Sarika – Song of the Black Widow

God, she’s beautiful. I couldn’t find a stock picture on the internet to capture the delightful beauty of this girl. She is so pretty. Indian. Exotic. The type of beauty you’d almost pay for to be seen with at an event. She is probably one of the most beautiful women I know in Philly. But she recently reached out to me to come hang at a happy hour and a brand new place in Rittenhouse, called Scarpetta. Smith and Wolensky’s is gone and now that place is here. It’s in the Rittenhouse Hotel. She also mentioned that she wants me to come up to her apartment and check out her new place at the Dorchester. I am so glad I have reconnected with her. This vacuous she-devil is such a good character for this work. I am a huge fan of lovely Sarika.

I got to Scarpetta around 5:30. They’ve done a nice job with the place. It’s dark and intimate. The bar looks the same but they’ve opened up the place a bit. There’s only the one bar, but they have a lounge in the back and there is a dining room upstairs. I look around for Sarika but I don’t see her. I’m chatting with the manager and then I look out the window and see her walking towards the building.

Sarika looks amazing as always. We grab a couple of drinks at the bar and sit in this cool little area by ourselves near the window. Rittenhouse Square looks beautiful. It’s all decorated for the holidays.There are strings of bulbs in the trees and the whole park twinkle with light. She is having some sort of light pink beverage that I didn’t catch the name of, and I’m having the old-fashioned. Normally, cocktails are around fifteen dollars, but during happy hour they’re half price. So that’s something I can live with for now.

I ask her what she’s been up to and she says she’s been going on a lot of dates. Turns out that weasel she wanted to bring to my eighty dollar a plate New Years party last year has been gone for a while. I remember she was so into that guy. Apparently they were together off and on for two years. She says she wasted her best years on him and now she’s old. She’s 28! Come on Sarika, you are still but a child. She said he was a jerk to her and probably never loved her. I get her laughing, and start thinking that the black widow isn’t so bad after all. She may be smart as a whip, but she’s still a young woman navigating her way through love and life. I even joke that she probably has a blood-red hour-glass tattooed on her belly.

I do love pretty things, and she is no exception.

I tell her she looks great as always. She has been in some sunny destinations lately, so her skin is a darker brown than normal. I like it. It makes her look even more mysterious and exotic. I mention it and she immediately asks if I think it looks ugly. She always says things like that. She is so smart but so immature at the same time. She’s also a bit of a chatterbox. I think most men can’t handle that and don’t like a girl who talks too much. I don’t mind it. I like a girl who has things to say and experiences to share. I love to talk and entertain a woman, so it’s nice when I have a chatty girl so I don’t have to do all of the work. Women like a good listener and I grew up with three sisters. But what I can’t stand is what Carol used to do. Just babbling on nonstop like a tire spinning in the snow. (See: Carol 5/2014 to 8/2016 – There’s No Fun In Dysfunction)

I once read that women speak up to 20,000 words a day, compared to men, who speak only 12,000. So when we get home…We’re done!

It is puzzling how a woman this strikingly beautiful can’t keep a man. But the more you’re around her the more it makes sense. She says she’s been finding men on an app called J Swipe. It’s like Tinder for Jews. I asked her why that app? She said Jewish men normally appreciate women more, have good jobs, and have money. Sounds like she’s hunting for a husband. I think one of the challenges Sarika is facing is that she may be viewed more as a conquest. A creature to be captured and checked off of some list, because she’s so beautifully exotic.

She said she went out with a guy on Monday and even had a date with a pilot after our happy hour. So I assume I won’t be getting a tour of that gorgeous apartment in her building tonight. Sarika has a very busy life. She travels a great deal for her job as a scientist. I know she was formerly an engineer, but now I guess she’s a scientist. She makes great money and spends her other free time hopping on planes and taking little trips. It sounds like a fun life with all of the dating, and jet setting vacations, but it almost seems like she doesn’t want to be alone in her apartment. She’s crazy dating now. It’s good that she’s getting out there and meeting people after two years wasted with weasel man. But again, I can see men wanting her because she’s so beautiful, but she’s kind of annoying to talk to for any length of time. So if they get the opportunity to sleep with her they may not stick around.

Sarika is very intelligent and a nerd. I have taken her to Science after Hours at the Franklin Institute in the past. She loved it like a child. We went to see Jurassic World last summer, and Guardians of the Galaxy is her favorite movie. If my friend Duncan finds that up he’ll probably move up here from North Carolina. You would think guys would find that hot. A pretty girl who likes guy stuff and sci-fi, but it hasn’t worked. Maybe one of these many men that she is meeting for dates, will be rich and just marry her as a trophy wife. But sadly, people are funny about race in this country. They may want to sleep with a hot girl, but they may not want to bring and Indian woman back home to meet the family. I personally I have nothing against it. If you have been reading this blog, you know I love all different kinds of women. As Hank Moody says in the show Californication, “I got all your albums. I love you all and you and you included, Sarika.”

My buddy Church shows up at Scarpetta. I’m happy to see him. Once Sarika  goes on her date at One Tippling Place up the street, he and I can go to Square 1682 and have a drink. Church knows everybody in the restaurant and bar business in this town, so when he orders a drink and the server brings it over, she says, “This one is on Nathan.” He’s the GM there so Church got the hook up. I get another drink, but Sarika is only having the one so she doesn’t show up drunk for her date at 7:00.

While I was waiting at the bar to get my drink, Church chatted with Sarika. I was a little glad that it took the bartender a little time to get to me and make my drink. Normally I don’t like that, but I thought it would give Church a chance to talk to Sarika.

I get back to our little area by the window. We all chat a bit more. Sarika has to go soon, so she heads back to the ladies room. Church tells me she wouldn’t stop talking and it was driving him crazy. He’s been on edge lately, and listening to Sarika go on about something was annoying him. He said something to the effect, “I wanted to put a gun in my mouth.” He said she is so vacuous and self-absorbed and all she talked about was herself.

He once said that about another attractive girl who talked a lot. He was in a car with her and she was talking non stop and he said, “I wanted to leap right out of the car while it was going 70 miles per hour down the highway.”

Sarika returns, and I put her coat on for her. I tell her I will pay for the one drink she had. She tells me she’ll get me next time. I give her a kiss on the cheek good-bye and she’s off. I get the bill for my two old-fashioneds and her dainty drink. It should come to over $22 plus tax. I look at it and it’s only $15. So I got the hookup because I was with Church.

Dude certainly has the power.

I think next we’ll do a happy hour with my friend Carly.  So the night went well and again without incident.

So maybe my pretty little arachnid is finally growing up.

I love Sarika. She is beautiful, and I enjoy her company, if nobody else does, and I can’t wait to see her again.

(Oh… and if you’ve somehow found this and other stories Sarika, I’ll understand if you cut me off. The truth always hurts more than fiction)

 

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Michelle – Chapter 9 – Friends of Rittenhouse Ball on Square

One night Michelle and I finished work and did what we always did. Went out for a few drinks. We ended up down in Rittenhouse Square. There was this huge really posh gala going on. We were accustomed to just going wherever the night took us back then and based on our antics in New York, we probably thought we were indestructible. She was still living at City View out at 20th and Spring Garden, and I was still in my little apartment over in Pennsauken, NJ.

We come upon this event going on inside Rittenhouse Square Park. It’s the biggest event of the season. They hold this huge event every Spring. All Rittenhouse people. Wealthy people. People of commerce. Everybody is dressed up in their finest. Big white tents. Live band. A stage with a dance floor. White tablecloths on every table. Beautiful high-end trailers with bathrooms that are nicer than the one in your house. Law enforcement posted at every entrance and exit.  Butlers walking around with amazing hors d’ouevers. Not that pigs in a blanket shit. Like fat delicious shrimp and sushi, crazy meats, and puffy stuffed pastries. Wine and champagne is flowing freely. Cocktails being mixed and poured at two bars.

This is an $800 a plate ticketed charity event. There is no way a couple of advertising sales reps are getting in to this event.

I’m wearing a black suit and tie. Michelle is in slacks and a nice blouse. We walked up to the entrance where they were checking people in. I whip out my ID lanyard from the company I work for. It looks official, It has my photo, my name and name of the media company on it. I tell the lady that’s doing intake where I’m from and what I’m representing. Basically using my account executive ID to trick her that we’re with some sort of press. I look official and approachable and Michelle is hot. She has the same ID with her info on it.

They let us in. We couldn’t believe it. We’re going to stuff our heads with free snacks and wine. Bonnie and Clyde have arrived. We’re chatting with all these rich people and sipping wine. They were all so nice to us. One of them even asked if I’d like to secure my briefcase in their suite across the street at the Claridge. Nobody knew we didn’t belong there. You know why? Because when we went somewhere we acted like we belonged there. Like we had tickets to the event. It was just raw confidence. Maybe it was arrogance too. But whatever it was, we definitely had it going on.

Just good old sexy mojo.

Michelle was having a blast but she felt underdressed. I told her she looked great, but she insisted she run home and change. She wants to put on a nice dress. I’m telling you, we were out of control. So I slam down the rest of my chardonnay and start heading for the exit.

Who do we run into on the way out?

The President of the company we work for. Not the vice president of operations. Not the general manager. Not our sales manager. But the President! Top dog. Head Honcho. Big Cheese.

He’s with his Indian wife. They obviously have tickets. He sees Michelle and gets all excited. Because everybody loves hot Michelle. He says “Are you attending this event tonight?” We’re like, “Yea, but we just need to step out for a minute, We’ll be right back.” He didn’t give a shit about me. If he ever had the unfortunate luck to have to share an elevator with me at work, he wouldn’t even speak to me. He’d just play with his phone. But that fat fuck loved Michelle. And I had a thing that he wanted. I’m sure it just made him loathe my existence all the more. But I didn’t give a shit.

So we tell the nice people at the door we will be right back. They don’t bat an eye. Now, if we had simply left at that moment and didn’t return, I can’t honestly say for sure that things would have turned out any differently for us.

Yea… but they probably would have, but we’re not having any of it.

We blaze back to her apartment in a taxi. We get there relatively quickly. She dashes into the apartment and gets changed. Within minutes, she emerges in a black cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning. But I liked the way she looked any old way. But this was perfect for the Ball at Square. We jet back to the party and walk up to entrance again. “Remember us?” I say, smiling. We walk right back in, no questions asked. We grab a couple of drinks, and we’re back into it. I can see the President off to the side chatting with some other men.

The band is in full swing, and Michelle and I decide to hit the stage. We are dancing, and it’s lovely. There may have been maybe two other older couples up there, cutting the rug, but for the life of me I can’t remember. I was just lost in this moment, dancing with the woman I loved. Right in the middle of Rittenhouse Park. We own this place too.

After our dance, we grabbed a couple more wines. I was chatting with someone, and Michelle was seated chatting with the President’s wife. She was a lovely Indian woman. I know she didn’t drink or smoke. But of course Prez was a drunken oaf.

After a while people started sitting down to the $800 a plate charity dinner. We thought it best if we didn’t try to weasel in on that, or clip any of the gift bags.

We made our way out of the main tent, and were sitting on a little bench on the edge of the event. Before us was a little table with a candle on it and a bowl of popcorn. We munched on the popcorn, and reflected on how fun it was for a couple of hours to be a part of such an exclusive event.

I glanced to my left and saw one of the ladies that had let us in twice speaking with law enforcement. The officer approached us and said that we had to leave. We were respectful and he escorted us off the property. We thanked him, and went on our way, heading west on Walnut street.

Michelle insisted that we were probably going to get fired. I told her that wasn’t going to happen. I eventually calmed her down and we ended up going to a piano bar. We ended the night singing along with a bunch of other revelers to the songs of Billy Joel, Elton John and more!

The Prez? Just a fat drunken, cigar chomping narcissistic sociopath. (That’s what I’ve been told by a reliable source that worked closely with the man) He and his lovely wife ended up getting divorced years later. She probably got tired of his drunken womanizing. I once had a drink with the owner of the company, and he said the President’s expense reports were astronomical. Just a fucking a pig. He got like liposuction or something after his divorce because he dropped the weight fast.  He looked like a bobble head.

He ended up banging some chick from Jersey they brought in to do a wine show on the website. What we eventually found out, she formerly worked as an escort. Yep. So The Prez lost his nice wife and married a whore. Seems fitting.

But we had a great fucking time.

Tune in two weeks from now, and see if our heroes get fired, or at least reprimanded for their unmitigated repugnant attitude towards authority.

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

 

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Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter – The Other Side of the Coin

I wanted to visit Alice last week, because she is on her own with Keila on vacation. She has an intern which is a help but with a start-up you need all hands on deck. He’s a good kid. His family is from Thailand. He is a really hard worker, and Alice is very happy with his performance.

She texts me to see when I’m going to arrive. I’m running a little late, but tell her I’m on my way. She seems like there is some urgency that I get there. I’m thinking she’s swamped and really needs my help. I have some time so I hurry up and get over there. I text her when I reach her building on Broad Street. I get into the elevator and go to her floor. I see her intern and he lets me into their workspace. I walk down the hallway to their little glass office. I open the door and go inside. It’s a tight space. There are a couple of desks and chairs and some other work related things around the room. I even see that the Siamese fighting fish that they named after me is swimming in his bowl. There is a cardboard box on the floor in front of me. But I don’t see Alice. The intern said she was back here.

Suddenly, the box on the floor bursts open and out jumps Alice! She scared the crap out of me. She shot video of the whole thing while it happened. You know, when you go to visit the CEO of an IT recruiting company you never expect them to jump out of a box. Alice is tickled to death as I begin to feel my heart returning to normal. She shows me the video that she shot before I arrived with her in the box, and then the one of me being terrified by this little Jill-In-A-Box!

She tells me she loves pulling pranks on people. How have I not known this in the last four years of knowing her?

We have a laugh and then she walks me downstairs to get a bagel. When we come back up to the kitchen she begins to explain to me the stress she’s been under. It’s been this way for a while now, but with the pressure from the investors it’s become worse. They have been making some placements, and they are paid handsomely on them, but it’s not enough. They have to pull in a lot of revenue by the end of the year. If they don’t, they could be in some serious trouble. I know Alice will dig in with everything she has to be successful, because she’s driven.

But she is concerned with Keila. I told Alice that she shouldn’t hire Keila but she did. Keila met her current boyfriend through their company. He was a client. Alice’s number one rule was not to date the clients. Keila lives with him now and they are in love, so with both incomes, things are easier for Keila financially. He’s a pretty successful IT guy so I think she’s getting pretty comfortable with the lifestyle.

Keila is being paid a great salary. Too good. She even gets paid bonus when she fills a position. I don’t think it’s out of the company’s coffers either. I believe Alice is paying her out of her own savings account.

Keila has asked for a raise and an equity share in the company. If you’re not at goal at year-end, you don’t get a raise! Let alone even ask for one! And equity? What? Take a cut in salary and maybe Alice will think about it.

Keila asked if she could take a vacation. Alice said no because they had about five weeks to raise a ton of revenue by year-end. Keila just went and booked it anyway. She told her a week or a so before. Who does that?

I think Keila has gotten comfortable with her new life with her boyfriend who she says could be the one. I think she has lost her edge. If the investors pull the funding for this start-up, they’ll both be looking for jobs in 2017.

I adore Alice and I know she will be successful. But maybe some changes need to be made and some conversations need to happen, before they lose all of the great things they’ve worked so hard to build.

 

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Keila – 2012 to 2017 – The Gaza Stripper – This Side Of The Coin

Robert & Laura- 2013 to Present – Rock Solid Vault

I was at one of the many rooftop parties of my former boss at a magazine where I formerly worked. I met Robert and Laura, and they seemed like lovely people. They had moved into his building a few months prior. So they became friends with him because they were neighbors. Robert and Laura were both from the midwest. She is a lawyer, and he worked in analytics. Just a really nice couple who got along, and were cool to hang out with.

You can tell how much Robert and Laura love each other. It’s just really nice to see that in a couple these days. Robert was a former tank commander, and did two tours in Iraq several years ago. So he is brave a and has seen some shit, and been in the shit.

Funny thing that bound us together, was that we all decided the night we met, that we all agreed about some of the same things. So I basically poached this couple from my old boss. I still have lunch with Robert occasionally, and they have me over to their house to hang and come to any parties they throw.

Best news is, Laura gave birth to a little boy last year. He just turned one year old three months ago. I was invited to the party, but I caught a little cold and didn’t want to infect anybody. They understood and I hope to see them soon.

This is simply an introduction to this lovely couple. They have some wild stories from their past, so as any tales, or new adventures pop up including Rob and Laura, they’ll make an appearance.

UPDATE: I met up with Robert recently at Mission for lunch. Mission is a new Mexican place that is on the second floor above The Oyster House on Sansom Street. It’s in the spot where Nodding Head used to be. It was great to see him, but his work is really stressing him out. He says he looks at spreadsheets all day long and works a million hours. That can’t be good with a one year old son at home. He said if things don’t improve by March he’s going to start to look for another job. I brought him up to date on all of my news and we are going to try to get together again soon.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Rocco – 2015 to Present – Amanda Peet

I used to work with Rocco at a publication here in town. He has since given his notice and is going to pursue a career in real estate.

When I began working there, Rocco was the person that took the most time with me. I had a million questions, and he was very patient. Since we’re close in age there was a certain comradery that developed between us. It was like the two old veterans, versus the young upstarts. (Both of whom have been fired. So do we win?)

One day, Rocco and I were sitting at one of our favorite lunch spots, and I was saying how I was in love with the waitress Maria, (First blog post ever: Maria – Amour en Vanos) and also loved Brittany and Kim over at the other place, etc. My usual fickle nonsense that he has to listen to when we have lunch. He says I am so fickle. I decide to write a blog called Phicklephilly. Both of us are long time ad men so we love the idea. We both love women, and are both leg men so there is that connection to all of the well turned calves and ankles we see on a daily basis around the city.

I really respect Rocco. He has built a life in the media industry in this city. He has met everybody and has all of the great celebrity stories to prove it. He’s a good dad and is a survivor like myself. He doesn’t have the best coping skills like my dad, but I understand that, and can deal with that. He normally only gets stressed when the morons around him fail him on a regular basis, in the form of clients and co-workers.

Rocco has a good gut feeling about what will work at a publication and what will fail. He is vocal about that in meetings, and sometimes that rubs management the wrong way because they are out of touch and think their ideas will work, but Rocco with his 30 years of experience knows that it’ll fail because it already failed 10 years ago. I can trust a man like that.

He also has some other challenges in his life. He loved his hot gorgeous bi-polar wife in the past but she left him and then was murdered by a lover in Texas. I can’t get into that here, that’s not what Phickle is all about. But he lost her. I’ve been with crazy chicks too. They have mad pull and it’d hard to shake them from your life, but you never wish them ill will. But she is his son’s mother, and was crazy and left. She made bad decisions and ended up dead. I know for a fact he has never gotten over that. That never happened to me, but I have had women like that in my life, and it’s always a struggle.  She’s his son’s mother. You never forget that. The tragedy never ends. My ex-wife is just an asshole but I never want anything to ever happen to her. That’s awful. I can wish her dead because she’s an asshole, but I don’t really want somebody to kill her.

Rocco is an interesting character, he has a quick wit that I absolutely love! Most people I know don’t have what I have but I can always appreciate a fast wheel. My dad liked it in his brother, and liked it in me, and I love it in Rocco because it reminds me of all of us.

He lives far away, but I wish he would come into the city more so we could hang out. We could have a bit of fun.

He loves the actress Amanda Peet. She is one hot lady and he adores her. One of his accounts is the American Jewish Museum here in Philly. She was going to make an appearance for a children’s book she was promoting. He loves her, so he approached me and asked me if I would go with him. I knew at that moment I had to get a picture of him with his queen. There was no decision. Just do it. I owed it to him. If it were me I would need the same. When he asked me to go to the event with free drinks and food and a hot actress that I loved in the Whole Nine Yards, I just told him yes. There was only one answer. I wanted a pic with that hot baby too.

We go there. We met at the hotel Monaco first. The Red Owl Cafe is on the ground of that Kimpton property, down at 5th and Chestnut. Rocco is very grateful of my apparent wingman abilities. It’s his night, and he knows he’s brought the right man for the job. If anybody is going to get him close to his girl and get a pic, it’s going to be me. Martinis and Manhattans are plowed. Rocco is not really a drinker but whenever I am out with him he is generous with the free drinks, and the man can handle himself behind a glass.

It’s time to go, and we head out after a double round. I am happy that I am on a mission for him. I’m clear in my directive and he chose me, because he knows I’m good at closing deals.  Rocco is an account manager. I am a salesman. I will kill myself to get him next to Amanda Peet. I’ve caught bigger fish and he knows that. I’ll get her.

We go in, and do the perfunctory bullshit that comes with getting into an event. He’s the rep. It’s his account, so he knows everybody. I am here for the kill. He’s chatting with his client, and they are happy we showed up. But we’re there for more.

We go upstairs in the elevator. There is families, and kids playing around. I obviously go right for the bar. Let’s gather some fortitude before we approach the target.

I see her. Amanda Peet is beautiful. Rocco is getting a glass of wine, but the great white is swimming to get a bite. I move in. She is chatting with her sister. I approach and compliment her on her book. It’s so good. I love what she has created, I act like I don’t know who she is. (A bold-faced lie) Love her work and what she is doing. Rocco stands down. He’s looking for a signal from the dark lord. Target is in place. I am chatting with Amanda, her sister, and her mom like they are my own family.

I’m very good at this because I have three sisters, and have been to a million holiday parties. I go in for a picture first because I need to claim the victim first. This is what I’m good at so I’m going to take the first bite. Rocco approaches, I bring him in warm, and he’s loving her. We do some shit chat, and I introduce Rocco like me and Amanda are old pals, because that’s where I have her now.

Rocco is ecstatic. I tell him to stay cool, and I’ll take a pic with my phone. He puts his arm around her and he is losing his shit. He loves Amanda Peet. He said something to her and she made a face, but she looked beautiful, and I captured Rocco’s dream. It’s like when I met Alessandra Ambrosio in NYC. It’s a big moment. I get the pic, and Rocco was happy.

They were going to do a presentation and a Q&A in the theater, but we had what we wanted and bailed. We ended up going to a Yakatori Boy, (karaoke bar in Chinatown) anniversary party with a bunch of girls we knew. I may post that but this story is way better.

I love this night and I came through for my pal, and he was so happy he met one of his idols. I’m happy I helped my friend meet one of his favorite actresses.

I love actresses and models.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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