Man, that's some bright green. Holy shit. Welcome to the Phile, kids, and Happy Earth Day. I thought I'll make the logo green today in honor of Earth Day, but didn't think it'll be that bright. Anyway, what are you doing reading this? You should be outside. I don't know where you live, but here in Clermont it is raining. I am gonna celebrate Earth Day by going number 2 outside. You know, Nigerians are perfect when it comes to celebrating Earth Day. It was revealed that someone sent President Obama a suspicious letter containing the poison ricin. It's a deadly poison made from beans. They said it's the third worst substance you can send in the mail behind anthrax and packing peanuts. Federal law enforcement agencies say they believe it's from the same person who sent ricin to a Republican senator. At least he's bipartisan. A man in New York City is convicted of stealing more than $376,000 worth of copy machine toner from the law firm he worked for. They're known for their work with big corporations and investment banks, and also for not ever having any toner in their copier. Did you hear this? Adrian Rodriguez pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny. They caught him black handed. Reese Witherspoon was arrested for disorderly conduct. Her mug shot is the best picture she's done in years. Legally Blonde? Legally bombed is more like it. Star magazine had a poll. They named Gwyneth Paltrow the most hated celebrity in America. I said, “That is not fair. Come on! I'm sure other countries hate her too.” Have you heard about cupping? Cupping is an ancient form of medicine. You put cups on the skin, heat them up, and it creates a suction. I'd never do the cupping thing. If someone approached me with a hot cup, it had better be full of hot soup... because I'm old, you see. Cupping therapy is very popular in Hollywood. It has been around for thousands of years so it must be very good. It is practically illegal to get old there. The second and final week of Coachella started... all in celebration of White History Month. For those of you who aren't familiar with Coachella, it's a big music festival in the California desert. If you didn't get tickets or if you're too far away, just get high and pass out in a dumpster behind Trader Joe’s. Just like being there. Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, announced starting in 2015 that they're going to put out a new Star Wars movie every summer for the foreseeable future. Next up is Star Wars Episode 7, followed by Darth Vader, Mall Cop. After that will be It's a Star Wars Movie, Just Give Us Your Money. I have to mention this, now that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been arrested, there is talks about if he will get the death penalty. There is no death penalty in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, so they'll have to make a federal case if they want to snuff the bastard. Have you heard of the organization Moms Deserve Action? Me neither, but they have a poster out. This is 100% real, kids. Check it out.
That's a big ass NRA flag there. In lighter news, Michael Jordan is shlocking Rayvac batteries, I think he's been doing that for years. Anyway, I thought the ad was kinda odd.
That's so dumb. Alright, so one of the things I like to do in my spare time is to go on Twitter and type in certain words to see what people are talking about. One of those words is Foghat, and this is what I recently saw.
How do you pronounce Foghat in a French way? Hmmmm.
If you see it email me at email@example.com. So, there's a lot of blogs on the web. Not all have over 600 entries, and not all are as entertaining as this one... HA! But there's a lot, so I thought it should be time again for...
Today's award goes to... Slipjack's Nautical Living. Man, I have to stop picking these randomly. Anyway, here is a taste of Slipjack's Nautical Living.
Go to skipjacksnauticalliving.blogspot.com and tell them the Phile sent you.
Okay, so, the other day there was a Senate vote about gun control. I missed what happened, so I thought I would invite someone to the Phile to explain it. So, please welcome to the Phile, Executive Director of Organizing for Action, Jon Carson.
Me: Hello, Jon, welcome to the Phile. So, did I get it right? Senators voted on the gun control bill?
Jon: Yes, Jason.
Me: And how did it go?
Jon: Forty-five senators chose to ignore their constituents and stand with the gun lobby.
Me: What does this mean now?
Jon: Because of Senate rules, this minority was able to stand in the way of a bipartisan measure to expand background checks for gun sales.
Me: How did those senators have the balls to get right up there...?
Jon: Right in front of victims' families from Newtown...
Me: Yeah, they are more ballsy then I would be.
Jon: They cast that vote against something that more than 90 percent of Americans support.
Me: And I'm guessing you are one of them. What were those senators thinking?
Jon: Those senators made a cynical calculation that, at the end of the day, the gun lobby would be louder and stronger than we are.
Me: So, what now?
Jon: That was just round one. We will keep fighting. If your readers are any of the millions of Americans who care deeply about preventing gun violence, they need to show it.
Me: Congress needs to pass a common-sense gun violence prevention bill. Where do you go from here?
Jon: The senators on both sides of the aisle who stood up to the pressure and cast tough votes to do the right thing... they're going to know that OFA supporters are going to get their backs.
Me: And those 45 senators?
Jon: Those senators who decided that not crossing the gun lobby was more important than making our kids and communities safer... OFA supporters will call them out and hold them accountable to their constituents. The special interests have been at this longer, and they can do a real good job at scaring people by distorting the facts.
Me: They are probably thinking you'll go away quietly.
Jon: Yeah, but there are so many more of us than there are of them. And as long as you don't give up, we're going to keep fighting, and someday soon, we will win.
Me: You really want to win this, don't you?
Jon: For the families of Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Chicago, and the thousands of other communities that have been torn apart by gun violence.
Me: Well, good luck, please come back on the Phile, Jon, and keep us posted.
Jon: Thank you for what you're doing. More soon.
Me: Thanks, Jon.
It is Earth Day, right? Today's pheatured guest provides backing vocals, piano, keyboards and accordion for the Canadian rock band Crash Test Dummies, whose latest album "Oooh La La!" is available on iTunes. She also is the 29th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery. Please welcome to the Phile... Ellen Reid.
Me: Hello, Ellen! Welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?
Ellen: I am well, Jason, thank you.
Me: Recently I interviewed Brad Roberts on the Phile. Did you read that interview? If so, what did you think?
Ellen: I did read the interview. There wasn't enough talk about me, so I kinda got bored.
Me: I think Brad did as well. Before we get into everything, let's get this over with. I asked him about the nude photo of him and asked to him and I quote myself, "Why can't Ellen Reid have a naked picture on her site" and he replied I would have to ask you. Well?
Ellen: I do not have naked pictures of myself on my site because I am actually a man-bear-pig and the stigma has been tough enough already.
Me: Okay, that's good then. I'm married anyway. Let's talk about Brad while we are on that subject, Ellen. I asked him where the band name Crash Test Dummies came from and he couldn't believe I asked that question. Where did the name come from, do you know?
Ellen: We had three weeks of intense brainstorming and then sent the idea to some focus groups and marketing specialists before we agreed on the name. Seriously, Jason. We were kids playing in a fun band. It was a funny name. We used it. It stuck.
Me: Where and when did you first meet Brad?
Ellen: University of Winnipeg, 1985.
Me: He said the other guys had kids and left the band, but he doesn't have any children. Do you, Ellen?
Ellen: Nope. I'm going to be in real trouble when I'm old. Ha, she says "when".
Me: You're not old, Ellen. While most of the guys left CTD, you stayed with him. You are very... I cannot think of the word. It's great you stayed with him as I told him when you and he were the main people in CTD anyway. You must like songwriting and recording with him, Ellen. Who does most of the songwriting, you or Brad?
Ellen: I do enjoy recording with Brad. After 20 years it's pretty intuitive. Brad does all of the songwriting. The only exceptions were on our fourth album where I did a little co-writing.
Me: I love the songs you sing lead on, especially "Get You In the Morning" from "Give Yourself A Hand". Who decides which song you are gonna sing lead on?
Ellen: Brad takes it to a council of Wizards who write the names of the songs down on magical stones and then throw the stones into a vat of dragon blood. The stone that floats will reveal the song I sing. Brad picks the songs I sing.
Me: That was a very different song for you to sing, right?
Ellen: It was. I'm more yell-y.
Me: And you were the main focus in the video. No wonder I liked it. Did you like being up front like that?
Ellen: I am not what one would call camera shy.
Me: Brad says he is not gonna tour anymore. What do you think of that? Do you wanna tour?
Ellen: Touring is hard. I am elderly.
Me: You are not old, Ellen Are you gonna be playing on the next CTD album?
Ellen: That's up to Brad. If he needs yell-y vocals, I'm sure he'd give me a call.
Me: Let's talk about the album "Oooh La La". That's a great album, Ellen. Is that one of your favorites?
Ellen: It is a great album. But I like all of the children.
Me: You play piano, accordion and keyboards. Which one came first and what do you prefer?
Ellen: I don't really play the accordion... I only play the keyboard side of it. I took piano lessons as a kid. I prefer piano. Keyboards require reading manuals and I don't do manuals.
Me: You sing on the last track of the album "Put a Face" with an orchestra. That's a beautiful song. Where did the orchestra come from?
Ellen: I flew in to New York in the morning, sung and left that afternoon. I have no idea about the orchestra. It is a beautiful song and I'm glad Brad asked me to sing it.
Me: And on the "Demo-Litions" album, on the song "After My Dinner", are you playing piano?
Ellen: Oh God, I can't remember. That was over 15 years ago. I can't remember where I am most times.
Me: A few years ago, actually it was more then a few years ago, you released a solo album called "Cinderellen". That song is not on iTunes, which it should be. Did you like recording your own album?
Ellen: I loved writing and recording my own record. It was an excellent learning process for me and I'm glad I did it. It's not on iTunes because the legal fees I'd have to incur to ensure that all my collaborators had their rights secured would be more than I could ever hope to get from album/single sales.
Me: That's a shame. Who plays on that album with you, Ellen?
Ellen: I had so many very talented musicians. Greg Wells, Chris Fudurich, Chris Brown, Stuart Cameron, Scott Harding, just to name a few.
Me: On your website you describe it as whiney vagina music. What the hell? Do you still refer it to that?
Ellen: I calls it as I sees it.
Me: Ellen, you're from Canada, like the rest of CTD, right? What part and where do you live now?
Ellen: I'm from Selkirk, Manitoba. I currently live in Toronto.
Me: I ask all my Canadian guests if they are fans of one of my favorite bands ever... Barenaked Ladies. I know you toured with them, but are you a fan of there's?
Ellen: They are a great bunch of guys and write notoriously catchy tunes. I just heard them sing acapella National Anthems on TV the other night before the hockey game. It was the only time I have not muted the TV during a national anthem. This is high praise.
Me: CTD was one of my favorite bands from the 90's, even before "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" became a big hit. When that song became big, what did you think?
Ellen: I thought "Hurray!" We were lucky kids and Brad's a great songwriter.
Me: How did it change your life? Big time, right?
Ellen: It changed my life in that I was hardly ever at home and people wanted to give us gym bags for free. Seriously. I will never have to buy another gym bag in my life. It was kind of a whirlwind at the time. But it was very exciting. It didn't change who I was or who my friends were. Although I did stop colouring my hair at home and I upgraded to the fancy toilet paper. You can't go back once you've started with that stuff.
Me: Were you surprised it became such a hit and caught on?
Ellen: I was surprised. And delighted!
Me: Let's talk about your art work. You make needlepoint bookmarks with sayings like "There's a lot of sex in this book" and "children are just awful". LOL. You sell this book marks, right?
Ellen: I do, but it's more just for fun. It's basically selling them for the price of the materials. I don't have many left.
Me: Have you been doing needlepoint for a long time?
Ellen: Since 1996.
Me: I don't know if you know, but I featured your needlepoint in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery. That's cool, right?
Ellen: As long as you're using it for good, and not evil, I'm cool with it.
Me: You did a whole series of pillow dedicated to the movie Anchorman. With the new movie coming out, you need to make more. Is that your favorite film?
Ellen: Anchorman in the best series of hilarious lines ever strung together. There is no situation that can not be made better by quoting from Anchorman. My cat peed on my Anchorman pillows. She's more into film noir, and wanted to let me know.
Me: You didn't do any CTD themed needlepoint, Ellen.
Ellen: That would sell. Needlepoint costs so much to make that no one would ever pay me what it actually costs to make the pillows. For example, just supplies and assembly costs for one of the Anchorman pillows would be around $100. That does not take into consideration that one pillow took me about 75 hours of work. If anyone wants to buy a series of pee-smelling Anchorman pillows, let me know. :-) I did a pillow of KISS for Dan.
Me: Yeah, I showed that on the Phile as well. Anyway, I love your blog. Go ahead and tell the readers what it's called.
Ellen: Mycompletelackofboundaries/blogspot.ca. It's where my ego goes to feed.
Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Tell Brad I said hello. Before I let you go, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. What was the most fun you ever had at a party?
Ellen: I generally don't like parties. Groups of more than 6 people make me itchy. I had a great time at my 40th birthday party. My friend Ryan decorated my living room with dozens and dozens of red helium filled balloons. I like any party where I am the focus and I get presents. I am not very mature. Also, if there is cake, I am happy.
Me: Cool. Ellen, thanks again, and please come back soon. Will you? All the best.
Ellen: If you provide the cake, I will be here. Thanks, Jason. All the best to you, too.
There you go, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jon Carson and of course the lovely Ellen Reid. She still looks good. The Phile will be back next Sunday with singer Sasha Papernik and then on Monday with musician and professor Rees Shad, who has such a cool name. Also, I have to tell you, May is just around the corner and once again all throughout May it will be Star Wars Month here on the Phile. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!