Duncan – Superbowl Sunday – Part 3

We’re a little burned out. We’re not in our thirties anymore. Duncan comes to the gym and works out. He’s eating better. We’re not doing Philly Tacos anymore. (Philly Cheesesteaks rolled in giant slices of pizza from Lorenzos on South Street.) There is no Heavy Metal here. I think Duncan wishes his father was here to share this moment with him. My father is long gone and so is my mother and I’ve already forgiven and buried them.

Duncan speaks of a time when he and his father would watch the Eagles together when he was a kid. They are some of my friend’s finest memories with his father. His dad was a hard man but this was something they shared.

I get it. My father and I shared a love of film.

If the Eagles win the Superbowl Duncan would love nothing more than to go to the parade with his dad. But his father has already declined, but that sucks because that motherfucker should be at that parade with his boy. Just another failure as a parent when you could actually do he right thing by your son.

But I digress…

I’m at the salon until 4. We have no plan. It’s horrible,  Duncan is worried. He expected the King of Philly to have it locked down. No dice. Ticketed events and no idea where to go for a sporting event.

Duncan shows up at the salon an hour before closing and I ply him with soft pretzels and Tastycakes. (I knew it would work because he’s a Philly guy and I’ll figure it out)

It bought me some time before I closed the salon and I have no idea where we’re going to watch the Super Bowl.

I tell him I brought a flask and he can fill it with whatever he wants.

Duncan heads down the street and buys a fifth of Plantation Rum. It’s $50 a bottle so I’m down with drinking that.

He actually figures out a way to get the booze into the flask without spilling it by using the card that the Tastycakes rest on as a cylinder to pour the booze. Pure genius. A McGyver moment on this Super Bowl Sunday.

We’re set. Like we’ve been set in the past but tonight it’s raining and we have no idea where we should go. For the first time we’re at the hands of fate. I feel bad I haven’t set up a cool spot for my friend who has traveled 1500 miles and paid for a hotel and paid for food and drinks and now I can’t deliver on the only thing my friend wants.

But then we come up with an idea…

We head to the Ritz Carlton. Maybe the bar won’t be packed. Hopefully the people who are there won’t be a bunch of animals like everywhere else in this fair city.

Normally on a day like this you should already have your spot to watch the game staked out. But I closed the salon at 4 and now we’re trudging through the rain towards Broad Street.

We get to the Ritz and have no problem getting in. There are a few clusters of tables throughout but most are Reserved.

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Yea… this bar is amazing.

We get to the bar and there are no seats available. We drop our wet coats and umbrella. We decide the best course of action is to order beers. The bartenders are really busy so when we finally snag one, we order four beers. He’s happy to oblige and Duncan starts a tab.

We know we need to eat so we grab a menu and decide what we want. That’s when the bartender comes back and tells us there is one seat at the back left corner of the bar. We jump on that. It’s a perfect seat. I tell Duncan to take it. He says we’ll take turns. I don’t care. I’m accustomed to being on my feet for long periods of time at the salon. The seat is directly in front of a big flat screen TV.

We’ve done it. This is the most important moment of the entire weekend. Duncan has a front row seat to watch the Superbowl, a drink in his hand, and food on the way.

For me? Mission Accomplished.

To be honest I don’t care about sports. I never have. Do I enjoy watching the important games? Absolutely. But I’m just not a die-hard fan like most men.

My goal is for Duncan to be happy. He came all the way up here for his 50th birthday and to watch the Eagles play in the Superbowl and hopefully win. I’m happy to see him and we’ve had a great weekend together.

The game begins and it’s a tense match. The Patriots have won five Superbowls. The Eagles have never won. There is a stressful exchange of power during this game. When our team gets a goal, the place erupts in cheers. But when it goes the other way, a nervous hush falls over the crowd here at the Ritz.

Like I said, I’m not a sports fan. But that game was probably the greatest sporting event I have ever seen. It was a nail biter to the final minutes.

Finally….

The Philadelphia Eagles Win the Superbowl!!!

 

The place goes crazy. Duncan jumps on me and hugs me like it’s his last time. I’m high fiving and hugging people I don’t even know who have come out of the kitchen to watch. It was one of Philadelphia’s most glorious moments in history. We witnessed it at a lovely bar near a big TV. We really lucked out. Every place was packed or sold out. Duncan had a ringside seat and we were together for this moment.

That’s all that matters to me.

I turn around and the whole place is emptying out. Duncan says he’s going to watch the award ceremony. I tell him I’m going out front for a celebratory smoke.

When I was out here smoking earlier it was pouring raining. There was only two people out on the street.

Now I can’t even see Broad Street.

It is a sea of people.

Thousands and thousands of people have poured out of every bar, tavern or tap-room, and are now marching in the streets of Philadelphia. Cheering, waving flags, chanting, and carrying swag. There are idiots climbing the light poles, but that always happens when we have a major win. There’s a guy trying to rip the Broad Street sign from the pole. There are people dancing on the top of the newsstands. Groups of drunken revelers sitting on top of the bus stop shelter.

But, it’s surprisingly peaceful. There’s just so many people. If something erupted, I don’t think the cops could do anything. People are high fiving and hugging. It’s just such a happy joyous moment in our city’s sports history.

Duncan joins me and he’s loving it. Neither of us have ever seen anything like this in our lives. In 2008 when the Phillies won the World’s Series, the same thing happened, but this seems bigger. We’ve NEVER won the Super bowl. This is huge!

People were going crazy all over the city. I saw people riding on the top of cars like it was nothing. They’re firing fireworks off right over the crowd. It’s insane. Duncan and I hung out on the front of the Ritz for what seemed like two hours. Just watching the spectacle of this celebration from our safe perch. I’d occasionally whip out the flask of Plantation Rum and pass it to him. It was cold out there that night but the rum warmed our bellies.

We were going to leave through the side exit instead of diving right into this madness. But we were told by security that a bunch of people climbed onto the canopy over the door and it collapsed. All I saw was a twisted pile of rubble blocking the exit.

We eventually made it back to Duncan’s hotel. We both flopped in a couple of comfy chairs in the lobby trying to process what just happened. The Eagles beating the New England Patriots and winning their first Super Bowl. The frenzy in the streets that would probably last all night. It was probably one of the best times Duncan and I ever had together.

I’m glad I got to share it with my very best friend.

Here’s a glimpse of what we witnessed.

 

In a sad footnote to this blog that was obviously written a year ago, my dear friend Duncan just lost his mother. At 72 she suddenly had a stroke, and after a fierce battle succumbed to death a week later. We are all reeling from this terrible news and are trying to grasp what has happened to suddenly take her from us. She was a wonderful human being and we will all feel the void of her going. We can only move on now and know that we may all meet again when we are all equal.

I love you Duncan, and cherish  our friendship that sometimes I don’t even feel like I deserve. I hope you and your family can get through this together and know that life is beautiful, fleeting and fragile. 

You knew her for half a century and that is a long time to love in this short time we have on Earth with each other.

I’ve lost both of my parents in a two year span. It is devastating to a family to lose even one of the people that brought us all here.

But we’ll find a way to get through it and move it forward.

Just like we always do.

 

Charles

 

 

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When A Woman Stops Loving A Man, She Begins To Feel These 8 Things. Is It Happening To You?

When A Woman Stops Loving A Man, She Begins To Feel These 8 Things. Is It Happening To You?

In many relationships, there is a time when the love is no longer there and one or both of the persons are looking for a way how to end this journey. Most commonly women are the one who is the ones who fight for the relationship to work, but there is certainly a breaking point.

However, today you will know some attitudes and what a woman feels when she stops loving a man, it is impressive. So do not miss it and find out what they are, take note of these 8 things that a woman begins to feel.

1. When eating together is no longer enjoyable.

When the meals start to get boring and there is no longer any more romance when having a dinner then it is clear the relationship is not on the right path. Especially when no words are exchanged and the only thing you’re sitting together is the food.

2. You start to stop worrying about whether you are okay or where you are, without realizing it.

It is women’s nature to be worried most of the time where their man is or is he ok. However, sometimes when women don’t feel any connection with their men they stop having this feeling and start caring more for themselves and other people. This does not mean that that person is bad, it is just an indication that there is no more love left in this relationship.

3. When you say goodbye you do not feel anything at all.

When the men leave and the women don’t really care for how long and when would they return than something is wrong.

4. When you feel that your partner is no longer the protagonist and does not even appear in your thoughts.

This is something really sad when you feel that this man does not appear as part of your future, where even you visualize without it and feel what is the best.

5. When you wake up and not even look at him first, you just feel like “it’s just another day”.

When you feel love, it always makes you happy to wake up with him; You look at him, give him a kiss and give him good morning, being one more day of love in their lives together.

6. When he is not at home, you feel that you do not miss him and prefer to be better alone.

If you feel like the longer he is absent the more time for yourself you have.

7. You realize that when you are enjoying when he is not near you.

This is when you realize that you don’t need him to be happy, moreover, you feel better when he is not around you.

8. WHEN YOU BEGIN TO PROJECT A NEW LOVE.

When you constantly imagine you’re with someone else and not just in an intimate way but to have something more.

 

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Duncan – Saturday – Part 2

“There is a peacefulness in middle age. I love that we’ve both finally arrived there together.”

Duncan is chill and he’s just happy to be in Philly. He swings by the salon and has resigned himself to the fact that I need to work a million hours at the salon to get our business going.

He knows that It’s down to me and Achilles to keep the business going. Instead of crying that we can’t spend the day stalking comic book stores and strip joints he comes to the gym and works out.

I love this.

My schedule is stuck and I have to do what I have to do for the business. It’s just the world I live in now and we all get it. (It won’t always be like this.)

In the old days Duncan would come up and we would spend a whole week living in the same house. I would drink, he’d smoke pot, we’d watch movies and listen to music.  We’d watch some crazy videos on TV and barbecue, but those days are long gone.

We’re so much older now. Duncan doesn’t crash on my couch anymore. My daughter Lorelei lives with me. Duncan stays at 5 star hotels now. He’s successful. We’re middle-aged. No more crazy times. We still enjoy laughing our asses off at our own jokes and finding things to get into in the city.

But it’s different now. There’s no AC/DC concert today. (Those guys are too old and banged up to play anymore!) Just us. I have to run my business. He’s on the phone with his team at Well Fargo.

But they can’t take our core from us. When he finishes working out in my gym on Walnut Street, we’re going to go drink at City Tap House and get the hookup from my man Zach.

As we get older I see that Duncan has become so much more patient and less impetuous from our younger years. He’s putting up with the fact that I have a different lifestyle now. A salon and fitness center needs attention beyond the 9 to 5 we were so accustomed to.

We do get some special guests that show up unexpectedly

There was this delicious slender Kuwaiti girl who started tanning here last season that suddenly shows up with her friends late in the day. We know these babies come from rich families because there is no other way they could be here in Philly right now.

“Hey do you remember me?”

Shahed?

“Well done! Is it Charles?”

“Well done!”

I have brought my friends with me!”

(They’re all smoking hot)

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I’m stupid happy to see Shahed again and her hot friend Baba and send them both to tan. There is another girl there named Malak that blows them both aways and is Kardashian Hot. Raven hair, milky skin, lips, tits, and body all amazing.

Duncan is a good-looking and fit man but clueless when it comes to the fairer sex, so I lead in with just some general questions.

I don’t want the non tanner to feel threatened or isolated from her friends.

We have a great conversation. I light it like always. She’s a finance major and Duncan is  CFA god, so she’s fascinated. If these guys could just turn their work gifts into picking up girls gifts they’d be fine but they can’t join the two, Sales and power is the same thing. They just don’t connect and can’t see that sales and dating are the same things.

I help him and I can see he;s actually doing well with this Persian cutie.

I love Duncan. My goal has always been same since the 90’s is. If he’s going to make the trip here, give him everything you can. I’ve always trued to do that every time.

I’ll never forget the moment when the girls were done tanning and they all just perched around Duncan like pretty birds and chatted with us. We discussed different restaurants.

They spoke of a really good restaurant in University City that served food that was similar from where they came from.

I joked that we had no idea where it was so they should take us there. surprisingly they seemed cool with that. (Only I could close that)

They are all gorgeous middle eastern babies and I loved the time we spent with them but in the salon. But like my own life, everything is fleeting.

We may never see them again. But surprisingly the Kardashian did inquire about personal training. So that could be a miracle in 2019.

All of these girls are super smart and will take all of their gifts back to Kuwait, But I do have a plan to take one of these girls out to gelato at Gran Caffee L’ Aliquila.

I know. I want to do it. I really want Shahad, but I’d settle on the tall one who keeps looking at me.

I don’t care.

I’ll figure it out like I always do.

The birds giggle away and bound down the steps. I plot my next move. I don’t share this with Duncan, but I’ll eventually tell him how I deflowered at least one of these sweet girls.

I wrap it up at the salon, and Duncan has stretched himself and worked his body out hard enough that he’s ready to be in the next Mission Impossible movie. I think Duncan has really enjoyed the presence of these fresh Kuwaiti babes.

Smart and beautiful. I know Duncan and I find them both intoxicating. But the presence of these girls is what it is and we must let go.

We lock the salon and make our way to City Tap House. My man Zack is behind the stick and I know my Manhattans are FREE.

We hit this big sports bar and Duncan follows my lead. We luck out and land a pair of seats at this enormous sports bar. Tons of tables and a bar that goes on forever

I spot Zack and he’s running. We are here on the day before the Superbowl . It’s a celabratory mess. But my boy Zack is running. I don’t even think he see’s me/my friend. Duncan is happy we got some seats.

Suddenly a Manhattan neat lands in front of me with a brandied cherry at her core. I want to take her so bad. Hot bartender Nicole grabs Duncan and they settle on a draft.

I’m so happy to be with my friend. He gets his beer and asks the server for a plate of carrots and celery. I don’t get it. A side of wings would have worked for me. But for the last 20 years, what ever my friend wants. Normally all he wants is my six-gun ribs, but I never make that anymore.

We hang at the bar. Zach is God. (And when I say God… I mean Free Bulliett Rye Manhattans with a brandied berry)

I chat with lovely Devon and she tells us that most events are ticketed so we’re fucked for the Superbowl. (But we’ll figure it out)

Our bar bill is zero.

We’re happy. But Duncan needs comfort food so we go to Marathon at 16th and Sansom.

He destroys a salad and helps me with an order of mac n cheese that is a $10 dish. Clearly my boy doesn’t eat enough.

My boy Brandon (Beverage Manager for all three locations) stops by the table and says hello. So that one Manhattan’s is free. I get my favorite barbeque chicken sandwich and we’re good. I tell them my Marathon Reward Card doesn’t work and they give me another one. (That one failed too, but we’ll figure it out) I don’t give a shit as long as my friend is happy… I’m happy.

My friend Francesca stops by the table. (See: Francesca – 2014 to Present – Monday Feels Like Friday) She and some other of her co-workers got laid off at her job, so I hooked her up with a job here at Marathon. She used to waitress down the shore in college so she’s already a seasoned pro here. I tell her we’re going back to the Hotel Palomar to hang at Square 1682 after dinner. She says if she gets cut early she’ll swing by for a drink.

Duncan and I have evolved in our friendship. We used to get plowed and hit South street. Now we go to better eateries and bars and sip fine liquor and eat better food. Just a couple of middle-aged men that don’t like a too much noise or drama.

From Tattooed Moms to the Ritz Carlton. Duncan points this out to me. I like it.

There is a peacefulness in middle age. I love that we’ve both finally arrived there together.

I don’t see Duncan for long periods of time but I fucking love this guy. I hope I know him until I die. He’s one of the best people I know.  Just a good man who I’m glad has chosen to keep me in his life.

Dinner is great and our waitress is a doll. We close with one more at Square 1682 at his hotel.

Tomorrow is the Superbowl and we have no plan. We have no tickets to anything, and I’m working until 4pm so we’re basically fucked.

I need to come up with a plan for me and my friend tomorrow. He’s come up here for his 50th birthday and the Eagles are in the Superbowl.

They’ve never won.

They’re playing against the 5 times winning New England Patriots. Apparently Tom Brady is the most hated man in sports since Derek Jeter.

I need to come up with something. I don’t want my friend to be disappointed tomorrow. Every bar in the city will be packed and insane. I don’t finish at the salon until 4pm.  Anybody that wants to watch the Super bowl should already have staked out there space at the bar somewhere.

Duncan has put up with me working through his birthday/Superbowl weekend already. I just feel like I’m failing him as a host and a friend. But I have to do what needs to be done and we’ll make it work just like we always do. But I still feel bad that I don’t have a plan for the Superbowl.

But there is something between us where when we’re pressed against a wall, we always prevail.

Tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday and we will make it work.

We always do and it’s glorious.

We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. Just like we always do.

 

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

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Duncan – Touchdown – Part 1

“Whenever his plane lands he always texts me the signal: “Touchdown.” I know he’s landed in Philly and the fun is about to begin. But in that moment I didn’t realize how his phrase would ring true this fateful weekend.”

Duncan had planned on coming into town to visit me. It had been a while since we’d hung out. But this was a very special weekend. He was turning 50 and the Philadelphia Eagles were playing in the Super Bowl.

Whenever his plane lands he always texts me the signal: “Touchdown.” I know he’s landed in Philly and the fun is about to begin. But in that moment I didn’t realize how his phrase would ring true this fateful weekend.

My schedule has changed since he last was up here in Philly. I work every day and only get every other Saturday off. I don’t mind because I love to work and stay busy. We’ve got two businesses to run and this blog’s not going to write itself.

While I was walking into work today, I realized that even though we don’t see each other very often, Duncan is my very best friend. We’ve known each other for 20 years.

He later rolls into the salon on Friday afternoon. It’s great to see him. He walks up to me and practically jumps into my arms.

I give him the tour of the gym and salon. It’s been over a year since he’s seen it. The last time he was here the space was an empty husk of a fallen restaurant. Now it’s a busy tanning salon with a personal training fitness center up front. We’ve come a long way since then. He’s impressed.

We takes a seat in the waiting area and we chit-chat. This time together gives us a chance to catch up on what’s happening in each other’s lives. It’s been slow at the salon so we can talk. Duncan also likes all of the young attractive women that come in to tan. It’s like an endless pageant of beauty.

I get a couple of cheese steaks and sodas delivered and we happily munch them, while bringing each other up to date. We discuss current events, business, work, the women in our lives, and most of all Super Bowl LII.

When I finish we decide to go to Duncan’s favorite bar at the Ritz Carlton. He stayed there last year and we loved it. I got him a more modern and less expensive room at the Hotel Palomar at 17th and Sansom. But there’s no bar that looks like what’s at the Ritz Carlton. It’s a vast space with high ceilings surrounded by pillars. It’s like you’re having a drink at a beautiful white marble bar in ancient Rome. (But with all the modern amenities) If you ever get to Philly, check it out.

We park it at the bar and Duncan goes for his favorite: Rum, Bailey’s and Cream. It’s like a White Russian but more like a milkshake for adults. I like my drinks with a touch of evil so I go for the Manhattan, Bulliet Rye, Sweet Vermouth and brandied cherries. A lethal and elegant classic cocktail.

We get into it. We’ve been friends for 20 years. We know basically everything about each other. But there’s always new material. Stuff you know, but we go for the deeper dive. We both have issues with our parents. Who doesn’t our age? Especially boys.

We agree that the only way we could have moved forward in our lives was to forgive them and embrace all of the great things they did. Not dwell on the horrific things they did to us growing up.

We used to just listen to heavy metal and go to concerts and eat and party in the old days.

We relive those days of simple joy. Building our time together around concerts, meals, drinks, drugs and fun. But now we’re both men in middle age that have held our friendship through truth and our common interests. But mostly growing up in the same era and loving all of the same things.

The pain we suffered growing up has always been there, but tonight in middle age we let loose and agree to forgive. My gentle friend’s childhood was way worse than mine. Our parents were so good to us and they did the best they could, but why the violence against us?

Nothing good came from any of that. It was all just an emotional and physical release for them to escape from their own pain and frustration. None of our sisters knew this, but the sons did. The humiliation. The beatings. It was awful.

How could you do that to a child. By today’s standards, it is a 911 call.

I know my best friend’s life was worse than mine. There is always someone who’s had it worse than you.

I Love Duncan and treasure him as my distant best friend. We are always connected even though there are miles between us.

Our cylinders run an engine of friendship that transcends time and space. Business, values, marriage, relationships, philosophy, politics. comedy, film, Star Wars, comics, music. Everything. I just adore him.

20 years. You can’t build that without your ups and downs but there’s love there. It’s something we both have wanted our entire lives. I met my very best friend 20 years ago through the banking industry.

You never know when you’re going to meet a best friend. Sometimes you don’t even know who they are when you have them. But you open your eyes one day in this fleeting life and there they are 20 years later and you are just as you were when you first started.

You love all of the same stuff. There’s a little bit of new stuff, but the vein runs through it and it is pure. That’s your guy. He gets you. He knows your secrets and all of your fuck ups and weaknesses and he hangs in there anyway.

You can tell him anything and he won’t ever judge you. That’s a friend. He has all of his shit, and you have yours. You have both taught each other to forgive those that have hurt you. They only were doing the best they could with what they had.

They’re lives were so much harder than ours. Their parents came from a harder place and were even more ignorant than we are. But we’re the next generation and we love them. They did so many great things and that outweighs most of the awful mistakes that they made with us.

 

I’m plowing Manhattan’s and Duncan is destroying his White Russians like he’s John Bonham. Then for the first time in our 20 year relationship we finally dig into the darkness.

The agonizing pain of our childhoods and how ignorant our parents were. I describe what happened to me and with Duncan I feel safe in telling him what my childhood was like.

Then he describes incidents from his childhood and I am horrified and tears come to my eyes because I can’t imagine that happening to my friend.

It’s way worse than any of my punishments and almost seem like a call to child services would have been in order back then.

But as awful as it all is as we laugh and throw our cocktails back we discuss forgiveness and understanding. We both realize where our parents were in their lives back then. Where they came from and how far they came with all of us kids.

It was a different time back then and they didn’t know any better. They really did a lot of great things. Fantastic things for us kids, but there were moments where they made missteps that marked us forever.

They could never have foreseen the long-term effect on how what they gave us would propel us into greatness, but in that same moment, provide a weight, a nearly disabling weight that could destroy us in the same moment.

Some of their children would prevail and soar high and clean. Others would crawl from the wreckage of their upbringing broken and fragile, but would still find their way.

Maybe these birds cast from the nest would find their way and eventually fly back to the nest and rescue their own parents from their on demise.

Simply as an act of kindness.

Because they had become good people.

They were able to take the best of what they learned from their parents, and forgive the worst. Learn from it and be the best people they could be.

That’s my Duncan.

It’s late and we’re elated but wiped out. The bill comes and it’s $200. My God.

Duncan pays it.

I feel a twinge of regret but he insists. The weekend is only getting started and I’m stupid happy to see him.

I love Duncan. Our history is so rich, we could write a phicklphilly book just about our stories. (I probably will)

Our friendship has aged beautifully. Middle age hasn’t been kind to any of us, but we’re still tight as super glue. Our friendship has transcended time and space. We still love and hate all of the same stuff together. Now we’re in our fifties and I would love nothing more than to sit beside my dear friend watching whatever new Star Wars incarnation Disney can create and be happy.

We just want to share a moment, a drink, and a laugh.

We’ll do more than that this weekend, but for now… I’m just happy to have him in my life after all of this time.

 

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

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Ambria – Chapter 11 – Movie Rendezvous

It was Monday, which is Ambria’s Saturday, because she works at the hospital Wednesday to Sunday. Make sense? So on Mondays I can shift a few things around and spend the afternoon with her. I have tickets for the Big Red Bus. It’s a bus that tours around the city and you can get on and off as much as you want for 12 hours. It sounds pretty cool, and I already have the tickets, but we’ve decided to go to the cinema again. I love film as you know, and so does she. We also both love a quiet matinee on a hot summer afternoon.

I send her some titles I like, and she decides on “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” It’s an excellent and heartfelt documentary. It tells the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle.

Last week we saw “My Cousin Rachel,” and now this week we’re seeing another terrific film! Two in a row. We’re on a roll. I get there first and buy the tickets and take the escalator downstairs next to the Bourse Building to the actual theater. I like this cinema. That cool underground theater tucked away from street level in the heart of the historic district at 4th and Market.

I text her that I have arrived and she’s on point. She tells me she’s also arrived. I tell her to come downstairs and that the tickets have been acquired.

Within a minute she appears and we lean in for a smooch. She orders me a small popcorn with butter and a medium diet coke. That’s my go to movie food. She pays $11 for the treats (Movie prices!) and I ask her if she wants anything. She said she fine. We head into the theater and sit in the back. There are only 3 other people in the place. I love when a matinée is empty! We sit all the way in the back in the very center.

We watch what seems like 15 minutes of coming attractions. I like trailers though. It’s fun to get the first glimpse of the new exciting picture that’s coming soon!

Ambria snuck her own snacks into the movie. That’s her movie food. Then she pulls out a box of M&M’s Peanuts and hands it to me. Last week I mentioned that was my favorite movie candy. She remembered and bought me a box and brought it with her today.

Good memory. Listens to me. Love is in the air!

Another great thing that happened, was she let me own the armrest. Right guys? I had the one on my left and she let me have the one on the right. I’m like a king on a throne and I own this experience. Sure there was some hand holding and touching but these armrests are mine! You gotta love that in a girl at the movies. I’m just sayin’.

The film was great and heartwarming. I loved the Sung family by the end of this film. I recommend you go see it. Phicklephilly gives it two thumbs up!

When the film was over we headed west on Walnut street. I like Walnut. It’s just a little nicer than Chestnut and Market streets. I probably should have stayed in the theater for a little bit so I could make out with hot Ambria but I didn’t think of it. I regret that now.

It’s a beautiful day, so we walk all the way back to center city. We settle on Locust Rendezvous which I love. She tells me she loves bars like that and that makes me happy. “The ‘Vous” as some people call it, is a small bar down around 15th and Locust.

Locust Rendezvous was established in September of 1989. Surviving in an ever-changing neighborhood, they have withstood the test of time. Many establishments have come and gone, not sure what they wanted to be when they grew up. Fortunately, they learned early on that they were just a great bar with good food — nothing more, nothing less.

Their goal, as always, has been to make all of their customers feel welcome. You’ll find when you come in regularly that there are many familiar faces. Their customers come from far and wide, remembering the great service, comfortable atmosphere and reasonable prices from their first venture through our front door. Repeat business is their mainstay, and all new are welcome.

I love a good tavern. The food is cheap, it’s tasty, and the beer is cold. I order a Yards Pale Ale, and Ambria gets a cocktail. We order a pair of tacos and Ambria asks for a basket of fries. Perfect.

We’re sitting at a table away from the bar and the moment belongs to us.

I love being with Ambria. She’s beautiful, fun and easy. Not easy sexually. I know that’s coming. I’m trying to stave that off. I know romance is paramount in any relationship. We could have jumped into bed after our second date. But I know better. Get to know her. Be sure. Grow together. Feel the force. Build the desire for the celebration. It’ll be so much better. Too many people just leap out of desire. I’ve seen this a hundred times. It’s a slippery slope that can easily end in disaster.

My experience guides me. If she’s the one, I’ll be present, myself and careful. Not so much for me, I’ll be fine, but for her heart. I need the glue to stick, the cohesion to happen and then when we finally come together it’ll be magic.

Most men rush in for the hasty close. I’ve been in sales all of my life. I love and know women. It simply doesn’t work that way. Set the trap. Go slow. Build the myth. Create the romance. Take it to a level that is so high there is nowhere else to go once you reach the top. There’s so much joy between the two of you, there is nothing left to do but make love.

She wants that. You want that. It should have happened eight chapters ago, but give it value. Make your memories now. Make them valuable. Make them truly memorable so when you get down to the ‘you and me’ it’s amazing.

Anybody can do the old “In and out” like John Lennon used to call it, but build something elegant and celebrate together with the only possession you came into the world with.

Share. Celebrate. Together.

The food comes, and it’s magic. We’re happy. Ambria says she loves this place again. We’re going to get along just fine. It’s obvious at this point. Her hand moves the basket and comes across the table top like a soft welcomed spider. She takes my hand and we entwine like old lovers.

The staff is great, and we learn our server is the GM and we dig that she’s on point.

After the little meal we decide to hit the next place. It’ 5pm and I remind her that Dan Dan’s happy hour starts at 4:30pm. She’s ready to roll too. We’ve done this place and it’s time to go. I think the real reason we go is, that we’re both thinking about the film we saw today.

She pays the bill, (Hooray!) and we head out with many thanks for the sweet repose. This has been the perfect stop and I’m glad I chose it.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Sly Stone

He became addicted to cocaine among other substances, and supposedly kept a violin case filled with drugs with him constantly.

Sly and the Family Stone’s first four albums were the work of a man in total control of his talents and craft. By the time of his band’s fourth album, the monumental Stand!, Sly Stone was applying remarkable discipline to his work: writing, performing on, producing and arranging all songs.

But with the massive success of Stand! and the band’s subsequent appearance at Woodstock came a big change in Stone and, as a result, his band. He became addicted to cocaine among other substances, and supposedly kept a violin case filled with drugs with him constantly. Stone’s Bel Air mansion took on a cult-like atmosphere, with Stone dispensing drugs to his fellow band members and assorted hangers-on.

Some of the band’s next album, There’s A Riot Goin’ On, was recorded in a home studio here, with Stone recording much of his vocals lying down. He’d also allow groupies to sing over the album’s tapes as “auditions,” then once he’d had his way with these women, send them on their way and wipe the tape. This eventually diluted the fidelity of the actual recordings themselves, contributing to the album’s murky sound. Given all this chaos, it’s a testament to Stone’s talents that the resulting album is still one of the greatest ever made.

Stone made a half-dozen further albums of varying quality after this; by the end of the ’70s he’d started giving them sad titles like “Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I’m Back and Back On The Right Track” and the songs contained within were largely lame retreads of his earlier material. In the 1980s, Sly basically disappeared. He’d pop up for an occasional live performance, cameo on someone else’s album or arrest for cocaine possession, but beyond that was rarely seen.

In the mid-2000s there were hints of a comeback; he appeared with his old band and other musicians for a tribute to Sly and the Family Stone at the 2006 Grammy awards, but Stone left the stage before the performance was over. In 2011, reports surfaced that Stone was homeless and living in a van in L.A. He was quoted as saying, “I like my small camper. I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving.”

 

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Sun Stories: Aishah – The Wages of Fear – Chapter 5

“You’re amazing! I’m going to give you a five-star Yelp review!”

“That would be fantastic. But you don’t have to go into too much detail about the level of service you got today, dear.”

STOP! This post is too hot for phicklephilly and is not safe for work! (NSFW) If you want to read it, please click on the link below.

Thank you!

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=438

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

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