Phicklephilly Reaches 50,000 Views!

Oh my God!

We did it!

After two and a half years and 942 blog posts I have miraculously reached 50,000 views on phicklephilly!!!

This is the best Christmas gift that I could have imagined this holiday season.

When I started this I never thought it would reach such heights.  I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just wanted to create again after not writing for over 10 years.

I was inspired by a lovely, charming waitress and a guy I worked with who said I should write about all of the ladies in my life.

It started out once a week on Mondays. I wrote about a waitress I was infatuated with at the time. (See: Maria – Amor En Vano)

Maria has become my muse and the ongoing inspiration for this blog.

The best part of that relationship is that we’re friends but rarely hang out. There’s no romantic connection and that’s what keeps it healthy. I could never get involved with her because we live in two different worlds.

When I see Maria, it’s the very best of Maria. I don’t ever experience the other aspects of her life. I’m sure they are extremely challenging for my muse. Life is complicated and confounding to my muse as she navigates the minefield of her life in the service industry and her romantic entanglements.

She has limitless value to me, but I never experience the darker aspects of her life.

It may seem one-sided but that’s how it’s best suited for our current relationship. She lives her life and I live mine. Completely different. I never see her struggles. I only hear about them.

Granted, I’m always available to help her in any way I can and I’m willing to help her in any way I can.

But for the most part when I see her it’s “Greatest Hits.”

 

I’ll be spending Christmas day going through all of my contacts to try to find her a marketing gig at an agency somewhere in the city.

I want to do it. I want my muse to be happy and successful. She’s been through too much. I have very little invested in her. But her presence has been the trigger that ignited this blog so I must honor her.

Maria needs to do nothing.

The train that is phicklephilly is already rolling down the track and has been for the last two years. (27,000 visitors and 50,000 views!)

She’s my inspiration! I have to help her!

The beauty of all of this is for once the muse doesn’t become the girlfriend. That’s where the problems always start.

I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been and my creative work continues to flourish. Whatever was inspired two years ago worked!

 

I remember when I created the first skeleton of phicklephilly I had no clue what I was doing or where I was going. I knew I had to start dating again, (Ugh) and knew I needed content.

I created the blog and that was a huge first step. But actually, that’s the easy part.

You can sign up for any writing site on the internet and they’ll pretty much effortlessly walk you through it.

What it really comes down to after that is up to you.

I created phicklephilly in July of 2016.

I never wrote a word until September.

The whole summer went by with me having a blog and not doing anything about it. Pretty much a bit more of what I’d done for the last 10 years.

Nothing.

I asked myself, “Is this going to be another thing you talk about with people you know at lunch and over drinks and never do?

I paused and thought about Maria. A beautiful, sweet woman from humble beginnings like myself, that was self-made. A woman who told herself that she was determined to get her marketing degree and rise above her current vocation.

Am I going to write and create again, or am I just going to talk about it over beers with a bunch of people and never do it?

That would be easy and dumb.

I know people who are far better than me in regard to the written word.

I discussed what I was going to do. They said I had inspired them to write again too.

Here’s the difference.

They are stuck in their lives and will NEVER take pen to paper ever again.

That’s fine. It has no effect on my life. But I needed to evolve and start creating again. I’ve done art. I’ve done music. Writing should be easy if I just put my mind to it.

Anyone who is reading this who writes knows it’s not easy.

You have to find your space and be alone and bang out a 1000 words about whatever. Fuck writers block. You just have to be alone and create. You do it every day and crank out the art.

Like a ballerina, she takes classes every day. My father once said, if you want to be a painter, go paint every day. Well I like to create and I write everyday.

I was chatting with my sister Gabrielle at the holiday party on Sunday, and I was telling her about what’s coming out in 2019.

“How do you have the time to come up with so much material and stories to have it come out everyday, twice a day?”

“I like to work and be busy, but in my down time instead of sitting around or blowing money doing anything else, I write. When I’m off I edit or create. It’s not hard if you put your mind to it.”

Nothing’s hard if you put your mind to it.

That’s how everything has been accomplished in the world.

Most people just go to work and then do a bunch of other things that don’t evolve them and they wonder why they’re going nowhere or attach themselves to things they think will make them happy but it’s all a fail.

Put something on Earth that wasn’t here before you got here.

Tell your story.

If you’re serious you’ll do it.

If you want my help. I’ll help you.

Everybody needs a mentor.

Me included.

 

Happy Holidays! Thank you one and all for all the views and comments and follows. phicklephilly has grown beyond anything I could have imagined.

 

Thank you, Maria for your inspiration!

 

I’m going to try to write this damn thing until the day I die.

 

I hope you all enjoy all of the new aspects I’ve added in 2019.

 

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

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Nobody Gets the Point of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

“Yea, I get it. If they have a use for you, they’ll accept you.”

Happy Holidays!

http://www.cracked.com/article_26077_nobody-gets-point-rudolph-red-nosed-reindeer.html

 

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The Gift of The Magi – By O. Henry – Part 2

At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

“Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”

“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?”

Jim looked about the room curiously.

“You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

“You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

“Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.”

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!”

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

“Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.”

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

“Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.”

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

 

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

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The Gift of the Magi – By O. Henry – Part 1

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silentimputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for themendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.”

“Will you buy my hair?” asked Della.

“I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.”

Down rippled the brown cascade.

“Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practiced hand.

“Give it to me quick,” said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

“If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty seven cents?”

 

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

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