Valentine’s Day – I Met A Victoria’s Secret Super Model

“The minute I lay eyes on the super queen I involuntarily gasp. I literally sucked air sharply into my lungs like I never have before.”

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I’ve decided to write about all of the celebrities I’ve met in my life. It’ll probably only be once a month, and I’ll crank them out until I run out of famous people.

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my phicklephilly readers! I hope you’re in love or at least love something! If you’re not happy today, and if anyone starts talking about love, romance, hearts, cards, or chocolate, just slap them and say ‘it’s Wednesday!

It’s a coincidence and fitting that I release this piece on Valentine’s Day. Because this lady is and always will hold a special place in my heart.

This one happened about 11 years ago when I was working in Manhattan. The year was 2007.

I was sitting in a dive bar in Journal Square in Jersey City one evening after work. My buddy Howard was with me. I’m drinking a beer and reading the Daily News. On the Entertainment page was a little blurb at the bottom about how Alessandra Ambrosio was going to be making an appearance at the new Armani Exchange in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.

I think every guy has an “It” girl in life. Some movie star, athlete, or model that they just adore. In the 70’s and 80’s for me it was Farrah Fawcett. I LOVED Farrah. I owned all of her posters starting with the famous red swimsuit. I was even a card carrying member of her fan club. Always watched Charlie’s Angels and all of her movies.

But sometime in the 90’s I noticed this one model in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue that really struck me. I didn’t know her name for several years. But once you have a woman in your life and order something from their catalogue, they never stop coming. They must send them out every couple of weeks because I had loads of them coming to the house.

I eventually found out the identity of this exquisite woman. Alessandra Ambrosio. I was in love. Her perfectly symmetrical face, with her feline eyes and lovely tawny hair is a combination that drove me nuts. I absolutely have adored Alessandra for years. I know I love beautiful women, it’s hard not to. But Alessandra to me is one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

Alessandra Ambrosio was born in Erechim, Brazil on April 11, 1981. Her parents are Brazilians of Italian, Portuguese and Polish ancestry and own a petrol station. She enrolled at a modelling class at the age of 12, and at the age of 14, she was one of 20 finalists for the 1995 Elite Model Look national competition for Brazil. Ambrosio was always insecure about her large ears, and at the age of 11, she had cosmetic surgery to have her ears pinned back, though two years later she suffered complications. In 2006, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, and said that the surgery was a bad experience and has discouraged her from ever getting plastic surgery again.

I would love Alessandra the same even if her ears stuck straight out like open car doors!

When Ambrosio was 12 years old, she partook in modeling classes, and then began modeling for Dilson Stein at age 15. Competing in Brazil’s Elite Model Look competition started her modeling career in earnest. Her first notable modeling job was shooting the cover of Brazilian Elle magazine. Elite passed along some of her Polaroids to Guess which led her booking the Millennium GUESS? campaign. She has since appeared in advertising campaigns for Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Escada, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Guess, Emporio Armani, Moschino, Gap, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Revlon, and the Pirelli Calendar. She has walked the catwalks for designers such as Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Bottega Veneta, Escada, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Ralph Lauren, Halston, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, and Oscar de la Renta. She has appeared in numerous international magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Ocean Drive, Vogue and was the only model to appear on the cover of Glamour in the United States in 2006.

“I HAVE to go to A/X Armani Exchange on Saturday and try to see her! Do you want to go with me?”

“Why the hell would I want to go meet some supermodel? I’m gay!”

“Well she’s a fashion model and I figured you guys like stuff that’s fashionable.”

“I’m gay!”

So Saturday comes and I go to the local Rite Aid and buy a disposable camera. (Yea. I had a little cell phone back then before there were any iPhones or androids and that little phone didn’t have a camera in it. That thing was probably made by Fisher Price for all I know. A lot has happened in the world of technology in the last 15 years!)

So I’ve got my little cheapo plastic throw away camera and I hop on the PATH train into Manhattan. I get off at 32nd Street and walk East over to Fifth Avenue, The store is up around 56th Street so I need to walk north about 25 blocks. That’s a little bit of a hike. But it’s Saturday in the Summer and Manhattan is quiet on the weekends.

After awhile I finally reach the store. There’s a line of people to get in. I get in line behind this Asian girl and I go, “Is this the line to see Alessandra?”

“Oh, I have no idea. I just saw a lot of people here and I wanted to see what was going on.”

What a moron. How can she not know who Alessandra Ambrosio is?

The line is moving and I get inside.

The minute I lay eyes on the super queen I involuntarily gasp. I literally sucked air sharply into my lungs like I never have before.

I can’t believe I am standing in the same room with her. I can’t believe that I’m not seeing just a photograph of my queen. I am looking upon one of the most beautiful women in the world and the only thing that’s separating she and I is space.

I’m starstruck.

She sits down and starts signing things. I’m snapping pics and my heart is pounding. I’m getting closer!

Ohh…my love. My Queen! She is stunning! They take my name and write it on a little Post It. I assume this is because they don’t want any misspellings on the pictures she’s signing.

I finally reach Alessandra!!!

 

My arm around my queen!

I introduce myself and I can’t believe I am meeting her for real. She says my name and I swoon. My name coming from Alessandra’s lovely lips.

There she is! It’s really her! I’m shaking hands with my favorite woman on Earth. I’m looking into the eyes of the object of my desire for the last 10 years. She signs the photo, and I ask if they will take a photo of me with my camera. She agrees and I hand it to her handlers. I tell them to take a few just in case.

I put my arm around her, and lean in. My hand is on her shoulder! I’m touching Alessandra! My love!

I’m so close to Alessandra, I can smell her.

This is framed in my livingroom.

I will never be the same. I leave with my little camera full of photos, and the above autographed picture.

To Charles, Love, Alessandra. (Heart. Star.)

I love her even more now. I’ve met Alessandra Ambrosio! This day has been a dream come true. I’m holding the picture and I don’t want anything to happen to it, so I run across the street into of all things, a Victoria’s Secret. (Fitting!) I approach one of the sales girls and ask if I can have a bag.

“What do you need it for?”

I hold up the photo. “To protect this autographed picture of Victoria’s Secret model, Alessandra Ambrosio.”

The chick looks like she doesn’t know who Alessandra is and hands me a bag. I gently slide my treasure inside it. (puns abound) I thank the girl and nearly skip to the PATH station.

I’ve added these delicious little videos to close out this piece. I can’t watch the first one without getting worked up. I love her so much.

I met my super queen. I never met Farrah Fawcett. I loved her so much, but I met my new queen Alessandra. It was glorious day in my short life. She’ll never know how much I love her but I met her, We got a picture together, I touched her, and smelled her.

My lovely Alessandra…

 

 

 

 

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

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Cherie – Chapter 6 – Be Careful What You Wish For – Part II

“Show me where there was a hole in your pants.”

“You’re driving!”

So she fires up the car after some more kissing and off we go to Dave and Buster’s. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a big arcade down on the waterfront. It’s got a big restaurant area, a section with a bar, a billiard room, and in the back, this giant area with all sort of games where you can do just about anything. But you can also win a bunch of tickets and then turn them in for shitty prizes. The place is great for families and couples because there is tons of stuff to do and everybody loves it. We powered up our cards with points and went to town. She did really good on some games and I got 500 points on the Wheel of Fortune game.

I think our favorite game there, hands down was Jurassic Park. I love dinosaurs and all things Jurassic Park. Cherie loves games where we can team up and just shoot the shit out of stuff with automatic weapons. It was glorious. I read somewhere recently that if you do something exciting on a date, they will associate you with excitement. Bear this in mind. We are getting lost in the game, taking out raptors and T-Rex’s right and left. We kept re-upping with our cards, to keep the game going. We did this several times because we were having so much fun, until we realized that a couple of little boys were waiting to play. We hopped out and turned our weapons over to them! We both agreed we could have sat in that booth all day destroying Jurassic Park and it’s inhabitants all afternoon if we had the time and money.

We had earned a bunch of points but we were really there just for the fun, and never redeemed them for any of the junk they had in their little prize shop in the back. Maybe next time if we need a couple of plastic spiders or teddy bears or decoder rings.

So after two hours of games, we headed to the parking garage to fetch the car. At this point Cherie has been with me for over 4 hours. I check with her to see how she’s with time and all, and she’s fine. Being from Pottstown, She doesn’t know the city like I do, so I’m her co-pilot and navigator. We’re heading west on Spring Garden, and I have her throw a left on 19th street. I figure that’ll bring us right down into center city and we can get some sort of dinner. We get to Vine, and there’s a detour. Okay, I get it. Lot’s of construction going on in Philly. City is growing. That’s a good thing.

So now we’re heading west again. But we can’t turn left again anywhere. The Police have more streets blocked off. We get out to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and everything is still blocked off. There’s some sort of event going on out front of the PMA. Lots of people and little white tents. If Cherie had been on her own she would have been totally lost. We kept heading west unable to turn left and head back. I suggested we turn right and go north. We drove up a winding street out in Fairmount and I had her turn right on Poplar. That’s how far North we were.

Although we were basically driving around for an hour, I liked that Cherie described it as a road trip. I told her if she just stayed on Poplar and kept going, we’d get back to center city. We chatted about different things, work, school, family, etc. At some point I told her my ripped pants story. She laughed and asked where the hole had been in the other pants. We had been a little frisky earlier and there had been some suggestive flirty talk so things had changed a lot since 1:30 this afternoon.

I told her about this guy I used to know who always thought about things mathematically. So if you went on a date and you were out for say, 2 hours, that was just a date. But if it was longer, like say over 4 hours he would count that as 2 dates. Make sense? It did to him. She says, so technically we’re no longer on our 3rd date we’re on like our 5th. I laugh and say yes, according to my friend.

She goes, “show me where they were ripped.”

“You’re driving!”

We stop at a light and I take her hand, and slowly raise my left leg and place her hand there under my crotch. I know this is an extremely forward move, but it was playful and I think she really wanted to touch me. So I say, “right there.” She says, “okay” and rubs the spot gently. The light turns green and she has to focus on driving. We laugh about the whole silly hole thing. We basically spent the next 20 minutes looking for parking. Maybe it was  a half hour. But instead of it being stressful and annoying like you would think it would be, it was a lively road trip as she called it. We were just enjoying each others company and were having a good time. Cherie is so patient and laid back. It’s wonderful.

It’s dark now, and we finally find a spot for the Saab down at 23rd and Christiansen. She’s like, “are we really far away from everything? Because I don’t know the city.” I exclaim, “After that trip, I don’t even know where I live anymore!” We laugh and smooch and get out of the  car. I ask her if she’s hungry and she says yes. We’re walking north on 23rd street now. I see this guy walking carrying a pizza box. I tell her that whenever I see that it always makes me smile, want pizza, and maybe follow him. I ask her if she could go for some piping hot delicious pie. She says she can and I tell her I know just the place. They do brick oven and they even have a bar there.

We go into Mix Pizza at 21st and Chestnut. I’m a big fan of this place. She doesn’t want any weird kind of pizza even though they can make you any combination of sin you want on your oven baked pie. She’s so easy to get along with. We order an 18″ half pepperoni, half plain. My favorite. She gets a root beer and I get a diet coke. I look at the cocktail menu. She asks me if I want a drink and I tell her I don’t. I just don’t feel like drinking. Little does she know, she’s the drug I am currently on.

I ask her if she’s ever had anchovies and she says they’re nasty. I agree. I go on to tell her this story about this girl I used to go out with when I was in California in the early eighties with my band. She loved anchovies. So we would order a pizza and her half would be anchovies and mine would be plain. But the horrible rub was this. The pizza is hot in the box when you get it. That nasty, salty anchovy juice would bleed over into two of MY slices. So technically she was getting 6 slices and I was getting only 2 slices of what I liked. It was gross. But I loved her so it didn’t really matter. She asked a little more about her. I told her I was 19 at the time and she was 18, and that I had met her through a girl I worked with at this restaurant. I also told her I relieved her of her virginity. I didn’t mention that she was black. She was my first black girlfriend. I don’t know why, but things are still new and I just didn’t want to get her gears turning that maybe black women are a fetish or a thing that I jump into once every decade or so. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but I have to be careful with this lady’s heart.

The pizza comes and we tear into it. It’s delicious. She picks up her slice and starts eating it but it’s hot. I tell her to be careful that the hot cheese doesn’t slide off and slam into her chin, burning her beyond recognition. We laugh about it. I of course am eating mine with a knife and fork. Cherie’s amused about this but says she likes that I am such a neat eater. Most men devour and attack food. I carefully dissect my food and then consume it. She doesn’t care and compliments me on being so sweet and such a gentleman. It’s nice to be appreciated. At the end of the meal we still have 4 slices left. When I go to Mix and I’m really hungry, I normally get the 12′ pie. I can crush that thing. I figured there were two of us and I didn’t know how much she would eat. But we’re basically done. I ask the guy to wrap it up. He says it’s still good for later. I agree.

I pay the bill and head back to the car, which is far away but it’s a nice clear night. I’m carrying this big pizza box as we walk south on 21st street. I have suddenly become the man I see on the street that I want to follow. I’m the guy with the pizza. I ask her if she wants to take it home and she says not really. I’m not really a leftovers guy, and don’t feel like carrying this huge box anymore. I want to hold hands with Cherie.

We get to 21st and Sansom and I tell her I want to make a quick stop. She’s fine with it. Just like she’s fine with everything. I may have never met a woman who is this easy-going in my entire life. I hang a left on Sansom. I tell her how much I like Sansom street. It’s just this little narrow street between Chestnut and Walnut but it has so many different cool places on it. The Ritz movie theater, Helium Comedy Club, performance spaces, bars, restaurants, record shops, a comic book store, a gay porn place, I mean everything. I should do a chapter about a tour that I take and go to every place on Sansom in a day.

We get to 19th street and walk past Cavanaugh’s bar. There’s an alcove that appears to be a loading dock for the back of maybe Boyds department store on Chestnut. There’s usually a few homeless people getting some shelter in there. I see a man, in ragged clothes with a pile of his stuff. He’s not one of these street grifter types we have here in Philly. This man is really homeless. I cross the street, with baby in tow, and approach him with the box in front of me. “Did somebody order a pizza, half pepperoni?” I say, offering the box to him. His eyes light up, and a smile appears on his weathered visage. He takes the box and thanks me. “You’re welcome. God bless you.” I say as we walk away. I look back and he is tearing into the pizza.

“You’re a good guy.” she says, rubbing my back with her hand. I smile and say, “Movies, arcade games, road trip, pizza, and feed the homeless? I’d say this has been an epic date.” Cherie agrees. We walk hand in hand all the way back to the car.

I know I’m writing about my personal life and the experiences I’m having with women in my life here in the City of Brotherly Love, but I’m not one to kiss and tell. I’m trying to keep this story classy. It was late. Somewhere around 10pm. We made out in the car for a bit. The radio never came on once. Not even when we were on our road trip. We were just enjoying our time together. A friend of mine had asked me recently that when I went on these dates with these women, did I miss them after the date was over? Was there a longing for them. I flatly told him, I sort of enjoyed my time with them, but for the most part I was relieved it was over. I could go back to the batcave, have a drink and a cig and get back to my quiet life. But this girl was different. It’s like we didn’t want the night to end. We would have just sat in her car and made out like a couple of teenagers. There was a point in the night when she just had that dreamy look in her eyes. I could see it and I know I had it too. That feeling is magic and hard to find at my age. But it was late, and she had to drive back to Pottstown. I wanted to be considerate of her time too. She drove me back to Rittenhouse and we said our good nights. More kisses.

We decided that because of our busy schedule this week we couldn’t do a lunch. But we did nail it down for next Saturday. So this is moving forward. I asked that she please text me when she got home to let me know that she arrived safely. She promised she would. I got out of her car, and went into my building.

Wow. That was a 10 hour date. May be a record this early in the game. Feels like a match.

I went into my apartment and turned on some lights. I went back downstairs, and she was gone. I stood on my stoop and lit a cigarette. It tasted glorious. I just wanted to be out in the fresh air and pull on that cig, basking in the afterglow of a perfect day with a lovely charming, woman. I’m having real feelings for this girl. Will it last? Who knows. I’m just going to enjoy this and let the universe unfold as it should. If it works out will she want to get married and have kids, and then it will end like the last three?

Probably. But for now, love is in the air and I breathe it in deeply, and blow it out in a cloud of smoke into the autumn evening.

P.S. I did get that text from Cherie and hour later and she was safe and sound. We agreed the day was epic and amazing. I wished her only sweet dreams that night. Maybe I would dream of her too.

 

 

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

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25 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Couples

“I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved.”

We here at phicklephilly are all about love and romance. So I’ve decided to do a special Wednesday Edition of your favorite blog. I wanted to do something special this year for Valentine’s Day. It’s next Wednesday and I wanted to give you all a little head start on this heartfelt holiday. So here’s some ideas.

Is it more important to love … or to be loved?

Most of us would agree with George Eliot’s words, “I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved.”

Valentine’s Day is the occasion when you can experience both. We asked Phicklephilly Facebook and Instagram friends and readers to share some of their favorite Valentine’s Day ideas.

With a little help from our friends, here are 25 creative ways to tell your significant other, “I love you.”

1. On small pieces of paper, write down every kind of kiss that you can think of (examples: passionate, on the cheek, etc.). Then fill an inexpensive red felt bag with your “kisses” and give it to your spouse. Ask your spouse to pull several pieces of paper from the felt bag, and then give your sweetheart whatever kind of kiss is described.

2. Make a book about why you love your significant other and why you are thankful for him/her. The woman who sent this idea wrote, “He loved it! Said it was the best gift he has ever gotten. And it helped me to focus on the things I love about my husband and not his shortcomings.”

3. Take your sweetie on a scavenger hunt. Ask him/her to answer riddles to find the clues to items that you placed somewhere around town. The last item should give instructions that lead to your Valentine’s Day activities.

4. After enjoying a candlelight dinner for two at home, give your spouse a massage and watch a romantic movie. The woman who suggested this wrote, “Last Valentine’s Day when I got home from work, my husband … had our bedroom set up with a candlelit table for two. He is NOT a cook but he made an awesome meal … grilled steak, sautéed shrimp in lemon, garlic, and butter, a vegetable, and he bought a chocolate fountain that was flowing—surrounded by fresh fruit for dipping. After dinner he led me over to his homemade massage table. … We ended our special night with a romantic movie.”

5. Surprise your spouse with a special getaway together. The man who suggested this made reservations at a bed and breakfast, arranged for childcare, asked for time off from work for himself and his wife, and packed his and her bags. When he asked his wife to go to lunch on Valentine’s Day she was in for a wonderful surprise. “The little bit of effort I put into that weekend paid off huge for weeks to come.” (For an extra  special experience, take your spouse to one. It’s one of the best investments you could make in your marriage.

6. Give your wife a dozen roses. On each stem attach a note for a future date—to do something that she would enjoy. (For example, “Go to the symphony.”)

7. If possible, go on a date with your significant other to a restaurant that you enjoyed when you first met. After you order your meal, take some time to write down favorite memories from the past year. Then share your lists.

8. Have 11 roses delivered to your wife, and then give her a 12th yourself while reading her a love poem. (Love this one!!)

9. Fill a large box with helium balloons and special gifts for Valentine’s Day. The woman who suggested this said that her gifts included “new sleep shorts for him and a new nightgown for me, a box of chocolate-covered strawberries and red napkins … some new candles, and a romantic CD. He got the hint. And loved the weekend.”

10. Create an intimate Valentine’s Day evening at home, without the children. The woman who suggested this idea said that she and her husband “enjoyed planning the menu, shopping for the meal, and ultimately preparing the meal together. Cooking to soft, romantic music can really be a turn on! While dining, the same soft, romantic music is a wonderful mood-setter. Dinner was followed by just the two of us having the whole dance floor, our den, to ourselves. I won’t say what all this led to, but it was a truly romantic night that would not have happened at the local restaurant!”

11. Order food from a take-out restaurant and have a picnic for all the Valentines in your family on your living room floor. The person who suggested this said, “The kids look forward to this every year. When we tried to change it, they wouldn’t allow it … it has become a tradition. The kids see the value of family and a loving marriage.”

12. Privacy and weather permitting, watch a romantic movie on your deck or patio.

13. If you are separated across the miles, send a care package filled with things that are red. (Or all of their favorite goodies!)

14. Make a meal with symbols of love. Examples: Write I love you with string beans, make a tart in the shape of a heart …

15. Hide little heart candies in your spouse’s shoes, coat, car, etc. The woman who suggested this said that she’s been doing this for decades. “Now a couple of the grandkids help me with delight.” (I personally don’t like this one. I would put my foot in my shoe and think there was a stone in there…)

16. Wives, show up at your husband’s office before lunch. Call him from the parking lot and tell him you are going to take him for a lunch rendezvous and that you will be waiting for him whenever he can take a break. Wear a nice outfit and tell him you have something sexy on underneath for when he gets home. Take him to a nice place for lunch and back to the office. Give him some great kisses telling him how glad you are to be married to him, and tell him you will be waiting for him when he gets home. (That’s hot.)

17. Fill a jar with Valentine candy and notes for your spouse. Examples of notes are: Good for a backrub, 10 kisses, etc. Notes could also express your love and respect: “I am so glad that God blessed my life with such a great husband like you.” Individually roll each note and tie it with a ribbon.

18. Surprise your spouse by taking a vacation day from work and enjoy Valentine’s Day at home. Have a relaxing morning together on the porch, deck, or patio. Then go to a favorite restaurant for lunch. The man who suggested this idea had also reserved a spa treatment and tanning session for his wife. “While she was doing that,” he says, “I went home and made her a special dinner.”

19. Write a poem for your spouse and frame it.

20. On individual note cards, write why you love your spouse. Insert these cards in a small photo album. The woman who suggested this idea began her album with a honeymoon picture and introductory note card, and ended it with a love note.

21. Surprise your husband when he comes home from work on February 14. Place a welcome sign on the kitchen table and leave a trail of red foil-wrapped Hershey kisses to your bedroom.

22. With roses in hand and permission from your wife’s boss, go to her workplace and read a love poem to her. The woman who shared this idea said, “I am a teacher in an inner-city school. Last year my husband dressed in my favorite suit and tie, came to my school with roses in hand. He got permission and assistance from the office staff to open the speaker system into my classroom and proceeded to read a long and beautiful love poem to me. He then came to my classroom and presented me with the bouquet of roses which I received while wiping my tears of joy and love for this wonderful man whom I have been married to for just under 30 years.” (Amazing!)

23. Make a special “14 Reasons I Love You” Valentine’s Day breakfast for your sweetheart. On his/her plate, leave a letter or card listing 14 reasons that you love your spouse.

24. If possible, send a card postmarked in a town that has a romantic name such as Loveland, Colorado; Valentine, Texas; or Romance, Arkansas.

25. After your spouse goes to bed, tape notes to his car’s steering wheel with reasons that you love him, or decorate the bathroom mirror with lipstick kisses or Valentine’s window clings.

Have fun on February 14, and remember: Love is not meant to be given and received just on Valentine’s Day. Instead, it’s to be practiced every single day of the entire year.

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

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Cherie – Chapter 5 – Be Careful What You Wish For – Part I

Don’t be a guy.

Be a man.

Saturday arrived. I woke up relatively early. Philly had periods of showers but the rain was supposed to stop around 1pm, so that was good. I didn’t want another rainy day date with Cherie. But actually I was looking forward to seeing her so the weather didn’t really matter.

I stopped by the salon to drop off some detergent and bring my friend Trish some fives for the register. She was hung over from a night of Jameson at Tattooed Mom’s with her friends on South Street. She stopped drinking alcohol about a year ago, because she said she didn’t like how she behaved on it. Said it made her angry. Trish is angry anyway and I can only imagine what a nightmare she is on booze. That’s probably part of the reason she can’t function without smoking marijuana everyday and drinking oceans of coffee just to get through the day. I’ll be writing a chapter about her in the near future but for now I’ll stick to the events of today.

I give Trish the fives and she hands me a twenty out of the register. I’m walking across the lobby to take a seat and chat with her for a bit when she says. You have a hole in the back of your pants. I’m like, “Stop checking out my sweet ass.”

“Seriously dude. You have a huge hole in your pants. Don’t you feel that?”

I reach back and sure enough, there is a pretty good-sized hole there.

“I didn’t want you going out on your date today with a big old hole in your pants, dude.”

I joke that maybe I could guide Cherie’s hand to it in the movie theater for some cheap thrills.

“It’s the 3rd date!”

“I hate that shit!”

I tell her I agree. I don’t know if you all know this but a lot of young people are under the impression that the 3rd date equals sex. Which I find stupid. In all seriousness I would rather get to know someone and if there is a mutual attraction, the sex should just happen as a celebration at some point. There should never be a deadline related to intercourse. That almost sounds predatory.

So I head back to my apartment to put on another pair of jeans. I grab a pair and realize I haven’t worn them in a while. Like two years. They are a 36 waist. I now wear a 32 waist, but can do a 34 with a belt. They’re just too big and I look ridiculous. I grab another pair. Another hole in the seat. What’s going on here? Did I wear out the seat of two pair of jeans? I know I see the occasional mouse here in the building but what sort of butt munching rodents do we have around here?

I find a pair that are in decent shape with no holes in the seat, and put them on. This will have to do. I go downstairs and summon an UBER. While driving down to Columbus Boulevard to the multiplex, I chat with my driver, Hanna. She asks me what movie I’m going to see. I tell her the lady I’m taking likes scary movies, so we’re seeing, ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil.’ Some how she gathers from our conversation that my date is younger than me. She asks, and I tell her she’s a little younger. She tells me about a male friend of hers, who is 50 something and was dating a woman in her 40’s and just wasn’t happy. He said that women his age were all carrying all the same baggage. He’s now dating a woman around 30 and says that younger women are just more fun. I say that I agree, but when you date younger women they all eventually want to get married and have kids.  She says that her friend is always up front about that sort of thing. Maybe I should have been clear about that in my last 3 failed relationships. And here I am being driven to what could possibly be a 4th similar destination.

She lets me out and I go into the lobby and get in line for tickets. The movie starts at 1:50 and it is now 1:30. I get the tickets and as I turn to wait for Cherie, she appears. On time. Early. I like that. It’s really nice to see her. Even though it’s only been four days since our last encounter.

Her hair is up in a bun, exposing her lovely slender neck. makes me think about how I kissed that neck on Tuesday. She’s wearing a yellow blouse, and light brown slacks. They cling to her shapely legs.

We are about to enter our auditorium and we notice the floor is really sticky. Someone must have spilled a soda there, and they tried to mop it up but didn’t get it all up. Now I’ve been to plenty of movie theaters in my time, and have jokes about the sticky stuff and detritus that is on the floor of the theaters, but this was really sticky. I had to laugh out loud. I practically had to curl my toes to keep my shoes from being pulled off by that sticky floor. Just a classic ‘out at the movies’ moment.

We go in and decide that we both like to sit in the back of the theater. I ask her if she wants anything to eat. I suggest some delicious buttery popcorn. She says it’s ok but doesn’t like how it can stick in your teeth. She says she likes chocolate, but not dark chocolate. I tell her I love dark chocolate. She smiles and knows what I mean. I really do prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate, but I also love the color of her skin. I go and mortgage my house at the concession stand on exorbitantly expensive snacks. Medium popcorn, medium cherry coke, bottle of water, and a bag of snickers minis for baby. $21. The food was as much as the tickets. The kid behind the counter even told me I could upgrade to a large popcorn and a large soda for $.50 more. I compliment him on his up-sell, but politely decline.

I get back to Cherie. I get all of our snacks and drinks squared away and sit down. “How did you know I loved Snickers?” she asks. “Well I’m funny and you like to laugh, so I figured, Snickers. she smiles and we settle into the previews. There aren’t many people in the theater. I like that. There’s also no late arrivals and no one is sitting in front of us. I love that as well. People are getting seated and chattering a little but that’s acceptable during the previews. We’re whispering closely. Then we kiss. It’s really nice. I feel like a teenager. I haven’t smooched in a movie theater in years. It was so sweet to hold hands too. She rubbed my arm and caressed my hand, and I was even so bold as to rub her leg and knee. It was all very gentle and romantic. What a refreshing difference from the crap women I went on dates with a few months ago. But I’m really enjoying this elegant romantic odyssey.

There is one rub that I have to mention. It’s happened a few times since then. We call it the C-Block, or the CBs. Cherie and I are in the very back row of the theater. All the way in the aisle to the right against the wall. There is only one way out. Doesn’t some pair of fucknuts sit at the very end of the aisle? This couple just sort of drops it there. One row down would have been fine. But they are right now, in OUR aisle. They could have sat anywhere. There weren’t that many people in the theater. It’s just a human thing. Homo Sapiens are such social animals they have to be together all the time. I can tell Cherie doesn’t want them there and neither do I. But there’s nothing we can do. Nothing but make a bunch of trips to the snack bar and the bathrooms. This way we can thrust our delicious firm buttocks right in their stupid faces.

Oh, never mind. It’s just annoying, we just wanted some private time to neck in the back of the theater!

The movie was a pretty by the numbers horror flick. I’d give it a solid three and a half stars. Demon possession, scary children, and good sudden frights do make you jump. We shared the popcorn and the candy. It was lovely. I was happy to be there sharing this Halloween treat with her.

After the film, we went outside. The sun was out and the rain was gone. It had been warm during the week, but had suddenly turned chilly in the last couple of days. Cherie always has trouble finding a place to park in the city, but down by the movie theater there is always loads of parking spots. We walk over to her Saab, and hop in to get out of the chill. We’re chatting about our next move, (which I have already planned) and more kissing ensues. She tells me she was hoping I would agree to sit in the back of the theater so we could neck. It appears this girl really likes me. She says she likes how soft my hands are. It makes me think of Captain Quint when he grabs Matt Hooper’s hands in the film Jaws, and says “You’ve got city hands, Mr. Hooper, from counting money all your life!” That, and the scene in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” when one of the men on the farm puts petroleum jelly in his one glove to keep is hand soft for when he touches his woman. I don’t know why my mind flashed to those two images but for a moment they do.

I suggest we go over to Dave and Buster’s to go play games together. She likes the idea. I will say this about my lovely neuroscience major. She is very bright and quick of wit, but extremely laid back and easy-going. She’s from California, and this chick is chill. I always compliment her about her sweet disposition, because I really like that about her. Peaceful is good. She tells me, that between her two jobs, going to class, and taking care of her son, she has to make many decisions every day. She says she likes how I take charge, and just tell her where we’re going and what time it’s happening. I always have a plan and take the lead. She finds that attractive. So take note male readers, many women like to be told what you’re doing with them and where you’re taking them. Women are great negotiators and communicators, but when it comes to picking a lunch spot, just tell them pizza or sushi or just take them somewhere they serve different stuff and go. I have to give thanks here to my late father in regard to the clock. If he told you something was going to happen, or we were going to be somewhere at a specific time, it happened without error. He taught me that your word is your bond, and always be punctual. Like Beau Bridges says to Michelle Pfieffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys, “Punctuality is the first rule of show business.” Life itself is like a giant long series. You’re the star of your own show. Make it a fun, exciting show if you can. To sum up: Girls like a take-charge man.

Don’t be a guy.

Be a man.

 

 

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

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Train Show in York, PA – Friday – Part 2

I’m thinking my sister Janice is like my dad at York and I’m more like his brother Jack. Jack was my uncle. They used to come here every year when they were both alive. Janice knows a lot about the trains and eats well. She’s brought her own healthy food and sandwiches, etc. I’m like Jack, eating trash food all day and drinking booze. Plus, I’m the funny one like my uncle was.

I sell an orange 256 to a really nice guy named Forrest for $400. He’ been a return client and we love that.  Bo cruises over to look at our trains again. He works his shit again and says we’ve already sold everything he wanted. The odd thing is a guy named Vince came over and bought all those trains that Bo had his eye on. Now I’m thinking Vince was one of Bo’s minions and Bo got exactly what he wanted at the price he wanted it for. He takes me over to show me his 10 tables of stuff. It all looks pretty lame to me but I don’t really know what half the stuff is worth I’m looking at.

Back at our table I’m thinking my sister Janice is like my dad at York and I’m more like his brother Jack. Jack was my uncle. They used to come here every year when they were both alive. Janice knows a lot about the trains and eats well. She’s brought her own healthy food and sandwiches, etc. I’m like Jack, eating trash food all day and drinking booze. Plus, I’m the funny one like my uncle was.

One irony was I met a guy who is with his son from Long Island. It’s the son that like pre-war O guage and it’s the son that got his dad into trains and found out about this annual show here at York. I’m not saying there’s hope for the train collecting market. It’s that a kid got his pop into trains and not the other way around.

I go outside to smoke a cig I meet a black woman and light her cig for her. Her name’s Barbara, and she tells me she works all of the events at this place all summer just for fun and extra cash. She said she likes that when there are concerts out here she gets to see all of the acts for free.  She also goes on to say she gets a widow’s pension of $2000 a month.

“I’m sorry.”

“Worth it for all he put me through.”

Then I run into Forrest and his father and son. Three generations standing right in front of me. I tell him how it must be good luck that I keep running into him, because he keeps buying stuff from us. He tells me a story about how he was once in Korea and he saw a beautiful model sailboat in the window of a shop. He went in and inquired about the ship. The merchant told him $100. He told him thanks anyway, but he had to catch a train and go to the airport. But there is an old korean superstition that if the first sale of the week is on Monday, you’ll have good luck the rest of the week. So the guy is chasing him all around the store trying to sell the boat to him.

“No. It won’t fit on the plane. I have to catch a train. No, thanks.”

“Ok. $20.”

Cut to: Forrest sitting on the plane back to the US with a big model sailboat on his lap.

Forrest also collects fans. Actual plug-in fans to keep a room cool. Those kinds of fans. He shows me photos in his phone of his fan collection.

“You should say to people, Hey, wanna see a picture of my Fan Club?”

We all laugh and head back inside. He looks at the Hiawatha. “$500? I’ll sleep on it.”

He also looked at a little silver streamlined train, and walked away from it. “I’ll sleep on it.”

Later his son came back and bought it himself! We gave him a junior collector discount. We love these guys and find out that they’re staying at the same hotel we are. They go off and tour the show some more.

But then we later realize as we’re shutting down our table that we forgot to give Forrest the boxes that go with the trains he bought from us. But that gives me an excuse to go to the front desk and talk to hot Angelica again!

When we do finally get back to the hotel, I scamper up to the front desk and tell Angelica my plight with the boxes. She tells me she’ll call Forrest and let them know we left them for him.

I head up to my room for a cocktail and some Nat Geo on the tube.

An hour later Janice is at my door ready to go to dinner. Tonight we decide to dine out at this little hick diner at the foot of the hill. I love a good diner and Jan tells me this is where dad and Jack would always eat, so it must be good. I earned more in sales today than Janice so the rule we made up is, winner buys dinner. So I order a steak and we have a lovely and lively dinner.

Later on I’m up in my room having a nightcap and decide that after this episode of dateline, I’m going downstairs for one smoke and then off to bed. Downstairs I walk through the lobby and out the front door. I smoke my cig and there’s just one drunk guy out there. He doesn’t say much because he is more than half in the bag. I walk back in and check out the snack bar.

“Hey!”

It’s Angelica! We start chit chatting and I’m loving her. She’s going to school to be a police officer. I’d love her to snap the cuffs on my and take me in for some rough interrogation. She could strip search me anytime. But I digress. She also tells me her fiance wants to open a fitness center. I tell her about the salon and how we’re putting a gym in it. She likes that story and then I go into the real reason we’re here in York. She finds the story touching and listens intently. I tell her she has been one of the high points of this trip for me. (Not really, but what can I say, I’m charming.)

“Take my picture so you’ll remember me.”

Done.

What a sweet beauty right? You are looking at the hottest girl I’ve seen in this God forsaken town the entire time I’ve been here. Now I can go back upstairs to more dateline, a drink and then off to bed. It’s been another wonderful day.

 

 

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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Train Show in York, PA – Friday – Part 1

I’m selling off your favorite stuff, dude. The jokes you used to make about me at your funeral blowing out your 260E Pre War O Gauge set on Ebay is happening! This isn’t vengeance. I’m helping my sister because I work in a sales job that allows me a flexible schedule. Janice needs this stuff away because we don’t know what to do with it. We miss you. We miss your voice, and your smile. We miss mom too. Let’s not leave her out of this.

Friday begins with me sitting in the lobby. Asians are gone. They must have found rooms for them all. Today is key. We’re here on day two and we need to hit it hard today.  Janice is on point as always and rolls into the lobby on time. It’s 8:30 and we need to get to the fairgrounds by 9:00am. Gotta get it done today. It’s critical. We don’t want to haul these trains back home with nothing to show for it but grinding failure. I know we’re both worried, but today’s a new day, and the sales guy in me is positive as usual. We’ll do what we have to do to move the product.

We hop in the SUV and head to the show. I hate this part of the country. Just lines of strip malls and zero culture. This place must have been something at one time.

Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York,_Pennsylvania

Apparently they have some decent history but I didn’t like that “Unchallenged Ku Klux Klan rallies” part. If for some reason I was banished to this purgatory I know within a month I would stuff a pistol in my mouth and eat a bullet just so I wouldn’t miss.

I love my father, but the audience that collects toy trains is for the most part a sick looking bunch. But he and his brither were true elegant collectors of the art and nostalgia that is toy trains. They would rip on all of these monsters just as hard as me and my sister are going to today and tomorrow.

We get to the hall before 9am and pull the sheets off the trains on our tables. But here’s the worst part. Before the show officially starts, everybody has to stop what they’re doing, and they make some announcements. Then they play the National Anthem. But they did that shit yesterday. It was painful enough to stand there with my hat off and my hand over my heart surrounded by these God-fearing, flag waving sheep and play along. but today they played this horrible sanctimonious defecation:

 

I just want to get a breakfast sandwich and start my fucking day here. But here I am standing around a bunch of redneck, inbred, nigger hating, Trump loving, fat, ignorant, fucking imbeciles and I have to act like I love America with the rest of you shits and all the shitty racist kids you’re going to make. This is a song that is just a huge pile of lies and when I put that gun in my mouth and pull the trigger the only thing that would make me happy that when the bullet exits my head taking everything with it that I am, that somehow by some miracle Lee Greenwood is standing behind me, and it hits him square in the fucking forehead for writing this steaming pile of feces.

I hate this place. My mission is to separate the targets from their cash, move the product and go.

I love this country, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a fucking toy show, not a Presidential Inauguration! Oh wait, that was a fucking joke too.

So that puppet show ends and I can finally get a shitty breakfast sandwich. I know by now I may have lost some followers but I don’t really don’t give a shit, but that’s what’s up people. It’s awful here. I don’t belong here. But we’re on a mission and I am the right person for this job. It needs to be done. Love and guilt and nostalgia aside, we don’t want to load 31 sets of trains back in the car and go home. We need to sell some stuff today.

I’m hanging at the table with Janice. It’s early. Will we get some nibbles? 9:30 comes and Jan sells a train. Small fish. $50. Then a dude comes by 15 minutes later and wants her O Gauge Comet. He says he’s been looking for it for 10 years. It’s a lovely little toy that looks like it’s been restored. The whole set is wrapped in newspaper and bagged up and sent to another family for $450. I watch as the man carries away a piece of my father’s history without his permission, but I know this puppy is going to a loving family and today that is all that matters. He’ll surprise his family and friends with this lovely little toy train and have a story to tell, and for this moment as my sister and I stand by and watch dad’s beautiful birds fly away, we can only smile. It’s going to a good home. It’ll run around the Christmas tree for the first time in forever. That’s what it was made for. To chug and puff and delight those around it.

Take it home, Sir.

I think of my father. All of his teachings and words, and ideas and all that is good, bad and wonderful inside of me as I stand here blowing out his train collection. I don’t know what Janice is feeling, but I know we’re both troubled. But we’re having a great time while doing it.

When do you get to hang out with your sister at middle age and go to what basically is a flea market and go sell a bunch of stuff for thousands of dollars? It’s surreal and elegant in the same moment. But as siblings, we’re close. Closer than we realized. Our lives have taken different directions, but like I always say, you can’t stop rock and roll, and Janice and I have a very rich history. Our family is strong and honest. We don’t need to be together all of the time to be close. This proves we were raised right. We can all be apart for long periods of time but when we come together we are money. That’s good parenting. All of my best friends are that way. I can not see them for years and when we hang, it’s right back to when we were kids again. That’s the real deal. Everybody wants that but not every family can achieve it. Some don’t even know what it is.

I’ve been around families and they don’t get it. You notice it mosly at the dinner table. The contrived conversation. It just never feels real. I noticed this when I was married to my ex. The whole conversation just sounded like a scripted dialogue over a shitty movie. What that means is that Dad is hiding something and you have all of these kids and the whole marriage is a sham. Yea. My In laws. I knew it. My Dad knew it. We discussed it but never told anybody. But that’s my ex in laws. Fuck them for now. Their great but their not in this story.

I can stand between three tables of my dad’s favorite stuff and make my sister laugh. I feel like that’s why I’m here more than to sell these lost antiquities. I could say I know how much she loved my father but that would be a fucking lie. Because no one on Earth will even know that.  That belongs to them. I don’t know that. My Mother doesn’t even get it. I understand all of the moving parts of this family because I have always stood on the outside. So the clarity is automatic. Funny… cast out but you get to see everything. I’m the only boy so Dad is going to tell me all of the shit he did and make me swear I never tell my sisters, but by telling me that shit it’s out there. You were a great dad but we all have feet of clay. We’re all even in the end. I’m going to end up where you are. Tell me everything. I’m you’re son. I love you. You have given me SO much. More than you can imagine. You’re the greatest man I’ve ever met and you used to hit me.

I’m selling off your favorite stuff, dude. The jokes you used to make about me at your funeral blowing out your 260E Pre War O Gauge set on Ebay is happening! This isn’t vengeance. I’m helping my sister because I work in a sales job that allows me a flexible schedule. Janice needs this stuff away because we don’t know what to do with it. We miss you. We miss your voice, and your smile. We miss mom too. Let’s not leave her out of this.

Remember the old 8mm film from before we were born that you guys made? It was an elegant home movie of mom pulling a box out from under the bed at Christmas and just pulling endless goodies out of it.  You guys were loving and playful back then. I like that couple. That’s a great film. I love that you had the movie camera and you did something cool with it. You were always a cool filmmaker. I’ll write about all of that at another time but I love that you made a fun surprise christmas movie with your wife. You loved her. I loved her. I miss her. She was amazing. She was tough and patient and tolerant and a good mom to me and my sisters.

But my sister and I am here in a place I would never want to go to voluntarily moving your most beloved possessions and you don’t even have a voice to help us do it. I know you want us to do it. But we could sure use your help, dad. This is your history. Your mythology. Janice and I are systematically dismantling and getting rid of all of your favorite stuff. I’m sorry, dad.

We loved you. We miss you. It’s hard for the senior members to go and do this to your stuff. I wouldn’t like it. If my daughter Lorelei let my 1979 Ibanez Iceman go for $200 I may rise from the grave and come after her in the afterlife. (I know she’s afraid of ghosts) But we have to deal with this.

But dad… This is just stuff.  You loved your trains. But the best part of your life was just what you said it was. Meeting Mom. Your kids and your books. You always told me that. Over and over again.

I know you suffered. I know you better than anybody. You love Jan, but I’m your son and I know I get all of the good and bad. I’m fine with that. I’ve had plenty of my own. I love you forever and forgive you as I hope my own daughter will forgive me for my feet of clay.

I was writing this tome to document an adventure that I got to have with my sister I never saw this coming. It’s a welcome surprise. I was praying the trip to York wouldn’t just be a transaction. I just want to understand more and go forward and be a better person.

Dad, don’t worry. We’re fine. I forgive you and you’re dead so I can’t worry if you forgive me. I just hope that you weren’t too disappointed in me. I tried my best and always tried to be true to myself.  I know I’ve made mistakes in my life when it came to matters of the heart. mine cost me $125K in child support, but at least you always told me your stuff and I really know you and what happened in your life to make you who you are.

I know you know that I’m more like mom’s side of the family. I appreciate all that you’ve done for me and I’m going to go forward in life and follow your message. The one you never got to fulfill.

“Go through life and hurt as little people as possible.”

Living it. Your grand-daughter Lorelei is away from her mother and has lived with me since half way through her senior year. She just got a raise at her job.

I know you liked Michelle. She moved to San Francisco and married her high school sweetheart.

“That never works.”

“You can’t say that, Dad. You’re dead.”

“Yea, I know, but that shit never works.”

 

 

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Lorelei – 1996 to Present – Fathers Day

My parents never wanted to be the type of parents whose children always felt obligated to do something for them just because the world recognizes a certain day that we have to honor our parents with obligatory cards and gifts.

I remember my father and mother never celebrated their birthdays. They may have before they had the kids, and they may have celebrated their birthdays and such between each other but never with us kids.

Here’s the reason why. My parents never wanted to be the type of parents whose children always felt obligated to do something for them just because the world recognizes a certain day that we have to honor our parents with obligatory cards and gifts.

I feel the same way. Birthday presents and parties are for kids. Our parents always observed our birthdays and holidays on a large-scale basis. Our Christmases were glorious.

My daughter knows I don’t care about Father’s Day. She’s a great person who has grown up strong and confident and good. Everyday is Father’s Day being Lorelei’s Pop. I’m proud to call her my daughter.

I get up on Sunday morning and she’s already gone off to work the brunch shift at the vegan restaurant where she works. I go into the bathroom, and there on the window sill is an envelope. On it is written the word, “Dad.”

She didn’t have to do it, and she knows it, but she wanted to, It was a lovely card, with all the right things printed on it. But what really meant the most to me, is the words she wrote to me inside the card. I am tearing up as I write this.

Respect and love are earned. You can’t force or guilt someone into caring for you. You can only earn that through your words and your deeds.

When raising Lorelei I saw myself as an Archer. I am firm… but flexible. I hold the bow with a firm hand, but I am flexible as I draw back the string. Lorelei is my arrow. If I am steady, firm, and flexible I can cast my arrow into tomorrow on a straight and true course.

She will fly into tomorrow, and that is a place I can never visit.

Lorelei will be just fine.

I’m sort of quoting something I learned while reading “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran.

 

On Children
by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

Learn it.

Live it.

Become it.

I love you, Lorelei.

Thank you for being in my life.

 

 

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