Tales of Rock – Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and a Joint

During the event it was reported that Epstein said “I’m so high I’m on the ceiling. I’m up on the ceiling.”

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In late August of 1964, The Beatles started their first official U.S. tour. The group began at Cow Palace in San Francisco and finished at the Paramount Theatre in New York. On August 28-29 The Beatles played at Forest Hills Stadium in New York and were befriended by Bob Dylan. The two parties were introduced by the writer Al Aronowitz at New York’s Delmonico Hotel.

After a brief chat with The Beatles, Bob Dylan asked John, Paul, Ringo, George, and Brian Epstein if they wanted to smoke a joint. Epstein looked apprehensive and said that the band hadn’t tried marijuana for years. Dylan was immediately surprised because he had been under the impression that they smoked weed because of the song I Want to Hold Your Hand. He mistook the lyrics “I can’t hide” with “I get high.”

The Beatles were never one to back down from a new experience and agreed. Lennon took the joint and passed it to Ringo whom he called his “royal taster.” Ringo smoked the entire thing, not knowing the tradition of sharing the joint between people. In response, Dylan rolled a joint for each of The Beatles and they smoked. During the event it was reported that Epstein said “I’m so high I’m on the ceiling. I’m up on the ceiling.” McCartney got more philosophical and asked Mal Evans to write down everything he was saying.

 

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Duncan – Concentrated Dosage – Part 2 – Saturday

“We keep getting older, but they stay the same age.”

I wake up on Saturday morning, and after a day of drinking and activities on Friday, I’m a little banged up. Duncan and I were supposed to go to breakfast at 10am but that wasn’t going to happen.

I rolled over to the Ritz Carlton around 11am Saturday. Duncan was chilling in the lobby. We decided to head down to the movie theater. It was a little cold, but not too bad. Duncan was freezing because he lives in a warm climate and can’t take the cold winters of the Northeast anymore. (Fuckin’ wimp!)

Philly is an incredibly walkable city and we decide to walk all the way down to Columbus Blvd. to the movie theater. It’s right on the Delaware river. (Hence the name, Riverview Stadium) It probably took us about forty minutes to walk down there. The nice thing about walking around Philly is, it gives you time to look at all of the sights and just talk.

I love my time with Duncan this weekend. We’ve really reconnected as friends and as men. He’s been in my life for twenty years and I want to keep him there.

We get to the theater and there’s a line for tickets, but people are in line for everything playing and there. I decide to leave Duncan in line and try the kiosk, because there’s always that person that’s in front of you that is making it their life’s work just to by a couple of tickets to see a movie. That goes for everywhere I go in life. I’m always behind that person that is digging through a coin purse at Rite Aid, or making international transactions at an ATM, or just basically doesn’t ever have their shit together when it comes to doing anything in regard to a retail transaction. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this.

So I hit the ticket kiosk and swipe my card for two tickets to see Rouge One: A Star Wars Story, and I get them! I pull him out of line and we go in. Duncan’s happy that I came through in the clutch because we’re cutting showtime pretty close. The tickets were twenty something by I don’t care. I know what’s going to happen next, and I’m all set.

The theater is huge, and we take the escalator upstairs. We hit the snack bar and Duncan is on the case. He orders a bucket of popcorn. Mistake. No one can eat that much fucking popcorn. Then he gets our drinks. The girl upsells him to the large size because she says we can get free refills. Mistake. No one can drink that much fucking soda. Maybe a couple of dudes that just walked of the face of the Sun, but no human can hold that much liquid in their bodies in one sitting, but I admire her upsell. He gets a box of M&M peanuts for himself and I take the popcorn over to that machine that literally drenches the bucket in butter. It’s probably not even butter, but who cares, it’s delicious. I tell him I want a tray of soft pretzel bites with the spicy cheese sauce and we’re all set. The snacks came to somewhere around thirty-five dollars, and I’ve won. Duncan just bought me a deliciously gross breakfast and the tickets I bought were less that what he paid to feed our sorry hung over asses.

We get into the theater and there aren’t that many people in there. I like that. We take a pair of seats in the back and get situated. We watch a bunch of previews which I love. I’m starving and start ripping into my pretzel bites and the popcorn. The sodas are so enormous I feel like the sheer weight of them will pull the chairs over. My fingers are soaked with butter and I can’t even get a grip on the barrel sized cup in the built-in holder, so like a little kid, I have to go to the straw, rather than pick up the tankard of diet coke. As silly as this is, there is something nostalgic about being a kid at the movies and having all of these treats. It’s breakfast for a couple of men, who are about to watch a new Star Wars movie. We’ve loved them since their inception in 1977.  I’m happy, and I don’t even care that like always, I have dribbled the spicy cheese whiz down the front of me.

We watch the film and it’s glorious. Better than I expected. I’m a film guy, so I won’t reveal a thing, and you’ve all probably seen it. It’s a story that takes place before the original Star Wars movie. It’s a little slow in the beginning but way better than the ones made by George Lucas before this. So if I had to rate the Star Wars pictures I would rate them as follows:

Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens

Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: Rogue One

I have left off the first 3 prequels Lucas made, because they basically suck. Here’s a classic example of an artist losing sight of his art and original vision. It’s fine. I don’t care. This happens over and over in music, film and art in general. I know the fans are screaming and go wild over the failure of the creators making sub par art and letting them down. It happens. You have to embrace and enjoy how their art made you feel in that moment when you first fell in love with what they did. If you expect the artist to keep making the same art and making you feel that initial rush again at the level you first felt it, it’s just not going to happen.

Look at the band Aerosmith. I LOVED Aerosmith in the seventies when I was growing up. My sister, Janice brought their first record home, because she was hanging out with a band that did their song Dream On. She wasn’t that into Aerosmith, but liked the band that was covering their work. I on the other hand as a fledgling rock guitarist fell in LOVE with Aersmith. It was 1975 and the song “Walk this Way” was playing on the radio from their third record, “Toys in the Attic”.  Their first album is great because like any band, they had their whole lives to write it. But then the studio pushes them for another record and it’s just not as good. The band is great, but the material just isn’t there. They work hard and tour and have a special talent so then they make ‘Toys in the Attic” and it’s a great record. They’re all poor and touring their asses off and doing shitloads of drugs. The lifestyle is changing them and killing them.

People love the song Walk this Way (A nearly perfect FM rock song) and a lot of people buy the “Toys in the Attic”

Then in 1976, Aerosmith puts out a record entitled “Rocks.” A black cover with just the name of the band and the word ‘Rocks’ and picture of five diamonds. It is absolutely one of the most perfect hard rock albums of the seventies. Every song is magnificent.

I love Aerosimth. I wore out the Rocks album. I listened to it everyday and learned how to play every song on that album on guitar. I wanted to be Joe Perry and Steven Tyler rolled into one skinny blonde kid with a guitar.

But you can’t expect them to keep making Toys in the Attic and Rocks every year so you can get your rocks off. Things happen in an artist’s life to change, alter, grow, or fail in some way. So you have Lucas trying his best to make something but the fire and hunger just isn’t there anymore. The heavy metal band Metallica are all wildly rich men. Do you think they can make the powerful angry music they once made? No way. Neither can Aerosmith or George Lucas. Just wrap yourself up in the memory that their art gave you in the beautiful moment of your life and leave it at that. Other people will rise up and take the helm and get you off in a different way.

I’m guilty of this too. Maybe my problem is I keep trying to go back and get that love rush I did when I was younger and I keep dating younger women. It always ends badly, because they want to go forward and get married and have kids and I’ve already done that. Maybe I just need to wrap myself up in my beautiful memories and be done with it.

But Disney has Star Wars now. I don’t listen to Aerosmith anymore except for the old stuff. Marvel Comics is making great films and Star Wars is definitely on the upswing creatively, because someone else is doing it. So for now, I’m going to stick with what Matthew Macoughy said in the film Dazed and Confused, “We keep getting older, but they stay the same age.”

I know it’s wrong, but I want to date a girl that makes me feel like the original Star Wars movie again.

Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion…

 

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Duncan – Concentrated Dosage – Part 1 – Friday

Duncan: “Dude. Can I crash at your place?”

Me: “Dude. My daughter Lorelei lives with me now. There’s no room.”

Duncan: “Cool. I’ll stay at the Ritz Carlton.”


Eight months ago Duncan scheduled for us to see the German heavy metal band UDO at the Trocadero here in Philly. Duncan lives in Charlotte, NC. Apparently, he likes to make plans far out into the future. I’ve known Duncan for twenty years now, and when he says he’s going to do something, he does it. Especially when it comes to seeing rock shows.

He loves UDO. His full name is Udo Dirkschneider (born 6 April 1952 in Wuppertal, Germany) is a German heavy metal singer who rose to fame with German heavy metal band Accept. After leaving Accept in 1987, he formed U.D.O., with whom he has enjoyed commercial success as well.

Duncan loved the band, Accept back in the eighties. I only remember Accept from seeing their video, “Balls to the Wall” on MTV back then. Other than that one video and the image of UDO riding on a wrecking ball while seeing the song, that’s all I remember. But Duncan loves the songs of Accept. I only know that one. But that’s why he flew up here to hang out with me. I haven’t seen him in over a year.

We’re going to see UDO Saturday night.

Duncan is thrifty with his money. He will always spend money on things he likes or other people, but when it comes to himself he’s cheap. Normally in the past when he came to Philly he’d always stay at my place. A week before his arrival he texts me to check in.

Duncan: “Dude. Can I crash at your place?”

Me: “Dude. My daughter Lorelei lives with me now. There’s no room.”

Duncan: “Cool. I’ll stay at the Ritz Carlton.”

What? That’s Duncan. He’d love to crash at my place for free, but if that’s not happening he stays at one of the best hotels in the city. Crazy, right?

So Friday rolls around, his flight gets in and he settles into his hotel. I text him and tell him I’m on my way. I took the day off so I can hang with him. He loves my sacrifice. I get there, and he’s already sipping a cocktail at the bar. It’s eleven o’clock in the morning, but it is Friday, and it is Duncan. (Oh, and he did not bring the giant bottle of vodka that he was supposed to give me for Xmas. (See: The Case of the Missing Bottle of Vodka)

Like I’ve said before, Duncan is not much of a drinker but this is a special weekend, and I haven’t seen my buddy in over a year. He’s sipping a version of a White Russian but instead of two parts vodka he asks the to make it with rum. It really is a creamy delicious drink, but I prefer my booze hard and dry. I order a glass of champagne to kick off our day of fun.

After a couple of rounds, we decide we’re hungry and head out for some food. I decide to take him to a local sports bar in Rittenhouse. My friend Ann Marie works there and I know Duncan will love her. She’s Vietnamese and cute as a button.

We get there and we realize that we’re actually starved. We peruse the menu and start out with their sampler platter of all of their appetizers. I intro Ann Marie to Duncan, and she takes the rest of our order. I think Duncan orders another one of those drinks like he had at the Ritz, but they don’t make it so he describes it. Ann Marie says she’ll do her best to create something as close as possible. I go with their spin on a Manhattan. It’s not very good, but it’s spirit forward and that’s all I care about.

So we obviously destroy the sample platter which I hadn’t had before and was actually very good. We both ordered cheesesteaks. It’s philly. I have to feed Duncan all the fun philly foods.  I went with a side of fries and Duncan chose the tater tots. Who doesn’t love tater tots?

During lunch and more drinking we decide that we’re going to go down to Columbus Blvd., by the Delaware River and go play games and drink at Dave & Buster’s. I hope if you’re reading this you know what Dave & Buster’s is but if not I’ll explain. It’s a national chain of family and adult entertainment centers. It’s a huge building that has a restaurant and several bars, and in the back is all kinds of cool arcade games you can play. There’s tons of stuff to do.

Check it out: http://www.daveandbusters.com/

I call us an UBER and off we go from Rittenhouse to Penn’s Landing.

We head in, power up our playing cards, grab a couple of rum and cokes and hop into this zombie killing game. It’s actually scary. We didn’t want to hog the machine away from the kids that were there, so we jump out after awhile and go to my personal favorite, Jurassic Park. Pretty much the same thing. Me and Duncan, shoulder to shoulder, blowing away all of the dinosaurs that are pursuing us throughout the game. After that we hit up the Transformer game. It’s pretty much all of the same shit. Just dudes shooting, killing, and blowing up stuff. We laugh and play like children, but drink like men.

We burn through $40 of gaming each. I suppose we were there for a couple of hours. When we go outside I decide I want to smoke a little grass. I don’t smoke very often, and when I do it’s normally a little skinny joint with very little in it mixed with tobacco. I never did drugs, and never liked marijuana, but I like to drink. Certain substances work differently with each persons physiology. But a little weed at my age is nice. I offer some to Duncan. He used to be a HUGE pot smoker. But he gave it up. He says he did so much weed and drugs when he was younger, that he wants to hold onto what little he has left. He realizes now that when he would be drinking and getting high, it would change his personality. I like the drinking Duncan way better than the high Duncan.

I smoke up my skinny doob and he says he loves the smell, but just can’t do it anymore. I toss the roach and we’re on our way.

We wander up South Street and so much time has passed it’s time for more chow. I bring him to Lorenzo’s. Lorenzo’s is one of the most famous pizza places in philly. They only serve plain slices, but they are HUGE. It’s what they’re known for. Duncan is blown away at the sheer size of these monster sized slices. But they’re just what we need at this point.

When we finish we make our way west on South street. We have so many fond memories of South street. We’ve been coming down here for twenty years when he visits. We stop in a few of the sex shops and look at some of the toys and gear for shits and giggles. Because I’m half in the bag and high, I can’t help but pick up the rubber dildos and hit Duncan in the face with them. Mostly around his mouth.

I remember talking to some crazy woman in one of the stores and she was going on and on about how she dominates her man. Whatever keeps the marriage alive!

We leave,and we’re walking along, and this guy that is walking towards us. He walks past us and we don’t think anything about it. We get to about 12th and South and suddenly we hear, Pop! Pop! Pop!

“Dude, that’s gunfire!”

Duncan looks back and sees the guy that passed us running in a different direction. We spring into action, and take off at a dead run. We run north on 12th street up to Pine. Once we round the corner, we slow down. We both look back and with no one there we just keep going. We head west and north zig zagging away from whatever that was behind us.

We decide we’ve had enough excitement for one day and head back to the Ritz for a final nightcap. Great thing was, every drink I had at the Ritz that weekend was paid for by Duncan!

Tomorrow we’ll be on to see UDO!

 

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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Marigold – 1997 to Present – Good German Stock

I’ve known her since she was 21 and now she’s a mom!

I met Marigold when she was only 21 years old. That was back in 97 when she worked for me as a teller in my bank branch at 10th and Snyder Aves. in South Philly. They would sometimes send her to another branch to help out, so I didn’t see her all of the time. She always seemed smarter and sharper than her peers. I really liked her. (Tall blonde. Good legs.)

We would sometimes go to lunch and it was always nice to spend time with her outside of the bank. Marigold eventually left retail banking for a better job. I remember she always dated high-end wealthy or affluent men. She wasn’t a gold digger or anything like that, just knew how to date a better class of men than most girls her age.

We kept in touch and would occasionally meet up for lunch or drinks to catch up. At one point I was living in New Jersey and she was living in the Fairmount area for Philly. I was married back then. Years later I was working in Philadelphia, and she had moved to New York. So that kept us apart except for the random visit. I later moved to New York for work and she was then living in Newark, NJ with her boyfriend of several years. That was just a few train stops beyond where I was living at the time. So we got to hang out every once in a while.

I remember attending her bachelorette party. I was the only guy invited. Just me surrounded by a bunch of women. It was awesome! She and her fiance married at city hall but then had a big reception down in the Bowery of NYC. I took my then girlfriend Jackie, who was a second generation girl from Haiti. She was a lawyer on Wall Street. She wanted to get married and have children so badly, I think she scared me off. Lorelei was enough kid for one lifetime for me.

I eventually moved back to Philly and took a job at a local digital publication. I didn’t see Marigold as much as I would have liked to, but we always managed to get together at least once or twice a year. Then she moved out to Lexington, Kentucky. Her husband is a professor at the University of Kentucky, so out they went. he’s a great guy. Everybody loves Don.  Men and women alike. He’s so cool that he’s never minded me hanging out with his wife. Cassandra works as a financial broker, so technically she can work anywhere. I have known Marigold twenty years now, and I’m sure hasn’t been a fan of living out in the midwest. She’s a city cat like me and probably misses living in a metropolis. I would bet that at some point they’ll come back.

She has a little son who is now six years old and two daughters that are about two and a half. They are fraternal twins. They all have white blonde hair and look like the perfect little Aryan family. They’re all really cute. I think the son could have used a bit more discipline to keep his behavior in check, but he’s not my child. I know for a while about a year ago, cassandra was losing her shit having three little kids to take care of everyday. That was real challenge for her. I think it aged her.

I was down at our shore house a few years ago to see my father and she visited with her son. She wanted to meet my father that I always spoke of fondly to her. She wanted to see his train collection and also wanted her son to see it. It’s pretty spectacular. I’m glad she finally got to meet my dad. Her life with her father had always been a challenge. I believe he was bi polar and struggled with alcohol. I remember even in her twenties she was taking care of him. Writing out his checks to pay his bills, etc. that must have been a lot for a young girl to bear. I may have fucked up some things in my life, but I was always capable of taking care of my daughter. Girls need strong dads. I may not be the strongest father, but I was consistent with Lorelei. I also wasn’t a crazy asshole like her mother, so that’s part of the reason Lor has decided to live with me.

I am writing this because I am about to go see her and her daughter tonight. She’s visiting Philly for a couple of days to see everybody, and this must be my night.  I will finish this piece upon my return.

I got to their hotel at 5pm. They are staying at the Courtyard at Marriott. It’s a nice hotel right near City Hall. Originally that building was built in 1926 as a government annex to City Hall for over 60 years. In 1990 it was acquired and renovated by Marriott. The marble floors and three chandeliers in the main lobby are all original. It is the largest Courtyard Marriott in the world.

Just thought I’d give you a little Philly history there.

I go up to her room, and her little daughter is on the carpet playing with her maryjane shoes. She’s so cute and social. I know it’s been a stressful drive up from DC today for Marigold. They were down there visiting with Don’s family for the holidays. Marigold is happy that she only has the one child to look after for the next couple of days. She is relieved that her husband and his family will get to spend time with her son and other daughter. Three little kids are a handful, but getting a break and only having to look after one is much needed on her part.

I hand Marigold a skinny joint. She’s delighted. She hardly ever smokes weed so she says she only needs a tiny bit to get lit. She excuses herself and heads to the bathroom to toke up. I’m just chilling on the couch sipping a glass of wine. I tell her to run the fan in the bathroom to draw out the smoke. I hear the fan go on followed by coughing.

Moments later, Marigold reappears, smiling. “Thanks, I needed that. Do my eyes look stoned?”

I assure her she looks fine. We get her little one in the stroller and head downstairs in the elevator. I’ve decided to take them to Zavino at 13th and Sansom. It’s a small place but we’re in a nice little booth in the back. I had called ahead to hold a table and they were very accommodating. They take the stroller and hang it in the back.

We settle into our seats and order some wine. I know they all love pizza and that’s why I brought them here. It’s really good brick oven pie here. They have this location and a bigger one out in University City. Their happy hour is pretty solid. We got two pies (they’re small) eight bucks a piece and the wine was only five bucks a glass. For a nice place like this in midtown village, that’s a good deal.

We had a nice dinner without incident. Her daughter was well-behaved. The food was great and the service on point. I was happy to see Marigold and share this moment of repose with her. When we finished, she insisted on paying the bill. I left the tip. I walked her back to the hotel and we called it a night. It was a great two hours to catch up with my old friend. She said she couldn’t wait to snuggle up with her little one, smoke a little more grass and fall into the arms of Morpheus.

I love Marigold like a sister.

 

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

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Duncan – 1997 to Present – Blind Ambition And The Sin of Avarice

I have known Duncan for a long time. Nearly 20 years. He is originally from Northeast Philly like myself. I met him back when I was in retail banking. I was selling mutual funds at a branch in South Philly. He was my underwriter. So I would procure the clients, and sell to them, and Duncan would put together the hypotheticals and make recommendations. So he was my back office support person assigned to me. He had followed a girlfriend to Charlotte, North Carolina a few years before. Our headquarters were there.

We became friends shortly after he saw that I had written, “The Green Manalishi with the Two Pronged Crown”, on the auto reply on my internal email. It’s a Judas Priest reference and he got it. We started talking and got to know each other and our mutual of all things heavy metal.

He had family in Pennsylvania and would come up and visit occasionally.

Over the years he would come and stay at my house and we would plan his visits around heavy metal concerts. We’ve seen AC/DC, Motorhead, Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Cinderella, Iron Maiden, and many other bands on several occasions.

When I got divorced he dumped his girlfriend who had gotten heavier and lazy. I bounced around the banking industry for a few years, and dated a few women. Some crazy, some not so crazy. I don’t remember if he dated much after he split with his girlfriend. Here’s the thing, Duncan is a good-looking, fit guy, but he has absolutely no game whatsoever. He works out, but doesn’t eat all that well. The boy needs more fruit and vegetables.

He always had around five dogs. They were his buddies. He lived on a remote road and had a big yard for the dogs to run around in. Always the dogs. So while I’m working in and out of banking and consulting, Duncan is taking all of these courses to become a CFA. (Certified Financial Analyst) He meets a woman in one of the courses he takes at night and they get to know each other. I think she was married before or in the process of getting a divorce.

So they hook up because they are both sporty and good looking. They eventually get married.

One thing about Ducan that is his biggest flaw is that he has no coping mechanisms in place. He has to control everything, and everything has to be about him and meeting his needs. Kind of like my dad. So after two days with the guy you’re ready to escort him off the property. You have to do the activities he wants to do, and eat the food he likes to eat. That shit doesn’t work long-term with any relationship. But he only visited a couple of times a year so I didn’t mind. We had good times for years.

Duncan was driven to be what he wanted to become and put off family until he felt he had reached a certain level in his career. “When I pass this test, or when I get that license, we’ll try to have kids.” Well, he put it off for too long and the window was closing on his wife’s ability to reproduce. They tried for a while but nothing was happening.  She finally did get pregnant but at some point lost it. It was painful physically and emotionally for her. She didn’t want to go through it again, and that was it.

Duncan’s wife came from money and had no real concept of it. I remember him telling me she had over one hundred thousand dollars in revolving debt. She kept promising to pay it down, but I don’t think she ever did. He only found out about it when they were doing a refinance on the house and she couldn’t be on the loan because she was so upside down with her credit card debt. Duncan always kept all of their finances separate. She liked to blow money on frivolous things, and Duncan was always frugal.

With any hope of gestation off the table, she started going out on the weekends with her soccer buddies. Many of them were younger and she would stay out late and party at the bars and clubs. Duncan used to smoke a bunch of weed when he was cool, but was never really a drinker. He doesn’t go out anywhere. He’s not social at all. He doesn’t really have any friends. I think I was his best friend for many, many years.

He did cut me off for about two years once when I first returned to Philly from New York. I don’t remember why. Some trivial shit. But out of nowhere he started texting me again. When I asked him why he cut me off, he literally said he had no recollection of doing it. I remember exactly where I was when he cut me off. Saying, “we had a good run, but it’s over.” But I was just happy we were back. Even if he lived fifteen hundred miles away.

Duncan is telling me he’s getting fed up with his wife going out all of the time. But she probably was bored with him by then. I know if I were a woman I wouldn’t stick around. He’s got to be 48 years old by now and he still acts the same way he did back in his late twenties when I first met him. He hasn’t evolved as a man at all. Still the same guy. But he gave up weed years ago.

So after about a year of her going out he finally says he’s going to divorce her. They were married for eight years. He worked his ass off for the bank. They own him. Scooter is married to his ambition. He spends so much time working that he has amassed a small fortune. But of course his loser family all have their hands in his pockets. He had to go on their mortgage or they would lose their house and have to go bankrupt because of their reckless spending.

They split up. He’s on his own with his house full of dogs again. He tries to date some woman at his office and she’s not interested. He has to go to therapy for his divorce. Not because he’s sad that it ended but because he’s so angry that he failed. He started dating some older Asian woman at his tennis club. He says he’s never getting married again. But he bought her $5000 earrings last Christmas. He makes killer bank now. They have been together for a few years now. I refer to her as Yoko because I hardly ever hear from him anymore. They’ve come up to the area twice, but the first time I really didn’t feel like hanging out with them. Then around last 4th of July, they were supposed to stay in the city but ended up staying out by his parents and I never saw him.

One of the last conversations I had with him this year was him telling me that when he sells his house in the Spring 2017, he will be worth a million dollars. Maybe then he’ll finally be happy.

But I doubt it.

UPDATE: Duncan text me over the holidays that he was on the train with his girlfriend on their way to Warminster to see his family. He sent me a photo of a 1.75 bottle of Grey Goose being held by her in a liquor store. He said it was for me. No warning. No planning. Just has a bottle for me and am I available in the city tonight. I already had really important plans with a lady, and I wasn’t going to be around. I told him I’d be available Saturday night and Sunday. I got a text later from him saying he was on South Street, and where could he take his girlfriend for dinner. I told him Serpico or Ella. I never got a thank you or another word from him. He said later that maybe on Sunday he could see me because he was visiting his cousins. At this point, I wished he just left the bottle on my front steps and left. Because it’s all about “Mr. I have no coping skills.” So I think I’m done. (Still love him though) Too much has gone by and he’s so locked into his old Asian granny of a girlfriend that I won’t hear from him for a long time. I liked him better when he was a pot smoking clerk. At least he was fun back then.

Bitter?

Yeah. Table for one.

(But… Stay tuned. There is more to come in the future and will be glorious.)

 

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Carly – 2012 to Present – The Mad Baker

Carly is one of my favorite ladies in the city. She’s well-connected but doesn’t live in center city. She lives out in Manayunk. Sort of a hip suburb, west of Philly. It’s a fifteen minute drive to her house she’s so close. But to those of us that live in the bubble of Rittenhouse, she might as well be and hour away. I get out to Manayunk maybe once or twice a year.

I’ve been to her house. It’s nice. She’s there with her husband and her dogs. She loves dogs. She’s probably fostered twenty plus dogs in the time she’s lived here. When she’s not being the events director for a major restaurant here in the city, she has another interesting hobby other than the pups.

Carly is trained in the culinary arts. She makes wonderful pastries, muffins, cakes, and candies. But here’s the thing. Her baked goods have very special properties. They are all infused with cannabis oil. I don’t know how she makes these things but from what I hear they are all delicious. She can make any flavor you like. Vanilla, chocolate, cornbread, smores, peanut butter, blueberry…anything. She’s pretty talented. I’ve seen her little loaves go for eighty bucks. It’s only about seven inches long and a few inches high. But you can slice them down into eight servings. Actually you must do that. That’s to control the portions and your intake of the THC.

Eating pot as opposed to smoking it is quite a different experience. I’ve never been a fan of weed. I’ve done it, but I prefer alcohol. Smoking causes a nearly immediate sensation. Oxygen in the lungs carry the drug into the bloodstream and up to the brain to get you high. Whereas when you ingest the drug it takes longer for the high to hit but it comes with greater force and is more sustainable. Some call it, “The body high.”

For someone who smokes tons of weed, they could probably eat one and a half slices of the loaf. But for the light user, it’s best to start with half a slice and wait thirty minutes. Then if you feel a little something then you can take the rest. I have a friend who smokes loads of weed. She could eat two slices and handle it. Like alcohol, people have different tolerances. That, and some people like to practice the things they love.On Nov. 8, 2016, voters in nine states decided whether or not to legalize marijuana. Five of those states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada — saw ballot initiatives to legalize weed for recreational purposes. Voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota decided whether to legalize medical cannabis. Montana voted on expanding medical marijuana rights.

As the election results rolled in, Florida was the first to officially announce it had legalized medical marijuana. North Dakota and Arkansas followed.

California and Massachusetts were the first of the states considering recreational pot to legalize it. Nevada soon followed.

Voters in Arizona ultimately rejected their state’s bid to legalize recreational marijuana. As of Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2016 Maine was on course to pass legal weed, however it wasn’t yet official.

In mid-April, Pennsylvania passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana, bringing the total number of states (plus Washington, D.C.) with some form of legal pot to 24. The majority of those states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, however recreational marijuana use is fully legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and the District of Columbia.

If you get busted with weed in this city, I think if it’s under an ounce, the fine is a paltry $25. Once you pay your debt to society, it’s expunged from your record!

Mayor Kenney is for it and so is Governor Wolf. Legalization of marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania would save our school systems in this city. Can you imagine something that would get you in big trouble if you got caught doing it in school, is the very thing that keeps your school open now?

I hope it happens, because it seems like it would be great for Carly. She could own her own bakery somewhere, and all of the delicious things she makes would be available to all. Legally!

 

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