James Ingram, Grammy-Winning & Chart-Topping R&B Singer, Dies at 66

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/obituary/8495601/james-ingram-dead-obituary

 

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This Critical Mistake Kills Your Chances Of Finding True Love On Dating Apps

https://va.topbuzz.com/s/FRSy

 

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Wildwood Daze – 1980 – I’ve Had It With This Town

I love the summer. I’ve been dropped here against my will by some other person. My father. I have no control over my life. I have to go to school at a new school as a stranger. I know you have a problem with my dissatisfaction and depression.

I excel in school and start a band. I thrive in this shit hole you’ve dropped me off with no concept of how that will break your son’s spirit.

Janice is off in college so you’re good. If anything is of kilter your going to lose your shit and that is me.

What did you think was going to happen?

Let’s rip the 17-year-old son from all of his friends and his band from Philly and drop him off in Wildwood, New Jersey. A retirement and resort town the you already know is a deathtrap for young people.

You dropped out of high school to get away from this hell hole. You joined the army rather than turn to crime at 17. You fucking asshole that I love.

I get it. I worked in banking just like you for 30 years. You were making a bunch of bad loans at the Provident in Philly and got out when the getting was good.

You retreated to NJ. your little safe haven to escape, but you never thought of what that would do to the children in your life.

The little ones were fine. April and Gabby didnt;t know any better. But I was a senior in high school. I never got to graduate with my friends at Frankford in Philly. I had a band. You destroyed that for your little escape plan.

But what was that. You replicated your life in NJ as the regional manager at First Fidelity Bank. You’re a great manager and a great man. But you really have a taste for some of your employees, man.

I remember telling you about a girl I met once how I was in a relationship and I told you about how I had feelings for her.

You said, “Why don’t you just move on her”

I said: “Because that would be wrong. I’d be cheating on my girlfriend and that would betray her trust in me.”

You were pleased and happy with my answer.

I knew it.. because you could never be that. I could see it in your eyes you were relived that I wasn’t like you in that respect.

That respect.

Bitch, please.

If you’re unhappy in your liffe, divorce mom and just send the check and leave us the fuck alone. Then you can bag Jennifer Sweeten or as you call her “sweet meat” all you want until her husband finds out.

You’ll figure it out.

 

You and your brother Jack were dropped off here after your parents divorced. Nobody got divorced back then.

Why the hell would you think it was a good idea to drop me off in this shit hole?

Wildwood is a glistening sand castle of magical fun and romance in the summer… and then it turns into a bleak shroud of dark depression where there is nothing going on in the winter. It is a desolate hole of isolation that is impossible for a teenager to escape.

Here I am. I know you and there is a part of you that is me. Some great. Some awful. But you have the chore of raising the shitty you and now the shitty son you don’t understand who is too much like your brother Jack.

So if there were any questions as to why Chaz wanted to load up the ’69 Volkswagen minibus and drive across the country to go live in sunny California let’s put all of that to rest right now.

I love you, you selfish, self-serving prick.

I really do.

Thank you for teaching me to read. Thank you for all of the books. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for teaching me to ride a bike. Thank you for teaching me how to catch a fish. Thank you for teaching me to drive a car. Thank you for teaching me about wine, art, and literature and film. Thank you for teaching me about women. (To an extent) Thank you for everything.

I’m not going to mention all of the bad stuff here.

All ready did some of that.

 

Time to load of the 69 VW minibus and head to California.

 

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Another Life – Chapter 3

We took them to a movie – Dutch treat. I didn’t catch much of the film: Sam kept leaning over to whisper in my ear. “Who is that?” she’d ask. Or, “Why is he doing that?”

She had a hundred questions. Some of them were truly stupid. I think she genuinely had trouble following the plot. Or maybe she thought she had missed something important.

But it didn’t escape my notice that every time she had a question, she leaned over, rested her hand on my arm, and put her lips next to my ear. Once I even felt the pressure of her boob on my shoulder. Sam wasn’t skinny everywhere. Tanya kept shushing her. Sam tried to justify herself. I had to promise to explain the movie to her afterwards.

We went for ice cream (Marty’s idea). I kept my word, and summarized the film’s plot for Sam. It turned out that she really did think that she had missed a key scene, near the beginning. After that, she felt like she was struggling to catch up. Tanya rolled her eyes so energetically, I was afraid she was going to hurt herself.

I wasn’t sure that I believed Sam – not entirely. But while I was explaining the movie, I discovered a few things. For one, if I was doing the talking, that shut off most of Sam’s inane chatter. She listened attentively, with a big smile, her eyes never leaving my face.

It’s flattering, for an 18-year old guy, to have a girl focus on him like that – no matter how dumb she might be.

Besides, I had no problem looking at Sam. When she wasn’t saying something stupid, she was actually quite pretty: long blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a cute face. In fact, if she wasn’t talking or giggling, Sam was downright attractive.

She had narrow hips, and not much of an ass, but she was far from flat-chested. Then she giggled, and put her hand on mine. “You’re so smart!” she said.

It was like throwing a bucket of water on me. I immediately remembered where I was, and who I was with. I wasn’t immune to flattery, but …

– “I think she likes you.” said Marty, after we had dropped them off.

– “Great deduction, Sherlock.” I said, with a snort. “Lucky me.”

– “Come on, Joe – it’s not so bad, is it?”

It wasn’t. That’s why I agreed to go a party with Marty and the two older sisters a few weeks later. Tanya was there when we picked them up, and from the expression on her face, she wasn’t too happy to be excluded.

– “Don’t be late!” she said.

Marty drove. I picked up a case of beer. Caroline sat quietly; she didn’t say much at the best of times. Her older sister made up for it, with a non-stop flow of questions: who was hosting, would they know anyone there, could she have a beer – or two …?

The host was a friend of Marty’s, a guy from our high school named Jim. He had a cute sister, who had been a grade behind us. But if I had had any plans to check her out, those were immediately torpedoed.

Sam attached herself to me like a barnacle. She kept one hand on my arm at all times, as if she was afraid to lose contact. I couldn’t entirely blame her: she didn’t know a soul at the party. It didn’t stop her from asking questions about every single person there, though.

Did I know him? Did I know her? Had I dated her? Would I date her? Did I think she (another girl) was pretty? Could she (Sam) have another beer? Half of her questions I couldn’t even hear, because the music in Jim’s basement was on so loud. They were playing the Cars album – I’d heard it too often on the radio.

I steered Sam up the stairs, and into the backyard. It was a nice autumn night, with a clear sky. We sat down on a bench. To keep Sam from talking, I told her a long story, about how Marty and I had met, and become friends.

– “He likes Caroline.” she said, with a giggle.

– “Yeah, he does.” I agreed. “Does she like him?”

– “I dunno.” she said, with a shrug. Well, that made sense. I doubt that either of her sisters ever confided in her. Telling Sam a secret would be the equivalent of putting it on a billboard.

At that point, Jim came out into the backyard with a buddy of his. Introductions were made, and Jim said “Hope we’re not interrupting.”

– “Not at all.” I assured him. I didn’t want Sam to start chattering, so I asked Jim what he’d been up to since graduation.

– “Working with my Dad, mostly. Learning the ropes. Have to get started, if I’m going to take over the business some day.”

– “What kind of business?” asked Sam. I held my breath when she started to talk, but to my relief, it wasn’t a stupid question at all.

– “Men’s clothing.” said Jim.

– “Is it hard work?” she asked. I had to turn, and look at Sam. She worked in a major department store – in the women’s clothing department!

Jim started explaining the trials and tribulations of selling suits to ignorant customers, or cheap customers, and working with temperamental tailors.

– “And then you have to deal with the Jews …”

My eyebrows rose.

– “I’m Jewish.” I said.

Jim stopped dead. Then he started backtracking. “I was just … umm … I didn’t mean …”

I didn’t say anything. I just let him squirm. His buddy looked embarrassed. Finally Jim remembered that he needed to refresh his drink, and went inside.

– “I didn’t know you were Jewish.” said Sam.

– “I’m not.”

Jim’s buddy grinned. “Nice one.” he said. “Have to remember that.” Then he excused himself, and left us alone.

– “I don’t get it.” said Sam. “Why did you say you’re Jewish when you’re not? Was it just to make him stop? Oh … that’s it, isn’t it?”

I told Sam another story. “There was a kid in Grade 4 who got picked on, just because he was dark and had kinky hair. I didn’t stand up for him, then – but I knew I should’ve.”

“My uncle Ray lives with a woman from Guyana. Nice lady. My stepmother calls her names, makes fun of her. I call her on it. I can’t stand that shit. One more reason we don’t get along so well.”

Then I remembered something. “Sam, you work in clothing.”

– “Yeah. In a department store.”

– “Why did you ask Jim if it’s hard work? If anyone would know, you would.”

– “I know.” she said. “But … I didn’t want to start talking about my job. It’s not very important. Besides – I can tell … you don’t like it when I talk too much.”

“I know I’m not very bright.” she continued. “I say – and do – silly things. My sisters tell me, all the time.”

– “What about at work?” I asked.

– “I’m fine at work. I know what I’m doing. And if I have a problem, or a question, I can just ask Mrs. Maguire – my supervisor.”

This came as a revelation to me. Sam was … well, pretty dumb. But she knew it. In my limited experience, most stupid people have absolutely no idea just how ignorant they really are. On the contrary, many of them actually believe that they’re smart.

“I just … I guess I try too hard, sometimes.” said Sam. “I just want people to like me.”

– “I like you, Sam.” I said. At that moment, it was no more than the truth.

– “Really?”

– “Really.”

– “That’s nice.” she said, with a smile that didn’t look goofy at all. “You know, I was really impressed – what you said to that guy.”

– “Let’s get you another beer.” I suggested.

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=369

 

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Phicklephilly – 2019 – 1000 Posts! – We Did It!!!

“If you live a life that is without the elements of who you really are you will never be happy.”

I’ve just been notified by WordPress that after 2 1/2 years of writing this blog I’ve written a 1000 posts!!!

It’s been an incredible journey to finally be writing again. I started out in this life as an artist. Then a musician, and then a writer.

But life, marriage, a child, and a career removed me from all of that. Other people needed me and the bills had to be paid.

But after 10 years I decided to write again.

I created Phicklephilly in the spring of 2016 and then did nothing.

By the fall I asked myself, is this something you’re going to talk about in bars with your friends and never do? I had discussed the notion of writing a blog about my life with many of my friends. One who is a better and more visceral writer than myself.

But I started to write.

I published a post about a waitress I had been infatuated with for some time on a Monday.

I worried no one would read it or like it. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with content every Monday.

But I did.

Then I started writing updates for a Wednesday release.

Once the wheel started to roll, I did what needed to be done.

I wrote.

Writing is a hard lonely existence.

It’s something that you have to push yourself to do. Especially in the beginning. But like anything you really want you push yourself to do.

You begin a fitness program and you stick with it. The muscles grow and the fat disappears. You keep at it and then it gets easier.

I started to write like mad. Cranking out content until I had something happening  few times a week.

 

Then I found other things I liked and started to write about them. The Tanning salon, Tales of Rock, Crazy dates I’d been on in the past. Celebrities I’d met, and most of all, past relationships.

Some beautiful. Some bittersweet.

I’m not a great writer, but I kept at it. Like a pilot, I put in a certain number of hours until the plane called Phicklephilly soared.

And now here I am with all of you my loyal followers and readers after two and a half  years of writing.

1000 posts and over 50,000 views!

I couldn’t be happier.

 

If you want to do something, don’t talk about it. Like Nike says: Just do it.

Write everyday.

Push yourself. Who cares who reads it. Just create and express yourself.

 

I GUARANTEE  you that if you start writing and keep at it, the rewards will be like pieces of gold falling into your lap.

When you write from the heart and tell the truth about everything in your life, (Not everything. Keep some of yourself for yourself. That belong to you.)  You will find this liberating weight lifted from your shoulders.

Get it all out. The good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t be afraid. It’s just words. But it will lighten the load you’ve been carrying around your whole life.

Once you write it down and publish it… It’s gone but not invisible. But it’s out of you for the first time in your life. It’s now safely on the paper. You can understand what you’ve experienced so much better once you write about it.

You can look back on your work and your life and it’ so much easier to process, forgive and understand.

 

Writing Phicklephilly has been the most singular liberating experience of my adult life.

 

And there is so much more to tell.

I have so much more to say.

Knowing that these stories are now out on the internet forever. Even after I’m dead it is comforting.

Because they are no longer my responsibility. WordPress carries the weight for me now.

But by writing all of these stories guarantees my immortality.

 

I don’t need that, but it’s so much to live a simple, happy, and uncluttered life once you write.

I love most of what I’ve written. Everybody knows I hate writing dating and relationship advice but I found a way to keep it going for my readers who enjoy it.

I think my followers now know that I write Phicklephilly because of my simple love of creating. I’ve always been that way since I was a child. Drawing a picture. Sculpting something out of clay. Writing a song. Writing a book and a screenplay. Creating a comic strip.

I am an entity that apparently must always be creating and am happiest when I’m doing that very thing.

“If you live a life that is without the elements of who you really are you will not be happy.”

I feel happier than I have ever felt in my entire life.

I’ve lived a big exciting life. I’ve done a lot and experienced much. But it really comes down to a few simple components for me and please take heed if you wish.

  1. Your health is essential. You have that. you’re already winning.
  2. Surround yourself with good people. Whether they are friends, family or even some wonderful pet companions.
  3. Have something to do every day that you like to do. If you hate your job, find a better one that suits your life needs. It’s a third of your life, work. Why spend your day being miserable? Do something you don’t hate every day. It’s a short life. Enjoy yourself!
  4. To love and be loved. This is a tough one. Most people need this one. Love yourself and find someone else to love. If they love you back… Awesome!
  5. Have something to look FORWARD to. I don’t care what it is. Just have something. Brunch with a friend, a red envelope arriving from Netflix, a party, a day off, something you want to do that you made time to do. 

 

That’s it.

The rest is just stuff and bullshit.

Focus on the top 5.

 

Thank you one and all for taking the time out of your busy lives to take the time to read my little blog about dating, relationships and a bunch of stuff from my life.

I wish I could throw a big party and invite each and every one of you and we could all hang out and really get to know one another.

I’ve had the joy to become friends with some of the other talented writers on WordPress and it has been an absolute delight.

So many great people on here.

I also really appreciate my friends who have read and have subscribed to Phicklephilly. I love knowing they are here with me on this journey of self discovery and I hope some of this will inspire them to push forward on their lives.

Two and a half years ago there was nothing. I decided to start to write and now this is here.

You can create anything you want. You just have to do it and do it every day.

Look what can happen if you put your mind to something.

I’m still going to try in 2019 to get a couple of books published on Amazon Kindle this year!

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

 

Anything can be done, and you can do it too.

Please reach out to me for anything. I’ll always get back to as fast as I can.

 

My heart is full of love.

 

Life is good and my daughter Lorelei is healthy and happy, so that’s all I need.

 

Thank you one and all. This means the world to me and I hope you continue to enjoy the content I provide in 2019 and beyond!

 

There’s so much more to the story!!!

 

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

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Another Life – Chapter 2

We were on our way to see the three sisters, when Marty cleared his throat.

– “Umm – there’s probably one more thing I should tell you. It’s the oldest one. Sam. Ah … she’s … not that bright.”

It didn’t sound like the end of the world to me. There wasn’t much time to think about it, anyway, as Marty pulled up in front of their house. It was a big split-level, definitely a cut above my place.

All three girls came out to greet us. Caroline was a short, slender brunette. I pegged her right away as a wallflower. She had that ‘future librarian’ look. She shook my hand.

Samantha was a slim blonde – almost skinny – with bright blue eyes.

– “Call me Sam!” she said, with a giggle.

The youngest, Tanya, had reddish-blonde hair, and a facial expression that I can only describe as halfway between a smirk and a sneer.

– “Hey.” was all she said.

Since it looked like it might rain, Caroline invited us into the basement. We had to meet their mother, first; I stayed on my best behavior, for Marty’s sake.

– “Let’s play some records!” giggled Sam.

The group dynamic became immediately apparent. Caroline was the serious, smart one – the responsible one, too. If you had asked me, I would’ve guessed that she was the oldest. Tanya was the precocious jailbait, quite confident that she was by far the coolest of the three, and would one day be smartest and hottest – if she wasn’t already.

As advertised, Samantha – Sam – was a complete ditz. Dumber than a bag of rocks. At first, I thought her airhead routine was just an act. There are girls out there who pretend to be dumber than they are, who hide their brains, so as not to intimidate the guys.

Sam wasn’t one of those.

Caroline suggested a Michael Jackson record. Sam wanted the soundtrack from Grease. Tanya laughed out loud when she saw the expression on my face – and Marty’s.

– “They don’t want to listen to that.” said the youngest sister. “Here, put this on.” She passed over a Foreigner record.

– “Much better.” I said, with a nod of approval.

– “Oh, I know what guys like.” said Tanya, with a little grin. “I like the same stuff. Wanna see my records?”

– “Sure.” If I could get the two blondes looking at albums, that would give Marty a chance to talk to Caroline. Personally, I couldn’t quite see what he saw in her – but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that.

I have to admit, Tanya surprised me. She had Queen records, AC/DC, The Police, and even Van Halen’s 1st album.

– “Wow. I’m impressed.” I admitted.

– “What sort of name is Van Halen?” asked Sam. “Who would call their kid Van, anyway?” She was examining the album cover. “Which one is he? The singer?”

I didn’t quite know how to react. Tanya just rolled her eyes.

– “That’s a last name, dumbass.” she told her older sister. “The guitarist and the drummer are brothers: Eddie and Alex Van Halen.”

Sam wasn’t offended. She just giggled.

– “Oh! Hee hee.” I took a wild guess: that wasn’t the first time she’d been called a dumbass.

– “She thought Fleetwood Mac was a guy’s name, too.” Tanya told me.

– “Did not!”

– “You did too.”

Caroline stepped in as peacemaker. That spoiled my attempt to give Marty some ‘alone time’. She suggested that we play a game. The sisters had a collection of board games.

Dice were rolled, pieces were moved, and Caroline and Tanya fought it out – tooth and nail. Very competitive, they were. Sam tried, too, but in a game of strategy, she’d obviously brought a knife to a gun fight.

She sat right next to me, and frequently giggled before she touched my arm, or looked at my face. Sam was cute, I suppose, but – damn! I’d never met anyone quite so … stupid. I don’t mean it as an insult. This girl was just colossally, monumentally ignorant.

But she was also foolish. Given two simple choices, Sam often had difficulty reaching the obvious conclusion. She knew it, too. She would just giggle, make the wrong decision – and then giggle again. Absolutely amazing. How had she ever graduated from high school? She worked in a department store – I couldn’t picture it.

– “Sorry, Marty.” I said, when we were on our way home. “You didn’t get much time alone with Caroline.”

– “No problem.” he said. “Slow and steady wins the race.”

That sounded ominous. I took it to mean that Marty would be calling on me to spend time with the three sisters again.

 

 

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=367

 

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Netflix and Marie Kondo have People (serenely) Bulldozing their Closets, and Thrift Stores are Riding the Wave

 

I love her and I’m going to do this to my place in Rittenhouse!

 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/12/entertainment/marie-kondo-konmari-tidying-up-netflix-trnd/index.html

 

 

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

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