10 Ways to Shake Things up in Your Relationship

Monotony is defined as the lack of variety and interest. Sooner or later, there comes a point in our lives where life becomes routine. It feels like there’s no fun or excitement left. Whenever someone asks you what’s new, the answer is always, “Routine: same old, same old.” Sometimes, when you wake up in the morning, you feel as if there’s nothing to look forward to. You know exactly how your day is going to pan out from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed.

That’s when you know you’re stuck in a monotonous rut.

There is nothing wrong with having a predictable, disciplined, and stable life. However, sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and do something to keep the spark alive. We get so involved in our lives and comfort zones that we don’t make time for any adventures. Remember, adventure may hurt you, but monotony will kill you. The worst type of monotony we can experience occurs in our personal relationships, especially romantic ones. It’s often hard to break away from it, but there are options to try.

Here are 10 ways to shake things up in your relationship to break from the everyday monotony.

1. Communicate

It doesn’t always happen that both parties in the relationship feel the monotony. One person may be very involved in their own routine to even realize how the other person is feeling. Therefore, it is crucial to let the other party know how you’re feeling about the stagnancy in order to work towards making it better.

2. Take Time Out For Each Other

If the monotony has set in, it is important to set time aside for one another. You can spend that time at home or go out, whatever floats your boat. It is essential to break away from the routine and spend time with your significant other without any distractions.

3. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

We get so tied up in our everyday life that we can’t imagine what it would be like to get out of our comfort zones to do something. Take up an adventure or something you normally wouldn’t do, get that adrenaline rush that will help bind your relationship together and leave you wanting more.

4. Try A New Activity Together

The world is full of choices. In fact, one is spoilt for choice. Rather than being in the normal work-home rut, try a new activity that your partner and you both enjoy. It could be a new sport, a class, or a hobby. Whatever it is, it will help you look forward to your time with each other.

5. Take A Trip Together

I cannot emphasize how important it is to travel as a couple. From the planning to execution, it will only bring you closer, and more importantly, it will help in getting to know each others’ likes and dislikes a lot better.

6. Surprise Each Other

It is such a wonderful feeling to get a surprise from another person. It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture, but just the thought counts. Rather than always agreeing to what your partner wants or saying “whatever you want” to everything, plan something from start to finish and surprise them. This will bring back the lost spark in your relationship.

7. Spend Time Apart

A happy and successful relationship doesn’t involve two people being joint at the hip. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Having your own set of things to do and then coming back to your partner will help you feel more fulfilled in your relationship. Being in a relationship shouldn’t involve a person losing their identity to become one. In fact, two people need to maintain their separate identities and realize how much they miss each other while spending time apart.

8. Discuss Old Memories

As time goes on, two people who are in a long-term relationship may end up having very few things to talk about. Silence can be troubling to some people and if you are one of them, the best way to talk about new things is by reminiscing about old memories. Sure there must be a lot you would’ve experienced together and talking about it will only bring you closer.

9. Make Deliberate Changes

No two people are perfect and, there have to be things and habits you don’t like about your partner and vice versa. Rather than letting it be as it is, it is a very thoughtful gesture to try and work deliberately towards correcting them. It will make your partner know how much you love and appreciate them.

10. Research

The moment you realize you’re getting stuck in any kind of routine, research things that your partner and you will enjoy together. Try something new every week. It doesn’t need to be something big, just some small thing or activity that will keep you on your toes. It will help you look forward to something and keep things moving.

When monotony strikes in, life becomes complacent. We lose the drive and want to do things differently. We get so stuck in our ways and routine that it becomes hard to break free. However, if we don’t make a change, our relationship will suffer. We will be resentful towards our partner and our relationship for becoming the way it is.

The sooner you can address this issue, the better it will be in the long run. See what works for you. Each person is different, and different things can help break life’s monotony. It’s not fair to let the relationship suffer just become you don’t want to put time and effort to make both your lives better. Remember, it is crucial to prevent a relationship from getting boring.

Put as much effort into keeping your significant other as you did to get them.

 

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

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

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The Space Between Us – Part 1

Philadelphia, late 1960’s.

Ever since I was a little boy, I loved the space program and all things having to do with the universe. I always liked science and nature.

On Sundays my dad would take my sister Janice and I to a book store where he picked up his copy of the New York Times. We lived in a neighborhood called Lawndale and the store was over in Cheltenham. It was a 15 or 20 minute ride from the house.

I remember one time we went there and there were a half dozen flatbed trailers in the parking lot. On each trailer were these giant dinosaur models. But, get this… you could put coins in  a machine on the thing and it would make you a miniature model of the dinosaur you were standing at the foot of. It was incredible. Of course my dad got us one of each.

(They were made out of wax and plastic. It was almost surreal to me at the time. If I can find any info on this, I’ll write about it in a future post.)

Creepy Classics

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation | Tyrannosaurus rex, Tyrannosaurus, Dinosaur

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation

I will have to say this here being a student of science. Notice how back then people thought T-Rex walked upright like a guy in a Godzilla suit dragging his tail behind him? When it’s painfully obvious if you look at the bone structure of the T-Rex he’s built more like a bird. The genuine article leaned forward and his tail stuck out for balance.

More like this rendering:

Growing Up Tyrannosaurus Rex: Researchers Learn More About Teen-Age T.Rex

Since this story is about science I felt it needed to be said!

My dad read the NY Times every Sunday for as long as I can remember. We had the Evening Bulletin delivered to our house every day by the local paperboy, but he would buy the Times for himself every weekend. It was a behemoth of a publication. Easily 100 pages. This is when print was king and the Times was probably the greatest paper in the country. (Maybe the world!)

I once asked my father why he read that paper and he told me that he felt that the Times told the unbiased truth when it came to the news. It was a high brow intelligently written paper that brought you news from around the world. He felt that it gave him everything he needed to know each week.

He’d be chatting with the staff and browsing for books, and Janice and I would wander around the store looking at all kinds of different books. I loved walking up and down the aisles looking at all sorts of different books!

My dad would sometimes say no to getting us a toy. But he never said no to getting us a book.

I loved looking at all of books and comics. Normally, my sister and I would come home with something on those trips.

We always had lots of books growing up. My father was an avid reader and always had a book going. He was a self educated man. He read about everything. He would pick a subject and read all he could about it. I always thought that my dad was a really smart guy, but he would always dismiss it by saying that he was just older. But I knew he got smart from reading so many books. He wanted to better understand the world and its historical events to better navigate his own life. He used to say that the three greatest things in his life were my mom, us kids, and his books.

He passed in 2016, but I wonder what his reaction would have been to discover his son had become a published author?

He used to say that books and knowledge gave him the tools he needed to better navigate the world and the people and events in it. That habit trickled down into us kids, and we all learned so much from him. Don’t get me wrong, my mom liked to read too, but she was more into Agatha Christie and works of fiction. My dad liked non-fiction. Mostly history, biographies, and science. He did love science fiction and read all the great works by Clark, Asimov, and Heinlein. He enjoyed authors who took a more scientific approach to their writing rather than the fantasy stuff of say… Ray Bradbury. He always liked stories about stuff that could maybe happen in the future. That’s why he always liked Batman better than Superman. Superman was an alien from another planet with incredible powers. Batman was just a regular guy. Batman was cool, because Batman could be a real guy! You could never be Superman, but if you had the money and skills, you could maybe be Batman!

I remember he got me a huge poster and I hung it on the wall of my bedroom. It was of our solar system and I would always look at it think about our galaxy. Here’s a guy who took me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey. We loved space and all things science fiction. I used to stand on my bed at night and just stare at that poster. I always thought it would be amazing to travel to the stars. But I was afraid of heights, so that was off the table.

We had stacks of books about science and nature. I remember my sister and I would get these little paperback digest sized books about animals. I especially loved those books. Each one had a different subject. Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, and Spiders and their kin. I asked dad what the word kin meant, and he told me that they were all in the same family. Just like us. Reading all of these kinds of books as a kid were not only fun and informative, but they made you smarter, and you didn’t even realize it was happening. I don’t remember many of my friends in the neighborhood having many books like that growing up.

I loved space, aliens, space travel and science fiction movies growing up. My father was a huge fan of the Apollo program as it began to take shape in the 60’s. We followed it together and would watch the launches on our black and white TV.  I remember I was in first grade for Apollo 8.

But, bigger and better things were coming.

A promise President Kennedy made to the American people just eight years before. His words ring true today now more than ever.

I’ll never forget the night of July 16th, 1969. I was in bed, and my father came and woke me up and brought me downstairs. I remember sitting on the floor in my pajamas next to his chair, and watching as the Apollo lunar module touched down on surface of the moon. The moment I saw Neil Armstrong step carefully down the ladder as the first man on the moon.

A glorious moment in human history.

I always felt bad for Alan Shephard who stayed behind in the ship orbiting the moon, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. But they needed Alan pick them up and take them back to Earth.

But in that moment as the astronauts looked back upon that blue marble surrounded by blackness, they maybe thought…All life as we have ever known it is right there. All of the people, animals, fish, birds, insects, plants… everything was on that blue marble.

Except for them. They were out there.

As usual, I was struggling in school. It’s not that I wasn’t bright, I just didn’t like school and it’s inhabitants. My dad tried to challenge my mind at home, so he bought a bunch of books. Space, History, Science, Biology, Anatomy, and Animals.  They were this amazing series of books on nearly every subject. But it was all written in terms a kid could understand.

Here’s an example.

The How and Why Wonder Books!

How and Why Wonder Books

How and Why Wonder Books

He would assign me chapters to read at night when my regular homework was finished. I also read them in my free time and on the weekends.

Initially it felt like a punishment. To me it was a punishment. More schoolwork?

But what I later realized is, that learning was fun. The world is a fascinating place if you have the right materials and most of all, the right teacher. I would read the assigned chapters, and then my dad would give me a list of questions I had to answer on a yellow legal pad. (Yes, I was tested to see if I retained the information.) I didn’t like this forced learning, but after a while I began to feel a certain pride in learning all of these things. If for nothing else than to become a smarter person.  A boy who knew more about the world around him.

He figured if I wasn’t going to pay attention in school, then by god, he was going to fill my head with as much good information as he could jam in there. He knew I had the head for it. But I didn’t realize it at the time. But after a while it got easier, and the books became more interesting to me. I was under 10 years old, and I knew all of the stages of gestation, even though I hadn’t a clue what sex was yet.

Reading those books and being tested was simply the beginning of all of the things my father taught me. Those books and all of the other books he gave me on a regular basis made me an avid reader where I later excelled in school. I’m happy to report that I’ve never said no to my daughter in regard to a book, and she’s a brilliant reader. So my sisters and I have tried to replicate all of the good things our parents taught us, and discarded the bad. Why hold onto it? They were mistakes. Focus on the triumphs, and go forward.

Sometimes on a Saturday, my mom would take the girls into town. When you lived in the suburbs back then, you referred to center city as ‘going into town’. They would be gone half the day shopping at the big department stores. Gimbels, Lit Bros, and Strawbridges.

Saturday morning meant one thing to me as a kid.

Saturday Morning Cartoons.

When I was a little guy, (Like four or five) I was so into Saturday morning cartoons, that I knew what show was coming on at what time, and what to watch next on what channel.

I couldn’t even tell time yet. However, back then there were only a few channels. VHF: 3, 6, 10 & 12. UHF: 17, 29, & 48. That was it.

One of the cool things about a Saturday with dad instead of mom was lunch. I remember he would be sitting at his place at the dinner table in the kitchen. The sun through the windows would illuminate his paper.  If I was hungry, he would make me a dish called, ‘Junk’.

Junk consisted of Planter’s cocktail peanuts, (When they were perfectly salty and greasy) a handful of crispy pretzels, and three or four slices of American cheese (New Yorker) tossed in a little green cereal bowl. That was placed on a folding snack table in front of my TV chair, and I was good to go. Wash it down with some Hawaiian Punch and you’re all set.

You’d think that wasn’t enough for a growing boy, but I was a fussy eater, and I loved that combination. I didn’t realize that I was basically eating bar snacks for lunch. It was awesome, and I loved it. We all did!

I was finished lunch one Saturday and dad and I are discussing some of the things I was learning from the books he gave me to read. I was struggling with some of the laws of gravity, inertia, and centrifugal force.

My dad came up with the idea that he should do what he always did; lead by example. Anything worth doing was worth overdoing. So he came up with a plan.

He went into the basement, and when he returned he produced a bucket of water.

Now, I’m a little kid. There’ve been times I’ve done things, or brought things into the house that I shouldn’t have. Boys always pull stuff like that. But here we were in the living room and he’s got a big bucket of water. Every cell in my mind tells me that mom doesn’t want anything like that in the living room. Kids spill stuff all the time. A glass of juice is one thing, but a bucket of water would be a solid call for corporal punishment.

But dad’s explaining to me the laws of gravity, rotation and centrifugal force. If dad’s here we’re good. Mom’s not home so it doesn’t matter. He’s got all the power in regard to what you should, or shouldn’t do in my mom’s nice living room.

My dad proceeds to swing the big bucket of water back and forth. I’m watching with startled eyes as he begins to swing it higher and higher. Then, without warning he swings it all the way over his head like a pinwheel. I’m talking Pete Townsend windmill moves. Frankly I’m amazed that none of the water is coming out of the bucket as he swings it in a circular motion over his head. It doesn’t make sense…

Until it does.

I see it. Now, I get it.

Centrifugal force, a fictitious force, peculiar to a particle moving on a circular path, that has the same magnitude and dimensions as the force that keeps the particle on its circular path (the centripetal force) but points in the opposite direction.

Rad, man!

Later, mom and the girls came home from shopping in town, and no one was the wiser.

 

More tomorrow!

 

 

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

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

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Rebecca – Chapter 14 – Airport – Part 2

I met Rebecca 3 years ago on a date. Rebecca has recently made an appearance in my life so I thought I’d re-run this series so everyone won’t have to go back and search for her series to catch up. Enjoy!

Fall of 2016

I need to go to her and say goodbye.

Besides, security here at PHL is pretty tight and I’m probably starting to look suspicious standing here with no luggage.

I slowly walk over to her.

“Hey.”

“Heeyyyyyy!” Rebecca leaps to her feet and hugs me tighter than ever before.

“Charles! You came!” She eased out of my arms but remained close.

“I told you I would.”

“This is Mari.” She reached out to the girl she was with.

Mari stood and shook my hand. She was obviously Latina. She had shoulder length black hair and caramel skin. She had an air of safety around her I could feel. It comforted me and quelled my anxiety.

“It’s nice to meet, Charles. Rebecca has told me so much about you.”

I wanted to say: ‘All good I hope’ but decided against that awful, dated cliche.

I sat down next to Rebecca. Her dark eyes twinkled. Her raven tresses were pulled back in a ponytail.

“I’m so excited about this trip! It’s going to be an awesome adventure!” Mari looked at Rebecca, nodding and smiling in affirmation.

“I’m really proud of you. I’m sure this took a lot of thought.”

“It did, and as hard as this is going to be I feel like I have to do it.”

I smiled and agreed.

We chatted and Rebecca and Mari went on and on about where they were going and what they’d be doing when they got there.

This isn’t how I imagined it.

I pictured us locked in a passionate embrace. The classic movie scene. The moment where the girl is about to get away, but destiny steps in and saves the day for the hapless hero.

I thought about this scenario as my eyes moved from Rebecca’s eyes to her full ripe lips. I watched her speak but couldn’t hear her.

Like all of my previous relationships, I could always look, love and partake but I never heard any of them that had come before Rebecca.

I’m a beauty addict. (Or a modelizer like Michelle used to call me. She was right. She was quoting Sex in the City, but she was right.)

I’m a shallow, superficial fool when it comes to affairs of the heart. I want to live in this Peter Pan like existences with all of these young women.

What am I missing? Why am I like this? What am I searching for with these young ladies?

Have I been such and ongoing, consistent failure, that I’m hoping to recapture what I was at fourteen with those lovely girls of Summer in the 70’s. My teen years. My young life? Here I am in my mid fifties and I love like a teenage boy. But I’ve learned so much about people and the world. But I still have that one single tear in my heart for something that’s been lost.

The innocence of young love. That touch of the hand. That magical first kiss.

I’ve been in 3 rock bands. Worked in banking for 20 years and advertising for 10.

There isn’t a sin I haven’t seen. I’ve done everything with everybody for decades and loved every mad minute of it. I loved the feeling of soaring on wings of steel to the heights of ecstacy, but always too close to the sun.

Always.

The searing pain of losing the woman in my life is the exact opposite and worse than the dopamine drop of falling in love.

It’s like the cocktails are amazing and I feel wonderful, but the hangover is so bad and goes on for so long, I may never recover from another loss again.

 

But Rebecca has saved me from that searing pain. She’s going away before I can squander her time and her heart on my foolish, nostalgic desires.

“I’ll be back in like, three months.”

Her words snapped me back into the moment at hand.

“Yea, you’ll do great work there. I can’t wait to hear all of your stories when you get back. I’m sure they’ll be amazing.”

“Hope so!” Chirped, Mari.

“I’m gonna miss you, Charles.”

“I’m going to miss you too, Rebecca.”

I wanted to say her name because I knew for awhile I would never have the opportunity to utter it again.

Sensing we needed a moment, Mari excused herself to the restroom. (Thankfully!)

“I’m really glad you came today. And I really appreciate you supporting me in my decision.”

“Of course. I think it’s amazing. You’re going to have the time of your life down there. Travel and exploration is what we do. It can be so broadening in your development as a person.” (For fuck’s sake. I’m literally quoting my father!)

“I appreciate that, Charles.”

“Don’t get mixed up with the Cartel down there, cause you’d fit right in!”

Rebecca laughed. That lovely sound that comes forth from her sweet soul. Like the sound of your favorite song. Her laughter has always let me know that I was okay and that she felt safe with me. Women can fake certain things but not their laughter.

I know when it’s real.

She calmed down and took my hands in hers. They were warm and soft. I could feel all of my energy going into my hands at that moment. Just her touch. That was all that was happening in that moment. That, and her eyes.

What’s happening to me? Am I changing?

Probably not.

There’s just something different about this one.

I can’t quite….

The announcement came over the intercom system that her plane was arriving.

The steel bird that would come from the sky and snatch my love from me before I ever had the chance to slowly ruin everything between us.

It’s better this way. Three months? Six months? It’s all the same. It doesn’t matter. I knew in my heart it was over before it began. All of the dates and stolen kisses were for naught.

I shouldn’t feel this way. I should be happy and rejoice in the fact that I had the time I had with Rebecca. Maybe this has been a warning to me to be more cautious. To be careful with the hearts of these women and not worry about mine. My time is running out and moving into old age. They’re just beginning their lives. I may bring them wisdom and comfort but it will always be fleeting.

“Well I guess this is it.”

“Yea. You better get your friend so she doesn’t miss your flight.”

“Hey… Chaz. You’ve changed me forever and you know I’ll be thinking about you when I’m away.”

I felt the searing in my chest.

“Thank you. I’m happy to have you in my life. You’re a wonderful girl, Rebecca.” I could feel my voice begin to waver.

Must hold on.

Must hold on to myself.

Because I’ve already lost hold on Rebecca.

 

I was so close this time.

 

Mari returned and they picked up their carry on bags.

“I’ll be back in three months! We’re sooo going to get plowed on cocktails, Chaz.”

“You are so right! Can’t wait!”

We walked towards security. This all felt so robotic and automatic. Like I was walking through someone else’s dream. It wasn’t mine. This perfunctory exit from my reality.

My dream was waking up next to Rebecca in my bedroom. Her hair disheveled from a night of lovemaking and deep blissful sleep with me. I smell her as she leans her nude body against mine. She’s warmer than I am. She snakes her leg over me and pulls me close. Our faces only inches apart.

The only time you can do that is if you’re in love with someone. That never happens anywhere else.

Ever.

I know this is the end. We’ll reach airport security and they’ll go through and I’ll be left standing here alone.

Mari loads her bag onto the treadmill that scans her bag and Rebecca follows suit. Mari steps through the metal detector and begins to gather her stuff. She takes her phone and keys from the little dish.

I’m dying a little bit.

Maybe a lot.

Rebecca turns and embraces me.

“Come on Miss.” The TSA attendant barks.

Rebecca goes up on tiptoes and gets in my face.

“You won’t forget me will ya?”

“No dear.” was all I could muster. It took everything I had not to cry.

“I’ll write to you, or text you or facetime or whatsapp you! I promise.”

“Don’t worry about me. You’ll be back before you know it and we’ll be blasting citywides at McGlinchey’s.”

“Promise?”

“I promise.”

What else could I say here?

Rebecca kissed me hard on the lips. Without shame. No matter who looked on.

Even as I held her in that moment I could feel she was already long gone.

It was over before it could begin…

 

I’m sitting in a little speedboat with my father. It’s a warm day in July. I’m about 13 years of age. We’ve anchored in the Delaware bay on the western side of Wildwood, NJ. We’re fishing. The sky is blue filled with big fluffy clouds that take turns giving us a break from the sun.

“It’s not good today son. But I see some birds working over there.”

“What’s that mean?”

“It means we should take the boat over there and join them.”

“Ha… Why?”

“Well, you can see the gulls over there flying and dipping into the water. That means that they’re feeding. They’re feeding on little fish.”

“Okay…”

“There’s a reason all of those little fish are swimming to the surface and getting snatched up by all of those birds.”

“What’s that?”

“There’s something bigger under the waves that’s chasing them. We need to be a part of that.”

“Cool. Let’s go!”

 

My little fish Rebecca, was about to be clipped by a giant bird. I would be left to sink back beneath the depths and eventually die.

The kiss…

She brought her hands to my face like she always did. I liked the feeling of being captured by her. Like I was her prey. When all along in my mind she had always been the elusive quarry.

Her lips parted from mine. “I have to go. But I’ll be back before you know it.”

“I know….”

“I’ll be right here.” She pointed to my chest.

“Don’t pull that ET shit on me now.”

“Got me.”

“I wish…”

Rebecca smiled and turned to rush through the security check point.

This was the end.

I watched as the girls walked toward the gate that led to the plane that would take them away.

Mari went in and Rebecca followed close behind.

But then she stopped for a moment and turned back to me.

She gazed upon me with those unforgettable eyes. Those vibrant eyes that were now full of tears.

I had no alternative.

I looked at her and mouthed the words, “I love you.”

Rebecca cocked her head and blinked once. Tears rolled down her cheeks. Then she spoke. I could only read her lips over the noise of the terminal.

“I love you too… I’m sorry.”

She shook her head and entered the tunnel.

 

 

Rebecca was gone.

 

The Dark Wings of Destiny had finally Scattered our Days.

 

 

 

California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 13 – Los Angeles – Pacific Sands Motel

We get to L.A. and I’m starting to feel like this is how California should look like. All the tall skinny palm trees, beaches, surfers, and beautiful people.

We pull into the Pacific Sands Motel at 1515 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. We decide to rent a room for a week and look for jobs and an apartment. Because it was the off season, (March) the rental for the week was really cheap. But it felt like summer to us. Everyday in southern California it’s sunny and 70. That’s why the film industry originally came out here. The weather is consistently nice and that gives them more days to shoot.

So day one we head out to explore. I’m walking by the Santa Monica Bay Club and I see Lee Majors shooting a scene for his series The Fall Guy. I’m instantly blown away because I loved him in The Six Million Dollar Man back in the 70’s when I was a kid. I knew he and his lovely wife Farrah Fawcett had split up and I absolutely worshipped her since seeing her on Charlie’s Angels. Should I drive up to Bel Air and see if I can find her? (No you shouldn’t. That would be stalking!)

We stop in a few places and apply for jobs. Within two days, I got a job as a busboy in a restaurant called Café Casino and Frank got a job as a cashier in bar/restaurant called Merlin McFly’s. So we were set! We didn’t start our new jobs until next week so we started looking in the local newspaper for an apartment and also do a little exploring.

There was a place close by called, Tom’s Number 5. I’m assuming there were a few others  around town since they were numbered. Every time I ordered from that place they always ended up putting chili on whatever I ordered. I’m from a super White suburban neighborhood in Philly. I’ve never eaten chili and don’t know anyone who has. But the L.A. obvious has a huge Latino community so there’s Mexican food all over town. Anyway, I didn’t like exotic foods back then. I was used to a very bland diet. So chili was alien to me and would probably give me stomach disorders. So every time I ordered I’d say hold the chili. I’d get the food back to the house, and boom slathered in chili. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken all blasted with chili. Just culture shock for a Caucasian kid from the burbs.

The motel was right near the beach. It’s different than beaches on the east coast. East coast beaches are really flat and so is the land mass leading up to it. We had to walk out, and there is like a huge embankment covered in grass with a bunch of beautiful palm trees everywhere. You have to walk down these wooden steps to get down to the beach in Santa Monica.

Venice is more flat. That’s a fun area. All along the beach there are shops bars and stores. Kind of like the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. There’s all kinds of street musicians and performers down there on any given day. It’s a cool hip place to hang out.

Now to find an apartment!

 

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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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 9 – El Paso & Las Cruces

We pulled into El Paso, Texas at dusk. It’s right on the Mexican border. The Rio Grande river is right there. The part of town we were in looked and felt like we weren’t in America anymore. It looked like Mexico. The food was Mexican, and all of the songs on the jukebox were in Spanish.

El Paso (/ɛl ˈpæs/ el PASS-oh; from Spanish, “the pass”) is a city in and the seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States. It is situated in the far western corner of the U.S. state of Texas.

El Paso stands on the Rio Grande river across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the largest city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The two cities, along with Las Cruces in the neighboring U.S. state of New Mexico, form a combined international metropolitan area sometimes referred to as the Paso del Norte or El Paso–Juárez–Las Cruces. The region of over 2.7 million people constitutes the largest bilingual and binational work force in the Western Hemisphere.[6][7]

The city is the headquarters of Western Refining, a Fortune 500 company, and three publicly traded companies,[8] as well as home to the Medical Center of the Americas,[9] the only medical research and care provider complex in West Texas and southern New Mexico,[10] and the University of Texas at El Paso, the city’s primary university. The city hosts the annual Sun Bowl college football post-season game, the second oldest bowl game in the country.[11]

El Paso has a strong federal and military presence. William Beaumont Army Medical CenterBiggs Army Airfield, and Fort Bliss call the city home. Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the largest training area in the United States.[12] Also headquartered in El Paso are the DEA domestic field division 7El Paso Intelligence CenterJoint Task Force NorthU.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector, and U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group (SOG).

In 2010, El Paso received an All-America City Award. El Paso has been ranked the safest large city in the U.S. for four consecutive years[13] and has ranked in the top three since 1997.[14] As of July 1, 2016, the population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 683,080.[3] Its U.S. metropolitan area covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 841,971.[3] The El Paso metropolitan area forms part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces CSA, with a population of 1,056,178.[3]

It was alien and cool for both of us but we always appreciated cities that looked different than the rest of America.

We had a beer in this border town but pushed on to Las Cruces New Mexico which was so close just on the eastern edge of New Mexico. We stay there without incident.

As I write this memoir I think about what Frank and I did on the trip. When we were in Georgia his Uncle took us to the greatest strip joint on Earth and I saw things I;d never seen before.

Funny thing is, looking back on this journey, Frank and I saw some vice in New Orleans but nothing major. You would think that two boys, 19 and 21 would have terrorized the countryside as we made our way across the country. We did nothing of the kind.

We drove the van all day on the way to our destination and loved the sites we saw along the way. But never did we stop and find the vice and dark fun in any of the towns we visited. We simply crashed, drank beer and watched TV in the hotel rooms we stayed in. We could have strayed and gotten into it with the locals, but maybe with him being an immigrant and me and my anxiety we just wanted to get where we were going.

It was an unspoken goal. Frank wanted to go on an adventure with someone he trusted and eventually his friends would follow. We’d have a band in LA and see what happened. He ultimately wanted to become a barrister in London. I wanted to be a rock star meta god and that was it. So here we were.

We’ll see what happens. He’s a helluva bass player so we’ll make it happen somehow. I’ve been uprooted from my life by my father’s design but I am out from under him.

Who takes their son out of high school before senior year? Oh I don’t know… a selfish self-centered cunt? (Frank’s words not mine, but mine with out a voice.) Once Janice was in Franklin and Marshall my dad was like fuck the rest of the kids in this family I’m moving them to the shore. I’ve exhausted all of my mistresses and some of them are pregnant. We here at the Provident National Bank are buried in bad loans and I need to go. I’ve painted myself into a corner and the love of my life Eileen is gone.

I will cling to Helen and the kids and dump my father’s inheritance into a gigantic over improved shore house a block from the beach in Wildwood NJ.

I think these thoughts as the 1969 Volkswagen mini bus carries my buddy and I from Belfast Northern Ireland across the desert on highway 10 into New Mexico.

I am away from my father. I love him but why? He has taught me everything I know. He taught me how to read, ride a bike, science, life, sex, people, women, everything. Why am I struggling?  Because he was so HARD on me.

Why did he have to say those things to me? Those words. Why was he so insecure? Why did he hit me? I can’t leave you dad or hit you back. I can’t fight a bully because you’re the best at that.

You were bullied as a boy. Why would you bully, hurt and scare me? What’s wrong with you?

You’re so nice. You’re a good father to my sisters but mom has a different story.  She’s your ultimate victim. Why dad? She’s been a victim her whole life. You describe her as this Japanese servant, That is some disrespectful shit Horace.

She suffered at the end of your tongue night after night. I heard you hurting with your words while she was raising your 4 kids while your tongue pleasures your mistress Eileen.

Fuck you.

A man’s word is everything. If you don’t have your word you’re nothing. You fucking liar.

My sweet sisters don’t know you. You told me everything you are when you were old. You told me the truth because you lied about so many things.

You’ve never had an original thought in your life. You love your wife because that poor woman put up with your crazy shit, you love your books because that’s where you stole all of the information you had in your head to get what you want, and you love your kids.

I believe that. You did love us dad. I know you did. As fucked up as you were. I know you loved us all so much. But I’m finally out from under your rule for good.

The 69 VW minibus rolls forward on highway 10. further than she’s ever been from the beaches of North Wildwood.

This family vehicle that was acquired in 1970 could never have imagined she would be making runs back and forth to Frankford high in Philly, and then becoming my vessel in Wildwood for fun and frivolity, But now here she is in New Mexico carrying the misfit son of the family to California to be a musician.

Frank hands me a Harp and I swig that sweet cold baby back. We’re going to California to be rock stars.

Las Cruces was nice and quiet and we’re nearly finished with our journey across America.

Las Cruces, also known as “The City of the Crosses”, is the seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 97,618,[2] and in 2015 the estimated population was 101,643,[4] making it the second largest city in the state, after Albuquerque. Las Cruces is the largest city in both Doña Ana County and southern New Mexico.[5] The Las Cruces metropolitan area had an estimated population of 213,676 in 2014.[6] It is the principal city of a metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Doña Ana County and is part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces combined statistical area.

Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the Mesilla Valley, the agricultural region on the floodplain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatchto the west side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is the home of New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico’s only land-grant university. The city’s major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. The Organ Mountains, 10 miles (16 km) to the east, are dominant in the city’s landscape, along with the Doña Ana MountainsRobledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak. Las Cruces lies 225 miles (362 km) south of Albuquerque, 48 miles (77 km) northwest of El Paso, Texas and 46 miles (74 km) north of the Mexican border at Santa Teresa.

Spaceport America, which lies 55 miles (89 km) to the north and with corporate offices in Las Cruces, has seen the completion of several successful manned, suborbital flights. The city is also the headquarters for Virgin Galactic, the world’s first company to offer sub-orbital spaceflights.[7]

Next stop… Arizona!

 

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