei would have been around 8 years old. I had two sofas, and the smaller one was hers over by the window. When she would lie on it and look out the window all she could see was trees, so she said it felt like we were living in a tree house. It was a cozy apartment and she said we were like little squirrels living in their house in the trees.

So now in 2020 when it rains and we’re safely tucked away in our apartment in Rittenhouse, we call it the Squirrel House. It’s a sweet memory for us both. Her friend Iris is incredibly perceptive and has a great memory. She’s has a great ability when it comes to recall. She’ll hear something once and be able to talk about it. She heard about the squirrel house reference and now refers to me as Papa Squirrel. Probably one of the kinder titles I’ve earned over the years. She sometimes calls me Faja, and I’m assuming that’s father in another language.

I’ve known her for several years, but in the last year or so she and Lorelei have become close. During quarantine I’ve had zero social life except for a few zoom calls here and there. It’s nice to have people over. It’s great to hear my daughter laughing and enjoying time with her good friend. I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with them a little bit over the last few months, and have really gotten to know Iris.

Iris is adopted, and never had a father, or a real father figure in her life. I think this has led to a few bad decisions when it came to vocation and romantic partner choices. But she’s a resilient soul and my daughter really likes her. Lorelei’s a good judge of character and wouldn’t keep her around if she didn’t like her.

Iris has expressed that I’m the closest thing she’s ever had to a dad. I found that hard to believe because I don’t see her that often. But I suppose in the time she’s been here it’s felt like that to her. Maybe she sees how Lorelei and I interact as father and daughter. Lor’s mother was pretty strict, inflexible and set in her ways. I remember that because I was married to that woman for 8 years. It was rough. It was even harder on Lorelei living with her for 18 years. But when she turned 18 she left New Jersey and moved in with me. It was her choice to get out from under the oppressive thumb of her mother. Lorelei finished out her senior year in high school, commuting from Philly each morning by herself. Lor has lived with me for over 5 years now and we couldn’t be happier. I’ve always treated her like an adult, and she respects me and the house. She’s a good kid, and I’m really proud of her.

Iris has expressed on a few occasions that she wished she could rent me as a dad to hang out with. I liked the idea, because she’s a nice kid and I could be a father figure to her. Just somebody to talk to when she’s struggling with something that she can’t share with her adoptive mother or any of her friends. Never having a father takes an enormous toll on all children. Especially young women. Guys can sort of make it without their dads. We just need that older dude to kick us in the ass sometimes and teach us some skills, manners and keep us in line. But girls suffer because their father is the first man they ever meet. They’ll meet several, but their father is the very first. If you’re a good father your daughter will go out in the world knowing what a good man acts like. A father instills in them the tools and nurturing a young woman needs to meet some the challenges of the world. Good information, time, and love are all paramount to her development.

Here’s piece I wrote for Father’s Day.

Why A Strong Father-Daughter Relationship Is So Important For Girls’ Self Esteem

One night when Lorelei was out training for a part time gig, I woke up from my nap. (Yea, I take naps now during the pandemic. Writing books is exhausting! lol) I came out to the living room and Iris was still there. She had stayed over the night before but normally she’d be gone. But she told me where Lorelei was and that she was staying over that night as well. Like I said, I’m happy to have people over and if Lorelei’s happy, I’m happy. Iris is always welcome in our home. (We’ve even given her keys)

I fixed myself a drink and sat with her. We chatted and it was really the first time we had ever hung out together. Just the two of us. Normally I stay in my room when she’s over because I don’t want to be the hovering dad encroaching on my daughter’s time with her friend. But this time we just chatted about a lot of things.

It came up that she wished there was some way we could hang out sometimes. I was all for it, but we both had concerns about the dynamic of the relationship. How would Lorelei feel about it all? It all seemed like a slippery slope built on other people’s expectations and social norms. I think that was the biggest part of it. Iris is in Philly often not just to hang with Lor, but she has other friends in town. So she’s around quite often. I thought it would be nice for both of us. I could take her out to eat or to a museum or whatever. We could talk and I could provide some semblance of what it might be like for her to have an older male figure in her life that cared about her. She’s never really had that. But we didn’t know if Lorelei would share. And most of all we didn’t want it to be awkward or weird. I’m sure it wouldn’t be because I’m not awkward or weird and it would just be wrong for it to be anything else. I wanted to spend time with her, and she with me. She had expressed it before and said she had often thought about it.

So we agreed that at some point we’d breach the subject with Lorelei, but weren’t sure how or when we would do that. So I decided to run the notion by a few of my male friends.

I spoke with my best friend Duncan about it. His response was: “Dude, she’s in her twenties, smokes weed, has tattoos, has had questionable jobs, and no father figure. How are you just not going to fall into that?”

Okay. Bad Idea. Duncan is a divorced bachelor. He has no game. Never been a dad, and has shitty role models as parents. He’s a driven businessman and totally the wrong person to ask. I should stick to conversations about rock music, comic books, and Star Wars with him. So that was a waste of time.

I spoke with my friend Johnny R. If you’ve been reading this blog you know him already. If not, simply go to the search bar on this site and type, ‘Johnny R’. he’s the king of vice in this city. A great. smart guy who’s been in a stable relationship with the same woman for over 10 years, and has had only two different jobs in that entire time. Sounds tame, right? Johnny R. loves tobacco, alcohol, gambling, adderall, cocaine, strippers and hookers. Like I said…king of vice. But a great guy! None of that affects his relationship with me. But I ran the idea of spending some father/daughter time with Iris.

“Dude. Do you think you’re entertaining these ideas because you’ve been in quarantine for five months and the pool of female companionship has shrunken down to a puddle in your life? Do you really want to do this, or are you just desperate to hang out with a woman who isn’t someone you’re related to? I know you’re accustomed to being surrounded by women all the time. You have a very active social life. You write a dating and relationship blog full of your exploits. Do you think because you’ve been locked down, you’re just happy to hang out with Iris? Come on… she’s 26 years old. But most of all, she’s your daughter’s friend. It’s wrong. Think of your daughter. What will she think?”

Johnny makes some good points here, but like my friend Duncan, they come from similar places. Both not married. Never had any children. Having kids changes a man. It makes you a better, morale man in this world. If you haven’t ever been a parent you just don’t know what it’s like. So I did appreciate his opinions and he made some great points, but I think I’m barking up the wrong tree talking to these guys.

I have three sisters. I grew up living with women. Most of my male friends don’t understand how I can be friends with so many women in this city. Most men think any connection with someone of the opposite sex is a means to an end. Them trying to bed her. That’s never been the case with me. There is the romantic candidates and those endeavors play out accordingly, but most of the women in my life are simply friends. They like the idea that they can hang out with an older gentleman that isn’t trying to get into their pants.

One of my female friends once said to a mixed group of people, “Charles is the type of man we all wished the men in our lives spoke about us when we weren’t around.”

I think that sums it up. Most of my readers here on phicklephilly are women. If I were a wolf they’d know it, and steer clear of my blog. I can’t let other people’s ideas and perceptions cloud this subject. They aren’t me and are nothing like me. It’s always good to get a second opinion, but I think in the end, people are going to do what they’re going to do.

I even ran it by James at the Drive In last week. He knows about Iris. I told him about what was happening and he told me to do nothing. I love James, but he’s neither a husband nor a father. Normally he’s asking me for advice but I thought I’d run it by him. I respect his words, and decided to listen to him. I’m not going to pursue it.

But then opportunity knocked.

 

To Be Continued on Thursday…

 

 

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

Why A Strong Father-Daughter Relationship Is So Important For Girls’ Self Esteem

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

Dads and father figures have an important role in their daughters’ lives.

A father-daughter relationship is precious. When a girl’s self-esteem plummets, her Dad has the power to lift it up.

“Dad” can refer to fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other male loved ones — maybe an ex-spouse, former brother-in-law, or even a cousin.

Dads are men who mentor, love, and support a daughter.

Dads or step-dads can still be present, even if they live apart from their daughters, staying connected through emails, phone calls, visual platforms, texts, and whatever other methods of communication and connection are available — even old fashioned letter-writing.

Dad, You are one of the most important allies for your daughter.

You uniquely influence your daughter’s self-confidence.

You are the first male in your daughter’s life. You set a standard.

Your words, your behavior, your time — they all matter. Your relationship with her is unlike any other in her or your life.

There is a tendency to minimize fathers’ roles in daughters’ lives.

Yet, every part of a father-daughter relationship contains precious opportunities for daughters to learn about themselves, the world, and potential life partners.

It’s a scary time to raise a daughter.

Body image concerns start young, especially for girls.

A girl’s relationship with her body is intertwined with her self-esteem and affects every other aspect of her life.

Body dissatisfaction is the most powerful risk factor for developing an eating disorder. The strongest environmental contribution to an eating disorder is the societal idealized view of thinness.

No one can single-handedly prevent eating disorders. But you, Dad, can be a buffer against two — of many — key risk factors: body image and cultural messages.

Dads provide powerful protection from eating disorders. 

Whether you know it or not, your relationship with your daughter is either a protective factor or risk factor for a bunch of things, including an eating disorder.

According to The National Eating Disorders Association, girls younger than 10 are treated for anorexia. More than 40 percent of girls in first, second, and third grade wish they were thinner.

Reported cases of anorexia and bulimia are rising and affect girls of every race, ethnicity, socioeconomic group, and religion.

You have plenty of leverage to counter messages from culture, especially the message that how she looks is more important than who she is.

She is more than her body.

Her value is not based on her weight or how pretty she is deemed. She doesn’t have to diet or look like the Kardashians to be lovable.

You know that social media is an important way she connects with her friends. You also know that as little as 30 minutes a day of social media use can worsen her body image.

Teach your daughter to think critically, with social media especially.

Ask her what she thinks about what she’s viewing.

How does it make her feel? What does she think are the company’s motives? What is it trying to sell?

How are images altered on the apps she uses? How real are they?

These questions fall under the category of “media literacy.”

You’re in a unique position to help her to identify and recognize her value, aside from her looks.

Skin color, height, eye color, weight, and shoe size are all parts of appearance. Her features are an integration of her heritage, the family tree.

And there’s so much more to her, including what’s not visible to the eye

Be aware of your comments.

Don’t talk about weight, especially women’s or your own. Don’t categorize food as good and bad. Avoid being the food police.

Be present. Take an interest in her life. Help her value her mind. Teach her how to have a voice, how to speak up and self-advocate, and how to listen.

Engage her in conversation.

Ask her opinion on topics ranging from Disney themes to politics — whatever is age-appropriate.

What you ask may help her be better acquainted with herself.

What are five things she feels grateful for today? What’s something funny that happened today?

Share your favorite music with her.

Let her play any song she likes and dance with you. Tell her stories of when you were her age. Go outside in nature together.

Perhaps the child part of you will emerge as the two of you play on the jungle gym and shoot hoops.

Believe in her. Help her find her passions.

Support her interests, even if they are different from yours. Listen. Refrain from jumping in and solving her dilemmas.

Ask if she wants to problem-solve together and give her the skills to eventually solve problems more independently. Be a role model.

Fathers, in actions more than words, can show daughters that the most important thing about a girl is who she is. Her mind, strength, and courage. Her essence.

Let’s also be realistic.

Appearance does matter. Female bodies are objectified, valued for how closely they meet standards of beauty, especially in this culture.

So, when she asks you, “Do you think I’m pretty (or thin or beautiful), Daddy?,” what do you say?

Rather than dismissing her question or responding with a cliche (i.e., “You’re beautiful as you are”), consider giving feedback that reflects who she is as an entire person — her smile, her voice, her mind, and her strong legs.

The determined way she hikes mountains and her ability to see the beauty at the summit. The arm muscles that throw the frisbee back and forth.

Help her appreciate her body for what it provides her — an opportunity to run, skip, hop, climb, jump, and dance. The capacity to watch the sunrise, feel the warm breeze on her skin, hear the birds chirp.

What you’re doing is helping her to recognize that her body is not an ornament to be objectified by herself or others. Her body is hers, in all its capacity, to provide contact with the world.

It’s never too early or late to leverage your power and potential for your daughter’s well-being.

Engage your daughter in life and support her for who she is and not simply for what she looks like.

Imagine a world where she is more interested in splashing in the water, riding the waves, and enjoying the ocean than about how she looks in a bathing suit.

That she is more focused on the joy of playing and being silly than taking endless selfies to later filter and post for as many likes as possible.

Your role as her dad helps to create that world.

 

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

My Family – Lorelei – 1996 to Present – 21st Birthday

“I’ve been waiting so long to meet you.”

Normally Friday belong to Tales of Rock, but this is a special day for a special person in my life, so Tales of Rock will be back next Friday.

I remember the day Lorelei was born like it was yesterday.

Her mother and I were sitting on the sofa and she was complaining of some pain. Possibly contractions. For hours I denied the fact that today, November 17, 1996 would be the day Lorelei would finally come to Earth.

We drove to the hospital and we admitted Lor’s mom. They ran some tests and gave her an epidural. I remember it was by a cool Indian anesthesiologist. He gave her the shot in her spine to numb the pain. He said she would feel a warming sensation in her lower torso. I remember him saying, “You’re going to feel hot buns.” His humor broke the tension and fear. These professionals deal with this stuff on a daily basis and it eased my mind that we were in the hands of consummate professionals.

We found out the umbilical cord was somehow wrapped around Lorelei’s neck so she would have to be born via cesarean section. I remember calming her mother as the doctor made the insicion and  quickly pulled our little baby girl from my then wife’s womb.

As the surgeon went to work sewing her back up, I assured Lor’s mother that our child had ten fingers and ten toes. I followed the doctor over to a little table where they carried Lorelei and started to run the Apgar tests. The Apgar score, the very first test given to a newborn, occurs in the delivery or birthing room right after the baby’s birth. The test was designed to quickly evaluate a newborn’s physical condition and to see if there’s an immediate need for extra medical or emergency care.

Although the Apgar score was developed in 1952 by an anesthesiologist named Virginia Apgar, you also might hear it referred to as an acronym for: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration. (Never knew this until today!)

The Apgar test is usually given to a baby twice: once at 1 minute after birth, and again at 5 minutes after birth. Sometimes, if there are concerns about the baby’s condition or the score at 5 minutes is low, the test may be scored for a third time at 10 minutes after birth.

Five factors are used to evaluate the baby’s condition and each factor is scored on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being the best score:
1.Appearance (skin color)
2.Pulse (heart rate)
3.Grimace response (reflexes)
4.Activity (muscle tone)
5.Respiration (breathing rate and effort)

Doctors, midwives, or nurses combine these five factors for the Apgar score, which will be between 10 and 0 — 10 is the highest score possible, but it’s rarely obtained. But in my mind Lorelei got a 10 because she was MY daughter and we strive for excellence in everything we do. (Lol!)

I know I’ve spent a little too much time on this segment, but I always like to learn new things. I also like my for my readers to learn things from phicklephilly as well. (Even if it’s something I’ve done and now you know not to ever do it!)

I’m looking at my daughter Lorelei for the first time. She’s on her back, looking all red and crying. They’re Apgar testing her and cleaning her off.

She’s beautiful. She already has little blonde ringlets of hair on her sweet little head. (Later as a toddler, she would earn the nickname; Sweet Wheat. I’d say to her, “Why do I call you Sweet Wheat?” And she’d reply, “Cause I’m sweet and my hair’s the color of wheat!”)

I’m reluctant to touch her, but the doctor tells me it’s okay because she says she came from a toxic place. (It’s Lorelei’s day so I’m going to refrain from any negative comments about her mother) I gently touch her and her skin is so soft and new. (Brand new human!)

“I’ve been waiting so long to meet you.”

Those are the first words I ever spoke to my little Lorelei.

She was always good baby and was an absolute pleasure to raise. Here she is now 21 years young!

I remember when I turned 21. It was 1983 and I was living in Los Angeles. My girlfriend Clio and I had tickets to see David Bowie on his Serious Moonlight tour in Anaheim. I remember us driving in my 1969 VW minibus to the show. The van for some reason quit while we were driving there. It just died. The vehicle had never done that before but here we were being gently pushed off the highway by a truck full of kind Mexicans.

I remember Clio being really disappointed. We waited awhile. Back in those days there were obviously no cell phones, and if your car broke down you were pretty much stranded. After awhile I attempted to re-start the van and the engine finally turned over.

We missed the show but who knows, maybe we weren’t supposed to go. I don’t know. To make it up to her, I took Clio to a nice Italian restaurant and I tasted veal for the very first time.

So my 21st was sort of a failure. But I loved Clio and she was a good sport about everything. I had arrived in Los Angeles in 1982 and those were crazy times with me and my band. I’ll be publishing a series entitled; California Dreamin’ in late 2018. Those will be some of the craziest stories ever told in this blog.

Anyway enough about me. Lorelei has lived with me since she turned 18 and she’s been a pleasure to have around. She comes and goes as she pleases. It’s a chill household and we like it that way. She cooks and cleans and takes care of her space. Being vegan she’s always making some interesting concoction in the kitchen.

She works as a food runner at a local restaurant in Rittenhouse. She seems to like it and they like her.

Recently she recorded herself singing and sent the tracks along to a guy that manages musical acts. Originally he thought maybe she could be a singer in a band, but after hearing her four octave voice, he thought maybe she could work as a solo act.

She’s recently created her own line of specialty soaps on Etsy.com. They are zodiac themed and each one has a corresponding crystal inside the soap. What’s cooler than good energy and karma while you’re in the shower?

Tonight she and her friends are going to the Electric Factory. It’s a music venue here in Philly. It’s open to all ages and she’s seen shows there before. But to control the crowds all the alcohol is on the second floor balcony.

They’re going to see Martin Bresso, known by his stage name Tchami. He’s a French producer and DJ from Paris. He’s regarded as a pioneer of the future house subgenre.

Lor is looking forward to finally being able show her ID, get the wristband or stamp that says she’s 21 and head upstairs. For the first time in her life she’ll be able to order a beer unencumbered. Funny how when you turn 18 you can vote, join the military, be in porn, even buy a gun.

But you can’t buy a beer. That’s fucked up.

Anyway, if you’re reading this Lorelei, just know that I love you and that you are the brightest light in my life. You give me hope and I can appreciate life more knowing you are in this world with me.  Please know that you have made me a better person, and you’re the best thing that has ever come into my life.

I love you.

Enjoy this special day!

Let’s go out and grab a drink together sometime soon. I’ll show you all the cool spots.

Cheers!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Tales of Rock – Courtney Love is Crazy

Did she kill her husband?

I have a difficult time including Courtney Love in the presence of these rock stars, but I don’t have a problem calling her crazy. Courtney Love is a musician that gained notoriety in the late 1980s with her band Hole. She was married to Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain until he passed away in 1994. Love is known for extreme and erratic behavior. She has been implemented by a private investigator named Tom Grant in the possible murder of Cobain.

In the weeks prior to Kurt Cobain’s suicide Love hired Tom Grant to find her husband. After Kurt was discovered dead, Green said that he found strange activity on Cobain’s credit card. He believed that Kurt’s suicide note was actually a note written that was announcing his desire to end his marriage to Courtney Love. Green also cited Cobain’s unusual bloodstream heroin levels and the fact that no fingerprints were found on the trigger of the shotgun he used to kill himself as clues of foul play.

In 2009, the daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain was granted a restraining order against her mother who was harassing her. Frances claimed that Courtney was a violent drug addict and compulsive hoarder. She was freighted for her safety and hoped to have her mother removed from her life.

In April of 2012, Courtney Love took to Twitter and provided a rant of crazy remarks. She attacked her daughter and Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana bandmate. Love implied that Grohl had intended to have a sexual relationship with Frances and called him “sexually obsessed” with Kurt Cobain. She even voiced her opinion about the upcoming U.S. presidential election and attacked Mitt Romney with some unprovoked and strange accusations.

Courtney threatened to shoot and kill Grohl on two separate occasions. The rant was unprovoked and completely false. Frances is currently engaged to a man named Isaiah Silva. After the comments, Frances responded and said that the social networking website should ban her mother. Grohl said: “Unfortunately Courtney is on another hateful Twitter rant. These new accusations are upsetting, offensive, and absolutely untrue.”

 

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My Family – Lorelei – Life with Lorelei

She’ll always be the apple of my eye.

One of the joys of my life is my daughter Lorelei. She lives with me here in Philly and it’s great. She is twenty now, and has lived with me for almost two years now. She has a very sweet and chill disposition. Lor is very unobtrusive. She works as a food runner and hostess at a restaurant here in the city. She seems to like it well enough. They serve some vegan cuisine and she likes that because she’s vegan herself. This is a choice she has made on her own.

She usually is home from Monday or Tuesday night until Thursday or Friday. Then she’s gone. She goes and stays at her boyfriend’s mom’s house the rest of the time. Mostly weekends. Which gives me a break. Not that I don’t want her there, but I still enjoy my solitary life and it’s nice to just be at one with the bat cave and Netflix.

She has been into something called flow arts lately. Actually, she’s been doing it for a while. I got her a hula hoop that lights up with LED and strobe lights in it. She has gotten really good at it and does it at concerts and festivals she and her guy attend. They’ve been together two years now and they seem happy. They like to do all of the same things, so that’s good. He’s a good kid and he’s good to her. I approve.

She also recently got a flow wand. This is a little more complex. It’s about a foot and a half long. It has strobe and LED’s in it as well. It’s on a string that is threaded through a hole in the upper third of the wand. She swings it around and it appears to be floating. The way the lights are programmed, when it’s swinging vertically around her it leaves these trails of images in the darkness. Like Pikachu, or flames, or signs of the zodiac. It’s really cool! She’s had it for a little over a month and has become very proficient with the wand. Recently, she was even in a music video performing her hooping. You can actually watch that video at the bottom of this blog.

Sometimes, she’ll come home and we’ll just chat. It’s really nice. How many dads get the opportunity to sit down and just shoot the shit in a real way with their daughters? There’s none of the sanctimonious “How was your day?” crap. What we talk about is real. Life. Work. Family. Life challenges. Friends. etc. It’s a rare thing, but I get to do it at least once every other week. What kid even wants to be around their parents at that age? So I feel lucky. We have a solid honest connection. I know I’m doing the best I can as a father, and she chooses to be here with me. She won’t always be with me. But at least I have this time with her.

Lorelei recently changed up her hairstyle. It’s long on the top, but shaved on the sides.

Sort of like this, but longer on the top.

Image result for blonde hair long on top shaved sides

Well, she’ll pull the long hair up onto the top of her head in a hair tie. Then she’ll ask me to come in with my electric beard trimmer, and shave the sides. I have a good eye and a steady hand, so I’m sort of her part-time barber. I’ll go along the sides and shave it all down so that it’s even. “We’re like a Latino family, Daddy. Doin’ each others hair.” She says, I laugh. I wonder where she got her sense of humor?

There are just some simple moments that happen on a weekly basis. Trish brought up a wooden chest for Lorelei to put her clothes into. (See: Trish – 2012 to Present – The She Wolf) She was dressed really hot, so maybe she had just come from a date. I’m in my office in the back room typing away. Music is on, and the next thing you know Lorelei and Trish are in my room. Trish is digging into my candy, Lorelei is hooping and looking at herself in the mirror. We’re all laughing and talking. It’s great. I’ve got a roof over my head, my daughter is happy and healthy, and I’m pals with my neighbor.

Life is good.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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Sarika – Song of the Black Widow

God, she’s beautiful. I couldn’t find a stock picture on the internet to capture the delightful beauty of this girl. She is so pretty. Indian. Exotic. The type of beauty you’d almost pay for to be seen with at an event. She is probably one of the most beautiful women I know in Philly. But she recently reached out to me to come hang at a happy hour and a brand new place in Rittenhouse, called Scarpetta. Smith and Wolensky’s is gone and now that place is here. It’s in the Rittenhouse Hotel. She also mentioned that she wants me to come up to her apartment and check out her new place at the Dorchester. I am so glad I have reconnected with her. This vacuous she-devil is such a good character for this work. I am a huge fan of lovely Sarika.

I got to Scarpetta around 5:30. They’ve done a nice job with the place. It’s dark and intimate. The bar looks the same but they’ve opened up the place a bit. There’s only the one bar, but they have a lounge in the back and there is a dining room upstairs. I look around for Sarika but I don’t see her. I’m chatting with the manager and then I look out the window and see her walking towards the building.

Sarika looks amazing as always. We grab a couple of drinks at the bar and sit in this cool little area by ourselves near the window. Rittenhouse Square looks beautiful. It’s all decorated for the holidays.There are strings of bulbs in the trees and the whole park twinkle with light. She is having some sort of light pink beverage that I didn’t catch the name of, and I’m having the old-fashioned. Normally, cocktails are around fifteen dollars, but during happy hour they’re half price. So that’s something I can live with for now.

I ask her what she’s been up to and she says she’s been going on a lot of dates. Turns out that weasel she wanted to bring to my eighty dollar a plate New Years party last year has been gone for a while. I remember she was so into that guy. Apparently they were together off and on for two years. She says she wasted her best years on him and now she’s old. She’s 28! Come on Sarika, you are still but a child. She said he was a jerk to her and probably never loved her. I get her laughing, and start thinking that the black widow isn’t so bad after all. She may be smart as a whip, but she’s still a young woman navigating her way through love and life. I even joke that she probably has a blood-red hour-glass tattooed on her belly.

I do love pretty things, and she is no exception.

I tell her she looks great as always. She has been in some sunny destinations lately, so her skin is a darker brown than normal. I like it. It makes her look even more mysterious and exotic. I mention it and she immediately asks if I think it looks ugly. She always says things like that. She is so smart but so immature at the same time. She’s also a bit of a chatterbox. I think most men can’t handle that and don’t like a girl who talks too much. I don’t mind it. I like a girl who has things to say and experiences to share. I love to talk and entertain a woman, so it’s nice when I have a chatty girl so I don’t have to do all of the work. Women like a good listener and I grew up with three sisters. But what I can’t stand is what Carol used to do. Just babbling on nonstop like a tire spinning in the snow. (See: Carol 5/2014 to 8/2016 – There’s No Fun In Dysfunction)

I once read that women speak up to 20,000 words a day, compared to men, who speak only 12,000. So when we get home…We’re done!

It is puzzling how a woman this strikingly beautiful can’t keep a man. But the more you’re around her the more it makes sense. She says she’s been finding men on an app called J Swipe. It’s like Tinder for Jews. I asked her why that app? She said Jewish men normally appreciate women more, have good jobs, and have money. Sounds like she’s hunting for a husband. I think one of the challenges Sarika is facing is that she may be viewed more as a conquest. A creature to be captured and checked off of some list, because she’s so beautifully exotic.

She said she went out with a guy on Monday and even had a date with a pilot after our happy hour. So I assume I won’t be getting a tour of that gorgeous apartment in her building tonight. Sarika has a very busy life. She travels a great deal for her job as a scientist. I know she was formerly an engineer, but now I guess she’s a scientist. She makes great money and spends her other free time hopping on planes and taking little trips. It sounds like a fun life with all of the dating, and jet setting vacations, but it almost seems like she doesn’t want to be alone in her apartment. She’s crazy dating now. It’s good that she’s getting out there and meeting people after two years wasted with weasel man. But again, I can see men wanting her because she’s so beautiful, but she’s kind of annoying to talk to for any length of time. So if they get the opportunity to sleep with her they may not stick around.

Sarika is very intelligent and a nerd. I have taken her to Science after Hours at the Franklin Institute in the past. She loved it like a child. We went to see Jurassic World last summer, and Guardians of the Galaxy is her favorite movie. If my friend Duncan finds that up he’ll probably move up here from North Carolina. You would think guys would find that hot. A pretty girl who likes guy stuff and sci-fi, but it hasn’t worked. Maybe one of these many men that she is meeting for dates, will be rich and just marry her as a trophy wife. But sadly, people are funny about race in this country. They may want to sleep with a hot girl, but they may not want to bring and Indian woman back home to meet the family. I personally I have nothing against it. If you have been reading this blog, you know I love all different kinds of women. As Hank Moody says in the show Californication, “I got all your albums. I love you all and you and you included, Sarika.”

My buddy Church shows up at Scarpetta. I’m happy to see him. Once Sarika  goes on her date at One Tippling Place up the street, he and I can go to Square 1682 and have a drink. Church knows everybody in the restaurant and bar business in this town, so when he orders a drink and the server brings it over, she says, “This one is on Nathan.” He’s the GM there so Church got the hook up. I get another drink, but Sarika is only having the one so she doesn’t show up drunk for her date at 7:00.

While I was waiting at the bar to get my drink, Church chatted with Sarika. I was a little glad that it took the bartender a little time to get to me and make my drink. Normally I don’t like that, but I thought it would give Church a chance to talk to Sarika.

I get back to our little area by the window. We all chat a bit more. Sarika has to go soon, so she heads back to the ladies room. Church tells me she wouldn’t stop talking and it was driving him crazy. He’s been on edge lately, and listening to Sarika go on about something was annoying him. He said something to the effect, “I wanted to put a gun in my mouth.” He said she is so vacuous and self-absorbed and all she talked about was herself.

He once said that about another attractive girl who talked a lot. He was in a car with her and she was talking non stop and he said, “I wanted to leap right out of the car while it was going 70 miles per hour down the highway.”

Sarika returns, and I put her coat on for her. I tell her I will pay for the one drink she had. She tells me she’ll get me next time. I give her a kiss on the cheek good-bye and she’s off. I get the bill for my two old-fashioneds and her dainty drink. It should come to over $22 plus tax. I look at it and it’s only $15. So I got the hookup because I was with Church.

Dude certainly has the power.

I think next we’ll do a happy hour with my friend Carly.  So the night went well and again without incident.

So maybe my pretty little arachnid is finally growing up.

I love Sarika. She is beautiful, and I enjoy her company, if nobody else does, and I can’t wait to see her again.

(Oh… and if you’ve somehow found this and other stories Sarika, I’ll understand if you cut me off. The truth always hurts more than fiction)

 

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