Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pheaturing Tabitha Lyons

Dun dun de dun, dun dun de dun, dun dun de dun, dun dun DE dun, dun dun de dun, dun dun de dun, dun dun de dun, OOH EE OOOOO! Haha. I'm sorry, I have the "Doctor Who" theme in my head for some reason. How are you? This is the last day of November, kids. Already. 2013 is almost over, can you believe it?  I realize that this may come as a big disappointment to everyone out there, but that former-Marine gay waitress in New Jersey I've talked about last week might not have actually been mistreated by a bigoted straight couple. I know! It is quite a shock. But apparently the people whom Dayna Morales claimed stiffed her on a tip because they supposedly did not approve of her "lifestyle" have come forth with their copy of bill, and it looks like these in-real-life-gay-rights-supporting monsters tipped her $18, which is about 20%. You see, this is why we can't have bad things. Kids, here's a lesson for you... Money can’t buy happiness but here's the thing... happiness is a hoax and money is awesome.  It would appear as thought the Rhinoderma darwinii, commonly referred to as "Darwin's frog" because its appearance as a dead leaf offers it camouflage and a supposed leg up in natural selection has gone extinct, the victim of a skin-infecting fungal disease. Thus disproving the theory of evolution. Check and mate, science!  South Carolina police are not one-hundred percent sure how a car ended up on the roof of a home in a suburban neighborhood of Forest Acres, but they have a strong suspicion that drugs might have been at least a small factor. And not just because... Well, it's a car on a roof. But also because there was a bunch of crack cocaine inside the abandoned car.  News anchor Katie Couric announced that she will be leaving network television to continue her journalistic career with the network television of the Internet: "It's very exciting to be a part of a leading company at the intersection of content and technology," Couric said, apparently in reference to Yahoo. Hey, she's gonna be doing news on Yahoo, I'm doing news on Google. Crazy, right?  It's hard to say whether this is a real thing with which people need to actually concern themselves, or if it's just this week's "Knock Out" news story, but on the off chance that there is anybody out there who is genuinely considering eating fruit juice-soaked cotton balls instead of real food as a means of weight loss, please do not fruit juice-soaked cotton balls instead of real food as a means of weight loss. As if this needed to be stated, eating cotton balls is not good for you. This is confirmed by actual medically-trained doctors, as well as common fucking sense.  So, did you kids go Black Friday shopping yesterday? I didn't go last year and I didn't go this year. If you asked a kid today why it was called Black Friday, they probably wouldn't know that it's because retailers traditionally lost money all year... until the massive sales after Thanksgiving sent them into profitability (i.e. "into the black"). They would probably just tell you that it's called Black Friday, obviously, because it is pure, unmitigated evil. Frankly, evil is a much better reason for calling it that. Anyway, if you never done Black Friday shopping, you don't know what you're missing. Check it out...

That's every Walmart now. Haha.  So, you know Blockbuster is going out of business, right? Have you seen their new ad?

I don't get it. I think I do but I'm not sure.  So, did you have turkey on Thanksgiving? There was one company that put out some strange looking turkey. You gotta see it.

Oh my God... I have posted some really stupid shit on this blog before but I think that takes the cake. A Miley Cyrus turkey. It's not even that funny. I'm so lame. Alright, who has Facebook? I have Facebook, I think a lot of you kids do. There's some interesting stories Facebook related, and sometimes on the Phile I like to share them. So, once again, here's a pheature called...

What is the groom supposed to do after the vows of love and obey? Kiss the bride? Hmmm, not in a geek's wedding. Before kissing the bride, Dana Hanna, a Software Developer took his cellphone and updated his relationship status on Facebook and Twitter. He also handed one over to his new wife to do the same. We appreciate you keep us informed Dana, but I hope you don't do the same at every stage of your honeymoon… We get the picture anyways @;)

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at Okay, before we move on I wanna mention something... back in March if you remember it was "The Great Space Coaster" month. I still wanna support the show so if you would like to help "The Great Space Coaster" in their efforts to digitize and preserve the original episodes of the show, then check out their latest campaign! Go to eBay and search for "Save the Great Space Coaster" to find some really cool one-of-a-kind Holiday gifts. Here's a link, kids. Alright, Laird Jim is one of the luckiest people I know. He's also a patriot, singer and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

So at the end of my time with a client, she hands me a small package and says, "Happy Hannukah"I thanked her and began to unwrap it... she says, "No... wait until you get home." I get home and tear off the wrapping... It's a porn DVD... I laugh and smile, look at the cover closely and it's my client who's the star of the movie... A very awkward moment for me, indeed... I'm not even Jewish.

It's 4:48 pm, 72°F and Kelly is on the cover of PARADE magazine.

Hey, maybe she can come over and decorate our Christmas tree. No, she can't, she's married and pregnant now. Agghhhhhh!!!

Today's pheatured guest is 37th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery. She works for an company called Artyfakes, and she is also a cosplayer and is from England, so that's really cool. Please welcome to the Phile... Tabitha Lyons.

Me: Hey, Tabitha, welcome to the Phile. My God, you're gorgeous. How are you?

Tabitha: Haha... I'm fine thank you :) I have just come back from England's biggest convention so slightly tired mixed with lots of excite!

Me: Okay, you're from England, right? What part?

Tabitha: I was born in Cambridge, but was brought up in the East of London. I have now left the city life and currently living in Norfolk as a country bumpkin.

Me: I was born in London but grew up on Long Island, New York. Ever been to the States before?

Tabitha: I have not sadly, though I am currently saving all of my pennies to try and visit next year.

Me: I read you have been larping since you were 8. I have no idea what larping is. Shit, I just found out what twerking was a few months ago. So, what is larping?

Tabitha: Haha. Larping is short for LIVE ACTION ROLE PLAY, it's cleaner then what it sounds, it's like bringing a character to life! Instead of sitting down playing table top, or controlling your avatar on an Xbox game you're walking around, with a sword in your hand or being a princess, stealing the jewels.

Me: Huh. That's cool. Okay, you work for a company called Artyfakes, am I right? That company builds props and stuff. When did you start working for them and getting into the prop building business?

Tabitha: I got a Saturday job when I was 12 with a company where my dad used to work, So I have always been around the industry, whilst at school, collage other jobs. We decided to take our work to the next level and started Artyfakes in 2007.

Me: It looks like hard work, Tabitha. Is it hard work?

Tabitha: Very. However I wouldn't want to do anything else.

Me: I am sure it could be fun though. So, how many people do you work with?

Tabitha: It can be yes, it give us the chance to be kids again, we now have a team of about 7.

Me: Are these props built for TV and movies or home use?

Tabitha: Each item we make we is to order so what specifications are need for one job may not be required for another for instance a cosplay weapon may not be suited for LARP as you have to 'hit' people within the game. But yes, we have made props for TV, movies, home and much more.

Me: Do you sell them?

Tabitha: That's what we do. We have a catalogue of items where people can purchase from our website, or we can give no obligation quotes on anything the customer requires, as we can pretty much make anything.

Me: What was the largest prop you have worked on?

Tabitha: The largest prop I have worked on is the job we are currently on. We decided to make a 16ft ride on dragon.

Me: It looks like you do quite a bit of "Games of Thrones" pieces. Are you a fan of that show? I have never seen it myself.

Tabitha: I am a massive fan of the show! The books are sitting in my room! I don't want to start reading them until the show comes to an end, I'm scareed if I start now it may ruin what I have with "G.O.T." already... LOL. GO WATCH THEM NOW!!! DO ITTTTTT!

Me: I can't right now, I'm working on this blog. Haha. What other TV shows are you into? "Doctor Who"? Are you a Star Wars fan as well?

Tabitha: I am a massive "Supernatural" fan, loved "Firefly" and the classic "Buffy" and "Angel".

Me: Okay, so, you cosplay... I said this before, Tabitha, when I went to my first comic book convention in the 80s there was no cosplaying and even worse no hot girls there. Then it seems over the years more people are cosplaying then ever at the conventions, and girls are wearing less and less. I was born twenty years too late. Haha. Anyway, how long have you been cosplaying?

Tabitha: I do cosplay and only started last year.

Me: It's really big in America and some of my friends cosplay. Does it have a big following in England?

Tabitha: It's definitly getting there, with shows like "Big Bang" and superohero movies becoming more main stream, cosplay is becoming more popular. We just have less people in this country ;)

Me: Good point. When and what was the first convention you went to?

Tabitha: My first convention was in May 2012 at Mark Miller's Kapow. I even won a prize from the man himself! The best introduction to the cosplay society. It was a good day.

Me: How many characters do you dress up as and what one is your favorite?

Tabitha: I have done so many over the years including my own characters it would be hard to say, I love them all for there very own reasons... characters that stand out for me is Kitiara, Juliet Starling and my Larp character Kit!

Me: Some of the characters you dress up as I know... Rogue, She-Hulk, Lara Croft... but there's one that caught my eye I have no idea who she is... it's the cheerleader Juliet Starling. Who is she?

Tabitha: She is in a computer game called "Lollipop Chainsaw" which is an 18 plus. She is a cheerleader for San Romero who is secretly a zombie hunter with the rest of her family.

Me: Do you design and create the costumes yourself or just the props?

Tabitha: I work with the rest of the team to get best overall look. We like to create the whole costumes are self, whilst adding an Artyfakes twist :)

Me: That Iron Man gauntlet is really cool, Tabitha. How do you start to build something like that? What is it made out of and did you get the specs from watching the movie a thousand times, or from pictures?

Tabitha: We have never used pepakura before and it was a great excuse, unlike everything else we have done before we used templates that were already on the net, we soon changed them and made it our own design :) Yes, Google images also helped along with the movie. 

Me: Is it comfortable to wear?

Tabitha: For an armoured arm, yes. It's made from foam and latex so very light weight unlike wood which I have seen at cons before, foam is much safer to!

Me: There's a great photo of you as Rogue lifting a Sentinel mask above your head which I showed here last weekend. That piece looks heavy but I guess it isn't. How heavy is it really?

Tabitha: Not heavy at all for a prop of that size, buit after wearing heels all day and holding it in the air for five hours it starts to hurt ;)

Me: Okay, I have to ask about the one character you dress as... read hair, a sword or knife and very little armour. You are practically naked. I have to show a picture...

Me: Who is that and you must be very comfortable with your body, am I right?

Tabitha: That character is Red Sonja, a very confident lady she is. I try to portray characters as much as I can, Like Larp I try to bring to bring them to life. Like most people my body confidence goes up and down, I used to be a dancer so I'm used to wearing scantily clad clothes... that doesn't mean I like to get naked all of the time.

Me: Do you work out?

Tabitha: When I have time yes, and yes I should make more time... haha.

Me: Okay, I have to ask you about this, Tabitha. You were on a TV show in England called "Take Me Out". Is this a dating game show? You looked so different then.

Tabitha: Yes I was and yes it is, I was on the first series so didn't really know what to expect.

Me: When was this and did you win?

Tabitha: It wasn't really a win or lose kind of program, but I learnt a lot and met a friend for life who know cosplays with me, I would do it all again in a heart beat.

Me: I find it very hard to believe you have to go on a game show to get a date. You must have a lot of guy fans, am I right?

Tabitha: "Take Me Out" was nearly five years ago, I didn't have much 'fans' when I was younger.

Me: Do guys ever hit on you creepily?

Tabitha: Hahaha... I have few creepy stories to tell...

Me: Do you get recognized from being on this show or did you?

Tabitha: I do, even now five years later.. it's quite embarrassing.

Me: I wouldn't be embarrassed, Tabitha. And you were back-up dancer for different singers and bands? Anybody we might've heard of?

Tabitha: American artists you might know... Solider Boy and Genuine plus premier football and rugby teams like West Ham.

Me: What kinda bands are you into anyway?

Tabitha: I love music, pretty much every thing that's not James Blunt.

Me: Okay, so, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics... are you ready? This is random I promise! If you could change one thing about the way you look what would it be?

Tabitha: My forehead.

Me: I'd change pretty much everything about me. There's nothing wrong with your forehead by the way. Tabitha, thanks for being on the Phile. Come to Orlando and I'll show you around Disney World. Go ahead and plug all your websites and please come back soon. I hope this was fun.

Tabitha: Thank you for spending some time with me and trust me I will hold you to that! My Facebook page:, Twitter: @artyfakes, Instagram: @artyfakes, Artyfakes Facebook:, I think that's about it. Haha. Thanks again!

Me: Good job, Tabitha, and please come back on the Phile next year.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Tabitha Lyons. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Kaz Simmons and on Monday Phile Alum Ben Talmi, the lead singer for the band Art Decade. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pheaturing Will Thomas From Grand Old Grizzly

Hello, and welcome to the Phile for a Monday, how are you?  Anyone see the AMAs last night? I didn't, I was at at Epcot. Anyway, Taylor Swift was voted artist of the year at the American Music Awards for the third time time last year. However, her victory likely felt a bit hollow considering how at no point during the evening did she don a two-piece cat-print leotard and sing "Wrecking Ball" along with a giant animated lip-synching tearful kitty cat as Miley Cyrus did. So, better luck next year, Taylor Swift. Miley Cyrus has become a human Tumblr.  Linguists are beginning to officially accept the word "because" as a standalone preposition, meaning that the common Internet usage which excludes the word "of" after it... "because grapefruit," "because philology" "because 13th Century masonry", can be considered proper grammar. So, clearly Internet need new grammar to ignore if stay cool.  A powerful and dangerous storm that weather science people are saying just got done fucking shit up on the west coast is gonna be heading east now on account of winds and shit to start screwing up people's Thanksgiving plans and such. More than 300 flights got themselves canceled yesterday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, which is like a ton shit ton of flights. According to meteorologist, this shit is some serious shit.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire pulled in a record-breaking $161 million for its opening weekend, absolutely demolishing Thor: The Dark World, which only made a meager $14 million. The massively-hyped superhero sci-fi action sequel can take some comfort in the knowledge that it made 28 times as much as Nebraska, a black-and-white indie about a sad old man on the verge of death. I didn't see Catching Fire yet, but I heard there's a blooper reel of children murdering each other. Pope Francis and officials from the Vatican yesterday publicly revealed nine fragments of really old bone that they say belonged to St. Peter, apostle of Jesus and first pope of the Catholic Church. Ugh! I was afraid something like this would happene eventually. I'm not sure where they got it from, but I'm guessing it was from some email from an apostle bone foundation or something. Can somebody please sit them down and explain how the Internet works? Or maybe just shut down their connection before they throw all their money away. Even today, the Vatican refuses to talk about the time Galileo went blind after repeatedly pointing his nose-telescope up the Pope's robe.  Iran made an agreement with six world powers, including the U.S., to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for less severe sanctions on some exports, such as gold and petrochemical, which could result in billions of dollars for the Middle Eastern country. So, it appears that total Armageddon will have to be put off for at least a little while. Hopefully at least long enough for the next season of "Doctor Who" to play out.  J.C. Penney was dumped from the S&P 500 index after policy changes ushered in by former CEO Ron Johnson caused the department store's market value to decrease by more than half. Johnson was fired in April after his plan to make the store into a nice place with decent-quality merchandise was met by universal derision from its loyal customers.  San Rafael, California has passed a law which bans the smoking of cigarettes in private residences which share a wall with another residence, creating in effect most stringent restriction on smoking in the country. City residents for the time being retain the right to use the word "cigarette" within earshot of other people.  This Thursday it's Thanksgiving and also the first day of Hanukkah, which means it's...

Da-da-da!  The folks who make those Peanuts books and TV shows are right on this Thanksgivukkah bandwagon.

That is so stupid.  You know, I am wearing one of my favorite Iron Man t-shirts and I cannot help but to think about my favorite scene from Iron Man 3. Here's a screenshot of it...

Do you ever think I run out of ideas or stupid things to put on the Phile? Haha.  Well, Thanksgiving is just few days away, and I was thinking, if you run out of ideas what to talk about around the dining table, I thought I'd give you a Thanksgiving phact. The first Thanksgiving was a 3-day harvest feast in 1621 attended by the English Protestant settlers (we call them Pilgrims, though they didn't refer to themselves that way) and the native tribe of the Wampanoag near Plymouth, MA. The first feast didn't resemble our modern Thanksgiving dinner at all; it was comprised of venison (deer meat), shellfish, and corn. Though there were plenty of wild turkeys in the area, reports vary about whether or not they were actually consumed at the feast, and most scholars agree that venison was the main course. And now you know. You're welcome.  So, there's a billion blogs out there, and a lot for you top choose from. Not all have almost 700 entries and are this entertaining, but there's a lot to choose from. So, once again, I thought I would honor one of those other blogs in a pheature I call...

Today's award goes to is Let's take a look at it, shall we?

I say go check it out, but not before you finish this entry of the Phile.

Haha. That's so stupid. If you figure out the Mindphuck email me at Alright, Thanksgiving is around the corner and a phriend of the Phile wants to say something about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans... time to give Monday the beatdown it so richly deserves. Random thought of the day... Do you think turkeys fill out their last will and testament in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving?

Good question, Laird. Okay, the 37th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Tabitha Lyons who works for a company called Artyfakes. This is her and some of the stuff she worked on...

Tabitha will be a guest on the Phile this Saturday.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is the lead singer and guitarist for the great band Grand Old Grizzly whose self-titled album is on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Will Thomas.

Me: Hello, Will, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Will: I’m great. Thanks for asking.

Me: You guys started out as the backing band for singer Kate Stuckey, am I right? She's rather cute, what made you guys leave her? Or did you leave her?

Will: Ha! Actually I was just a rhythm guitarist, way too self conscious to sing back then. Nobody really left anybody, the group just kind of ran it’s course, we still play together on occasion.

Me: I looked up Katie and she had a bear mascot, which was a little toy. I laughed when I saw this picture of the bear and Katie...

Me: Is that how you guys started calling yourselves Grand Old Grizzly?

Will: Well, as best I can remember, Craig gave us the bears when we were recording "Old States", I think I had already adopted the Grizzly moniker by then. We were just kind of having fun taking that bear around with us. Grand Old Grizzly comes from the self-given nickname of “grizzly”. I think Chris told me that I couldn’t give myself the nickname “Grizzly” and that’s what made me force it on everybody one night…

Me: Isn't there a band called Grizzly Bear? You guys should tour with them.

Will: They haven’t returned any of my phone calls.

Me: Where are you guys based? I wanna say Texas, am I right? What part?

Will: Houston, Texas, which as everybody knows is the musical center of Texas.

Me: Tell the readers who is in the band and whose idea was it to record an album without Katie?

Will: Well, we were kinda not playing many shows with Katie, and there was no album or new songs in the works. I had a whole backlog of material so I snatched everybody up when Katie wasn’t looking. Actually, It just started out as a solo album, then we played a couple live shows, it was a lot of fun, so we made a band out of it and kept going. Paul Beebe on guitar, he is a Houston live-music vet. Mark Riddell on bass, we actually use a lot of different bassist, but Mark is on the record and co-wrote one of the songs. There’s also Chris Lewis on the drums, although Paul played drums for the recording. That was mainly because we recorded drums before it was really a band.

Me: Does Katie appear on the album at least?

Will: In spirit… She will be on the next album, which is actually very nearly done. And we are re-recording a song we did with her on “Old States”, actually two songs. We decided that these songs deserved to be performed by a significantly less talented vocalist.

Me: So, I have to say I downloaded the self-titled album from iTunes and really enjoyed it. Who does most of the songwriting?

Will: Me. On the first album I wrote all but one song, which I co-wrote with Mark. I wrote the actual words in that song, but Mark arranged them and wrote the melody. On the second album I wrote all the songs, of course with Paul having a lot of input with structural and stylistic choices. Paul really helped flesh things out on this second album.

Me: I have to ask you about the song "Sundowners". What is a sundowner?

Will: A drink. It has rum, pineapple, and bitters. Its also people who ruin happy hours. Both of these meanings apply in this song.

Me: And there is another song called "Tallahassee" which is the capital of this great state Florida. What is that song about? Did you spend time there? Did you go to FSU?

Will: Didn’t go to FSU. It’s about Wisconsin, obviously.

Me: Okay... I'm confused. Back to Katie... LOL. Were you a band before Katie met you?

Will: Ha, no. I played some solo stuff, Paul was in a Beatles cover band (still is when possible), Mark and Chris were playing with a Texas-country act. There were some other bands mixed in their with some of the same players, like The Small Sounds. I would recommend checking them out. Every member of them has played with Grand Old Grizzly for at least a show at one time or another, and most were on the first album.

Me: She has a great album out called "The Old States" which you guys play on and you mentioned. How was it different with you guys putting out your own album and being on Katie's?

Will: Well, the biggest difference was Katie is a trained vocalist, I am clearly not. With her stuff I would say the obvious focal point is her singing. She has an amazing voice. It should be the focal point. We did “Old States” in a week. We had been playing those songs for a couple years. With Grand Old Grizzly it’s more of a process of trying to bring these songs that I wrote to life. The first album was mostly made before we had hammered the songs out on stage. The second album is different in that regard, we’ve been playing the songs for a year or so. Another main difference is Katie was clearly the head of her band, with Grand Old Grizzly that is my job, it’s taken me a while to adapt to that. We probably drink in the studio more with Grizzly, although not by much.

Me: On Katie's album did you have any creative control?

Will: I had all the creative input I was willing to offer, we all did. Katie obviously had the final say. I did write two of the songs we recorded for “Old States”

Me: Did you produce the album yourselves, guys?

Will: Absolutely.

Me: I am guessing you guys are Jayhawks and Wilco fans, am I right? What music do you guys listen to?

Will: Yes to that first question. My most recent road playlist has Bill Evans, Uncle Tupelo, Lighnin’ Hopkins, Helmet, The Small Sounds, Thunderado, Horseshoe, Afro Cuban All-stars, Doug Sahm…

Me: I read that you guys opened up for Leon Russell... how was that? Did you get to hang out and talk to him?

Will: It was amazing, huge fan of his. He is pretty up there in age and didn’t seem to be in to hanging out very much. He was super nice and put on a really cool show.

Me: Was that the highlight of the band's career so far?

Will: I just dig it when I see people I don’t know singing along, that’ll never get old. Playing some sold out shows at the House of Blues are probably the highlights of this bands young career.

Me: I'd love to interview Leon on the Phile but wouldn't know what to ask him. What would you ask him?

Will: Guy’s like him have done so much I’d be curious to see what he would consider a career highlight, then I’d ask if I could touch his beard.

Me: I have to say, when I saw that publicity photo of you outside the taco restaurant... Taco A Go-Go I think is the name, it made me rather hungry. How did you choose that place to have your pics taken at? And is the food any good?

Will: The food is groin-grabbingly good. It was next door to where we played that night, just kind of happened.

Me: I take it is in Houston, am I right?

Will: Yep, on Main Street next door to the Continental Club.

Me: Okay, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? Man, this is a lame one... What's the best and worst thing about being a man or a woman?

Will: Man: beards. Woman: never paying for drinks.

Me: Good answer. Thanks, Will, for being on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and ask Katie next time you see her if she'd like to be interviewed here. Continued success, take care.

Will: Check us out at Facebook, Twitter… And for some reason we have a Myspace page. Ha! Thanks, it’s been fun. Take care.

Me: Good job, Will.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Will Thomas. The Phile will be back next Saturday with artist Tabitha Lyons. On Sunday it's Phile Alum Kaz Simmons and Monday Philoe Alum Ben Talmi from Art Decade. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligatoes bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Phorty-Phifth Birthday Special Entry Pheaturing Phile Alum Neara Russell

Good evening, and welcome to the Phile, I am youtr host, Jason, star of the new movie Day of the Phile. Haha. It's my birthday today as you can guess from the title. Not only is it my birthday but it's also the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest TV show's ever... "Doctor Who". Pretty cool, right? Did you know that in "Doctor Who", the Doctor's bow tie is red if the episode takes place in the future, and blue if it's in the past? It's trie for the tenth Doctor too. His suit was blue if they went forward in time and the brown if they went back in time. Crazy, eh?  Speaking of "Doctor Who"... If you are a nerd or a "Doctor Who" fan... and I do realize that one of those two things is a subset of the other because I am one, then you will be very happy to see Google's newest doodle, or Whodle: an 8-bit video game honoring the 50th anniversary of the classic series "Doctor Who", in which the player gets to choose from 11 of the 12 Doctors from the series. Technically, Richard Hurndall was playing the First Doctor in the 1983 episode "The Five Doctors" since William Hartnell had died. Still, the exclusion could be seen as somewhat irksome to a certain type of completist. Hope you like your game, nerds! Check out the Whodle...

I think my logo is cooler looking though. Haha.  The Texas State Board of Education voted yesterday to approve an environmental science textbook despite the fact that it contains some genuinely useful information concerning climate change and at no point makes any claim that Jesus stirs up hurricane winds with His scepter of judgement. Even representatives from the oil and gas industry were unable to stop the board from foisting the blasphemous book upon Texas youths. You know, I don't believe what the government says about the JFK assassination. I mean, no way Texas had a book depository. Hypochondriacs and Axe Body Spray aficionados are striking an unlikely accord these days, attempting to popularize the fist bump... or "terrorist fist jab", and hopefully overtake the much more popular, but dangerously unsanitary, handshake as a form of greeting. Handshakes have been found to expose more than three times as much skin contact to the onslaught of infectious bacteria which will multiply until the microscopic invading force makes its way into your body and wraps itself around your heart, at which point it will strangulate your blood flow until you are but a desiccated husk. Fist bumps have been shown to decrease this risk. It sucks when two dudes fist bump in front of me, and I have to pretend like I don't want one. Crystal Mangum, the woman who falsely accused three members of the Duke University lacrosse team of rape in 2006, was found guilty of second degree murder yesterday for the stabbing death of her boyfriend in 2011. Which means she is back in the market. But probably not for long, fellas. Send your roses to the North Carolina penitentiary system.  Colorado news anchor Kyle Clark really dislikes snow-covered patio photos, especially when his viewers send them in to the station after a big snow storm. Like, if Kyle Clark and a snow-covered patio photo were in the same room at a party, Kyle Clark would totally hand that snow-covered patio photo its ass. He is not playing around. If you or any member of your family are a snow-covered patio photo, you might not want to watch this editorial he delivered the other day. It's quite devistating! Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, and LucasFilm have confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VII screenwriter Lawrence Kasden and director J.J. Abrams will be figuring out some way to shoehorn beloved astromech droid R2-D2 into the highly-anticipated next installment of the popular continually-disappointing sci-fi film series. Probably the ghost of Yoda will possess and control him of some such shit.  Okay, like I said today is the 50th anniversary of "Doctor Who". Also 50 years ago today a band made a debut. I don't know the name of said band, but I have a photo of their first gig.

That might've been their last gig as well come to think of it.  So, today on my birthday I worked, kids. I didn't really do anything fun. This is the most fun I had today. I know, I'm sad. Anyway, do you wanna hear of a really big birthday celebration? In 2011, Gary Lenzner, a Holocaust survivor who escaped a World War II concentration camp, turned his 85th Birthday into an experience that was more than an adrenaline rush; it was a way to prove that Adolf Hitler, nor age itself, have been able to put out his flame. "I'd like to prove the son of a bitch didn't succeed," Lenzner said, as he jumped out of a plane at 10,000 feet in the air, free-falling for about 40 seconds before landing safely by parachute on Nichol's Field in Jamul, east of San Diego, USA. Lenzner's skydiving dream has been nearly a decade in the making, and was carefully planned to prevent certain family members from finding out in advance because, as Lenzner put it, they would have "gone crazy" had they known of his daredevil plan. When asked why he wanted to skydive at 85, he replied, with a gleam in his eye, "You only live once. Once you're dead, you're dead." Good point, Lenzner, you're a better man than I am. Here's a picture of the crazy fool.

Speaking of crazy fools, last summer I mentioned that Geraldo Rivera tweeted a nearly-naked selfie, proudly of himself. Here is the photo I showed of Geraldo as a reminder...

Well, I joked maybe on my 45th birthday maybe I will show a similar selfie if someone reminded me. Well... I was reminded. So, true to my word, here we go...

Don't ever say I never gave you anything. LOL. I apologize. Sorry, people. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this weeks...

Top Phive Groups Of People Who Went To See The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
5. Fans who are painfully nostalgic for Jennifer Lawrence's old haircut.
4. Hemophiliacs who didn't want to risk a potentially fatal paper cut by reading the book.
3. Teen girls who see the series as a pointed commentary on our culture's callousness and its dangerous obsession with reality programming and also LIAM HEMSWORTH IS, LIKE, TOTES HOT! OMG!!!!
2. Stanley Tucci fanatics... or, as they call themselves, "Fanleys"
and the number one group of people who went to see Catching Fire...
1. Young females responding to Katniss's message of individuality by standing in line with every other teen in the country to see this movie.

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at Okay, before we continue, I have to show you this fun little "Doctor Who" game.

I'll play... first thing on my left is a red solo cup and straw with cream soda, on my right side is a box of Tabletopics cards and I am wearing a Nashville t-shirt. I am pretty screwed. Haha. I cna throw the cup of cream soda at a Dalek perhaps. Anyway, it's time to talk some football...

Me: Hey there, Jeff, welcome to the Phile for my 45th birthday entry.

Jeff: It's always good to be back on the Phile and to help you celebrate your birthday!

Me: Thanks. Okay, let's talk about football and not about me... Haha. So, did you see the story about the guy who fell 300 feet at the Jets/Bills game?

Jeff: Yes, I did hear about the fan who fell in Buffalo. As if being a Bills fan isn't tough enough, now you have to watch out for other fans falling from the rafters.

Me: There was another story about a guy getting his hair pulled out in a game, did you hear that one? What happened?

Jeff: I did hear about Andre Ellington losing his braids during a pile up. I don't know how or why that even needed to happen but he did wind up getting his braids back so I guess you could also say it was a happy ending?

Me: Perhaps. Haha. Alright, what football news do you have?

Jeff: The biggest news of the week comes from two of the biggest games coming down to calls by the referees. The first was on an unsportsmanlike conduct call on a 49ers player who hit Saints QB Drew Brees, which allowed the Saints to get into field goal range and win the game. The second came when the Panthers beat the Patriots. A flag was thrown in the end zone for pass interference but the refs huddled together then picked up the flag and said No penalty occurred. It was the last play of the game and a very odd way to end the game.

Me: Okay, so, the Giants and Steelers won... by the way, what's with the bee outfits?

Jeff: The Steelers Bumble bee jerseys are the team's throwback jerseys. That's what the team wore back in 1934. They seem to win a lot when they wear those so I say they wear them more often.

Me: Whatever works. Jeff, how did we do with last weeks picks?

Jeff: For the second straight week all three of our teams won earning us all a point. Not that it matters because Lori widened her lead with another 2-0 week, while I went 1-1 and you went 0-2. Lori leads by twenty points now!

Me: God, Lori!! I should get another point as it's my birthday! LOL.

Jeff: It doesn't quite work like that. Lori's birthday was opening weekend of the season and yours is in the middle. So if you get a point she would get a birthday point too. And it wouldn't be fair to me! So as commisoner I say no!

Me: Okay, fair enough. So, this weeks picks... I say your Steelers by five and Detroit by nine. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks for the week are Saints by seven and 49ers by three points. Lori picks are Chiefs by three and Lions by five.

Me: Good job, and see ya here next week. Have a good Thanksgiving.

Jeff: See you next week.

The 37th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Tabitha Lyons and she works for a company called Artyfakes. Here's a picture of her and something she helped make...

Tabitha will be a guest on the Phile a week from today.

It's 7:20 pm, 70° F and Kelly is pregnant!!! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Okay, today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alumni whose album "Noise and Silence" and her latest single "Get Happy" are both available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile, the lovely and talented... Neara Russell!

Me: Hello, Neara, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?

Neara: Hiya, Jason! Great to be back. Thanks for having me! Lots happening in Nearaland, I’m happy to report :-)

Me: Before we start I have to tell you a friend of yours was on the Phile recently... Jill Krachmer. How long have you known Jill? I figured you met at Berklee, am I right?

Neara: Jill is the sweetest! So talented and awesome. We met in Boston when I was 15, when we both attended the Berklee Summer Songwriting Workshop. We bonded immediately, as vegetarian Midwestern girls. Now she’s one of my longest-running friends and helped me get settled when I first moved to L.A.

Me: She got engaged and was on the Phile in the same weekend. Do you think you'll be going to her wedding?

Neara: Aw Jill... I’m so so happy for her! We haven’t caught up on life since her engagement, but I would be thrilled to join the festivities in any way.

Me: So, what about you? Do you have a boyfriend? You seem to be so busy, who knows if you have the spare time, Neara.

Neara: Oh goodness. Not much time for that, I’m afraid. I’ve dated some wonderful people in my life, but am very focused on my career and self-development at the moment. I’m sure someone will magically appear when I least expect it.

Me: So, since you were last here you got a new tattoo. I have a picture of it here...

Me: What made you get a tattoo there? That is a painful spot I am guessing.

Neara: Surprisingly, it didn't hurt at all! And it's all healed up already, so my mom didn't have to worry :-)

Me: Tattoo's are kinda addicting... I have four myself and sure I'll get another one some time. Do you think'll you be getting another tattoo?

Neara: So addicting! I have more planned out, just saving up for them :-)

Me: That heart one is cute, did you draw it? It has to represent something, right?

Neara: Thanks, yes I did draw it. But I want all of my tattoos to be hand drawn by myself or people I love, and I want them to be in classy, artful places. I felt like the back of the neck was a sensitive, vulnerable place to start. It's one of the few places of the body you can't actually see without a mirror, and I wanted a heart there to remind me that love is always there even when you can't see it.

Me: Very cool. During this time last year I think I saw you on TV a half a dozen times, that is I think I did. You were playing in Bridgit Mendler's band. Are you still playing with her?

Neara: Yes! Bridgit is the coolest. I love performing with her and her band. We’ve had several TV appearances, on "X-Factor", "Good Morning America", and the Disney Channel. We just finished a headlining summer tour, which was a huge success and great work experience.

Me: Was it fun touring with her, Neara?

Neara: We are like a big happy touring family, Bridgit and the band and crew. She really likes to have fun as a team, being silly and having dance parties on the tour bus. It’s a great environment for everyone, which I feel lucky to be a part of.

Me: I am sure Bridgit gets recognized a lot in public, but with you being on TV so much, do you get recognized?

Neara: I never thought I’d have so many cool teenage girls in my fanbase! Bridgit is obviously pretty well known, and her fans are really supportive. They like to get to know the band as well as Bridgit, and I’ve gotten to meet so many awesome folks on the road. Thankfully, I haven’t had any paparazzi incidents yet though ;-)

Me: What was the best show you did with Bridgit or ever?

Neara: Oh gosh. The best show with Bridgit is impossible to say... they have all been so fun! It’s been exciting to be in the middle of an artist’s development, going from small radio shows to arena concerts in just a few months time. I’ve really enjoyed our international trips. Performing for fans in Europe and Singapore and Australia, halfway across the world, is a pretty humbling experience when you realize how important our concerts are for the audiences who waited days, weeks, months for this show.

Me: Who are you working with now?

Neara: I’m still playing shows with Bridgit, and working on my next solo album. I also perform with Dom Liberati, a badass rock artist from Ohio who’s rocking out in L.A. now, as well as violinist Lili Haydn and session musicians The Backliners. There are always cool new artists to perform and record with, and I love getting to know their music from the perspective of a live musician.

Me: You are mostly a keyboardist, right? How long have you been playing keyboards or piano?

Neara: I consider myself primarily a keyboardist, though I have extensive vocal experience as well. And I just love to sing! My dad was my first piano teacher, so I got started early. My first memories at the piano are from when I was a toddler, and I started studying seriously at age 6.

Me: Do you remember what the first song you learned to play was?

Neara: Hm... does my toddler-age atonal interpretation of Chopin count?

Me: Of course.

Neara: I started with a healthy mix of Beethoven and rock music when I first started. My dad wanted me to feel equally comfortable playing rock and classical piano. I remember playing along with Sheryl Crow’s self-titled record for hours when it was first released.

Me: What music or bands did you listen to growing up? Last time you were here you mentioned you were a Backstreet Boys fan. You liked them better then N'Sync?

Neara: Haha yep. My friends in middle school had constant arguments over BSB and N'Sync. Once I heard Incubus and Green Day for the first time, though, I was hooked. I was all about guitar rock after that. There was something visceral and passionate about their music that I couldn’t recreate on piano, but I tried anyway!

Me: We talked about "X-Factor" and "Idol" last time you were here, Neara, and I mentioned Kelly Clarkson. You said you have not met here yet, have you now?

Neara: Nope, not yet. Still waiting for that duet opportunity!

Me: Was there anybody you did meet and you were star struck?

Neara: I played a series of shows with Bridgit last winter that were sponsored by radio stations, where we shared the bill with other top hit artists in arena shows. That was amazing! We were backstage with Fun and One Direction and Taylor Swift. I got to hang with the boys from Walk the Moon, who are now some of my favorite people. I’ll admit, I stalked The Wanted a little bit ;-)

Me: Unfortunately I was out of it last year, but you played at the House of Blues at Disney with Bridgit. How was that show, and did you get to do anything fun while you were here? Did you hang out at Disney?

Neara: Yeah, that was a fun show! We have performed a few times at Disneyland in Anaheim, and got to go on the VIP rides. My first time at Disney World AND Disneyland was last year! We also had some great shows at Six Flags and Busch Gardens, so we’ve had some quality rollercoaster time this summer.

Me: You know you need to come back to Orlando soon, right?

Neara: You betcha! Didn’t get enough time on our last visit.

Me: Last time you were here you were plugging your album "Noise and Silence". Is that album still doing well?

Neara: Yes it is, thanks for asking! I’m actually in the process of mixing my next album, collecting songs and producing them for an evolved sound. Will keep you posted.

Me: By the way, did you play on Bridgit's album or did you just tour with her?

Neara: No, the album was already mixed when she hired the band. I love studio work, though. That is a whole different world from touring, with a different set of skills. I really enjoy the precision and creativity needed for studio work.

Me: This year you have a new single out called "Get Happy". I love that song, and I feel like you're singing to me. I'm a pretty miserable person... Haha. Who are you singing to actually, Neara?

Neara: Aw, I hope “Get Happy” helps you get happy when you listen to it! I have my moments of feeling down, like anyone does, and this song helps me when I need it. I kind of wrote it as a song to myself, to remind myself to lighten up :-)

Me: So, you wrote the song?

Neara: Did you write the song? Yes, I did. I typically write and produce my songs 100% on my own. 

Me: Will you be making a video for "Get Happy", apart from the lyric video that is out?

Neara: Maybe in the future! For now, that lyric video was a huge labor of love that will last me awhile. Someday I’d like to create videos for every one of my songs. I love the idea of audiovisual interaction to enhance a song.

Me: You, my dear, always seem happy. Every picture I ever saw of you have an amazing smile. There is one picture of you soaked from the rain where you are making an Elvis snarl. What happened here?

Neara: Ha! I’m a bit goofy in my photos, as you know from my Instagram. That was an amazing night in Florida, actually ... We were on tour, walking to see a movie, and got caught in a rainstorm. Kind of scary at the time, but makes for a great story afterwards.

Me: So, are you recording a new album?

Neara: Yes, I’m writing and demoing new songs as we speak. Still designing the vision of this album and deciding how to release it, but many of the songs are ready to share already.

Me: And you still playing with the Backliners?

Neara: The Backliners are my boys! I’ll work with them til they kick me out, haha. We just wrapped a music video with pop/rock artist Savannah Phillips. What a terrific group of musicians, I’ve learned so much from with them and can’t wait for more Backliners adventures this fall!

Me: Neara, okay, this year on the Phile I am asking random questions... are you ready? This is thanks to Tabletopics... What's the most beautiful place you have ever seen? You have been all around the world so this might be hard.

Neara: Oh my. Thanks Tabletopics for the great question! I love so many destinations in the US of A, especially in the mountains. We just played a show in Salt Lake City in the midst of the most beautiful mountains. I felt like such a rock star. Australia was an amazing place to explore. The cliff walks in Sydney were magical. So were the Botanic Gardens in Singapore, with these spectacular orchid and ginger flowers. And a segment of real rainforest! I was entranced. Hope to visit again soon, and find more beautiful places.

Me: Neara, thanks for being on the Phile. Please come back soon, I am a fan, and you are fun to chat to. Go ahead and plug your website and continued success.

Neara: Of course, I’d love to join you anytime! Thanks for having me back on the Phile! You can keep up with my whereabouts on Instagram and Twitter, as well as my website: Thanks, Jason and all your readers... hope to chat with you again soon :-)

Me: Thanks, Neara.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and Neara Russell. The Phile will be back Monday with Will Thomas, lead singer for the band Grand Old Grizzly. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. And now to watch "Doctor Who"...