Marigold – Good German Stock

I’ve known her since she was 21 and now she’s a mom!

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I met Marigold when she was only 21 years old. That was back in 97 when she worked for me as a teller in my bank branch at 10th and Snyder Aves. in South Philly. They would sometimes send her to another branch to help out, so I didn’t see her all of the time. She always seemed smarter and sharper than her peers. I really liked her. (Tall blonde. Good legs.)

We would sometimes go to lunch and it was always nice to spend time with her outside of the bank. Marigold eventually left retail banking for a better job. I remember she always dated high-end wealthy or affluent men. She wasn’t a gold digger or anything like that, just knew how to date a better class of men than most girls her age.

We kept in touch and would occasionally meet up for lunch or drinks to catch up. At one point I was living in New Jersey and she was living in the Fairmount area for Philly. I was married back then. Years later I was working in Philadelphia, and she had moved to New York. So that kept us apart except for the random visit. I later moved to New York for work and she was then living in Newark, NJ with her boyfriend of several years. That was just a few train stops beyond where I was living at the time. So we got to hang out every once in a while.

I remember attending her bachelorette party. I was the only guy invited. Just me surrounded by a bunch of women. It was awesome! She and her fiance married at city hall but then had a big reception down in the Bowery of NYC. I took my then girlfriend Jackie, who was a second generation girl from Haiti. She was a lawyer on Wall Street. She wanted to get married and have children so badly, I think she scared me off. Lorelei was enough kid for one lifetime for me.

I eventually moved back to Philly and took a job at a local digital publication. I didn’t see Marigold as much as I would have liked to, but we always managed to get together at least once or twice a year. Then she moved out to Lexington, Kentucky. Her husband is a professor at the University of Kentucky, so out they went. he’s a great guy. Everybody loves Don.  Men and women alike. He’s so cool that he’s never minded me hanging out with his wife. Cassandra works as a financial broker, so technically she can work anywhere. I have known Marigold twenty years now, and I’m sure hasn’t been a fan of living out in the midwest. She’s a city cat like me and probably misses living in a metropolis. I would bet that at some point they’ll come back.

She has a little son who is now six years old and two daughters that are about two and a half. They are fraternal twins. They all have white blonde hair and look like the perfect little Aryan family. They’re all really cute. I think the son could have used a bit more discipline to keep his behavior in check, but he’s not my child. I know for a while about a year ago, cassandra was losing her shit having three little kids to take care of everyday. That was real challenge for her. I think it aged her.

I was down at our shore house a few years ago to see my father and she visited with her son. She wanted to meet my father that I always spoke of fondly to her. She wanted to see his train collection and also wanted her son to see it. It’s pretty spectacular. I’m glad she finally got to meet my dad. Her life with her father had always been a challenge. I believe he was bi polar and struggled with alcohol. I remember even in her twenties she was taking care of him. Writing out his checks to pay his bills, etc. that must have been a lot for a young girl to bear. I may have fucked up some things in my life, but I was always capable of taking care of my daughter. Girls need strong dads. I may not be the strongest father, but I was consistent with Lorelei. I also wasn’t a crazy asshole like her mother, so that’s part of the reason Lor has decided to live with me.

I am writing this because I am about to go see her and her daughter tonight. She’s visiting Philly for a couple of days to see everybody, and this must be my night.  I will finish this piece upon my return.

I got to their hotel at 5pm. They are staying at the Courtyard at Marriott. It’s a nice hotel right near City Hall. Originally that building was built in 1926 as a government annex to City Hall for over 60 years. In 1990 it was acquired and renovated by Marriott. The marble floors and three chandeliers in the main lobby are all original. It is the largest Courtyard Marriott in the world.

Just thought I’d give you a little Philly history there.

I go up to her room, and her little daughter is on the carpet playing with her maryjane shoes. She’s so cute and social. I know it’s been a stressful drive up from DC today for Marigold. They were down there visiting with Don’s family for the holidays. Marigold is happy that she only has the one child to look after for the next couple of days. She is relieved that her husband and his family will get to spend time with her son and other daughter. Three little kids are a handful, but getting a break and only having to look after one is much needed on her part.

I hand Marigold a skinny joint. She’s delighted. She hardly ever smokes weed so she says she only needs a tiny bit to get lit. She excuses herself and heads to the bathroom to toke up. I’m just chilling on the couch sipping a glass of wine. I tell her to run the fan in the bathroom to draw out the smoke. I hear the fan go on followed by coughing.

Moments later, Marigold reappears, smiling. “Thanks, I needed that. Do my eyes look stoned?”

I assure her she looks fine. We get her little one in the stroller and head downstairs in the elevator. I’ve decided to take them to Zavino at 13th and Sansom. It’s a small place but we’re in a nice little booth in the back. I had called ahead to hold a table and they were very accommodating. They take the stroller and hang it in the back.

We settle into our seats and order some wine. I know they all love pizza and that’s why I brought them here. It’s really good brick oven pie here. They have this location and a bigger one out in University City. Their happy hour is pretty solid. We got two pies (they’re small) eight bucks a piece and the wine was only five bucks a glass. For a nice place like this in midtown village, that’s a good deal.

We had a nice dinner without incident. Her daughter was well-behaved. The food was great and the service on point. I was happy to see Marigold and share this moment of repose with her. When we finished, she insisted on paying the bill. I left the tip. I walked her back to the hotel and we called it a night. It was a great two hours to catch up with my old friend. She said she couldn’t wait to snuggle up with her little one, smoke a little more grass and fall into the arms of Morpheus.

I love Marigold like a sister.

 

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Keila – The Gaza Stripper – Out of the Pan and into the Fire

Why would Keila pull this kind of nonsense on her dear friend, Alice?

So Keila has resigned from Alice’s recruitment firm. Her farewell party is coming up. It’s the same day as Church’s birthday. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador) I should do something for him. I’m bringing him to the event when I finish my shift at the salon. I’m also bringing a girl I met through Keila. Her name is Brooke. She’s a Jill of many trades and a fitness model. So it should be an interesting mix. I’ll write about it all in the coming weeks.

They offered Keila a raise and 10% equity in the company which was more than generous. But she turned them down. As far as I know, she doesn’t have anything else lined up. She had been talking about getting her Masters in marketing but that could take a while. She said the firm no longer met her life goals. If you ask me, I think now that she is settled down with the boyfriend, she wants to get married and have children. I remember awhile ago she said the window was rapidly closing on that prospect. So if that’s what she wants, she should get at it.

I love Keila and I really want her to be successful. I introduced her to Alice. I hope she finds her way and gets the things she wants in life. She’s the one that got me the new job at the institute where I am now. I’m very grateful for that. She is so well-connected. A networker and collector.

But here is the thing… She introduced me to Carol, Bibi, Sarika, Harper, and Brooke, and now the Alcohol Institute. The first four are some of the craziest and worst women I’ve met in Philly. I’m already getting a bad feeling about the institute. So I should probably steer clear of anyone she introduces me to from now on.

There is probably more darkness and betray to come…

 

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Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter – What Now?

I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”

 

I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”

I call her. She’s clearly upset. She says that Keila calmly walked into the office and said she was giving her two-week notice. Alice was stunned, but probably not entirely surprised. They have been working together for about two years now running this start-up. I never felt that Keila was the right candidate for the job. I like her and think she has a lovely heart, but it just never felt like a match for her skill set. But Alice felt strongly about bringing her on board and making a go of it.

They did well considering it was just the two of them, and the occasional intern. Alice always seemed under a great deal of pressure from the investors. She’s incredibly driven to have this business succeed. But I think she saw this coming. Keila wanted a raise, equity and then took a vacation during a financial crisis. That’s not what your partner does after you’ve given her the greatest job she’s ever had.  Maybe Keila thinks that the company is going to fail and wants to get out now before Alice has to let her go.

I don’t personally believe that. Alice will fight tooth and nail to keep her company afloat. I suppose the only upside to all of this is the biggest expense many companies face is staffing. With Keila gone, Alice will save a ton in payroll. This is such a shame, but Alice will prevail.

She actually took the high road and is having a farewell party for Keila. I’ll be attending that event with Church this week, so we’ll see how it plays out. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador)

On a lighter note, Alice called me the other day and asked if I’d be a reference for her to get a cat. “You need a reference to get a cat now?” was my response. Apparently you do. I told her I’d be happy to give her a good reference. Great thing is, Alice is so nice I won’t have to lie.

The lady from the shelter called me today, and I gave her the lowdown on the ruthless CEO I know from the IT recruitment firm. I told her about how long I’ve know Alice, and what she has done for me personally and professionally. I described her as a well-mannered, church going, grandpa loving, nephew adoring, all around super lady. There was no way that I could fake any of that, because it’s all true. Alice is truly one of the best people I know. She is a hard-working dedicated businesswoman, but she always makes time in her life for family and friends.

Keila gave her a glowing review as well. Now if Alice’s new landlord just gives the green light, she’ll have her cat. I hear he’s a big fat orange guy. May even have a little Maine Coon in him. If she gets this cat (and I believe she will) he’ll be in the hands of a loving companion.

I spoke with her today and she says she texted her new landlord and he replied “I said I’d let you know when they contacted me.” What an asshole. I’m sure it’ll work out for the best. She also said she was moving into her new apartment here in the city and her parents were helping her move. She also complained that she had terrible cramps and that 2016 was definitely not her year. (Love her mettle!)

I’ve been hearing that term more and more lately. “This is going to be your year.” I think that gives people a false sense of hope for success. I have found that there are high and low points in every life. Having suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life I know that it’s best to fly in the middle. We all have good years and bad years. A bad year would be one of grinding poverty and not being able to keep a roof over your head. A good year would be, “Netflix had decided to pick up Phicklephilly as a TV series with a three-year option.” (Not happening yet)  Every year has its ups and downs. I’ve learned to just enjoy the day you’re in right now. There will be ups and downs, but it all shakes out in the end.

 

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Spinner – 2001 to Present – The Broad Street Bullies

The funniest guy I know…

Before I start this one, I’m very proud to announce that I have reached  500 followers! That’s 500 more than when I started this journey 6 months ago. I want to thank each and every one of you for reading phicklephilly. Your comments and likes have been wonderful, and I try to respond  to all of you. I have so many more stories to tell and I hope that this blog evolves into what it ultimately should be. I’m documenting my past loves and my quest to find true and sustainable love here in Philadelphia.

But hopefully I begin to examine who I am and how I got here, and what made me into who I am today.

I’m glad you’re all on the journey with me, and it pushes me forward to continue and never give up!

Thank you one and all!

 

I have known Spinner for over fifteen years. He is the funniest guy I know. He has a brain that somehow can put together words, phrases and ideas faster than anyone I know.

He used to work for me back in 2002. He was hired as a bank teller at a branch I managed in Mt. Laurel, NJ. I started to notice how funny he was after a while. He and I developed a good rapport. One day Spinner just stopped coming to work. So our head teller fired him. I think he just hated working for the head teller who was an angry asshole. I liked Spinner, so I kept in touch with him.

We actually started hanging out. We’d go out to eat at the mall and girl watch together. He was really cool to hang out with because he had such a quick wit. He has the ability to freestyle comic bits at lightening speed.

I remember he came over to my house one time. He had a flyer that had information about an upcoming comedy show at Stockton State College. As I read it I saw that he was headlining and that it was a fundraiser for spina bifida. Then I saw that my name was on it as one of the comedians on the bill. I laughed and asked him what that was about. He simply told me that I was one of the funniest people he knew and that I would kill. I thanked him and told him there was a distinct difference between me and the other comics. I didn’t have an act!

Although I was terrified, I was still intrigued. I wrote some material and went out and did it. The thing with fear is, unfortunately you have to run toward it to overcome it, not away from it. That simple piece of advice given to me by an old friend, helped me overcome much of my lifelong anxiety disorder. Stand up is terrifying. Playing in a band is scary until you get through the first song and start rocking, then it’s awesome. But standing alone on a quiet stage with a spotlight in your face, and making people laugh is really hard.

So I did it. It was nerve-wracking, but also fun. The peals of laughter coming back from the audience from what you’re saying is similar to the cheers and applause you get playing rock. It’s just a little different high. I did well and somebody even shot a video. Spinner ended up transferring it to a VHS tape and gave me a copy. He said I was the best of all of the comics. I was so happy. But try to find something to play that tape on now!

I have since gone on to perform stand up in New York, and here at the Laff House in Philly. It’s all thanks to my buddy Spinner.

Sometimes we would go to the Tropicana in Atlantic City, and he would gamble. He likes roulette. I’m not a gambler, so I would just blow through twenty dollars and then drink and talk to women. Sometimes he would win a lot of money, but obviously, that doesn’t happen all of the time.

I moved to New York and didn’t see him as much anymore. But we always kept in touch. If I was around on a weekend to see my daughter, sometimes he’d hang out too.

But in the last year or two Spinner and I have reconnected and have been attending sporting events. I’m not a sports fan, but it’s really fun to go out with someone who is, and understands the game. Plus, as an added bonus the guy is a fucking riot.

Spinner is a huge baseball fan. He loves the Boston Red Sox. We’ve seen the Sox, the Phillies, and most recently a Flyers game. I have realized hanging out with Spinner why men love sports so much. It’s the competitive nature of the game. I love the exchange of power. If your team comes out and they trounce the other guys, it’s no fun to watch. But if we’re up and they take away our lead, it’s on! We have to fight to get it back to win. It’s very exciting to me.

I was never into hockey at all. It looked violent and moved too fast. Now, I love it. The talent of these athletes! Chasing and controlling that little puck all the while on ice skates! It’s such an intense and fast paced sport. Really good. I loved seeing that game and really want to see more. (The Flyers won after a sudden death tie. It was glorious!)

So hopefully this interesting and enduring friendship continues. I want to see more live sporting events! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been better at maintaining relationships, but in this case Spinner, he has been the one that has kept us connected over the last few years and for that I am very grateful.

 

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Johnny R – 2009 to Present – Dive Bar Blues

Johnny came into town recently. I hadn’t heard from him the entire day, and was concerned he would bail. I had just come off an exhausting evening with a lady, and was pretty tired. I had to work at the salon all day and then go meet with him. I wasn’t burned out because I hadn’t drank or smoked anything the night before. She simply wore me out. “Junior achiever, had the old bull by the horns.”(As Steven Tyler would say)

I kind of was hoping he’d bail, but thought it better to text him. It was the end of my shift and he told me he had just arrived at Mcglinchey’s. Being Sunday afternoon, I knew even if we hung out neither of us would last long.

I lock up the salon and headed over. When I get there some seats had opened up at the end of the bar and I beckon him down. I love this place. The staff is surly, the jukebox is good, and the drinks are cheap and you can smoke in this bar.

Perfect.

Johnny’s not happy. So what else is new? He’s always a little disgruntled about something. Currently, he’s pissed that the bartender is hanging all the way at the other end of the bar chatting with her boyfriend.

The bar has somewhat emptied out. There are just small clusters of drinkers at the bar. The jukebox is blasting country music. Which just adds to Johnny’s rage. I don’t care for country music either, but that shit was relentless. He blames the guy that he assumes is the bartender’s boyfriend. She’s not our usual girl, but I can tell she knows us. Johnny is making his faces and doing his hand gestures of disbelief about the poor service.

“Dude, It’s McGlinchey’s!” I tell him. But it does seem way off tonight. It’s not busy enough for us not to be getting the attention that Johnny thinks we so richly deserve. The country hits keep coming and it is getting on my nerves too. I should go over to the jukebox and play a block of Lamb of God, but I don’t know if we’re going to be around long enough to hear any of it.

We have a few rounds and catch up. I tell him what’s going on with work, life and this blog. I even show him in my phone his first chapter. He becomes suddenly giddy and loves that I’ve included him in my story. But, he’s still sore about the poor service and shitty music. “I have an idea. I’m going to hit the head. Be right back.” He says.

I’m still feeling a bit worn out from the previous nights nocturnal exploits. But this always happens. I’ll just go to bed early tonight and be as good as new tomorrow.

Johnny returns from the bathroom with a twinkle in his steel-blue eyes, and a spring in his step.

“Well this is a change in attitude. Did you meet a guy in there?”

“Ha ha. I just did a little bump of coke.”

“Oh nice. Maybe you’ll be in a better fucking mood now.”

“You look a little tired. Want some?”

“I’m good, Johnny, but thanks.”

I like Johnny on either adderall or coke. Stimulants help him focus and actually sober him up a bit. He’s Irish and he loves his Bud bottles. If he has a little something extra, it sustains him at the bar longer. However, things aren’t improving at our beloved McGlinchey’s tonight. I’ve had a couple of $2.60 glasses of wine with ice and he’s throwing back the beer and coke, but the vibe is off due to the music and poor service. Normally this is a bar we’re happy to camp out in for hours on end, but it’s just not happening.

I tell him we should leave and go to one of my favorite spots. He’s fed up as well and agrees. We cash out and hit the trail. The better bar is only about four blocks away. He’s complaining about the cold and doesn’t want to be out in it too long. I assure him he won’t die of frostbite. Plus his nose must already be frozen from the blow.

We get there and take a seat at the bar. Totally different vibe. Warm and happy. The bartender comes over to greet us with an open hand. Roman is one of my favorite bartenders in the city. There are better mixologists with more knowledge in the city, but Roman brings personality and creativity to his bar. He’s part of the experience and makes everyone feel welcome.

Johnny is happy when Roman hands him an ice-cold Bud bottle. It’s a nice upscale place, but there is something for everyone. Roman is letting me test out some new cocktails, and Johnny is feeling much better. After a while I no longer feel as tired as I did earlier. Just good energy flowing from all around.

Johnny’s girlfriend calls him. He thought maybe she’d be picking him up but she says that she’s not. He’s usually in two different places with Rachel. Aggravated or frustrated. They’ve been together for over eight years and that seems to be the way they love. Who am I to judge? Johnny talks about writing a blog again. I tell him, I’m not going to bring it up again. He says he has all of the information in his head. He just needs to let it out. It’s easier than ever to release your thoughts onto the page. The trick is to actually do it. Thinking a lot of great and wild thoughts is cool, but actually bringing them forth is quite another, and no easy task.  I think if Johnny would make the time, and could be on the right cocktail of drugs and alcohol, he would write some fucking great shit. But the only way to do that is to sit down and write.

Write everyday if you can.

After a while, we’re both feeling good, but Johnny needs to get home and feed his cats. He says that maybe the coke will put him in the mood to write. I don’t mind if he never writes a word. I just enjoy having him in my life as a friend. I know you were hoping we’d get into some vice this time, but again, we have behaved ourselves.

Maybe we’re both just getting older.

 

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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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Alice – The Cute Recruiter – The Other Side of the Coin

I wanted to visit Alice last week, because she is on her own with Keila on vacation. She has an intern which is a help but with a start-up you need all hands on deck. He’s a good kid. His family is from Thailand. He is a really hard worker, and Alice is very happy with his performance.

She texts me to see when I’m going to arrive. I’m running a little late, but tell her I’m on my way. She seems like there is some urgency that I get there. I’m thinking she’s swamped and really needs my help. I have some time so I hurry up and get over there. I text her when I reach her building on Broad Street. I get into the elevator and go to her floor. I see her intern and he lets me into their workspace. I walk down the hallway to their little glass office. I open the door and go inside. It’s a tight space. There are a couple of desks and chairs and some other work related things around the room. I even see that the Siamese fighting fish that they named after me is swimming in his bowl. There is a cardboard box on the floor in front of me. But I don’t see Alice. The intern said she was back here.

Suddenly, the box on the floor bursts open and out jumps Alice! She scared the crap out of me. She shot video of the whole thing while it happened. You know, when you go to visit the CEO of an IT recruiting company you never expect them to jump out of a box. Alice is tickled to death as I begin to feel my heart returning to normal. She shows me the video that she shot before I arrived with her in the box, and then the one of me being terrified by this little Jill-In-A-Box!

She tells me she loves pulling pranks on people. How have I not known this in the last four years of knowing her?

We have a laugh and then she walks me downstairs to get a bagel. When we come back up to the kitchen she begins to explain to me the stress she’s been under. It’s been this way for a while now, but with the pressure from the investors it’s become worse. They have been making some placements, and they are paid handsomely on them, but it’s not enough. They have to pull in a lot of revenue by the end of the year. If they don’t, they could be in some serious trouble. I know Alice will dig in with everything she has to be successful, because she’s driven.

But she is concerned with Keila. I told Alice that she shouldn’t hire Keila but she did. Keila met her current boyfriend through their company. He was a client. Alice’s number one rule was not to date the clients. Keila lives with him now and they are in love, so with both incomes, things are easier for Keila financially. He’s a pretty successful IT guy so I think she’s getting pretty comfortable with the lifestyle.

Keila is being paid a great salary. Too good. She even gets paid bonus when she fills a position. I don’t think it’s out of the company’s coffers either. I believe Alice is paying her out of her own savings account.

Keila has asked for a raise and an equity share in the company. If you’re not at goal at year-end, you don’t get a raise! Let alone even ask for one! And equity? What? Take a cut in salary and maybe Alice will think about it.

Keila asked if she could take a vacation. Alice said no because they had about five weeks to raise a ton of revenue by year-end. Keila just went and booked it anyway. She told her a week or a so before. Who does that?

I think Keila has gotten comfortable with her new life with her boyfriend who she says could be the one. I think she has lost her edge. If the investors pull the funding for this start-up, they’ll both be looking for jobs in 2017.

I adore Alice and I know she will be successful. But maybe some changes need to be made and some conversations need to happen, before they lose all of the great things they’ve worked so hard to build.

 

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Keila – 2012 to 2017 – The Gaza Stripper – This Side Of The Coin

Robert & Laura- 2013 to Present – Rock Solid Vault

I was at one of the many rooftop parties of my former boss at a magazine where I formerly worked. I met Robert and Laura, and they seemed like lovely people. They had moved into his building a few months prior. So they became friends with him because they were neighbors. Robert and Laura were both from the midwest. She is a lawyer, and he worked in analytics. Just a really nice couple who got along, and were cool to hang out with.

You can tell how much Robert and Laura love each other. It’s just really nice to see that in a couple these days. Robert was a former tank commander, and did two tours in Iraq several years ago. So he is brave a and has seen some shit, and been in the shit.

Funny thing that bound us together, was that we all decided the night we met, that we all agreed about some of the same things. So I basically poached this couple from my old boss. I still have lunch with Robert occasionally, and they have me over to their house to hang and come to any parties they throw.

Best news is, Laura gave birth to a little boy last year. He just turned one year old three months ago. I was invited to the party, but I caught a little cold and didn’t want to infect anybody. They understood and I hope to see them soon.

This is simply an introduction to this lovely couple. They have some wild stories from their past, so as any tales, or new adventures pop up including Rob and Laura, they’ll make an appearance.

UPDATE: I met up with Robert recently at Mission for lunch. Mission is a new Mexican place that is on the second floor above The Oyster House on Sansom Street. It’s in the spot where Nodding Head used to be. It was great to see him, but his work is really stressing him out. He says he looks at spreadsheets all day long and works a million hours. That can’t be good with a one year old son at home. He said if things don’t improve by March he’s going to start to look for another job. I brought him up to date on all of my news and we are going to try to get together again soon.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Rocco – Amanda Peet

I used to work with Rocco at a publication here in town. He has since given his notice and is going to pursue a career in real estate.

When I began working there, Rocco was the person that took the most time with me. I had a million questions, and he was very patient. Since we’re close in age there was a certain comradery that developed between us. It was like the two old veterans, versus the young upstarts. (Both of whom have been fired. So do we win?)

One day, Rocco and I were sitting at one of our favorite lunch spots, and I was saying how I was in love with the waitress Maria, (First blog post ever: Maria – Amour en Vanos) and also loved Brittany and Kim over at the other place, etc. My usual fickle nonsense that he has to listen to when we have lunch. He says I am so fickle. I decide to write a blog called Phicklephilly. Both of us are long time ad men so we love the idea. We both love women, and are both leg men so there is that connection to all of the well turned calves and ankles we see on a daily basis around the city.

I really respect Rocco. He has built a life in the media industry in this city. He has met everybody and has all of the great celebrity stories to prove it. He’s a good dad and is a survivor like myself. He doesn’t have the best coping skills like my dad, but I understand that, and can deal with that. He normally only gets stressed when the morons around him fail him on a regular basis, in the form of clients and co-workers.

Rocco has a good gut feeling about what will work at a publication and what will fail. He is vocal about that in meetings, and sometimes that rubs management the wrong way because they are out of touch and think their ideas will work, but Rocco with his 30 years of experience knows that it’ll fail because it already failed 10 years ago. I can trust a man like that.

He also has some other challenges in his life. He loved his hot gorgeous bi-polar wife in the past but she left him and then was murdered by a lover in Texas. I can’t get into that here, that’s not what Phickle is all about. But he lost her. I’ve been with crazy chicks too. They have mad pull and it’d hard to shake them from your life, but you never wish them ill will. But she is his son’s mother, and was crazy and left. She made bad decisions and ended up dead. I know for a fact he has never gotten over that. That never happened to me, but I have had women like that in my life, and it’s always a struggle.  She’s his son’s mother. You never forget that. The tragedy never ends. My ex-wife is just an asshole but I never want anything to ever happen to her. That’s awful. I can wish her dead because she’s an asshole, but I don’t really want somebody to kill her.

Rocco is an interesting character, he has a quick wit that I absolutely love! Most people I know don’t have what I have but I can always appreciate a fast wheel. My dad liked it in his brother, and liked it in me, and I love it in Rocco because it reminds me of all of us.

He lives far away, but I wish he would come into the city more so we could hang out. We could have a bit of fun.

He loves the actress Amanda Peet. She is one hot lady and he adores her. One of his accounts is the American Jewish Museum here in Philly. She was going to make an appearance for a children’s book she was promoting. He loves her, so he approached me and asked me if I would go with him. I knew at that moment I had to get a picture of him with his queen. There was no decision. Just do it. I owed it to him. If it were me I would need the same. When he asked me to go to the event with free drinks and food and a hot actress that I loved in the Whole Nine Yards, I just told him yes. There was only one answer. I wanted a pic with that hot baby too.

We go there. We met at the hotel Monaco first. The Red Owl Cafe is on the ground of that Kimpton property, down at 5th and Chestnut. Rocco is very grateful of my apparent wingman abilities. It’s his night, and he knows he’s brought the right man for the job. If anybody is going to get him close to his girl and get a pic, it’s going to be me. Martinis and Manhattans are plowed. Rocco is not really a drinker but whenever I am out with him he is generous with the free drinks, and the man can handle himself behind a glass.

It’s time to go, and we head out after a double round. I am happy that I am on a mission for him. I’m clear in my directive and he chose me, because he knows I’m good at closing deals.  Rocco is an account manager. I am a salesman. I will kill myself to get him next to Amanda Peet. I’ve caught bigger fish and he knows that. I’ll get her.

We go in, and do the perfunctory bullshit that comes with getting into an event. He’s the rep. It’s his account, so he knows everybody. I am here for the kill. He’s chatting with his client, and they are happy we showed up. But we’re there for more.

We go upstairs in the elevator. There is families, and kids playing around. I obviously go right for the bar. Let’s gather some fortitude before we approach the target.

I see her. Amanda Peet is beautiful. Rocco is getting a glass of wine, but the great white is swimming to get a bite. I move in. She is chatting with her sister. I approach and compliment her on her book. It’s so good. I love what she has created, I act like I don’t know who she is. (A bold-faced lie) Love her work and what she is doing. Rocco stands down. He’s looking for a signal from the dark lord. Target is in place. I am chatting with Amanda, her sister, and her mom like they are my own family.

I’m very good at this because I have three sisters, and have been to a million holiday parties. I go in for a picture first because I need to claim the victim first. This is what I’m good at so I’m going to take the first bite. Rocco approaches, I bring him in warm, and he’s loving her. We do some shit chat, and I introduce Rocco like me and Amanda are old pals, because that’s where I have her now.

Rocco is ecstatic. I tell him to stay cool, and I’ll take a pic with my phone. He puts his arm around her and he is losing his shit. He loves Amanda Peet. He said something to her and she made a face, but she looked beautiful, and I captured Rocco’s dream. It’s like when I met Alessandra Ambrosio in NYC. It’s a big moment. I get the pic, and Rocco was happy.

They were going to do a presentation and a Q&A in the theater, but we had what we wanted and bailed. We ended up going to a Yakatori Boy, (karaoke bar in Chinatown) anniversary party with a bunch of girls we knew. I may post that but this story is way better.

I love this night and I came through for my pal, and he was so happy he met one of his idols. I’m happy I helped my friend meet one of his favorite actresses.

I love actresses and models.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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