Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pheaturing Sarah Hiltz

Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. How are you? So, you know it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, right? Just a reminder that mammogramming your boobs is more important than Instagramming them.
There have been a few times in the past couple of years when something on the Internet has been described as "the new blue/white dress." That's a reference to the dress that went viral in 2015 when people couldn't decide if it was blue and black or white and gold. Most of the wannabe successors to the dress haven't been that interesting to me, until Twitter user @TFILDOLANS posted a picture of a single sneaker on Twitter, asking what color it was. At first glance, seeing the picture of an obviously gray sneaker with teal trim was a disappointment. But then I looked again, and again, and now, this sneaker really IS confusing me.

Initially I thought, "How dumb, that is one half of a pair of gray and teal Vans, no doubt about it. I mean, what other color are people seeing?" The replies to the tweet showed that some people were seeing pink and white. "Ridiculous," I thought, and then THE COLOR CHANGED RIGHT BEFORE MY VERY EYES. Now the shoes looked pink and white, and I couldn't imagine how I had seen gray and teal before. AND THEN IT SWITCHED BACK. This picture was driving me crazy. And clearly I'm not the only one, because the people tweeting responses to the picture were as confused as I was. On and on the comments went—the tweet has been retweeted almost 3,000 times since it was posted on Wednesday. The answer? GET READY... the shoes are pink and white! So there it is. Problem solved. SO WHY AM I SEEING GRAY AND TEAL AGAIN?
In response to the endless Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations this week, Trump Jr. has been tweeting and retweeting up a storm, criticizing the Hollywood producer... but in weird ways. He's taken to dragging Hollywood, retweeting Hollywood personalities' tweets from years ago praising Weinstein, and critiquing Hillary Clinton for not denouncing Weinstein sooner. However, Seth Rogen noticed something being left unsaid by Trump Jr.: the fact that his father, the President of the United States, has also been accused of sexual harassment. So, he DM'd the president's son to remind him, and to suggest that he denounce his father in addition to Weinstein. "Hey dude! See you're going pretty hard at us 'Hollywood' types. I agree Harvey is a piece of shit and people should speak against him," Rogen DM'd Trump Jr. "But... Are you aware your father has been accused of sexual harassment by several women and even admitted to sexual assault on tape? Maybe you should denounce that? Just a thought man! Have a good one!" A few minutes later, Rogen added another sign off for the gun aficionado, "Have fun shooting innocent animals!" Based on the different-colored check marks next to the messages' timestamps, Trump Jr. actually saw the first message. Rogen has yet to report whether or not Donald Trump Jr. has responded... but it's safe to say he probably won't. Bros before justice, right? Hundreds of people responded to Rogen, lauding his perfect DMs. This is not the first time Rogen has slid into Don Jr.'s DMs. In February, he DM'd the president's son, urging him to tell his father to resign. Then in June, Seth Rogen and Stephen Colbert teamed up to again ask Donald Trump Jr. if he could get his dad to resign. Sadly, no dice so far, but I'll keep you posted. And speaking of Harvey Weinstein...
The Los Angeles Police got involved yesterday morning when they received a called from Harvey Weinstein's daughter Remy. The phone call indicated possible threats of suicide from Hollywood's alleged sexual predator Weinstein, reports the "New York Daily News." A police source told "New York Daily News" the LAPD arrived at Remy's house around 10:37 a.m. after receiving a call revealing Weinstein's possible suicidal state. "The person said the subject was feeling suicidal and depressed, but when officers got there and conducted their investigation, it was revealed no suicidal remarks were made. It was only a family dispute," an anonymous source told "New York Daily News." According to TMZ, Weinstein and his 22-year-old daughter were loudly fighting on the street at which point he yelled "You're making it worse." This was shortly before the call was made to authorities. As of yet, there have been no updates along the lines of suicide threats. So, it appears to have been more of a heated family argument.
Sebastian Gorka supposedly stopped advising President Trump in August, but he's still a ride or die supporter of the administration and, apparently, Mike Pence's arcane rules for being around women. Before I get into the tweet... which is terrible... here's a refresher on Mike Pence's two simple rules for a happy marriage. They are also terrible. Via the "Washington Post," "In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either." Here's where Sebastian Gorka, once a security advisor (who has been tied to Nazi groups) to Donald Trump, decided to give his thoughts on Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was fired by his own company amid explosive allegations of sexual harassment and rape. "THINK" began Gorka, before ceasing all brain activity. "If Weinstein had obeyed @VP Pence's rules for meeting with the opposite sex, none of those poor women would ever have been abused." Whenever a tweet starts with THINK... close Twitter and go outside, you're probably reading something by a Nazi.
Between quizzes, bullies, and cafeteria food, school is already a scary place for many. But all that is nothin' compared to the spooky situation happening in a secondary school in Cork, Ireland. I wonder how many kids asked to be homeschooled after seeing this... Deerpark CBS claims to have captured a ghost doing some mischievous things on film, and the footage is pretty convincing. The security footage was taken on October 1st around 3 a.m. (a.k.a the witching hour), and people are having a pretty hard time explaining it. At 0:12, you can see the door swing open. At 0:16, there is additional movement near the door, and it appears to be shut again. At 0:33, a row of lockers start violently rocking back and forth. At 0:57, a locker swings open, and papers fall to the floor. Damn, ghost. Forget your homework or something? At 1:23, the sign on the floor appears to be violently be kicked over. "If it’s a prank we don’t know how it was done? Motion sensors were set off at this time, that’s how it was caught," said head teacher Aaron Wolfe, remarking that the antics caught on film took place right outside the religion room, a part of the school is unusually cold. Wolfe went on to tell Unilad this spoooooooky story, "Our caretaker has worked in the school for over 30 years he recalls many stories of paranormal activity. For example on one occasion the school was hosting an exotic bird show, and the birds arrived the day before, because the organizers were worried that someone might break in and steal the birds, someone had to stay overnight. That person left the school in the middle of the night... they refused to stay any longer as they said that they heard ‘the last call’ being played on a trumpet... of course this could have just been the wind..." I don't know what's weirder, an angry ghost hanging out in a school or a school hosting an exotic birds show. Folks on Facebook are examining the footage and trying to explain how this all could be an elaborate prank. One person noted that the locker that was shaking is in front of a window, and could have easily been pushed around by a living, breathing human. The school commented that this window is on the second floor. Others pointed out that the angle of the camera is suspicious, and that an actual security camera would likely be higher up, not in line with the bulletin boards in the hallway. The school maintains that the footage was captured via their CCTV camera. The school was founded way back in 1828, so tons of student and faculty have roamed these halls over the years. Looks like someone might have stuck around after school for detention.... FOR ETERNITY! Mwahaha!
Have you ever ran into a celebrity and what t-shirt you were wearing was some sort of coincidence? It happened to this guy...

Ha! Man, those Mac/PC commercials are so old. Okay, there's one thing you might not know about me and that is I like to follow rules. Some people though take that just a little bit too far.

People here in Florida are always trying to get something "witty" on their license plate... like this one...

I have bloody idea that that means. Hmmm. Can someone help? So, in Florida they have those little lizards running around everywhere... one got into my apartment the other day and it took me hours to get it out. Anyway, if it was this small I think I would of lost my fucking mind...

Yikes. If I had a TARDIS and went back in time I'd like to go to the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C., when Lincoln was shot, but I'd probably end up here...

At Antietam, and I'd be the one shot. Hey, did you see the new Star Wars trailer? I learnt something from it... The movie will focus on Rey training to fulfill her destiny... as a landscape sculptor.

Speaking of Star Wars, they revealed the poster for the Han Solo movie...

Fantastic! Great name as well. One thing I like is pics of side boob with a tattoo so I'm showing pics of that all this month. So, here's another one...

Halloween is in two weeks and five days and you might be having problems trying to figure out what to wear, ladies. Well, I'm here to help. How about this sexy "Playboy" bunny? That's redundant.

Honor the late Mr. Hugh Hefner by dressing up as his creation. You know, there's some Halloween costumes I am already sick of. Like anything to do with Trump and company. Nothing sounds scarier than hoards of drunk Donald Trumps wandering around on Halloween night. Look, one is enough. That is all I'm going to say. Hey, it's Thursday... you know what that means, right?

A man from Boston found a living black widow spider in a bag of grapes bought at the Whole Foods Market in Brighton. Jorge Fuertes reached into the bag, pulled out some grapes and saw something black fall out and run away. He thought it was an ant, so he looked in the bag and found a southern black widow spider. He spit out his mouthful of grapes and noticed the spider's telltale red hourglass on its belly. He put it in a yogurt cup and went back to the store to let them know what had happened. A manager told Fuertes the entire shipment of Anthony's brand organic red seedless grapes would be removed from the shelves. In a statement Whole Foods said spiders are part of the landscape at their California grower and "although we are very cautious when unpacking produce, sometimes insects are not detected." A black widow bite is rarely deadly, but its neurotoxic venom is painful. It can bring on muscle cramps, vomiting, and dizziness, especially in young children and the elderly. Damn.

That's a really lame Mindphuck. If you spot it please let me know. Okay, it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. How're you doing?

Jeff: It's always great to be back here on the Phile! I'm doing alright. Hope you're doing well as well. 

Me: I'm hanging in there. Okay, so, I mentioned this on Monday's entry that on Sunday, some 49ers players knelt during the anthem ahead of the game against the Colts, which prompted VP Mike Pence to leave Lucas Oil Stadium and issue this statement, “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our flag and everything that unites us. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the flag and our national anthem. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our flag and our national anthem.” What do you think of this? If Mike Pence's NFL stunt isn't absolute proof that "pulling out early" never works, I don't know what is.

Jeff: I think that was nothing more than a political stunt. Sometimes I wish Mr. and Mrs Trump and Mr. and Mrs. Pence had pulled out much earlier than they did. And I don't mean Donald and Mike! Here's a fun fact that will make the Trump attacks on the NFL make sense. Trump attempted to buy the Buffalo Bills but was rejected. Oh, he also once sued the NFL because he was team owner of a USFL team. But I'm sure his latest attacks are purely political. Wink. Wink.

Me: So, this is funny... I'm even laughing and I'm a Giants fan... Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens asked the Giants for jobs after every starting WR got injured. This is funny, right?

Jeff: Hahahaha, I don't blame them. In fact I was planning on doing a joke about the Giants being so thin at wide receiver that they were offering me a contract. But Owens and Chad (I refuse to call him Ocho-Cinco) would make more sense.

Me: By the way, we are now Owen Five. Ugh. Speaking of the Giants Eli Manning had to have an x-ray on his neck after being kneed in the head by his own teammate. I'm glad this all happened this week and not last week when I saw them in Tampa. What do you think is the Giants' future this year? Not very good, right? Do you think they're turning into a laughing stock?

Jeff: The Giants future does not look. Their offensive line is in shambles and has been all season long. Now with Beckham out for the season, it just went from bad to worse. Speaking of bad to worse, did you see how bad the Steelers played? I was embarrassed by that performance!

Me: So, what other NFL news do you have?

Jeff: News from the NFL are all involving injuries. Like we said, the Giants lost 4 receivers in one game. Colts QB Andrew Luck was supposed to return this coming week, not the Colts said he will not play after all. Raiders QB Derek Carr should be back this week, only missing one game. Texans LB and all around awesome guy JJ Watt is now out for the season. Vikings QB Sam Bradford is injured now too. So yeah, a lot of big time injuries affecting big time teams.

Me: Jeff, Disney has yet taken over another team...

Jeff: That would be an awesome logo. If it wasn't for the Bungles, I mean Bengals...

Me: Alright, Jeff, how did we do last week? I'm still lagging behind, right?

Jeff: Sorry, not sorry but I went 2-0 this week and you went Owen Two. I mean 0-2. Both teams lost, so the points are 13 points for me and 4 for you. But the season is still young!

Me: Okay, let's pick this week's games... I say Saints by 4 and Falcons by 7. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks are Raiders by 8 and New England by 7.

Me: Okay, I will see you back here next Thursday. Have a good week.

Jeff: See you next week!

Haha. So, my son and I were talking how we used to watch "Sesame Street" show together. That show is sooo different than it used to be.

Bert and Ernie can't contain their laughter while mocking the anti-rape speaker on stage.

Are you a lazy person? If so, I bet you're not as lazy as the person who posted this...

That's very clever, you have to admit.

The 67th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author will be the guest on the Phile on Sunday.

October 24th, 1926 — October 8th, 2017
Good question.

Today's pheatured guest is a Canadian singer-songwriter whose new album "Beauty in the Blue" will be out on iTunes on November 7th but her single "Without You" is available to download right now. Please welcome to the Phile... Sarah Hiltz.

Me: Sarah: Hi! Welcome to the Phile! How are you?

Sarah: I'm great!

Me: I love your new single "Without You," your voice and everything else!

Sarah: Thank you!

Me: Who is the song "Without You" about, Sarah? Can you tell me the story behind it?

Sarah: "Without You" is about someone close to me who struggles with depression. That’s been a long-term, ongoing thing, but the song came after a particularly brutal stretch where I spent the better part of a year trying to help them bear that burden. I was doing anything I could to try and make things better for them, trying to always stay positive and I realized after a point how much I’d been neglecting to acknowledge all the ways this was affecting me too. So it’s kind of about expressing that when you are honest about your own pain with the people who love you, you have to expect that it’s going to be painful for them too... but also that that isn’t necessarily a bad thing; that maybe it’s not quite as painful when we deal with it together.

Me: You spent some time riding Via Rail through Canada, which sounds cool. Is that Canada's version of Amtrak?

Sarah: It is pretty cool! I love the pace and the sort-of group isolation of train travel. I’ve never taken the train in the U.S., so I can’t say how similar they are in terms of experience, but VIA rail is the primary passenger rail service in Canada, like Amtrak is in the states.

Me: Where did you go, and how long was the trip?

Sarah: I’ve been back and forth between Toronto and Vancouver on the train several times, and that stretch takes between three and four days.

Me: I actually post two entries of the blog from the train recently. Did you do any songwriting when you were on the train?

Sarah: I did! It’s been such a great spot for me to sort through my thoughts and get them down on paper. It’s also been great for collecting new stories that have sometimes turned into songs later on. 

Me: Sarah, I ask all my Canadian guests if they are fans if one of my favorite bands... Barenaked Ladies. Are you a fan?

Sarah: I can’t say I follow them too closely these days, but they were definitely part of the soundtrack of my youth! In fact, the first concert I ever went to without a parent/guardian was a Sarah Harmer and Barenaked Ladies concert when I was in high school.

Me: Do you set up a time schedule when you write, Sarah?

Sarah: I do set time aside, but It’s never as much as I wish it was. Recently I’ve been realizing how essential it is for me to have time alone to write, and that not only do I have to set aside time for writing, but that I really have to remove myself from whatever is distracting me. At the beginning of a new song, that usually looks like me sitting alone in a park or a cafe or a bar and jotting down thoughts and ideas, from which I start to extract some lyrics. Sometimes that’s it for awhile, and those lines will stay closed in a notebook until I need them, and sometimes I already hear a melody attached to those words, and then I get myself home to a guitar or keyboard and start working on the music.

Me: I have to mention "Without You" again. It has a very soulful, 60s sound, and it's nothing like I expected. Who are your influences, Sarah?

Sarah: They are pretty widespread; I’ve been as inspired by Miles Davis as by Joni Mitchell. I listened to lots of early Motown growing up, and then more 70s soul in my teens... Al Green and Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin and Bill Withers. I wouldn’t call myself a soul singer, but soul music definitely played a part in my musical formation. I remember being really struck by Marvin Gaye’s "What’s Going On" when I heard it for the first time in high school. It was honestly a revelation for me to hear pop music with such substance-both in the subject matter and the composition. That’s the kind of music I want to make... music that’s interesting to listen to, that doesn’t always go where you expect it go; and music that’s interesting to think about, that talks about a variety of experiences.

Me: You have a new album coming out called "Beauty in the Blue." Where did that title come from? 

Sarah: "Beauty In The Blue" is the name of the last song on the album. I wrote it during an ice storm in Toronto a few years ago when a lot of people, including me, were without power or heat right before Christmas. The phrase started as a reference to the city itself. People really came together during those few days to help out. Neighbours who hadn’t even met were checking in on each other, local cafes were staying open late for people who had no where to go. So the song was kind of an homage to my home, all these beautiful people who make up Toronto making the best of a tough situation. When it was time to name the album, that title jumped out because so much of what I’m singing about in these songs is just that... trying to find beauty in sad times, hard times, mad times.

Me: I love the song "How to Pour Whiskey For Strangers." There HAS to be a story behind that song, am I right?

Sarah: Ha, you’re right! Actually, that’s a song that was inspired by my first trip on the train. It was the last night of the journey and, as it was also my first time seeing western Canada, I didn’t want to miss anything, so I headed to the dome car, which has the best views. I ended up sitting there with four strangers, talking and sharing drinks until the early morning.

Me: You got to tour the U.K., which must of been cool. What was your favorite part about playing over there?

Sarah: I really loved the pub culture there. We were touring as two unknown Canadian bands, and in every place we played (most of the venues were pubs of varying sizes), people turned up to hear us play, although they’d never heard of us before. There seemed to be a lot of engagement and appreciation of live music.

Me: How would you compare Canadian audiences to British audiences?

Sarah: I found people a lot more attentive in Ireland and U.K. than they are in Canada, in general. Which was kind of surprising, I guess because I had only played in Canada up to that point. I didn’t expect the reception to be that different. You really have to fight for attentiveness playing in bars in Canada.

Me: You also got to open for Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot... that's every Canadians dream, music wise, right? Was he really cool? I almost had an interview with him once.

Sarah: He was really cool! It’s pretty incredible to meet someone who has given so much to our country creatively. I only talked to him for a couple of minutes, but it was still impacting. He’s in his 70s and still touring. That kind of commitment and work ethic is something to aspire to!

Me: If you could share the stage with anybody who would it be?

Sarah: I would love to play with Kings Of Convenience. Or Brian Blade. Or Emmylou Harris.

Me: Okay, so, you did a TEDx talk. I have to show the pic of you doing it as it's really cool...

Me: I have done stand up before but don't think I ever could do a TED talk... I wouldn't know what to say. I only watched two on line as well... Steven Page's and a friend of mine, musician and actor Nick Jameson. Both actually sang in their talks... did you? What did you talk about?

Sarah: I did sing! I talked about my choice to pursue music, which can sometimes feel like an overly self-centered job, sometimes even frivolous one; about trying to reconcile that choice with a world full of pressing needs; and I played a few songs that helped illustrate my resolution of that inner conflict. 

Me: Cool. Well done. So, I'm curious what's next for you? Are you gonna be making any videos or tour behind this album? Come down to Florida if you do!!

Sarah: I’ll be doing everything I can to get this new album heard, starting with a few tour dates in western Canada this November. More dates will be announced for 2018 as well, and I do have a video project in the works with director Sandi Barrett. I will definitely keep you posted if I make a stop in Florida!

Me: Sarah, thanks so much for being on the Phile. PLEASE come back again soon. Mention your website and anything else. Continued success. You are fantastic!!!

Sarah: Thank you! I would love to come back! I want to mention that you can pre-order "Beauty In The Blue" here... and you automatically get access to "Without You," the first single. And I would love to connect with people on my website, or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... @srhiltz.

Me: Great job, Sarah. Take care.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Sarah Hiltz. I have to mention something real quick... this morning I found out a good friend of mine and a Phile Alum, Joe Skinner had passed away. I interviewed him back in 2010 and f you didn't read it, or would like to again here is the link... Joe, you will be missed. Okay, the Phile will be back on Sunday with Phile Alum Jeremy Croston. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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

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