Amelia – Chapter 7- Square 1682 – Part 2

So the lady is bending Amelia’s ear and she wants to go.

I get it. I hate the lonely inserters. But I love that Amelia has played her as my daughter.

Because this lonely alienated middle-aged woman that’s inserted herself into my night with Amelia need to learn that you don’t do that.

It rattled Amelia and she really wanted to go. This clown gave Amelia her card and Amelia played the daughter card and left.

Drunk blond was sipping her crown royal and her friend’s not coming down to meet her was doing her thing. I paid my bill and then I saw the impossible.

Amelia had left her phone on the bar.

Oh shit. You guys can’t live with out that any more.

I can’t either.

I paid my bill and told Roman that if Amelia returned, her phone was safe. This crazy woman drove my baby out so hard she left her phone behind. I hate that fat old chick!

I leave Square and run to Suburban Station. I figure maybe I can catch Amelia and get her the phone. I jog/run (smoking a cigarette) north on 17th street to the subway entrance.

It’s filled with usual homeless detritus asking for money, but I blaze past them because I must find Amelia.

I land in Suburban station. It is eerily empty. No people, just homeless and cops.

Fuck!

Where is Amelia and what train is she on? I’ll go to the Septa office.

I roll in and tell Brian and Atheya my dilemma. They’re great, and Brian gets on the loudspeaker and makes and announcement throughout all of Suburban Station.

“Amelia Eckhart! Please come to the Septa main office!”

I figure this will work.

It won’t.

We go again, and I get to know Brian and Athene even better now, but nothing we do yields Amelia.”

“Dude I appreciate you going twice with the announcement, but what if she takes the Broad Street Line?”

“That’s outside our voice”

I loved that this pony-tailed clerk articulated that so elegantly.

I texted Roman that if she came back to text me.

I was panicked and sad for my co worker

I texted Eileen to help me on social media.

I care about Amelia. I don’t want her scared about her phone. I know we can’t live without it anymore but I have to look after my friend.

I don’t want her to be scared.

I give up.

I’m walking home.

I’m two blocks from my house when I get the text from Roman…

She’s here.

“I’m om my way”

I scamper through Rittenhouse and back to Square.

Amelia is sitting at the bar, and scary woman is long gone.

I clap Amelia’s phone down in front of her on the bar.

I’m happy to see her.

I get another Chardonnay as a gift.

Amelia tells me she was on the train at 11th street when she realized she lost her phone.

Baby jumped off and came back.

I was so worried about her. My Amelia. I’m really glad it all worked out.

 

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Amelia – Chapter 6 – Square 1682 – Part 1

So the last few Mondays Amelia and I have been getting killed at the salon and finding repose at Square 1682 pounding drinks. Roman’s on point, plying us with whiskey and chardonnay for a $5.50 check. (See: Roman – Rock n’ Roll Bartender)

He’s always tipped handsomely to match his face. It’s the perfect place for me to drink.

Amelia loves it, because it gives us a night to decompress and get free drinks. I’m happy that for the first time I can hang with my staff.

We’re hanging at the bar and doing our thing, but some older woman starts to talk to Amelia.

This blonde is middle aged and puffy, and waiting to meet her friends upstairs at the hotel. They’re clearly not coming down to meet her and she,s about to attach herself to Amelia.

She’s plowing four fingers of Crown Club in a rock glass.

She somehow inserts herself into our conversation like any lonely drunk.

She attacks Amelia with all of her tales of wind sailing and her activities and kids. It’s like an awful Tinder profile come to life.

I feel for my comrade who’s being very nice because she’s awesome.

This Michelin man in a dress is awful. She’s going on about how she hates young women who are in shape. (Amelia) How she hates how men don’t understand her or how we can lose weight faster than women.

It’s an awful insertion, and the poor lonely middle-aged woman doesn’t know she’s invaded my time with my friend and coworker. I sit quietly and think this is the thing that destroyed her marriage

This is why she’s alone, but I still feel sad for her, as annoying as she is stealing my time with Amelia.

Amelia in the meantime has created a story with this woman that she is my daughter and that I’m her dad.

I find this out about half way between the exchange.

I love exotic fiction and role playing, and admire my coworker for coming up with a creative situation.

Eileen is a cute child. But Amelia is an elegant friend. I understand clearly from 40 years of being in corporate life, but I feel so close to Amelia.

Not the older man preying upon the young girl.

Nothing like that.

I work with her everyday. I look forward to seeing her when Monday arrives. Amelia has a certain magic that radiates her from her every day.

We reveal everything that’s going with us with our romantic lives and it’s just easy and automatic.

It always feels safe, and there’s no judgement. I know Amelia and admire who she is and I feel safe in who I am with her.

I never expected this.

I never expected that it would feel this much fun!

 

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Tales of Rock: ‘DESTROYED BY DRUGS’: Elton John says Michael Jackson was a ‘walking drug addict’

Elton John believes drug addiction made Michael Jackson’s later years hell.

In his new memoir Me: Elton John, the I’m Still Standing singer opens up about his relationship with the late King of Pop, who he had known “since he was 13 (or) 14 years old”, admitting he became concerned for him in adulthood due to his bizarre behaviour.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight at a special orchestral screening of the musical biopic Rocketman with the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday, Elton claimed the star became a “walking drug addict” in his later years before his death, aged just 50, from an overdose of sedatives in 2009.

“What happened to him was such a tragedy, with the drugs and I don’t think he had a particularly happy life leading up to his big success,” the Tiny Dancer star, 72, said. “I think success is hard to deal with and I think Michael found it hard and became isolated.

“It was awkward to be around him. It was tragic to be around him,” he continues. “This was someone who was one of the most talented people to come on Earth, and it was so sad to see him destroyed by the drugs … He was a walking drug addict and was on everything possible.”

Elton, who has his own well-documented history with drug addiction, added it’s “upsetting when you see someone that you care about (suffering) and you can’t do anything about it.”

The rocker’s memoir, Me, is out now.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Karen – Old Western Style – Part 1

It all began when I walked into the Rainbow Bar & Grille on Sunset Strip to watch TV and grab a drink. (We couldn’t afford a TV back in those days.) I heard Lemmy from Motorhead drinks here so I figured I’d stop in. Every time I went there I was always hoping to see him there, sitting at the end of the bar drinking whiskey and playing the poker machine.

I had just come from working in the studio nailing down some tracks for a demo my band and I were working on. I wasn’t happy with the production and knew I had to clean up my lyrics.

I walked in to this bar and I saw one of the most beautiful women I had ever had the fortune to lay my eyes on; she was a tall, slender blonde sitting at one of the often empty tables laughing and smiling with her friends. During the day?

Naturally, from the moment I sat down I couldn’t stop looking in her direction. My eyes kept wondering, and my mind kept telling me that I should get up and introduce myself to her. As I watched the game I continued to muster up the courage to go talk to her. I’m 19 and even though I’m in a band, I suck.

Still no Lemmy.

After 4 innings of the baseball game on TV, I finally mustered up the courage to talk to her. Then, as I turned to get up from my seat I noticed that she was absent and her friends had also gone. My heart immediately sank to the depths of my stomach. I had missed my chance, and I probably would never see this woman again.

Then the most amazing thing happened.

As I returned my gaze, and saddened heart to the television behind the bar, I felt the sensation of soft hands on my face, and then immediately thereafter the softer lips. My eyes had closed at the touch of her hands to my face, so I couldn’t see her, but somehow I just knew it was her. I went with it, and kissed her as passionately as a man could kiss a woman he had never spoken to, and to my delight when I opened my eyes it indeed was her. I couldn’t believe this was happening! I’m blinking my eyes, my mind trying to process this impossible moment.

“What’s your name, dear?”

“Karen.” she whispered.

“You’re the guy with the black guitar in that band that played at the Troubadour last friday night, Right?”

“Umm… yea. I’m Chaz.”

After the kiss, I asked the young lady if she’d like a drink. She declined the offer to my amazement, and to paraphrase her response, she didn’t want me to buy drinks because she wanted me to know that what happened later was a result of her choice, and not because I bought her drinks.

“Okay…. Okay.”

We sat at the bar talking for a while. By the time we decided to leave the bar we had indulged in a several shots of whiskey, and a few hours of banter.

I had walked to the bar that day, so we decided to head to her house in her car. By this point, we were both pretty intoxicated so being the chivalrous man I am I offered to drive. (Idiot)

I was driving down Sunset when I saw the ominous glow of red and blue lights approaching from the rear. Was my time with this woman going to be cut to a short end by the officers in that car? I quickly decided that I was going to beat this case right here and right now. I pulled the car over to a gradual stop, rolled my window down about half an inch, and waited for the police officer to approach.

He came to the window and asked for my license and registration. This smoking hot baby fumbled through her glove compartment and retrieved the registration. She then handed it to me, and I offered it and my license through the crack in the window

“Here you go officer.”

He left to do what cops do, and it was then that I noticed that the girl had a glass of beer between her legs. I quickly instructed her to drink the entire beer and put the glass under her seat. (I didn’t even realize she had a drink in her hand when we left the bar!)

When the officer returned he told me that he suspected I was drinking, and asked me to get out of the vehicle. I did as commanded, and soon I was a competitor in several olympic events that nobody ever wants to participate in.

After the competition had ended, and I ended up winning the gold in the foot lift and count, the closed eyed nose touch, and the night light follow the officer told me that I was free to go. I don’t think I had ever been happier! Well except for about two hours before when that girl sitting in the passenger seat of the car I had been driving first laid hands on me.

But, before I got back in the car, the officer asked me to do a breathalyzer test without consequence to determine if I should get back in the car. I was skeptical, but I did the test. I blew a .09, and the officer was amazed, but he let us leave on foot after we locked the car up.

We began walking and once we had made it around the corner we broke up into hysterical laugh and started running towards her home.

To be continued in a couple of hours…

 

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Eileen- Chapter 8 – Mega Sons and Daughters at Marathon

My Eileen has returned from Spring Break. Which is different than most girl’s Spring Break, which is normally a flight to a Caribbean destination in a drunken haze of boys, sun and exotic locales.

But my hire Eileen will be returning to St. Louis to go hang with her mom but more than ever to spend time with her love Thomas.

Eileen is such a sassy, intelligent, dedicated soul. I adore her. I’ve been blessed this year with a pair of the best employees I’ve ever had.

I’ve been overjoyed at the sheer performance and charm my former staff has brought me but Amelia and Eileen have both been the the cold glass of beer on a hot day that I couldn’t have imagined during our busiest time of the year.

It’s so busy here in the salon. I’m sure Achilles likes the occasional night he doesn’t get the call from us that the system is failing.

He’s been at this for 10 years.

He’s seen it all.

The frustration that he must feel from the changes we’ve been through. He had three tanning salons at one time but closed the other two. Why? As he says. “This headache times three.”

That’s sad. A thriving business destroyed by shitty employees.

But you get what you pay for.

But not always. You sometimes luck out and get an employee that gives you and $80,000 a year performance for your wage simply because he has a great work ethic.

And then sometimes like a rare bird, one flies in the door and is willing to work for your minimum wage and kick ass because they’re like that dude you hired.

Achilles… you show these young girls no quarter. No warm greeting, no empathy. Because you are incapable of those emotions. That’s why I’m here.

I’m the life and personality of your salon. The face, and lively personality and the salesman that you hired. I’ll teach and train these girls.

They’re wonderful people. I actually feel blessed that we’ve acquired them this season. These girls are better than any we’ve ever had before.

They’re my team. I’m so proud of them every day.

If you’ve been following the Sun Stories in this blog, you’ll know the nightmare stories we’ve had with staffing at this salon. But that’s normal for retail and hospitality in this city. You get what you pay for.

But every once in awhile you pick a few winners.

This has been our most profitable year ever and I credit that to a few things:

  1. Every other tanning salon has fallen in the city.
  2. The population is increasing.
  3. We’re the best salon in the city.
  4. We have the finest employees and the best prices and services.

The people on the third floor hate us because we have a gym and they have a gym. They sued us but we settled and now we can only do personal training.

The Canadian online retail store downstairs hates us because sometimes the fitness guys drop weights and they complain to the landlord.

We’re basically in a shit sandwich in our new location and we’re the shit between the two shitty bus that hate us.

 

Eileen and I are getting killed at the salon as usual because, tis the season. Achilles boasts that he he had a busy lunch and that he had people in everybody in every bed. He called himself “The Man”

It would be nice if he could see what my staff and I go through here every night getting run over and being the sweet professionals to define his “busy” day.

My new hire Amelia says “Working here is the best job she ever had.”

I’m honored by her words and that’s how good business is supposed to work.

 

I’m mired in cleaning sun beds and charming ladies at the salon. Eileen is killing it as the charming professional at the front counter.

Amelia rolls in and we all decide to go to Marathon for dinner after work.

I love that we’re in the season and I’ve literally been blessed with two girls that are amazing. (I know I say it alot but they are both sooo good!)

I adore them both in different ways. (But it’s mixed)

I find myself in a place where I have been freed of the shackles of corporate America.

The rat race is horrible.

Children emerge from college as debtors now.

I’ve been honored this year with meeting not only the best employees I’ve ever had at Megasun, but two of the greatest ladies I’ve ever met and have enjoyed working with.

Here’s our Amelia ready to go and have dinner with us tonight. (First team dinner!)

 

After a long night of getting run over at the salon Eileen and I finally trudge over to Marathon Grille.

Amelia is waiting for us at a booth plowing Blue Moons and is a little surly we’re late.

But once we land, the team sings.

This is the first time we’ve ever hung out as a group.

Amelia and I have been to Square 1682 a couple of times for the complete glorious hookup of drinks but this is the first time we’ve all met as a team.

When Eileen and I arrive I run into a one of our clients at the hostess stand. He’s a solitary dude that apparently builds nightclubs in Asia and the like. I never got a good vibe from him and always felt that he was perv, but we’re here for different reasons. I greet him and then move off.

I take a booth with Amelia, who’s a little cross she had to wait for Eileen and I but it’s all good. Eileen’s charm can cut through ice. She’s so adorable.

I feel a comforting irony in this moment.

My creepy client takes a table near us.

It’s 9pm and he’s here eating alone. Who are you? What are you doing out at this hour? You with your bald head and shifty perv eyes. I see you. I can tell. You’re not a nice man.

But here you are in Marathon… an upscale diner with locally farm grown food with a sweet bar.

You’re alone.

I’m snuggled in a booth with two beautiful, wonderful ladies I adore. We’re eating, drinking, and Eileen is laughing so much her jaw hurts.

Eileen – Me – Amelia

I’m sipping a Bulliet Rye Manahattan, neat with a brandied berry and a side of ice.

Dude… you’re alone.

I’m the luckiest man in Philly right now. I want for nothing. The business is cranking. I’m surrounded with good people. My daughter’s happy and healthy. What more can I ask for?

It was an amazing night and there’s more on the way!

 

 

 

California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Party in the Front

Me on the left. (F# Major)

This was early ’80s, in L.A. We were a five piece rock/pop group, and I played guitar. The bar was rather large, with guest/band rooms upstairs and a “special event” room behind the main bar. There’d be comedians, male & female “dancers” and such back there. This particular week the bar had female dancers in that room. We were playing our regular, routine show on a pretty dead Wednesday night. Big difference that night was most if not all the girls from that back room were sitting there watching us. Nothing better to do, I guess. I could always pull talent from that willing pool of women.

Like a lot of bars, this one also held drawings for various door prizes. This night was no different.

We’d played a couple sets, and our singer (Later left the band. Too much into nose candy) announced that anybody holding a ticket should get ready for the drawing. He’s standing there, holding the glass jar with the tickets in one hand, and his mic in the other, when the bass player, Frank nonchalantly walked behind him. Frank suddenly turned, grabbed the singer’s spandex pants and yanked them down to his knees. No undies. The singer, standing there with his junk hanging out, looked down, slowly turned, and kind of shuffled off stage, behind the mains, where he put down the glass jar and his mic, then pulled his pants back up. The girls out front were dying. Indeed, the entire room was laughing so hard even the bartender had tears in his eyes.

The singer came back on stage with his mic, and said “okay, that was different…” He looked at Frank, the bass player and told him “…I’ll kill you later…” and we proceeded to finish the set, and the rest of the night. The singer was a really funny guy (I say “was” because he’s dead now) and an incredibly good sport. Interestingly, he slept with most of those girls as a direct, or indirect, result of that “incident”. (Well done, sir!)

This one’s for you, buddy. 40 years on, and we still talk about, laugh at, and miss you.

 

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DADS: Why Alcohol Gives You The Runs

Imagine this: You wake up at 1 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. Your head hurts. You suddenly have a flashback to the night before. You see yourself sidled up to a bar, downing pickleback after pickleback until you yourself are turning green. You have some regrets.

And then — just as you think the morning after effect can’t get worse — your stomach twists. You know it’s coming. You have the DADS — the Day After Drinking Shits.

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, author of The Better Period Food Solution: Eat Your Way to a Lifetime of Healthier Cycles, explains that this is a common phenomenon. So common that there are even derogatory nicknames for it. DADS is a typical one, and then there’s rum bum, after grog bog, and, my personal favorite, the Milwaukee squirts.

“The body doesn’t appreciate being distracted from other essential tasks — like keeping your heart beating or your brain working — to have to metabolize seven White Claws in an hour, so these choices may come with some unwarranted and smelly side effects,” Beckerman explains. Here are a few of them.

How does alcohol change your poop? 

As it turns out, in many ways! For some people, drinking makes your bowel movements more runny, but others will get more constipated. Everyone’s digestion system responds differently based on their genetics, diet, stress levels, and gut integrity, she explains. But most people can assume there will be at least some changes.

“Alcohol has the capacity to affect the shape, form, and even the smell of your stool,” Beckerman explains. “Upon first sip, the body is trying to rid itself from alcohol ASAP.” With that said, not all poop problems after drinking are normal. If your irregular stool issues are persistent, you notice blood mixed in, or you have poop as black as the night, Beckerman recommends calling your doctor.

Can drinking give you diarrhea? 

Alcohol is a gastrointestinal irritant and increases gut motility, explains Hillary Cecere, RDN of Eat Clean Bro. “Irritation to the intestinal lining can result in less absorption, leading to diarrhea or softer stools,” she says.

Beckerman adds that alcohol has the ability to inhibit or temporarily “turn off” the antidiuretic hormone, or ADH, that tells our kidneys to conserve water. Without that hormone, you end up needing to urinate a lot, making you feel dehydrated and depleted in the morning.

“During the act of drinking, you can have bouts of diarrhea due to the influx of fluids being dumped into the body,” she adds. “Plus, alcohol has the power to impair muscles movements in the GI tract which can propel contents faster through the gut, which can lead to diarrhea as well.”

Can drinking constipate you? 

Beckerman says that some researchers believe that the higher the alcohol volume, the slower the movements in the bowel. Therefore, liquor (which is about 40 percent ABV) hits “the slow-mo button” on your poops, more so than beer or hard seltzer (which have about 5 percent ABV). “That’s why it’s more typical to have a sleepier and more sluggish colon in the morning — AKA constipation — with liquor,” Beckerman says.

Cecere adds that you should avoid mixing alcohol with energy drinks because caffeine is also a GI tract irritant.

Does DADS affect infrequent drinkers more? 

Not exactly, Cecere says. “Chronic drinkers often suffer from GI distress due to alcohol induced inflammation,” she says. “But, it’s not uncommon for people who don’t often drink alcohol to experience digestive issues after drinking. Some people just consider it part of the hangover.”

How can you stop DADS? 

There’s the obvious — drinking in moderation or not drinking at all.

Beckerman also recommends eating a substantial meal before drinking. You could try rice, crackers, pasta, or some other hearty carb. “This can delay the absorption of alcohol into the blood, which can mitigate DADS,” she says. She also suggests introducing more probiotic foods — such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, or kefir — into your diet three or four days before drinking.

“Drink water while drinking alcohol and take a multivitamin before drinking,” she adds.

 “This will help rebalance your electrolytes and water soluble vitamins that have been compromised during your bender.”

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