Swedish Metal Fiasco – Duncan – Part 1

“You should come up! We’ll rock out and you can see your family. No one ever laid on their deathbed and said, ‘I should have spent more time at the office.”

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My buddy Duncan reached out to me a couple of months ago. He’s the one who works all the time at the bank in commercial real estate in North Carolina and makes tons of money. He’s completely driven by succeeding and earning, so he’s lost all site of the little things in life.

But I thought there was still hope when he sent me some music clips from a Swedish heavy metal band called Ghost. I thought it was pretty good, but I’m not thrilled with metal in general anymore. I’m just not that angry. I enjoy music that’s a bit softer now as I’m well into middle age.

A few weeks later he texts me that Ghost is playing at the Fillmore here in Philly. He says he’s buying two tickets and flying up to see them with me. I’m thrilled that I’m going to spend time with my old friend. I wouldn’t care if we’re going to see the Wiggles, I’m just happy to hang with my buddy.

He also tells me he’s staying up here a couple of days because his sister is getting married on Saturday. Ghost is on Thursday so I figure I’ll take off a few days and do stuff around the city with him until Saturday. It’ll be awesome just like the last time he came up.

I was hanging in a bar with my friend Church having some food and drinks when that text came through. Church says he loves Ghost. He wants to go too. I figure the more the merrier. Church buys a ticket on Stub Hub, and now we’ll all go rock out.

Three days before the show, (I’ve already asked for the time off) Duncan texts me that he’s not coming up now. He states that it will cost him $1000 for everything round trip and he just doesn’t want to spend the money. (This clown will be a millionaire by the time he’s fifty years old in two years!) What the hell?

He says it always costs him that much with air fare hotel, transportation, etc.

“Dude. Listen to yourself. You’re close to being a fucking millionaire.  A thousand bucks is like piss in the ocean to you!”

“I just don’t want to spend that much money on anything right now. Got to stay focused.”

“What about your sister’s wedding?”

“I’d rather do a longer fun filled trip and spend a thousand dollars rather that a quick up and back for a ‘questionable’ second wedding.”

“Oh, come on! This was your idea!”

“I’m emailing you the tickets now.”

“You suck! Church already bought his ticket.”

“Well you can bring someone else, or sell the ticket or give it away.”

“I think you’re making a mistake. Dude, you work a lot, you like this band and can totally afford to take a break and come up and enjoy the show. Live a little!”

“I would have really liked to see this band with you, they are good but a little different than what we’re accustomed to listening to.”

“You should come up! We’ll rock out and you can see your family. No one ever laid on their deathbed and said, ‘I should have spent more time at the office.”

“You sound like my mother.”

“Fine.”

 

 

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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Tales of Rock – Elvis Almost Had An Album Produced By David Bowie

Dreams can still come true, especially when you’re David Bowie. In the winter of ’77, Bowie received a phone call from Elvis himself.

In 1997, country star and occasional actor Dwight Yoakam met David Bowie, and the pair got to talking about their mutual love for Elvis Presley, which, despite being a music legend, is generally not a person you expect to find yourself talking about while locked in conversation with David Bowie. As Yoakam tells it, Bowie related a story from 20 years prior, when Elvis had approached him to produce his upcoming album.

This happened in 1976, when Bowie had just released “Golden Years,” a song he’d originally intended to ask Elvis to record. But legend has it that when Bowie asked his then-wife Angie to deliver the request, Angie got so nervous about meeting the rock ‘n’ roll legend that she chickened out and never delivered the message.

However, dreams can still come true, especially when you’re David Bowie. In the winter of ’77, Bowie received a phone call from Elvis himself. He had heard Bowie’s latest hit, “Golden Years,” and was apparently so blown away by it he wanted the pop icon to produce his next album. However, because the universe was not satisfied by the current level of irony present in this interaction, Elvis died of a heart attack that same summer, and the two never got to work together.

However, many critics have speculated that the Duke’s last album, Black Star, was a tribute to Presley, who had a little-known song of the same name. So maybe they’ll do some kind of ghost collaboration, which would be an absolute treat to listen to.

 

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Train Show in York, PA – Saturday

I saw this one woman who was easily over 300 pounds. She was walking by and she didn’t even look human. How does one get like that? How does one maintain that kind of weight? What does that do to your skeleton? She looked like an unmoored zeppelin. Then there was this other fat guy that almost ran someone over as he sped by on his rascal. Speeding and on his cell phone? Security should have hopped on their battery carts and chased him down until they could pull him over and give him two tickets!

Saturday was the final day of the show. I pack up my gear and head to the elevator. I get in and hit the button for the lobby. I hear giggling approaching and a dainty hand grabs the door before it closes. Seven teenage girls that appear to be on some sort of sports team all squeeze into the elevator with me. They’re all attractive and fit so maybe this is a sign that today will be a good day.

Janice arrives a few moments later in the lobby and we check out. We head over to the fairgrounds and I’m relieved that this is the final day. I’ve made a couple of grand here already and hope to close out strong today.

We get to the hall and go to our tables. We grab some breakfast sandwiches and chat. Today the show ends around 4pm. I suppose it’s so people can break down all of their stuff and get home at a reasonable hour. It’s a massive show and I’m sure there will be folks here into the night. Speaking of “massive” I am appalled at how many people are overweight and out of shape at this show.

I saw this one woman who was easily over 300 pounds. She was walking by and she didn’t even look human. How does one get like that? How does one maintain that kind of weight? What does that do to your skeleton? She looked like an unmoored zeppelin. Then there was this other fat guy that almost ran someone over as he sped by on his rascal. Speeding and on his cell phone? Security should have hopped on their battery carts and chased him down until they could pull him over and give him two tickets!

After breakfast I headed to the Men’s room because, well, middle age. You eat in the morning the digestive system kicks in. But my God, I’m in the stall and the place is full of dudes in the other stalls,  I kid you not. The place smelled horrible and it sounded like a high school marching band warming up in there. Or think of a guy with Parkinson’s disease trying to unload a set of drums from the back of a van. It was that bad in there! I got back to our table as fast as I could.

“Hey, Jan…What if we wrapped up a train in paper and simply called the package, Mystery Train?”

“You’re crazy. We’re not doing that.”

I have noticed something during this whole experience. On day one we were full of piss and vinegar thinking we had the greatest antique train collection around. We had price tags on everything and knew that dad’s stuff was all nice and worth every penny of what we were asking. But we’re at the biggest train show on the east coast right now. There are thousands and thousands of trains and collectors here. We sold a couple of things day one, but it’s a huge event and it takes a couple of days for people to see everything. These are toy train collectors. They know what stuff is worth. Yo, on the other hand, always think your stuff is worth top dollar. By day two I told Janice to remove the price tags.

“We can’t do that. Everything has to be marked.”

“Okay, then how about we just move the price tags to the bottom of the trains. The tags are still on them but they have to ask. That shows interest. It also opens the conversation and creates a dialogue so that I can sell them.”

I’ve worked in sales my whole life. It should work. Also by day two we started to feel a little desperate. Sure that train set is worth $1200 in its present condition. But to whom? My dad? He’s dead. We should probably negotiate the prices a bit.

“But…”

“Do you want to haul all of this shit back to the house with empty pockets or do you want to liquidate these assets?

“You’re right.”

“Let’s blow out some fucking trains!”

And blast them out we did. My father left us with one important rule when it came to selling trains: Sell only complete sets. (That means engine, tender and the cars.) But there was a moment on day two when we had a flurry of sales and after the dust settled we both looked at each other realizing we had broken up some sets and only sold engines and tenders and left behind a bunch of cars.

I raised my hands up to my face. “Janice…I think we just did some very bad things.”

“I know… We broke dad’s cardinal rule.”

But here’s the great part. We ended up breaking up some sets. But we actually sold off all the cars that had been left behind by the end of the show! So the “crimes against toys” that we committed had some how been righted by the gods!

I’m not going to collect trains. My daughter doesn’t want them. If someone offers me $350 for something that I don’t want and have absolutely no use for, they should have it. Maybe we think about not selling the trains but putting these beautiful toys into the hands and homes of the people who really will love them. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas story to me. That’s how we’ll live with ourselves for what we’ve done.

So we blow out more sets of trains today. We had one guy from New York walk away carrying four boxes full of our trains. My pockets were bulging with cash. We had guys we chatted with that were really wonderful people. We’d see them everyday. They loved trains and had lots of money. We discussed some post war O gauge stuff we had at the house. They were very interested in those pieces as well as the cabinets in the house my father had custom-built to house all of these beautiful sets of trains. These guys were serious collectors with houses full of goodies.

Put them in the hands of those who love them so that they can continue to live on and bring joy to people. They won’t be just all in a box somewhere like ashes in the ground. They will continue be immortal. Just like our father’s memory in all of our hearts and minds. He won’t ever really be gone until the black wings of death scatter our days.

We came here with 31 sets of trains and we’re only leaving with 13. That’s a pretty good haul. But the best part of this entire three-day odyssey was the time with my sister. She’s been wonderful and we’re really good travel buddies. It’s rare when you grow up together, then you both go off and live your lives. She goes off to college, and I go off to L.A. to play rock. She gets married and you get married. You live in different places and maybe only see each other once or twice a year at the holidays. You have your own lives and friends and children just like most people do. But then there is a death in the family. That tragedy brings you all back together. Well. I suppose I shouldn’t call it a tragedy. Death becomes us all.

But there is an event like this where you are called upon by your closest sibling to come to her aid thirty-five years later and you both get in a car and travel somewhere and sell a bunch of trains. You’re with that person all day for three days. You eat together, hang out, and laugh your asses off like you’re both back in high school again. Those three days with Janice in York were some of the very best days of 2017.

We say goodbye to Lenny and his lovely wife and I load what’s left of our stuff back into the SUV. We drive back to Philly, both a bit richer. Not by the Benjamins in our wallets but with love in our hearts.

Can’t wait to get home to my beloved city!

 

 

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.”

 

 

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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Trying to get the book Phicklephily published in 2017 – Update

Happy Holidays one and all!

I finished the book back around the end of October after working on it for a year all the while working on my blog.  thought once I uploaded it I’d be published. Not so and much to the disappointment of myself and my followers. For that I am sorry.

We’ve had several setbacks and challenges. Apparently it’s not a few keystrokes and downloads and you have a book on Amazon Kindle. There are so many things that can go wrong in the production of a completed book.

I don’t know what went wrong. It’s a large tome and I’m sure there are a miariad of technical glitches that can prevent the production of a usable book on their system. I think of all of the people that have helped me along the way. I think of the guys and girls working at their jobs everyday to feed their families and pay their bills that work at Amazon Kindle. At this moment there are people making their living trying to get my book live on Amazon. For that good work, i am grateful.

I’m a patient man and I know the first is always the hardest. Once we break the seal on this one, I think the next books will be fine. I have so much more to produce.

Here’s where we are right now. I got this email today.

 

Amazon.com (kdp-customersupport1@amazon.com)To:you Details

Hello,

I hope you are enjoying your day so far!

I can see my colleague, Amit, is personally following this case for you. Rest assured, I have let her know of your response and he will give you an update as soon as possible!

I hope everything works out for you. I wish you all the best with your upcoming books.

Have a lovely day!

Regards,

Shravanthi 
Kindle Direct Publishing
http://kdp.amazon.com

See how nice they are? I love that. Manners!
And then this one also came today:
Amazon.com (kdp-customersupport1@amazon.com)To:you Details

Hello,

I’m following up with your request regarding your book status.

I see that your book is now moved from Blocked status to Draft status and available for further editing.

I’ve checked with our technical team and they had found few errors in the file. 

They have corrected the KPF file and updated the manuscript of your eBook “Phicklephilly”

I’ll be sending you the corrected file through a different email address, kindly upload the updated and corrected file and your eBook will under go review process and will become “Live” after the review process.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I’m just stupid happy that there are people sending me emails talking about my book “Phicklephilly!”
Lovely people! I want to work with Amazon! I really think these guys are trying to get my book published. Attentive and respective! Qualities lost in this country!
Then I got this one!

Hello,

As promised, please find the corrected KPF file of your ebook “”Phicklephilly”(ASIN:B077663QPL)” that you can re-upload.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Amit Phillora

Kindle Direct Publishing 

 

I love Amit! I called a few weeks and spoke with the man myself. He’s on the case trying to get my book published live on Amazon. I don’t even know this guy and out of the million authors out there, this guy is doing his job and really helping me.

I applaud you Amit, and thank you!

Let’s get phicklephilly published before the end of 2017!

 

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

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Cherie – Chapter 2 – First Date – Part I

“How long have you been on Tinder?”

“Two weeks.”

“How many dates have you been on?”

“Just this one.”

“So out of everyone, you chose to drive all the way down from Pottstown in the rain to see me?”

“Yes.”

Cherie sends me a text in the morning to ask whether we are still on for brunch at 2pm. I like that she checked in. Normally I do that. So despite the: “Where is that at?” misstep and the fact that she didn’t just google it on her phone, she’s still on track. Bad grammar, bad manners, and lateness are hard points with me. (Thanks, Dad!) I tell her we’re good to go. That was at 12:30.

I get to Square around 1:30 just to have a drink and chat with the bartender. He makes me a drink I invented for the occasion. The Garden Rose. Sauvignon blanc, with a splash of Hendricks gin and as dash of honey on the rocks. Delish. At 1:40 I get a text: “Bad accident on 76. I’ll just be a few minutes late. Sorry.”

No problem. It’s a rainy Saturday, and anything can happen on the interstates in this city. I tell her to be careful driving and thank her for the update.

At 2:12 I get this text: “Trying to park.” I tell her that I am at a quiet table in the back. Brunch is officially over at 2:30 at Square. They switch over to a bar snacks menu while the kitchen preps for dinner. I remember this exact thing happening the last time I brought someone here for brunch. (See: Katsumi – Church Mess)

It’s now almost 2:30 and still no Cherie. I speak to my server and he checks in with the chef and they agree to hold brunch out for me until 2:40. I hate this. From now on, I vow never to schedule a 2pm brunch here ever again. No one can plan anymore, No one can build in that extra half hour into their trip if something goes wrong. Traffic, accident, weather, construction, detours. Build it into your schedule! But I do take it into account, that I leisurely walked about 5 blocks to get here. I don’t even know where she’s coming from. Since she’s driving I assume West Philly, or University City if she was on 76.

At 2:35 she approaches the table. (Whew!) She’s more attractive in person than in her photos. She has on a short close-fitting leather jacket, and an olive skirt and heels. I stand up of course to greet her. We do the quick perfunctory hug. We sit, and she apologizes for being late. All is forgiven. The server arrives and goes over a few things. I tell her we’re cutting it close and we should order. She goes for the grilled salmon salad. I order the breakfast plate. This will be my first real meal of the day.

A banana, a powerbar and some nuts don’t count as breakfast.

She tells me she struggled to find any parking nearby and based on the hour, she put her car in a nearby lot. She says she just drove down from Pottstown. That’s like 45 minutes away! In the rain too.

Again…all is forgiven. I ask her if she wants anything to drink, and she says she’s fine. While waiting for her, the server brought me a little bread with whipped herb butter so I’m good. I have my second drink in front of me. So I’m more than good. We engage in some getting to know you exchange. She was a little shy and quiet at first but then I quickly put her at ease with my witty repartee.

She’s originally from California. Military brat. Lived all over. Her Dad was a career military guy in the Navy. She has an older brother who’s also a Navy guy. His work is classified. He works in military intelligence. She has a younger sister who is two years behind her and is still a bit of a brat. I give her my family stats as well.

Brunch is served and everything looks great. I’m glad she’s impressed. As I said, the food and service here is wonderful. We dive a little deeper into our conversation. She goes to Temple and is majoring in Neuroscience. She’d like to work with children. So she would use her degree to help child neurological disorders. She also works 2 jobs. One at a hospital and the other at a pediatrician’s office. So not only is she getting her degree she’s already working in her field of endeavor.

I’m impressed.

She says she has a 6-year-old son. I do the math in my head. I’m normally not good at math but for some reason when it comes to age of consent numbers I’m lightning. That means she got pregnant at 19 and had her son at 20. She says she never married her son’s father. But they were together for 8 years. She said he was in his thirties when they met. I asked her how a 30 something year old meets a teenage girl. Not that I was fishing for tips.

“Was he driving by the High School one day and it was raining and you missed the bus?”

She laughed and said that she was shooting pool in a bar and so was he. I told her my last two girlfriends were 27 when I started dating them. She asked if I always date younger, and I told her I don’t go after women that age. “It just happens.” Which, for once is not a bold-faced lie. Cherie says she always liked older men. At that moment I am smiling inside because this is perfect. She likes older men, I like younger women. Universe is unfolding!

I ask her what happened to the relationship after 8 years. She said they became complacent. He finally cheated on her, she found out and was done with him. I asked her how long had they been done. She said 2 years. As of this writing I just realized something. If she is now 26 years old and the relationship has been over for 2 years, was she 16 going on 17 when he met her?  I can’t think about that right now.

I didn’t ask if he was a white or a black guy. I did ask where her son was right now. She said he was staying with his grandmother.

“Is your Mom watching him?”

She said no, her ex’s mother was watching him. I asked whether the boy’s father was a presence in his son’s life. She said some, but not enough.

That fucker. Children don’t ask to come here. We need to take good care of them. That’s a fact that I am not the slightest bit fickle about.

I asked if he had taken up with another younger woman. She said, that he was in his 40’s now and has a woman his own age in his life. Interesting.

Cherie also told me that she is bisexual. (Noted!)

She said when she was younger and in the clubs, she gravitated more to being with women. But in real life she is firmly ensconced in men. I told her I understood. There’s no black and white/straight or gay in this world. There is a vast grey area in between. Let’s face it, most girls I know are 3 martinis away from kissing another girl.

Just because I’ve installed a few ceiling fans in my life, doesn’t necessarily make me an electrician.

This is all very interesting conversation to me.

We’re getting along really well. We’re chatting, laughing, and I’m happy. I can feel a connection. Out of all of the dates I have been on in the last 6 months, this is by far the best one. I’m not thinking things like: This is going well. She’s a nice woman. She’s age appropriate. This is what I should be doing at my age.

Fuck that. The heart wants what it wants.

I ask her how has her experience been on Tinder. She says she was told about it by a friend, and she decided to check it out. She says she doesn’t do much with social media because she’s too busy and doesn’t care to see what everybody is doing.

Same!

She said at first she didn’t get all of the swiping. I ask her if she has been inundated by matches. She says yes, but she hasn’t been really interested. I ask her how long she’s been on Tinder.

“Two weeks.”

“How many dates have you been on?”

“Just this one.”

“So out of everyone, you chose to drive all the way down from Pottstown in the rain to see me?”

“Yes.”

We’re finished and they clear the plates. The bill comes and I pay it. Okay, for the record, asked her out. This is her first date on Tinder and I’m it. I really like her and she’s in my wheelhouse. I want to pay this time. This is my thing. I like her. I want her. If it works out and we start going out exclusively, you know in a few years she’ll want more kids and it’ll be over. Just like the last 3 relationships I’ve been in. So I’m not getting too worked up about this lady just yet.

Tune in two weeks from now for the amazing conclusion!

 

 

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

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