California Dreaming – 1982 to 1984 – Alika – Hot Girl, Heroin, Beverly Hills, and Reggie the Cat Converge

This is one of my all time favorite stories!

I met an incredibly hot Armenian airhead named Alika. She came into the bar where my band was playing with some of her other hot girlfriends, and we chatted after our set. There were warning signs that she was a tad bit shallow, not going to lie. This girl’s credit card was platinum, and she drove a convertible Maserati and lived in her parent’s Beverly Hills mansion.

She was completely vapid but oh, so hot. We dated for a few months and everything’s fine. I just did my best to ignore/overlook when she did things I didn’t like… specifically talking.

The holidays came and went. We had a few very fun sleepover parties while her parents were out of town. I’d never met them. Alika was like a tiger in the sack. I felt like a burnt matchstick after a few of our sessions together.

Alika gets the bright idea to invite me over and meet her parents who were hosting a New Years party. Normally I’d skip that but I was curious about trying to see what kind of parents produce a vapidly oblivious, self obsessed, airhead with the common sense of a squirrel crossing a highway. Besides I’d drunk enough of their booze and eaten enough of their caviar and I’d banged their daughter for 3 months or so at this point, so I thought why not? I was a nineteen year old guitarist from Philly. So have at it!

From the moment I met them I got a very distinctly “chilly” reception. I usually gel pretty well with parents of girls I’ve dated. The mother who looked like a grown up version of her daughter and the father looked like he couldn’t remember his own kids names. Polite but certainly chilly.

They kept making pointed comments. Pointing out to me where the bathrooms were without being prompted. Pointing out that the floors were hardwood and that they had “many, many bathrooms.” I was confused by the fact that 1 out of 4 conversations all somehow led to me being directed to the nearest bathroom.

At the end of the night I wished them both goodnight and her mother said she was glad to see “I was still on the wagon.” I smiled through it. As soon as the door closed I had a big “WTF was that all about?!” conversation with Alika.

Long story short Alika has a 100 year old cat named Reggie. And her parents have a 100+ year old Persian rug that Reggie soiled on one of the nights I slept over. Apparently vapid girl was afraid of Reggie getting put to sleep by angry vengeful parents for ruining the rug. So Alika helpfully made up a story that I she had been helping me detox from heroin and that in a fit of withdrawal I’d soiled their prized antique Persian rug!

Mind you this was a few months back and her parents have been under the impression that I was fresh out of rehab after a horrific addiction to pills and heroin. She also told them that she had helped me through the worst of it and that I’m deep in a drug withdrawal stupor and had lost all bladder control and that I had no memory of destroying the rug.

So…rich parents…spawned a spoiled habitually lying rich girl…owned a fat tabby cat with serious digestive tract problems…the guy who’s in a band and has only smoked weed and drank beer is suddenly a horrific heroin addict who in a drug induced haze soiled an $80,000 prized family heirloom antique rug.

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

How to Get Women to Approach You

Since #MeToo a lot of men have asked me how they’re supposed to flirt with women when every first move might be interpreted as harassment. I tell them to sit tight. Men should be nervous about approaching women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to make them feel more comfortable approaching you by looking as normal and inoffensive as possible.

Like my friend Rob (not his real name).

As soon as we walk into a bar—or a Sweetgreen, or an elevator, or a CVS—the attention of the women in the room shifts, subtly, to Rob. Eyes leave conversations to dart his way. Hair is tossed. Bodies twist ever so slightly toward him in their chairs, like sunflowers. It’s like the moment in World War Z before all the zombies start climbing one another to get over the wall to where the humans are hiding. I usually lose him in a CGI anthill of women after about half an hour. But he hardly has to do anything at all.

Rob is attractive—in a down-the-middle way, like the grown-up version of the most popular guy in high school if he hadn’t let himself go in college—but more than that, he’s extremely approachable. He manages to convey that he’s single, straight, and friendly through what he wears, how he acts, and even how he stands. I studied Rob for months until I had cataloged his charms. Then I called a summit of women to help me assemble a guide to approachability. These are our findings.

STEP 1: Dress Down—But Not Casual

When I suggested to Rob that he dresses “for women,” he agreed, with one qualification: “I dress to be comfortable,” he told me. I’d argue that dressing for comfort and dressing for women are the same thing. So would my friends.

I studied Rob for months until I had cataloged his charms. Then I called a summit of women.

“I’d also probably feel more confident walking up to a guy who’s dressed more casually. Fancy businessmen can be intimidating,” said Kaila, 29. “I’ve also used an interesting piece of clothing as a means of hitting on guys. It’s an easy conversation starter.” Break out those novelty tees, gentlemen.

Shannon, 29, suggested that men’s clothes should be “comfortable but also fresh” and pointed to comedian Hasan Minhaj as a reference. I’d never investigated Minhaj’s sartorial choices, but a quick Google search revealed some spooky similarities to Rob’s (cue X-Files theme). Both men dress down, but upscale down: They often wear white sneakers, but the sneaks are very clean; they generally wear jeans, with a T-shirt or sweater, but everything fits well and is in good condition—no wrinkles, stains, or holes. Their clothes are unintimidating, but not frumpy.

STEP 2: Bring a Buddy . . .

Having a friend or two around also makes you look less like a murderer. (Although, Shannon pointed out, a man who is “comfortably alone,” reading or somehow occupying himself, is very approachable.)

“If a guy is around a bunch of guys, it’s a good sign that he has friends and isn’t just prowling around a bar like a weirdo,” said Sophia, 26, adding that she’ll usually wait for a guy to separate from the herd—by taking a solo trip to the bar, for example—before she approaches. “I’m not going to talk to four guys when I just want to talk to one.”

The smaller your group, the more approachable you’ll be. “If it’s just him and a buddy, I’d probably be more likely to chat him up than if he’s in a large group of guys,” Eliza, 32, agreed, “especially if there are women in the group.”

STEP 3: . . . But Not a Lady Buddy

Rolling with female friends definitely makes other men jealous, but it also makes women less likely to approach you: We have no way of knowing whether that beautiful woman to your left is your friend or your girlfriend, and we’re not going to risk her wrath by shooting our shot.

STEP 4: Make Yourself Physically Available

As a little woman, if I’m going to approach a man, I have to see a clear path to him. My worst fear is that I’ll try to break into a phalanx of men to talk to one and none of them will hear me, so I’ll have to say “hey” progressively louder until I shout “hey” so loudly that the whole bar goes quiet and looks at me.

Nobody wants to talk to the brooding bad boy in a bar.

“I don’t want to have to come up from behind and awkwardly tap someone on the shoulder,” Kaila said. It can feel like “Hello, it’s me. Short lady. Down here. I swear I’m an adult.” Leave some space between you and your friends, and only sit down if there’s an open seat next to yours.

STEP 5: Don’t Be Sad

Women like the brooding bad boy onscreen (call me, Marlon Brando circa 1951), but nobody wants to talk to the brooding bad boy in a bar. Almost every woman polled in my grand summit of babes said she would not approach a man unless he was smiling a lot and having a good time—unless, in other words, he looked friendly and easily charmed.

Observe Rob: He begins to disseminate friendliness as soon as he walks into a bar. He jokes with the bouncer, he smiles at the bartender, and then he just sort of cases the room, beaming, for a minute. It puts everyone at ease. “I’m not approaching a guy who isn’t smiling. It just feels too dangerous to talk to a man who is serious, quiet, and trying to be cool,” Sophia said. “I’m not trying to get murdered.”

STEP 6: Remain Alert . . .

Use your friends to look less broody, but don’t get totally caught up in their chat. “One thing that has kept me from approaching a man is the feeling that I will be interrupting a conversation, or his enjoyment of whatever game he’s watching on the bar TV,” said Ashley, 29. “When I’ve approached men, it’s usually when they’re participating in a conversation but not engrossed in it, or when they’re watching something but also frequently checking in with what’s happening elsewhere in the room.”

“It just feels too dangerous to talk to a man who is serious, quiet, and trying to be cool.”

Women are very skilled at half participating: I’ve had many long, wonderful conversations with my female friends in which we all half-assedly throw in contributions every couple seconds while scoping the room. We may have arrived at a solution to world hunger during one of these discussions. We’ll never know. Nobody was paying attention.

STEP 7: . . . But Chill

While you’re having your half-assed but very enjoyable (smile!) conversation with your small group of wingfriends, be sure not to get too loud. In middle school, being loud and boisterous was a great way to signal confidence and get girls’ attention. In adulthood, being loud and boisterous suggests immaturity. It also suggests that you’re drunk. One of the cruel contradictions of flirting is that alcohol, which makes you feel comfortable approaching someone, also makes women less likely to approach you. So order a soda with bitters and sit tight. If you create the right impression (that you’re a nonmurderer with fun friends and clean clothes), the women will come.

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

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!

 

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.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: Phicklephilly

Rocco – 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.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

 

 

Carly – The Coolest Chick I Know in Philly

I was at an event at Square 1682 a few years ago. This is before I became a regular there. I was sitting out in this big white obnoxious Humvee limo, being served cocktails. It was hot, uncomfortable, and the service was slow. So after about a half hour I went inside. I simply went to the bar and ordered a drink.

I was chatting with the bartender about some movie trivia, when I felt a pair of eyes on me to my left. I look over and I see this attractive brunette woman. It looks like she is dying to interject in our conversation. I pause and give her a look. She starts quoting some good stuff and making some good observations about the film we’re discussing.

We introduce ourselves and I learn her name is Carly. She is an events director for a large restaurant chain. She also makes marijuana edibles that are apparently incredible. Over the last few years we meet up at least two to three times a month for a drink and idea exchange. She is really an amazing person, but extremely busy in her job because of all of the demands of these large scale events she assembles.

Carly doesn’t live in center city so I only get to see her after work. She is happily married, and has a passion for rescuing dogs. She can be quite the talker, and when  I met her husband for the first time I said, “You must be a good listener.”

Carly and I do this bit, where if we’re anywhere and a person walking by even remotely resembles a celebrity, we’ll make a wisecrack about them to each other. We’re not making fun of the person, just making each other laugh. It’s just a thing we do.

One night we were sitting at the bar,and this red-haired stout woman walked by us. I turn to Carly and say, “Wow. Wynonna Judd has really put on some weight.” Carly laughs and we go back to our drinks. About twenty minutes later, I’m looking down the bar at the redhead. The waiter is chatting with her. He comes by me. I stop him. “Kenny. Who is that woman with the red hair down there? I ask. “Oh that’s Wynonna Judd.”

I nearly lost my shit. I grab Carly and tell her. We rush down there. Carly is spouting about how her mother loves her, and some shit about” How Love Will Build a Bridge.” It was an absolutely hilarious, surreal moment. Wynnona is a wonderfully sweet woman you’d probably love to have as a neighbor. Just a great southern belle. Her husband was a sweet guy too.

Carly and I have had some wild times and loads of laughs over the last couple of years. I am proud to introduce her here. Like the title says, she is the coolest chick I know in Philly.

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on Wednesdays at 9am EST.