Monday, October 16, 2017

Pheaturing Joe Negri

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you doing? It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, kids. Please get a breast exam and pleas call me if you need a second opinion. Haha.
Alright, Al Michaels has been one of the most prominent voices in sports announcing for decades but yesterday, he learned a simple lesson. If you want to joke about Harvey Weinstein the same week that years and years of the Hollywood producer's alleged sexual assault and harassment came to light, it better be fucking hilarious... I mean you just shouldn't. "I mean let's face it, the Giants are coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein, and they're up 14 points!" said Michaels, to instantaneous fury from the Internet. After a commercial break, according to the "Washington Post," Michaels gave his apologies for the lapse in judgment."Sorry I made a reference earlier, I was trying to be a little flip about somebody obviously very much in the news all over the country, and it was not meant in that manner. So, my apologies, and, um, we'll just leave it at that." Of course, Michaels did have his Twitter defenders after the ad-lib went wrong. But like James Corden learned on Friday night, it's simply smarter to avoid any Weinstein jokes unless you've got something insightful and empathetic to say. Scratch that. Ha!
One of the toughest challenges in comedy is figuring out when it's right to make a joke about a tragedy, and when you should just shut up and listen. Oftentimes, the answer directly correlates with how well you empathize with the tragedy's victims. Basically, if you're going to joke about rape and sexual assault, the joke will be 800% more funny, effective and tasteful if you understand how serious and traumatic sexual abuse is. Otherwise, even the most well-intentioned joke feels like it's mocking victims of sexual assault. For example, on Friday night James Corden made jokes about Harvey Weinstein while hosting the AmfAR Gala to benefit AIDS research. To make matters worse, his hosting set didn't merely mention Weinstein in passing, but fully buckled in to roast the alleged abuser. The results, came off as deeply cringe inducing, to say the least. The British comic kicked off his set by greeting audience members with a reference to the abuse allegations against Weinstein. From there, he really dug in."This is a beautiful room. It’s a beautiful night here in L.A. So beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage. It has been weird this week though, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath. Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight, but sadly he’ll settle for whatever potted plant is closest." Yikes. Unsurprisingly, people on Twitter felt Corden's jokes trivialized the seriousness of the Weinstein allegations. The actress Rose McGowan, who has been particularly outspoken in the past few weeks about Weinstein and Hollywood's sexual assault problem, minced no words when she expressed her disapproval of the hosting bit. McGowan certainly wasn't alone in her disgust towards the tone, content and timing of the Weinstein jokes. It wasn't just women on Twitter who disapproved of the bit, men spoke up in disapproval as well. In fact, a lot of Twitter users in England revealed a longstanding distaste for the comedian. Following the backlash, Corden posted an apology on Twitter. "To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behavior.​​, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention," Corden wrote. Hopefully, some of Corden's peers are paying attention, so we can avoid more bad "takes" on the Weinstein allegations.
The man most widely known as the publisher of "Hustler," Larry Flynt, posted a full page ad in the Sunday edition of "The Washington Post" offering $10 million dollars to anyone who can get Trump impeached. He's not kidding, either. The full page bold print ad features an eye-catching all caps header offering cash in exchange for dirt that could enable impeachment,

The advertisement also lays out six key reasons Flynt feels Trump is unfit for office, and why it's crucial to get him out as soon as possible. Once his grievances with Trump are laid out, Flynt turns the mic towards the reader, imploring anyone who might have dirt or a "smoking gun" that could get Trump impeached to come forward and claim $10 million. "Did he make some financial quid pro quo with the Russians? Has the business of the United States been compromised to protect the business of the Trump empire? We need to flush everything out into the open," the ad states. The ad ends with a toll-free number, an email address and the explicit promise that Flynt will fully reward anyone who comes forward. The hotline will be staffed between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST, for the next two weeks. "I feel it is my patriotic duty, and the duty of all Americans, to dump Trump before it’s too late," Flynt wrote.
Last weekend, certain locations of McDonald's brought back their Szechuan sauce (which came out as a promotion for the Disney movie Mulan) after sci-fi cartoon "Rick and Morty" fans demanded it, based on an episode of the show. Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as planned, and most of the fans who wanted the McNuggets dipping sauce weren't able to get it. Lines were long, supply was low, and people ended up scalping packets of the sauce for as much as $700 on eBay, according to "EW." McDonald's apologized, but irate fans of the show really let them have it on Twitter. Well, buck up, campers, because it turns out that McDonald's IS bringing back the Szechuan sauce, and this time for more than a day. McDonald's issued a statement on Twitter saying, in part, Szechuan sauce is coming back once again this winter. And instead of being one-day-only and limited to certain restaurants, we’re bringing back more... a lot more... so that any fan who’s willing to do whatever it takes for Szechuan sauce will only have to ask for it at a nearby McDonald’s. I guess all that complaining paid off!
Halloween is just around the corner, and you know what that means... it is finally time to turn up your favorite spooky bop, "The Monster Mash." It's practically impossible not to put on your best spooky voice and sing along to this banger that is, no joke, scientifically proven to be the single best Halloween song in existence. But get this... you've never heard the actual "Monster Mash" song. Confused? Allow me to explain. The 1962 song "The Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett is merely a song ABOUT a song called "The Monster Mash." The narrator is describing the scene as an observer, and therefore you never actually get to hear the music all those monsters and ghouls were jamming to. Now, I'm sure some of you are thinking that "The Monster Mash" was a dance and not a song at all. But a lyrical fact-check proved that untrue. So yeah, everything you know is a lie! But hey, don't let that stop you from doing the "Transylvania twist" at all the Halloween parties you attend.
Hey, do you like Bugles? I do, but prefer Pringles. Anyway, I do like Bugles' ad slogan...

The Giants finally won yesterday! Yay! I have an exclusive pic of Giants fans after the game ended...

Hahahahaha. I crack myself up. So, ever see those tip jars at restaurants? Some times businesses get really creative with them...

Why?! Ever go into a public restroom and see something you wish you hadn't? Like this...

What the hell? Hey, do you remember Mini Me from the Austin Powers movies? This is him now...

Do you feel old yet? Hahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

Did you see the trailer for the new Star Wars movie? I learnt something from it... R2-D2 finally revealed himself as a diabolical arsonist.

So, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and through this month I am showing you pics of one of my favorite things... side boobs with tattoos.

You. Are. Welcome. Fellas... and ladies if you are into that sort of thing. So, Halloween is in fifteen days away and you might still be looking for a Halloween costume. Well, I can help... how about a sexy Russian?

I, for one, welcome our new Russian overlords. There's some costumes I am already tired of seeing already. Like a sexy Wonder Woman... Hey... there is nothing wrong with dressing sexy or with being Wonder Woman this Halloween. But let's be real... it's not exactly original. I get it! The movie was cool and Wonder Woman is a total BAMF... but the thought of crowds of Wonder Women hobbling around on a chilly autumn night in tiny body suits and 6 inch heels is enough to make me want to dress up as Ares. Alright, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things You Don't Want To Hear Coming From The Next Restroom Stall Again
5. This is gonna be a water landing worthy of Sully Sullenberger!
4. I don't remember eating that! Or that! Those, I remember!
3. U-oh... maybe sidesaddles wasn't such a good idea!
2. Another white linen suit, RUINED!
And the number one thing you don't wanna hear coming from the next restroom stall is...
1. Darling, you know I can't afford a motel room on my salary!

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, my son and I were talking about when we used to watch "Sesame Street" when he was a kid. That show is slightly different now, and I'm glad it wasn;t like that years ago.

After his third failed attempt to spell his own name, Grover realizes that he should have waited at least until 1st grade before dropping out to sell cocaine.

Are you a lazy person? I bet you are not this lazy...

Hahaha. I might have or might not have done that exact thing when I lived at the house. Now I just put the trash on the hood of my car and drive it to the dumpster. Ugh. Donald Trump reportedly joked that Mike Pence wants to hang all gay people. Jesus fucking Christ.

A lengthy October piece in the "New Yorker" called "The Danger of President Pence" has gone viral for a single quote attributed to President Trump. You can imagine that people have strong opinions about the exchange, relayed to a reporter by "a staff member from Trump's campaign." He said that, when people met with Trump after stopping by Pence’s office, Trump would ask them, “Did Mike make you pray?” Two sources also recalled Trump needling Pence about his views on abortion and homosexuality. During a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump belittled Pence’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade. The legal scholar had said that, if the Supreme Court did so, many states would likely legalize abortion on their own. “You see?” Trump asked Pence. “You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.” When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, “Don’t ask that guy... he wants to hang them all!” In one paragraph, we see that Trump mocks Mike Pence, catnip for anyone who hates the administration... but that he does so with such flippant disregard for a vulnerable community that it negates any goodwill you might instinctively award him. After all, the guy who Trump says "wants to hang them all" is also the guy Trump chose to succeed him. No matter how you spin it, the fact that an exchange like this could happen at any moment in the Oval Office is, to put it mildly, terrifying. Then you remember the title of the "New Yorker" piece is "The Danger of President Pence" and it dawns on you that while one of these guy's is the president, the other is a heartbeat/impeachment away. What a choice. The piece... which paints Pence as the more competent of the two psychopaths... goes on to say that while the White House has had "other evangelical Christians" there before, "Pence's fundamentalism exceeds theirs." This is a guy who wants evolution taught as a "theory." A guy who's been repeatedly linked to gay conversion therapy. A guy who doesn't trust himself to be alone with any woman other than his wife. So, yeah.

This is really, really cool... the 68th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The one and only Robbie Robertson will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. So freaking cool!

A man came home to find his house in flames. In a panic, he rushed to his neighbor's house to use the phone to call 911. He dialed and the dispatcher quickly answered. "Help!" he said to the dispatcher. "My house is on fire!" "Okay sir, we can help. How do we get there?" the dispather calmly asked. "What? Don't you still have those big red trucks?"

Today's guest is a jazz guitarist whose CD "Uptown Elegance" is available on iTunes. Also, for years he was known as Handyman Joe on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Please welcome to the Phile... Joe Negri.

Me: Hey, there, Joe. Welcome to the Phile. How are you doing, sir?

Joe: I'm okay, Jason.

Me: You've been a musician and an educator for a long time, Joe. What came first, musician or educator?

Joe: About forty years but I have been in show business since I was a kid. I really started when I was very small, about three or four years old I was appearing on children's radio shows. They were called "The Uncles Shows." Uncle Harry and Uncle Harry. There was all kids back then and I did them. They had Jackie Cooper and Shirley Temple and people like that. It was the Depression so people were hoping their kids would make it to California and make it to Hollywood. I kept performing when I was in my early teens and I had a serious voice change and I didn't particularly want to sing anymore as my voice was cracking. I kind of cooled it for year or two but then I got seriously into guitar. I use to accompany myself on guitar but mainly for singing. When I got serious on guitar my dad took me to a rather good local teacher. His name was Dick Lawrence. He instroduced me to some early pioneers of the jazz guitar. You know, people like Eddie Lang and Carl Kress, Django Reinhardt. I personally discovered Charlie Christian and Charlie was a fellow out of Oklahoma that joined the Benny Goodman band and did a lot of wonderful recordings with the Benny Goodman Sextuplet. Gene Cooper was in that group. A lot of wonderful guys. Charlie died very young from turboclious. He wasn't even 26 I don't think. He also had a little hand in starting the be-bop trend. He was a very big influence to me and was seriously into music. From my early show biz days I became a full fledge musician.

Me: Did you go to school to study music, Joe?

Joe: I went to Carnegie Mellon to study composition because at the time I don't know if you were aware of it, Jason, but they didn't recognize guitar at the colleges. So I had to go in there as a composition major. Johnny Costa from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was a friend of mine and we were both WWII vets and Johnny had gone into Carnegie Mellon two years before me. He highly recommended it so I kind of went in and they accepted me a composition major. While I was there about 2 years in I got the call to start on this local television show and I remember going to the comp teacher and saying, "Jeez, I don't know what to do." He said, "What do you want to do with your life?" And I said, "I just want to be a musician." He said, "Then go ahead." So I took the gig on the TV show which was the start of it.

Me: When you started on TV what kinda stuff were you doing?

Joe: You are not going to believe it. They were like a Bob Hope and Crosby duo. One was a comedy guy and the other sang and played a little piano. I had the trio that backed them up and was featured on a number or two in a half hour show. So from there about year or two later they offered me a job on an afternoon kind of like a talk show like a Johnny Carson show with guests and then led me getting a staff job at the ABC station here in Pittsburgh which was called WTAE. I was doing shows at the station backing up the children's program. I don't know if you remember but back in the 50s or early 60s there was a lot of afternoon children's shows. You probably grew up in the 70s though. Anyway, we had one here called "Adventure Time" I used to host. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts would be guests and then there'd be cartoons and stuff. 

Me: When you went into TV was it to play music or be on TV, Joe?

Joe: It was a means to make a decent living. That was appealing to me because in the evenings I was still going out and playing jazz gigs. Jamming and doing stuff like that. When I became teaching I guess I began to take up a few guitar students. It was also that time that I met Fred Rogers. He called me one day and said, "Hey, Joe, I'm going to start a new show. Would you like to play the handyman on the show?"

Me: So, why do you think he asked you to be a handyman, Joe?

Joe: I don't know. I said you got to be kidding me. You're asking the wrong man to be the handyman. He said you'll be terrific, then we started that show.

Me: Okay, so, what did you think of Fred Rogers back then? Did you ever think his show would be so legendary?

Joe: I was very impressed by him. He was the head writer and did all that. I don't think Fred knew where we were going. Little by little the show picked up on the public broadcasting network and one day he said you're not going to believe this but they are going to begin to broadcast our show overseas to the armed services. We went to Europe and they say us in the Phiilipines. It was the time when our competitors was "Sesame Street." Fred was always critical of "Sesame Street."

Me: Okay, so, people made fun of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" show for years. Did you guys take it seriously or was it a joke to you behind the scenes?

Joe: I don't think we were passionately involved with the children's thing although we were all aware what his purpose was. He worked with the educators of Pittsburgh University and they would look over his scripts and make suggestions to him so they were very much involved with the education of kids. He was also a minister so he was a well rounded guy. He was a lot of fun and he could be humorous. When we would finish watching the tapes for the day he would go to the piano and he would play that theme from the movie... that's all folks. He would break us up. He was very demanding. He wrote his scripts and he wanted them to the letter. You couldn't go in there and ad lib, you had to do what he wrote.

Me: Alright. I have never watched the show so really know nothing about it. I know there was a puppet king of some sort and a train and he took off his sweater and shoes in the beginning of the show. What exactly was your role in the show, Joe?

Joe: I would occasionally go into the recording studio with the combo for post and stuff like that. The only time I really got to play we would being guests into Negri's Music Shop.

Me: Ahhh. Okay. So, you had guests on the show then? Did you have famous people guest on the show? If so, any favorites? Any good stories?

Joe: One of the best was Yo-Yo Ma, he was just cool. I was kind of edgy to play with him. He wanted to something classical so he took something Fred wrote called "Tree, Tree, Tree" and we played it and it was absolutely spectacular. It was beautiful. It was just simple and nice and ideal. It couldn't be better.

Me: I have a screen shot from that moment, Joe...

Me: So, was being on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" your full time job?

Joe: No, no, no. I was still working at TAE. Then when TAE dropped me in the late 80s that's when I really got into education and started testing at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne. I'm still there but I'm not at Carnegie Mellon anymore, Jason. They have decided to drop their jazz program.

Me: Okay, so, I have a question that you might not want to answer... but I will ask it. Haha. I hope this is not stepping out of line but "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" is still shown to this day on PBS and I'm sure other stations, so, do you get royalties for that, Joe?

Joe: Yes, we do. But just to put it simply there's so problems with the royalties. For some reason we got them early and then they stopped. We have been in touch with the Sag-Aftra union. I brought you up to date. I'm still playing guitar and still writing.

Me: That's great. Real quick, I have to ask you about your recording career and CDs. How did you come to work with Michael Feinstein?

Joe: Oh, he called me. I used to work with him with the Pittsburgh Symphony for parks concert and he and I hit of off well so he called me to do it so we went up to New York and did that album. Listen, there are somethings up on YouTube that my granddaughter did if me playing solos. You need to check them out.

Me: I definitely will and I'll post the links here so my readers can check them out as well. Thanks, Joe, for being on the Phile. Now I wanna go watch an episode or two of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

Joe: Good, it is wonderful that I can get across to you. Wonderful to talk to you, Jason.

Me: Thank you, Joe. Take care.

Hmmm. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guest Joe Negri. I hope he had fun being here on the Phile. You can check his videos on YouTube at The Phile will be back on Thursday with New Mexican singer Beto Hale. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pheaturing Phile Alum Jeremy Croston

Morning, kids, and welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month so here's to a month when your obsession with breasts seems almost healthy.
In the past few weeks, dozens of allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape have rolled in against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. And now, in an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Weinstein, the co-founder of The Weinstein Company, has spoken candidly about his brother's unforgivable nature. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein said he hopes his brother faces the full brunt of consequences deserved for the serious allegations. "I have a brother that’s indefensible and crazy. I want him to get the justice that he deserves," says Weinstein. While the board of directors fired Harvey from The Weinstein Company just last week, Bob already cut ties with his brother years ago. In the interview, Bob claimed he knew and disapproved of his brother's cheating, but had no idea he was capable of sexual abuse. "I divorced my brother five years ago. Literally. And those that know me personally in this company understood how I could not take being around him on any level. Certainly my daughters and my family knew it. I could not take his cheating, his lying and also his attitude toward everyone. I had to divorce myself to survive but I had no idea he was a full-on sexual predator." Following the flood of horrific allegations, Bob shared that Harvey has shown no signs of remorse or commitment to change. "It's unbelievable that even to this moment he is more concerned with who sold him out. I don't hear concern or contrition for the victims. And I want them to hear that. Harvey has no remorse whatsoever." While Bob maintains ignorance of his brother's sexual abuse allegations, he did concede that he was aware Harvey needed help for a very long time. "It’s hard to describe how I feel that he took out the emptiness inside of him in so many sick and depraved ways. It’s a sickness but not a sickness that is excusable. It’s a sickness that’s inexcusable. And I, as a brother, understood and was aware as a family member, that my brother needed help and that something was wrong." A consistent theme in the interview was Bob's feeling of disgust towards the trauma his brother inflicted. "I find myself in a waking nightmare. My brother has caused unconscionable suffering. As a father of three girls I say this with every bone in my body... I am heartbroken for the women that he has harmed." While Bob Weinstein claims empathy for the victims, and ignorance of the scope of abuse, many people remain unconvinced by his bid of innocence. Regardless of whether or not Bob is lying, the priority is justice for these women.
Hey, everyone! Here's a fun, zany fact about the Trump administration that you can read and enjoy before your healthcare gets taken away. According to an old tweet dredged up by "Glamour," the president's daughter is not really named Ivanka! Huh! How bow dah? It turns out Ivana's dad is the one dismantling, according to CNN, a "key set of Obamacare subsidies that helped lower-income enrollees pay for health care." Not Ivanka's dad. Wild! The advisor to the president powerless to stop her father's attacks on equal rights, equal pay, and fair healthcare for lower income Americans is in fact named after her mother, Ivana Trump. So! In case you need a refresher, Ivanka Trump's namesake Ivana Trump is the first wife of the president who's unilaterally destroying a critical part of the nation's healthcare law even after motions to repeal repeatedly failed to pass Congress. "In Czech, Ivanka is the baby name for Ivana," said the woman we've always known as IvanKa! Maybe we should start calling her IVANA though instead, right? After all, her dad's promised to dismantle even more crucial parts of the nation's healthcare law, even though his first move has already sparked "threats of legal action and concern of chaos in insurance markets." Wow, you really do learn something new every day!
During the fall, pumpkin spice takes over pretty much everything. The pumpkin spice craze definitely crossed the line into "too far" a while ago... but some people still can't get enough of the sweet scent. And if this dark tale isn't enough to convince you that society has taken pumpkin spice way too far, I don't know what will. As reported by the "Baltimore Sun," Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore was recently evacuated due to an unidentifiable and unusual smell. Some students and teachers said they were having trouble breathing, and five people were taken to the hospital for stomach issues. So, the principal evacuated the school. The fire department came. The fire department called a Hazmat team, who ran a few tests to check for hazardous materials. Eventually, the cause was discovered in a classroom on the third floor: A pumpkin spice aerosol plugin. Seriously. A pumpkin spice air freshener caused respiratory issues, five people to go to the hospital, a school to be evacuated, and the fire department and a Hazmat team to come investigate. Pumpkin spice has officially gone TOO FAR!!!! Here's hoping pumpkin spice enthusiasts learned something from this cautionary tale. Let's all try to chill out a bit for the rest of pumpkin spice season.
In Guizhou, China, a man trying to avoid paying his hotel bill came up with the brilliant idea to escape via the nearby telephone wires. He was trying to get to another building, across the way from the hotel. Spoiler alert: he did not make it. But he also didn't die, either. People with a fear of heights, LOOK AWAY!

According to Mashable, the man seems to end up trapped between two wires about 19 stories up.  "China Daily" mentioned that the man was very near a bunch of high-voltage power lines. So besides not falling 19 stories, this guy is also super lucky he didn't touch one of those. The man got out of his predicament when he was saved by firefighters and then taken into custody by the police. But just because he's safely out of the hotel and off the wires, he's still on the hook for the hotel bill, the amount of which is unknown. One has to imagine the bill was for a substantial amount for a guy to risk his life like this. Either that or he just flat out hates paying for things.
According to actor/poet Amber Tamblyn, film director Quentin Tarantino is apparently "stunned" and "heartbroken" about his "friend for 25 years," Harvey Weinstein. Unless you've been living under a rock, on another planet, you'll by now have heard that Weinstein has been accused by a number of women of sexually harassing them, a pattern of behavior that has allegedly been going on for 30 years. Tamblyn tweeted, "Last night I had a long dinner with my friend Quentin Tarantino. He asked me to share a statement with you regarding Harvey Weinstein." Tamblyn went on to tweet Tarantino's full statement, which reads, "For the last week I've been stunned and heartbroken about the revelations that have come to light about my friend for 25 years Harvey Weinstein. I need a few more days to process my pain, emotions, anger, and memory and then I will speak publicly about it." It sounds a bit like he's making this about his feelings, rather than the feelings of the women Weinstein allegedly harassed. Tarantino and Weinstein have been friends for a long time, sure, but it's hard not to notice that there is absolutely no mention of the women in his statement. It also seems a little odd that Tamblyn tweeted the statement for Tarantino, considering he has his own Twitter account. He's tweeted a bit about Weinstein's allegations from that account as well. Some people on Twitter seemed a bit confused about the vagueness of Tarantino's statement. Others joked about Tarantino making the situation about himself. And there was also some doubt that Tarantino didn't really know what was allegedly going on with Weinstein and women for all those years. I guess we'll just have to wait to see what Tarantino has to say about his longtime friend after he's had time to process his "pain, emotions, anger, and memory." Memory? That part's a little suspicious, just sayin'. A very powerful man like Weinstein allegedly harassing (and there are even accusations of assault) women for three decades seems like the kind of thing a person would remember.
By now you've certainly heard of "mansplaining," the phenomenon where men superciliously explain things to women that the women already know, possibly even better than the men do. In case you're not familiar with this circumstance, here's an example that will illustrate it perfectly. A Twitter user going by @Uptomyknees tweeted a screen grab from Facebook of a "Jeopardy" question (or answer, you know what I mean), reading, "Charlton Heston's wardrobe in 1954's Secret of the Incas inspired the clothes worn by this adventurous character 27 years later." The answer (or question, if you will) was "Who is Indiana Jones?" But a guy on Facebook commented, "The 'Jeopardy' question was wrong. The movie was The Greatest Show on Earth." The know-it-all received a reply from a woman named Deborah Landis, who is both @Uptomyknees' mother and the actual costume designer of the Indiana Jones movies. Landis wrote, "No, the question was exactly right because I provided it. Raiders of the Lost Ark is almost frame for frame Secret of the Incas. Heston later wore the same gear in Greatest Show. But his adventurer/treasure seeker Harry Steele came first." The man responded to Landis, writing "Greatest Show came out in 1952, Incas came out in 1954. Spielberg acknowledges he was inspired by Greatest Show in numerous interviews." CLASSIC mansplaining. Why take the word of the movie's actual costume designer when he's heard a few Spielberg interviews? Landis replied to the man, "Really, 'In interviews?' I was there. He and I watched Incas together in an empty theater. Stanley, you have got to be kidding." (Guessing Stanley is the guy's name, and not just a term Landis uses for every dummy who tries to explain her own career to her.) It's true that Greatest Show came out before Incas, but it's stupid to argue about the costume design for a movie WITH THE ACTUAL COSTUME DESIGNER. Doesn't "Stanley" know that? ADMIT DEFEAT AND MOVE ALONG, SIR.
Speaking of Indiana Jones, remember in Raider of the Lost Ark at the beginning of the movie when he is getting that little gold statue? Well, originally he was supposed to get something else.

Hahahaha. Hey, it's Sunday... instead of writing this blog I should be listening to this album...

Actually... nah. Ever meet someone famous and what you're wearing is a coincidence? It happened to this guy...

I'm wearing an Adam West Batman t-shirt today so you know that's not gonna happen to me. Sad face. Do you ever have problems with your neighbor? I don't myself... I don't really know my neighbors. Anyway, this person did...

One thing about me is I like to follow rules... but some people just take it a little too far.

Hahahaha. Do you ever call in sick and lie? Well, some people have tried it and got caught...

That's funny. So, did you see the new trailer for the next Star Wars movie? I learnt quite a bit about the movie because of it. There will be a climatic battle scene between Kylo Ren and a wall...

So, here in Florida people are always trying to get away with being witty with their license plates...

I don't get it. Hmmm. Okay, so I have been showing you pictures of something I really like... side boobs with tattoos. That's the name of my new band. Haha. Anyway, here's another one...

So, Halloween is just around the corner and if you are having problems finding a costume to wear let me help you. How about this one?

Highlight your bulgy parts in an ode to Trump's campaign promise, and make people buy your drinks all night! It's sixteen days to Halloween and there's some costumes I am already getting tired of.. like Hillary Clinton anything. Either you miss her terribly or hate her guts, how about you leave the pantsuit and pearls in the closet this Halloween, okay? Alright, so, you know I live in Florida... well, there's some crazy stuff that happens on Florida that happens nowhere else in the Universe. So, once again, here is...

Meet William Joe Johnson, who at just 26-years-old, is the most Florida Man to ever Florida Man. The "Tampa Bay Times" reports that Johnson was arrested in Pinellas Park, Florida, after stealing an undisclosed amount of money from a credit union last Thursday and "then using the money on utilities, rent, and a drug binge." Johnson entered the bank and held a teller at gun point before running off with the cash. And here's where it gets interesting, after an investigation, deputies found him at the hotel. In an interview, detectives said Johnson told them he was in need of money and searched on Google "how to rob a bank." Yup. That would do it. Surprisingly there isn't a WikiHow article on bank robbing, but there are some YouTube instructional videos. According to Google search results, there's also a rotten film by that name. Only in Florida could a criminal be this basic. Bless your heart.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, my son and I were talking about how we used to watch "Sesame Street" together when he was little. Man, that show sure has changed over the years. I hope it dod, and wasn't like this when he watched it.

"Hurry and grab some matches, Bert! We gotta get our asses to Ferguson before people start thinking rationally again!"

Do you like Megyn Kelly? I think she's hot but says stupid things. That's why I have a new pheature called...

Jane Fonda came on "Megyn Kelly Today" to talk about her new film, Our Souls at Night... but Kelly had another topic of conversation in mind: plastic surgery. "You've been an example to everyone in how to age beautifully, and with strength, and unapologetically," Kelly told Fonda. "You've admit you've had work done, which I think is to your credit, but you look amazing. Why did you say... I read that you said, you felt you're not proud to admit that you've had work done. Why not?" With perfect comedic timing, Fonda responded, "We really wanna talk about that now?"

Are you a lazy person? I bet you're not as lazy as this protestor...

Haha. Okay, so do you want to sound intelligent next time you go on a date or go to work? Well, once again I am here to help with that. It's time for just the...

Phact 1: In 1984, Steven Tyler heard an old Aerosmith song on the radio and didn't recognize it die to memory loss from years of drug use. He suggested to the band that they record a cover version. Joe Perry told him, "It's us, fuckhead."
Phact 2: A young Bill Nye worked in a local comedy show is Seattle called "Almost Live!" During one episode the show's host said "jiggawatts" when he meant to say "giggawatts." When Bill jumped in to correct him the host snapped back, "Who do you think you are, Bill nye the science guy" The name stuck.
Phact 3: After his daughter's killer went on the run, Andre Bamberski, a 76-year-old Frencman hired two men to find, kidnap and turn him over to the authorities. The dad then received a one year suspended sentence for kidnapping.

You know on sitcoms when a character hates their job so much that they orchestrate a series of comical fuck-ups in hopes of getting fired? Well, I think that's what our president is doing, because he's running out of excuses for his ridiculous mistakes. While giving a speech in D.C. on Friday, Donald Trump mistakenly called the governor of the United States Virgin Islands (who is Governor Kenneth Mapp, by the way) the "President of the Virgin Islands." But, as CNN pointed out, the person who holds that office would be... Donald Trump. Cue the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Here's Trump's gaffe. "I left Texas and I left Florida and and I left Louisiana and I went to Puerto Rico and I met with the President of the Virgin Islands," he told the audience. Oh cool man, what was it like meeting with yourself? Did you just sit alone in a room and talk to yourself in the mirror? Or do you have two cell phones, and you called one from the other and held them both up to your ears? Or did you just lie in the darkness, clutching a pillow, praying your presidency will be cut short? CNN adds that Trump made the mistake more than once. He also told the crowd, "The Virgin Islands and the President of the Virgin Islands, these are people that are incredible people, they suffered gravely and we're be there, we're going to be there, we have really, it is not even a question of a choice." This from the man who seems pretty consistently annoyed that people expect him to help hurricane victims... Not to mention, Trump's error was edited in the White House's transcript of the speech to reflect Mapp's actual title.

And now let's see if I can make you laugh...

A man sees a sign in front of a house, "Talking Dog for Sale." He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. He goes into the backyard and sees a black mutt just sitting there. "You talk?" he asks. "Yep," the mutt replies. "So, what's your story?" The mutt looks up and says, "Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. But, the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So, I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired." The man is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. The owner says, "Ten dollars." The guy says, "This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?" The owner replies, "He's such a liar. He didn't do any of that stuff."

Today's guest is a Phile Alum and author of "Eye of the Irmacane," the 67th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome back to the Phile... Jeremy Croston.

Me: Jeremy! Hey, man, how are you? Welcome back to the Phile?

Jeremy: I’m doing great! How are you doing? And thanks for having me back, man!

Me: I'm hanging in there. I have you congratulate you on the SIBA award. What is that and what was it for?

Jeremy: It is an award dedicated to independent and small press novels. I won best in fantasy for my book, "Hat Trick."

Me: So, did people have to vote, Jeremy? Were you surprised the book won?

Jeremy: Yes, this is strictly a vote by the readers competition. The readers choose the books they feel are the best. And I was. I didn’t think Norse mythology was all that popular!

Me: This is not you first award, right?

Jeremy: No, "City of Chaos" won best in science fiction last year in the SIBA’s and "Hat Trick" also picked up 2nd place in Mythology in the Virtual Fantasy Con Awards this year.

Me: Nice. How is your family, Jeremy? Jax must be getting big. Is he talking yet?

Jeremy: We are all doing well, thank you! Steph and I are just so surprised how far along he’s come in such a short time. He’s walking, talking, and getting into all sorts of shenanigans. He might be little, but he is mighty.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your latest book that's in the Phile's Book Club... "Eye of the Irmacane." What the fuck? Hurricane Irma was only a few weeks ago and already you have a book out about it. You must've wrote this book very quick, am I right?

Jeremy: It’s not a long book, so don’t think this is some sort of "War and Peace" type work. I think it clocks in at 7,000 words and 41 pages... a lot are pictures! This is actually the published journal I was keeping before and during Irma. When Duke Energy had us off the grid, I was writing in my notebooks.

Me: I mentioned on the Phile a few weeks ago when Jeff Trelewicz was here about you had a lot of damage... how much damage did your house get, Jeremy? At my apartment complex we just lost a bunch of shingles. Oh, in front of the building next to mine a tree fell onto a car.

Jeremy: We were lucky in that the house didn’t suffer too much damage, but my property suffered pretty badly. So far we need to have 5 trees removed, my shed has a skylight in it, and my glass room has a lot of issues (leaking, warped wood, the floor is in bad shape from the water). The amount of debris is our yard was also staggering. It took a team of ten people over the course of two days to get everything taken to the respective curbs. We will be dealing with this stuff for some time, unfortunately.

Me: With Hurricane Francis in 2004 we lost our apartment, so I take hurricane's very serious. Anyway, at that time my son Logan was about four-years-old. We didn't stay home when it hit. Jax is just an infant so was he sacred? Did you guys stay home or did you go anywhere?

Jeremy: We rode it out at home. I’d never do that again. Jak slept for the first part of it, but when a giant limb fell on our roof, that woke him up. From there it got worse as more crap kept slamming into our house and roof, so we were all pretty much on edge. Steph managed to get him back to sleep around 3 a.m. I think, when the storm kind of had a lull in it. If another storm comes this way, we are getting the hell out of here.

Me: So, the book is not a novel as such, right, but a book to help people through hurricanes with real stories? Did I explain it properly?

Jeremy: This book is from my point of view from 5 days out until the morning after the storm. I tell people just what it’s like getting prepared for a hurricane and what it’s like sitting in the darkness as Mother Nature is beating the living crap out of everything with wind, rain, and your neighbor’s garbage cans.

Me: Are there characters in it or real people?

Jeremy: Nope, these are real people. Everyone from my mom, to my cubicle farm mates, to my wife and kid. If it happened to me prior or during the storm, it’s in the book.

Me: So, I take it it doesn't take place in the same "universe" as your other books?

Jeremy: This takes place right here, in our own crazy, messed up world.

Me: So, how and when did you get the idea to write this book, Jeremy?

Jeremy: I’d been taking notes anyway, mainly as a way to keep my anger towards Duke Energy to a minimum. Back to your question, when I saw people talking on Facebook and everything just how great it must’ve been to party during a hurricane, or how it was “Florida” snow days... yeah, I kind of got pissed off. I wrote this book to show people that hurricanes are hell and that we aren’t happy to see one coming this way.

Me: If another hurricane hits Central Florida would you kinda write a "sequel"?

Jeremy: I think this was a one and done for me. I’m heading back to fiction.

Me: I have to say the name of the book is pretty cool... was that the only title you had in mind or did you have others you were thinking about using?

Jeremy: It struck me early on after I decided to publish my notes into story form. I had other people suggest "Irmageddon," but that sounds more like a Bruce Willis movie and not a Jeremy Croston novel. Though, if Bruce wanted to play me if they ever make this a movie…

Me: So, are you writing any other books currently? What's the next book you have coming out?

Jeremy: I always have stuff in the pipeline. I have my horror/fantasy novel "Drakovia: Malice of the Cross" in post editorial right now. We’d like to get that out by Halloween. And I’ve been sitting on my 4th "Cactus Killer" series book for months now, 100% complete. I guess I should get that one out, too. Yeah, what the hell... look for that one this fall.

Me: Do you give any advice to someone that wants to start writing a novel? So, I have this idea for a book I would like to pitch to you and I want your honest opinion. Are you ready? There's this huge battle in space going on and on this planet there's this young teenager who wishes he could go and join the battle, but he has to work on his uncle's farm. Anyway, two robot's show up on his doorstep and he soon finds one has a message from a princess who is looking for somebody else. It turns out the person she is looking for lives on the same planet. The teenager and the robots stumble upon this guy, who is an old man, and he seems to know who the teenager is. They end up hiring these two other characters (one os human, the other will be an alien of some sort... all big and furry). They leave the planet in a spaceship only to discover a huge moon, that;s not really a moon at all, but a space station. They land on this station and find out the princess is held captive there by the book's villain. The old man fights the villain, gets killed, and they rescue the princess. They leave the station, go to another planet and at the end there's a big space battle where this group of rebels blow up the station. The villain gets away at the end but don't worry... there's gonna be a sequel. So, Jeremy, whatcha think? Pretty original, right? Haha.

Jeremy: Dude, in the next one, the main villain should end up being the farm boy’s father! Oh, I’ve got ideas… Let’s talk about this over a drink in Cloud City, shall we?

Me: Hahahaha. Thanks so much for being back here on the Phile. Tell Steph and Jax hello, and I am so glad you're safe and okay. Mention your website and everything and please come back when you next book comes out. Take care, Jeremy. Be good.

Jeremy: Thanks for having me back. I love being on the Phile. Here are my links:,,

Me: Good job, Jeremy. Take care.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guest Jeremy for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with jazz guitarist Joe Negri. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker