Hey there, welcome to a Peverett Phile Christmas 8, how are you kids? I'm wishing you a safer holiday season than the woman from "Baby, It's Cold Outside" had. Any of you have a December birthday? I'm so sorry your December birthday is overshadowed by a guy who wore sandals indoors. May your holiday travels not be as long as the next four years already seem. Okay, let's start off with a sweet story. Every November for the past six years, Jim Glaub and his husband Dylan Parker receive hundreds of letters addressed to Santa Claus, delivered to their 22nd street apartment in Manhattan. They have no idea how their address got mistaken for Santa's, they told "Us Weekly," but they've made it their mission to ensure that every single letter gets answered. Most of the letters are from low-income children, said the couple. So, heartbreakingly, many of the kids' Christmas requests are basic necessities like clothes and food. “We got one from a kid who asked for a bed because he was sleeping on the couch and springs were hurting his back,” Glaub told "Us." “I started crying.” ME TOO, Jim. Me too. Because two people couldn't possibly answer that many letters, they've enlisted the help of strangers via a Facebook group called Miracle on 22nd Street, which allows volunteers to "adopt" letters, which they can respond to, along with sending gifts if they want.
The Facebook group now has 4,000 members, with people offering to help out from all over the world. As far as why these letters ended up at their apartment, Gaub said "it's a mystery." A Christmas miracle, perhaps? The couple has since moved to London, but they've kept their NYC address and seem to have no intention of retiring from their work as stand-in Santas. “It requires that we put ourselves second momentarily to help someone unknown to us and without the usual gratification of seeing the outcome or receiving thanks,” said Parker. “The act of giving has to be enough.”
The Jefferson Mall in Louisville, Kentucky has made it clear they won't tolerate hate speech, by promising to find and ban a woman whose racist tirade at one of their stores went viral this week.
ICYMI: on Tuesday, a human stocking full of hot coals told Hispanic shoppers at a JC Penney to "go back to wherever the fuck you come from," and "speak English," among other slurs and insults. Fellow shopper Renee Buckner recorded the rant on her phone and shared it on Facebook, where it's been viewed over 7 million times and received over 50,000 comments. "They can't act like the hero, they come here to live and act like everybody else," says the woman in the video. "Get in the back of the line like everybody else does and be somebody. That's the way I look at it. You're nobodies, just because you come from another country, it don't make you nobody." This is horrific, un-Christmas-like behavior on every level. I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't down with hate speech and wouldn't want it anywhere near his birthday celebrations. The Jefferson Mall, where the incident took place, responded yesterday in a Facebook post, promising to ban the woman in the video, "
"We will work to identify this woman, and once identified, she will be permanently banned from Jefferson Mall, per our Behavioral Code of Conduct." JC Penney has also issued a statement of apology. The company said they are "deeply disturbed" by the incident and are asking for the public's help in identifying the two Hispanic women who were targeted in the video, so they could "offer a sincere apology for their experience" and also reimburse them for their purchases. A JC Penney spokeswoman wrote on Facebook, "We regret that innocent bystanders... both other customers and a JC Penney associate... were subjected to such discriminatory remarks. We absolutely do not tolerate this behavior in our stores, and are working with our associates to ensure any future incidents of this nature will be addressed quickly and appropriately." I'd wish this woman a very miserable Christmas. But based on first impressions, that's basically a guarantee.
Snowboarder Casey Neistat is a braver bro than most of us. He and his buddies couldn't find a drone powerful enough to lift a human (even online!?), so they built their own. Neistat then attached his snowboard to the drone by a tow rope and used it to launch himself through the air, all while dressed in full Santa Claus garb. And behold: the invention of "drone-boarding." This is the stuff you dreamed about as a kid, if you were the kind of kid who loved playing outside and always got picked first in gym class. I was not. But luckily for us indoor kids, it was all captured in some amazing video footage which we can watch from the warmth and safety of our beds. I never say this, but this video was sick as hell, bro. The video was shot in Finland, where I imagine the real Santa Claus lives. And in this behind-the-scenes video, the team explains how they built the drone, nicknamed "Janet," which took them over a year to build. Remember back when drones were just for delivering packages or catching your wife cheating? Not anymore. Christmas future is here. And it looks like this...
Damn, that picture is moving. What the hell? That's a first on the Phile.
Better get the tissues ready for this one. A Tennessee man who plays Santa Claus every year around the holidays rushed to the hospital recently to make a dying little boy's Christmas dreams come true. Santa, whose real name is Eric Schmitt-Matzen, got a call from a nurse he knows at a local hospital who told him that there was a very sick five-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa. “I told her, ‘Okay, just let me change into my outfit.’" Schmitt-Matzen told "Knoxville News Sentinel." She said, ‘There isn’t time for that. Your Santa suspenders are good enough. Come right now.’” Schmitt-Matzen arrived at the ICU just fifteen minutes later. Outside, he met the boys' mother, along with some other family members. "She’d bought a toy from (the TV show) 'PAW Patrol' and wanted me to give it to him," he said. "I sized up the situation and told everyone, 'If you think you’re going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I’ll break down and can’t do my job.'" Schmitt-Matzen went in to see the little boy alone. He shared the conversation they had with "Knoxville News Sentinel." He provided the boy the much needed comfort that only Santa could bring. "When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, 'Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!' He looked up and said, 'I am?' I said, 'Sure!' I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down. 'They say I’m gonna die,' he told me. 'How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?' I said, 'Can you do me a big favor?' He said, 'Sure!' "When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.' He said, 'They will?' I said, 'Sure!'" Unfortunately, the little boy passed away right after his conversation with Santa. (I know, I know. It's terrible. I'm cruel for even telling you this story.) But at least we can all take comfort in the fact that this hero Santa made his last moments happy ones. Schmitt-Matzen was so distraught by the incident that he thought he'd have to hang up the red suit forever. (How could you not feel that way?) That is, until he found the strength for one more Santa gig. "When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play, he said. "For them and for me." What a hero. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drown my sorrows in Christmas cookies. Wait, I can't eat them. Shit. Moving on...
Hey, wanna see what a $30,000 ugly Christmas sweater looks like?
What do you get for enough money to buy you a year of tuition at a fancy private college? This ugly Christmas sweater made by Tipsy Elves featuring Santa riding a unicorn past Saturn. It comes complete with two fake diamond necklaces rimming the collar to let everyone know you mean business. The entire monstrosity is covered in 24,274 individually placed Swarovski crystals and took 52 hours to create. I know what you're thinking, this is just too valuable to wear. Fear not! It will be shipped to you "inside a luxury frame" so you can spend a lifetime staring at this hideous mistake. Usually ugly Christmas sweaters come in under the $20 mark, because they're supposed to be jokes, like the one I am wearing now that cost me 9.99. But this year, the joke is on you! Make ugly sweaters expensive again. So far there is only one review, but it is glowing! "There are a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters, but until now none of hem told the story of how bad I am with my money." So hurry up and get yours before they run out (please tell me they only made one). It's the perfect sweater to remember what this holiday is all about: throwing your money around.
I have an extra story I have to tell you. Remember last entry when I told you about the heroic cops who rescued a baby from a locked car, except it was not a baby. Welllll... Kathy Cadle's lifelike baby dolls are very lifelike... so lifelike that someone thought they were running a human trafficking ring. The artist, along with her sister Rachel Smith, make extremely lifelike baby dolls to sell and donate to nursing homes, for old folks to remember the glory days of early parenting. ABC5 reports that when someone on Facebook stumbled upon an ad for a new doll, they thought she was selling a real, live baby. Cadle opened the door one day to a cop investigating her for human trafficking claims, after the Facebooker reported her to the police. She told ABC5 that when the office showed up, "He asked to see the baby, and I brought it in, he shook his head, I wasn't expecting this at all, like wow hey there's a cop. I said nobody is going to believe this, can you take a picture with me, and I can post it. He said sure okay, and that was nice.” The story generated so much publicity that they're struggling to keep up with the Christmas demand. It'll make a great gift, as long as they don't leave their new babies in a hot car. Look how real this friggin't thing looks...
Okay, so I mentioned the $30,000 ugly sweater... well, there's a bunch of sweaters that are not as expensive but they do show the ugliness that was 2016. Like this obligatory Harambe sweater...
Hahaha. I love it! Do you guys like that movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Did you know before they cast Jim Carrey they had somebody else cast as the Grinch? Now? Well, take a look...
Very fitting, right? Do you know what Donald Trump's previous job was? I'll show you...
Hahaha. He has tiny hands. I have been showing you the last few weeks some really cool Christmas ads. Here's another one...
I have no idea what it is for. Oh, well. So, do you guys like Fisher-Price toys? They have been making toys for years and years, but I think now they ran out of ideas. Check out their latest product...
If my son was a toddler I would get it for him. One of my favorite Christmas movies is A Christmas Story but they seemed to have updated it for modern times.
Ha. That won't only shoot your lights out but will shoot your whole face off. Hey, if you wanna play Santa and forgot to get the costume check this out...
It might work. Maybe. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Elf On The Shelf's Biggest Complaints
5. Felt pants chafe like hell!
4. I got stuck on a low shelf when the dog was in heat!
3. I was named by a five-year-old boy... so legally I'm "Fartsy McPoophat"
2. My legs have atrophied to hell after being stored in the attic for 48 weeks a year!
And the number one Elf on the Shelf complaint is...
1. Turns out the Bratz doll I sent the night with lied about being 18! Now I gotta introduce myself to the neighbors as a Registered Sex Offender: Doll Division!
Hahahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Alright, this is something cool... you heard of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, right? Well, apparently during the year it turns out he is a stand-up comedian now that he is grown up. So, I thought it would be cool to have him on the Phile and tell some jokes. So, gather the kids around, people. Please welcome to the Phile...
Rudolph: I am good. You comet here often? Hahaha. Get it?
Me: Yep, I get it.
Rudolph: Jason, you'd be amazed what I can do under a buck.
Me: Ummm. okay?
Rudolph: Can't you tell by my antlers I'm a little horny?
Me: Not really. You are supposed to be here telling jokes.
Rudolph: Okay. What do the reindeers' wives do while their husbands are helping Santa deliver gifts all over the world?
Me: I don't know. What?
Rudolph: They go into town to blow a few bucks.
Me: Rudolph, that's not kid friendly. Try again.
Rudolph: Did you hear about the dyslexic Satanist?
Me: Ummm... no.
Rudolph: He sold his soul to Santa.
Me: That's terrible.
Rudolph: How about this one? Why does Santa have a big sack?
Me: I'm afraid to ask.
Rudolph: Because he only comes once a year.
Me: Rudolph! That's terrible!
Rudolph: Why did Santa name his penis Conjunction?
Me: I can't imagine. Why?
Rudolph: Because it joins Clauses.
Me: I do not like that one at all. You need to stop now, Rudolph.
Rudolph: Why is Santa so jolly?
Me: Because he is just a happy guy?
Rudolph: Because he knows where all the naughty girls live.
Me: Ugh. Okay, you have one more chance before Jeff and I talk football.
Rudolph: Why did Santa land on the roof?
Me: Sigh. I have no idea why.
Rudolph: Because he likes it on top.
Me: Ugh! Okay, Rudolph, that's enough, you're ruining my childhood. Go back to the North Pole!
Rudolph: Okay, but can I take a picture of you, so that I can show Santa what I want for Christmas?
Me: No! Get out!
Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome to the Phile for it's Christmas entry.
Jeff: Always good to be back on the Phile. Merry Christmas to you and your readers.
Me: How are you?
Jeff: I'm okay. Working in a flower shop before Christmas is chaotic, I can assure you that.
Me: So, are you looking forward to Christmas? Any cool plans planned?
Jeff: My plans for Christmas is spending it with the family. And waiting up for Santa, because I've been a good boy this year. Most of the time.
Jeff: Hey? Why are you laughing?
Me: It's funny. So, did you see there's a GoFundMe page to fund the Browns 0-16 perfect season parade if it surpasses the goal?
Jeff: Well, we did see that Cleveland can throw a massive parade for when their team wins, so let's see what happens when they lose. I'm not going to ask if they could go all year without winning. Though I am a little worried since their last game is against Pittsburgh.
Me: By the way, the Browns are the latest team to change its name and logo...
Jeff: At this point Cleveland needs to do whatever they can to distance themselves from the product they are putting on the field.
Me: Man, what do you think of the Seahawks' color rush uniforms? I didn't know if that was Russell Wilson or Teletubbie Dipsy on the field.
Jeff: I'm personally not a fan of the color rush jerseys. Throwbacks are okay, especially the Bumblebee ones of Pittsburgh. Though those got retired. Shame!
Me: What NFL news do you have?
Jeff: The biggest news is we had our second coaching causality of the season. Jacksonville fired Gus Bradley, joining the Rams coach of Jeff Fisher. And speaking of Fisher, he has said he wants whatever team he coaches next to play the Rams so he can get revenge on them for firing him. Adrian Peterson returned to the field earlier than expected, but the Vikings lost again. Remember when they were the last undefeated team? I think they are 1-6 since then.
Me: Okay, so, how did we do over the weekend? You're still kicking my ass, right?
Jeff: I didn't realize that we both picked the same team last week! I picked by 7 and you picked by 14. It was Atlanta. And they won by so much that if we added up both our predictions, they still covered the spread! I continued the hottest streak in the history of the league by going 2-0 with a huge Steeler come back win. You went 1-1 with a Giant win. So I extended my lead now. I'm up by 7 now!
Me: That sucks! Let's do this week's picks, Jeff. I say Titans by 1 and Packers by 4. What do you pick?
Jeff: My picks are Chargers by 10 and Miami by 3.
Me: I have to ask, do you have any productions for the Super Bowl? Who would you like to see in it... of course you wanna see the Steelers play.
Jeff: At this point you almost have to go with the teams with the best records which are Dallas vs New England. I honestly would hate that. They are my least favorite teams. So I'm going to say Giants vs Steelers. BRING IT ON!
Me: Okay, so, there's gonna be no entry this Sunday as it's Christmas but the Phile will be back Monday. Wanna be back then to talk about the picks for Saturday's games or next Sunday?
Jeff: Either day works for me.
Me: Jeff, have a great Christmas, and I will see you here on Monday.
Jeff: Have a good one everybody! Merry Christmas!
Mistletoe is an evergreen plant which produces oval leaves, white berries, and sexual harassment lawsuits.
Dave will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. BTW, Foghat is mentioned in the book.
That's sick! I'm so sorry. Alright, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on and tell us he's feelings about Christmas. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man... you know what time it is.
Good evening, humans. Brief list of things I hate about Christmas.... Crowded malls with nothing you want and no parking. Hearing "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" on the radio. People. Running out of tape while wrapping gifts. Bad Hallmark TV Christmas themed shows. People who get insulted when I wish them Merry Christmas. People who dress their pets like elves. Sequels of Christmas movies that sucked to begin with. People who put those stupid fucking reindeer antlers and Rudolph noses on their cars. People who wear ugly holiday sweaters. Rude clerks in stores. People who post pictures of themselves in Santa hats with cocktails by the pool in whatever area they live in that has a warm winter climate. People who act all nice for the holiday... when they're DICKS the rest of the year. Houses that are so lit up and decorated you could see them from the moon. People. That FUCKIN' "Dominic the Donkey" song. People who give you a gift from the checkout counter of a 7 Eleven when you spent $80 on their gift. People who buy you a star (really?). Getting a re-gift of the very same item you gave someone three years ago. People who make a BIG deal out of the fact that they're not Catholic and don't celebrate Christmas. VEGAN DINNERS SERVED ON CHRISTMAS DAY! People who ask, "So... are you all ready for the holidays?" People who call from out of town and want me to go into the city with them and see the tree... or go to Times Square on New Years Eve. That fuckin' version of "Jingle Bells" with the dogs barking. Winter hats that look like animal heads. "Hey Santa" by Wendy and Carnie Wilson. SantaCon. Family pictures of anybody by the tree. Gingerbread Man cookies. People. Anyone who says, "I can't believe it's Christmas already... where did the year go?" People who spend thousands of dollars decorating their homes... yet continuously walk by a homeless person without dropping ONE dollar in their donations cup. Merry Friggin' Christmas...
Ha! I agree with most of those. Good job, Laird. Okay, today's pheatured guest is a wonderful singer-songwriter whose new single "Plastuc Hearts" is available on her website. Please welcome to the Phile... the lovely Ila Minori!
Me: Ila! Hey, how are you? I'm so glad you are here on the Phile. I have to get this over with and say it now... you're gorgeous. Okay, I said it. Ahem.
Ila: Thank you. Glad to be on it.
Me: I love your name... it sounds like something from a Star Wars movie or very Italian. But you have Mexican background, right?
Ila: Yes, I have a Mexican-American background. Supposedly my aunt says I have some Italian but I don’t know for certain.
Me: Where did the name originate from?
Ila: I wanted something androgynous so I researched some names. I liked the sound and look of Ila (it’s Hindu) and Minori is Japanese. I didn’t know it was Italian until I visited Italy to write my album. My friend said that there is a town near her house in Gaeta called Minori and we drove off the Almafi Coast and visited Minori. It is a tiny, beautiful village on this jaw dropping coastline of Italy. Also Ila has some history with Hindu Mythology. Ila was basically cursed by a Hindu God to change sexes by the waning of the moon but it ended up being strength because he has both sexes. He even had a boyfriend God and everything.
Me: Wow. Speaking of Italy... you recently spent a lot of time there. What made you decide to go over there?
Ila: The first time was in 2014/2015 and I lived in the Trentino Alps to write the new album. Then the second time was this year and I went to play shows and visit friends. I toured Germany. I also got on a friends’ indie label based out of Berlin called Bakraufarfita Records. I missed Italy and wanted to visit my friends that I made out there and make more new friends. I also became friends with some musicians in Rome so when I’m ready to tour there I have a band there. Everything in Rome is a process and takes twice as long. Italians are really big on the relationships with people and want to see you’re serious and invested. So I spent a lot of time visiting with my lead guitarist that lives partly in Rome and Napoli. We would plan and plan before we even rehearsed. So it’s really different how things are done show and band wise. But it’s a personal goal to play some great shows with a band in Rome and Napoli. There are a few great indie rock venues there.
Me: I have been through a lot these last few years and traveling overseas was the last thing I would of thought of going to. My happy place is Port Jefferson on Long Island. Anyway, how long did you stay there?
Ila: I have been overseas twice. The second time I stayed for 10 months.
Me: Did you stay in one place or travel, Ila?
Ila: The first time I lived in the Trentino Alps in a small village. And the second time I stayed and lived in Rome. But we traveled a couple of times to Berlin, Germany where my friends in a band called Feline and Strange live.
Me: Would you go back again?
Me: Did you perform over there? What else did you do?
Ila: Yes, I performed. Worked and lived a very traditional life-style with my boyfriend and his family. The first time I isolated myself in the alps and wrote part of my album. I played in Vienna, Austria and some places in north Italy.
Me: How were the audiences compared to American audiences?
Ila: I think there they listen more. It’s more a respect for the music as opposed to respect for the drinking.
Me: You recently toured the east coast, and I wish you would of came to Florida. You need to come down here for a few days. Ever been?
Ila: The east coast tour was so fun and I plan to do it again in the spring. Yes, I want to play Florida.
Me: You're from Texas originally, right? What part, Ila?
Ila: Yes, San Antonio.
Me: So, if I went to Texas to visit you where would we go?
Ila: We would go to Southtown the arts district in San Antonio, Austin… cool places in San Antonio for sure.
Me: Alright. I love your voice and music, Ila... have you been singing pretty much all your life?
Ila: No, I was a late bloomer and did not sing until I started to play guitar after high school.
Me: Who were your influences growing up?
Ila: My influences were bands like Mazzy Star, U2, the Doors stuff I listened to growing up and as a teen… I was a teen in the 90s so all of the grunge era... Sonic Youth, the Pixies, Fugazi, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Belly… etc.
Me: How long have you been playing guitar, Ila?
Ila: Fifteen years.
Me: Did you teach yourself?
Ila: Yes. I took some lessons but mostly taught myself with friends.
Me: What was the first song you learned to play?
Ila: It was a Cure song... I think it was “A Forrest.”
Me: What bands do you listen to now?
Ila: Phantogram, Vasco Rossi currently.
Me: If you could share the same bill with somebody who would it be?
Ila: I would love to play with Mazzy Star or Phantogram.
Me: Let's talk about your new music... I love the song "Plastic Hearts." What was the inspiration behind that song, Ila?
Ila: I was separated from my husband and was in Italy. I had a lot of guys that wanted something from me serious before I left but they were always two-faced or false intentions. Even in Italy the men there take the girl out and do a big presentation. They might throw 1,000 EU on a weekend to make a big presentation, for it to only be a game. Mind blowing. So I wrote “Plastic Hearts.”
Me: I love it you released it on lathe vinyl. For those that don't know, explain what that is.
Ila: So, lathe vinyl is basically a lighter vintage plastic that’s in mono. It was one of the first kinds of vinyl they started to press in the 1950s.
Me: How did you decide to release it that way?
Ila: A label in Brooklyn called Leesta VAll contacted me and said they specialize in lathe vinyl singles. They would love to release one of my songs. So it went from there.
Me: You're coming out with a new CD called "Traveling With Ghosts." I take it that was written when you were traveling in Italy. Is it a personal album?
Ila: Yes, very personal.
Me: What can you tell us about it?
Ila: I will say it sounds incredible. I’m so proud of it. The production is gorgeous and all the songs are wonderful. It tells a story. It’s earthy and has balls but delicate at the same time.
Me: You know you have to come back here when it comes out... right?
Ila: Of course!
Me: So, are you gonna be making a video for "Plastic Hearts"?
Me: I have to ask you about the single cover... who is that on it? It's a beautiful picture.
Ila: The cover is artwork from a local San Antonio artist Tim Olson. He works with old photos and created art out of them... you would have to ask him who the bride is.
Me: You write such beautiful music, when you write does the lyrics come first or the music?
Ila: Usually at the same time.
Me: Who plays on the new release with you, Ila?
Ila: John Fernandez (drums), Joseph Lopez (lead guitar) and Dylan Ilseng (bass) played on the album.
Me: I mentioned at the top of this interview that you are gorgeous... which you are. I have seen many photos of you, and I have to say, you have never taken a bad photo! Do you like having your pic taken?
Ila: Yeah, there’s an art to it. Thank you.
Me: So, when the album comes out, Ila, will you be doing another tour?
Ila: Yes. Planning to do another east coast to and midwest.
Me: You know I might have to come to Texas to visit you, right?
Ila: Haha... bring it!
Me: Alright, mention your websites and anything else you'd like. I hope this was fun and I hope you come back on the Phile real soon. Take care, Ila.
Ila: Ilaminori.com, instagram.com/ilaminori, facebook.com/ilaminori, twitter.com/ilaminori.
Me: Good job, Ila. See you soon.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz, Laird Jim and Ila Minori. The Phile will be back on Monday with Phile Alumni Makar. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Have a good Christmas, everybody. Be safe!
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker