Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. How are you? If you're wondering my personality is basically a mix between a needy 5-year-old child who can't control his emotions, a teenage rebel who makes poor life decisions, and an 80-year-old man who's tired and needs a nap. Anyway...
Bad news Bath & Body Works fans, looks like some stores near you will be officially closing. According to L Brands, the company is closing fifty of its Bath & Body Works stores across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. This according to the information that was disclosed online as part of the company’s first-quarter earnings report. The closures will take place in malls, where social distancing measures still continue to impact foot traffic. Bath & Body Works has around 1,700 locations across North America. The retailer also stated it will shut down one store in Canada. This isn’t the only store that has suffered financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hitting the retail industry hard, JCPenney, Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, and Pier 1 Imports have all filed for bankruptcy this month. However, quarterly results for our favorite scent store weren’t as bleak. Online sales grew 85 percent over last year. The company expects its sanitizer products to grow into a 300 million dollar business for 2020, up from 100 million dollars last year alone. There are only a select number of Bath & Body Works locations that are currently open because of the pandemic, according to its website. The company has not yet confirmed which Bath & Body Works stores exactly will be closing in 2020. However, the retailer is currently offering several deals online. You can currently purchase two single wick candles for only 20 dollars. Some favorite summer scents are also for sale including the Watermelon Lemonade, Sun-Drenched Linen, Mango Mai-Tai, Endless Weekend, and Strawberry Pound Cake. Customers can also get six hand soaps for only 26 dollars right now. Several scents for the season include Blue Ocean Waves, Beach Cabana, Beach Bliss, Island Papaya, and Crystal Waves. Victoria’s Secret, which is also owned by parent company L Brands, also recently announced its plan to shut down 250 locations around the United States and Canada.
Store owners with no-mask-no-service policies got a boost from the governor. New York City business owners planning to reopen before coronavirus restrictions are lifted got a warning from the mayor. Actors Rosie Perez and Chris Rock are promoting face coverings and virus testing. Store owners who require customers to wear face coverings will now be backed up by an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The promised executive order authorizing businesses to deny entry to people without face-covering comes as outbreak-related restrictions on shops are beginning to loosen, though not yet in New York City. “We’re giving the store owners the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in.’” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “That store owner has a right to protect themselves. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store.” Many stores already require people to wear masks to enter, but Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the right of business owners to do that had not been made explicit in law. He said the order also gives local police the ability to enforce the rule. Ted Potrikus of the Retail Council of New York State said the order “gives retailers helpful authorization to say, ‘This is our policy, you can’t come in.”’ “Retailers have, for the most part, made face masks a requirement for entry,” Potrikus wrote in an email, “but, as we’ve seen on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, there are people out there who believe they can go into a store regardless of that store’s policy on masks.” Cuomo said his new order will reduce conflicts between shop owners and customers who refuse to cover their faces. Face coverings are already required in New York when people are out in public and near others. Cuomo was joined by actors Rosie Perez and Chris Rock, who will star in ads urging New Yorkers to wear face coverings and to get tested for the virus now that testing is more widely available in hard-hit areas like Brooklyn, the site of yesterday's briefing. Perez said the new order would lessen also the anxiety of going into a store. “It’s going to lessen, hopefully, the fights that are breaking out in stores when someone sees someone without a mask,” she said. Rock admitted that he doesn’t confront people he sees on the street who aren’t wearing masks. Instead, “I give them a nice side-eye.” New York recorded 74 new COVID-19 deaths for a second day in a row. There have been more than 23,700 deaths statewide since the start of the outbreak. Hospitalization rates continued to fall, with an average of 163 admissions a day. More than 3,000 people a day were being hospitalized at the peak of the pandemic. New York City businesses that try to reopen before coronavirus restrictions are lifted will face fines starting at $1,000, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. “No, businesses are not supposed to make up their own rules and jump the gun,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing on the virus. New York City is the only jurisdiction in the state that has not met Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s guidelines for the first phase of New York’s four-part reopening process, including having enough contact tracers to monitor people exposed to the virus. De Blasio said he expects the city to enter Phase 1, including construction, manufacturing, and retail with curbside pickup, during the first two weeks of June. Some merchants, including the owner of a Staten Island tanning salon, have said they planned on reopening this week. When the tanning salon owner tried to open on Thursday with the support of local politicians, police officers were on hand and issued him a summons that kept the operation closed. De Blasio said businesses that reopen before they are supposed to will be told to close, and if they ignore orders to shut their doors, fines will be issued. “I’m not into free agents,” de Blasio said. “I’m not into people deciding that they get to make the rules and they can do something everyone else can’t do.”
Corey Lewis, a black guy, found himself in some trouble for… being a black guy, pretty much. Yeah that’s it, actually. He’s black and some nosy, dumb, racist lady saw that he’s black and was like, “Whoa, I don’t like the look of this black guy. Specifically the part about how he’s black. And by ‘specifically’ I mean ‘only.'” Then the nosy, dumb, racist lady called the cops on him because, naturally, this suspicious looking (see also: black) man was likely up to no good. Lewis, who runs a youth mentoring program in Marietta, Georgia, was babysitting for a family he knows when he caught the aforementioned dumb lady’s eye. The reason he stood out to the lady, aside from the whole black thing in and of itself, was because he was a black man with two white kids. A girl and a boy, aged 10 and 6. They were leaving a Subway after having just eaten lunch there. Obviously... of course... the only the reasons that combination of people would be in a car together would be either kidnapping or human trafficking. So this valiant woman did what any hero would do: she snooped and harassed Lewis, and demanded to speak to the children, whom she 100% did not know. When Lewis declined the stranger’s request to speak to the children he was responsible for... suspicious!... the lady threatened to take down his license plate number and call the police. Then she followed him in her car. That scared the kids, by the way. Finally, the cops showed up and pulled Lewis and the kids over (this also scared the kids) to confirm that the innocent man who was doing nothing wrong or suspicious was, indeed, a normal, nice, innocent guy and not a child stealing, human trafficking, psychopath. As an aside, kudos to whoever the dispatcher was for properly conveying to the responding officers that this was probably nothing because the woman calling sounded like an idiot. Otherwise, officers responding to reports of a possible kidnapper could have been much, much worse. At this point, the police were forced to do their due diligence and call the kids’ parents, who were both pissed off and not really able to comprehend why in the fuck this was happening. Lewis caught a lot of the ordeal on Facebook Live and his story quickly went viral. Authorities are not releasing the name of the woman who called the police on Lewis, which I’m sure she is thankful for, because she probably doesn’t want to be antagonized and harassed by strangers who would be judging her based on perception and hate. Huh. Weird.
YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband James Stauffer announced they have decided to rehome their son Huxley, who was adopted two and a half years ago. The couple welcomed their now four-year-old boy son from China in October 2017. Through a video statement shared on their YouTube channel, James stated, “Once Huxley came home, there were a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of, and that we were not told.” The husband continued saying it was really hard hearing from medical professionals about his diagnosis, saying they had a lot of feedback that was upsetting for the family. According to the family, the boy has autism and brain damage. He did note the family never wanted to be in the position they are now, and they have been trying to get the boy’s needs met and help him out as much as possible. Myka noted, “But there wasn’t an ounce in their body that didn’t love her son, and there wasn’t a minute that they didn’t try their hardest to help the boy anyway they could. After multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that his medical needs, he needed more. Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500 percent.” The social media entertainers, who have four biological children (Radley, Onyx, Kova, and Jaka), stated the little boy was happy and is doing very well. His new mother has medical professional training which is fitting for the boy. The couple asked their subscribers to honor their privacy, saying that they wouldn’t be going into further details about the boy and the family. Myka was very verbal about her decision to update her fans about the adoption, especially when it came to his two-year adoption anniversary. She regularly documented the family’s journey to adopt him together, including monthly and yearly posts about the whole adoption journey itself. Several viewers of the family were quick to express their heavy outrage about Huxley being placed with another family, comparing their biological kids with the adopted boy. Others also criticized the mom for using him in monetizing content. A Change.org petition was created demanding the family remove all monetized content of the boy from YouTube. The Influencer, who has more than 162,000 followers on Instagram and over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube has several garnered partnerships with big-name companies such as TJ Maxx, Danimal yogurt, and Big Lots. After making the decision of rehoming the boy, Stauffer did reassure her audience that numerous medical professionals felt he needed a different fit, which is why the adoption agency helped place Huxley with his “forever family.”
So, when I saw this pic it reminded me of something...
And then it hit me...
You see into, right? Okay, here is another creative measure that a business is taking to maintain social distancing out in the world...
That's actually creepy to me. Haha. Once again grads are being creative with their yearbook quotes...
Ha. Man, those protestor songs really bother me, like this one...
I was thinking of getting another tattoo but someone had the same idea I had...
I wanted a ruling toilet paper roll tattoo. Oh, well. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...
Top Phive Things Said By Adults About Being An Adult
5. Adulting is finally understanding why your mom was so upset with you when you didn't take the chicken out of the freezer.
4. When I was a child I thought the "adult drink" was coffee. When I became a teenager I thought the "Adult drink" was beer. As an adult I've realized the "adult drink" is in fact... water.
3. I'm an adult, and I can eat whatever I want whenever I want, and I wish someone would take this power from me.
2. I realized I was an adult when $1,000 was no longer a lot of money.
And the number one thing said by an adult about being adult is...
1. You know you're an adult when you start to pick up the ice cubes and put them in the sink instead of just kicking them under the refrigerator when they fall.
This person who thinks Clorox wipes are unconstitutional.
Wow! Just wow! Okay, you know I live in Florida, well, some strange stuff happens in this state...
Social distancing has most definitely made me become extremely comfortable and I’m sure it has made everyone else feel the same. But sometimes, real life comes back to remind us that we still need to keep it together. And it definitely reminded this Florida mom. Ashley Foret Smith, a mom from Jacksonville, Florida, might’ve embarrassed her daughter so much, it could possibly scar her for life. In my personal opinion however, I’d be a proud parent of this embarrassing moment, considering how hilarious it is. And honestly, I’m sure Ashley’s daughter thinks it’s more hilarious than embarrassing too. Ashley Smith had just finished her shower and was walking across her master bedroom to grab clothes. Assumingly, walking naked because 1. it’s her master bedroom 2. only her significant other would probably be in the same master bedroom and 3. no one should be around any ways because of social distancing. What she didn’t realize was that her 7-year-old daughter had set up her virtual learning shop right on her bed. In the middle of the room, Ashley’s youngest daughter was lying underneath her covers with the computer sitting on the pillow. She was on a Zoom call with her first-grade class, and Ashley had no idea until she heard a child giggling and a voice goes, “Uh, oh, we should hang up. We might be in trouble.” To her horror, she had just flashed an entire first-grade class on her daughter’s Zoom call. Completely mortified, she sought advice from two teacher friends about what she should do. They then encouraged her to share her story on social media, showing how to make situations like this one more light-hearted, especially with the coronavirus pandemic forcing everyone online for virtual schooling and work calls. So Ashley made a hilarious video on Facebook, recalling the embarrassing moment. What’s even funnier, is that she’s recording the Facebook video in a towel, clearly fresh out of the shower. She told Insider, “Practicing social distancing for so long makes you feel like you are in this all alone. When in fact, every single one of us is learning this new way of life. I hope that other parents learn that it is okay to not be perfect... that we are all doing our best to balance so many things right now.” She also shared in a sequel Facebook post saying, “Also, for the record! It has been confirmed that no child actually saw anything! They were getting off the call bc they would be in trouble for being in before the teacher. The timing couldn’t have been more awkward.”
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's time to take a live view of Port Jeff. I wonder if that ship is back...
Its back. Wonder where it went.
I found this pic of it and the pier and a little information which I didn't know. The 350 foot pier opened in May 2002 and previously provided tie-up for tankers and barges delivering bulk petroleum to the Mobil Oil terminal, which was there when I was a kid. The pier was refurbished with a 12 foot wide decking and railings to allow recreational use such as fishing or walking out to enjoy the magnificent views of the harbor or a sunset. In addition to serving as an important recreational asset, the pier also serves as the home base of the Seawolf, the marine research vessel for Stony Brook University. So that boat is called the Seawolf. Interesting. Now we all know.
The 126th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Ringo will be on the Phile on Monday! That's amazing!
An explorer walked into a clearing and was surprised to see a pigmy standing beside a huge dead elephant. "Did you kill that?" he asked. The pigmy answered, "Yes." "How could a little bloke like you kill something as huge as that?" "I killed it with my club." replied the pigmy. "That's amazing," said the explorer. "How big's your club?" The pigmy replied, "There's about 150 of us."
Today's guest is an Italian-American actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model. Please welcome to the Phile... Isabella Rossellini.
Me: Hello, Isabella, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Isabella: I'm wonderful, Jason, thank you.
Me: So, you have a one woman show called Link Link Circus and in the show it's just you and a little dog, am I right?
Isabella: Yes, it's my little dog Pan.
Me: Is Pan your real dog?
Isabella: No. Pan was a rescue a few years ago from a pound in North Carolina. She was trained by a gentleman named Bill Berloni who trains dogs for the theatre. I tried to do it with my own dog but my own dog was too responsive to the audience. If the audience said "what a beautiful doggy" he would leap out and go say hi. So I had to get a dog who stands on stage and concentrates on me, so I have little Pan who is very small. She's about 14 pounds.
Me: So Pan is trained for the stage?
Isabella: Yes, she's trained. We rescued her a few years ago and she was training for about six months. She became my dog.
Me: Now she became your dog? So, she is your dog?
Isabella: Yes, she is now my dog.
Me: The show is called Link Link Circus. Where does the name come from?
Isabella: So, "link link" comes from the fact that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution linked us to the animals, links say we are animals too. We have an ancestor in common with the apes.
Me: So, what is the show about?
Isabella: Animals and their ability to think, feel and prove that he has become more and more evident that, yes indeed we are linked. So as Darwin used to say about cognition and intelligence the difference is not of kind but of degree. Of course we all recognize that we are all more cognitive than a dog or cat. But we do have something i common with them too.
Me: In the show you have to be in Darwin's and Aristotle's heads, right? What is that like?
Isabella: So, first of all I have to say all of my shows are comical. So, I do transform myself to Darwin and Aristotle and medieval monks and Skinner and Descartes. All these people who discussed basic questions that I also had when I was a little girl. Can animals think and feel? Lastly in the last tenyears or so I went back to university to study animal behavior and conservation. The science is really very recent, it started maybe 30 or 40 years ago. It has become more clear that we are linked with animals.
Me: How so?
Isabella: For example, the physical continuity is very recognized. You know the same bones that form a hand are the exact same bones that form a wing of bird. They're the exact same bones form of a flipper of a whale. So we know there's a physical continuity, something links that are similar. Similar and different. But when it cokes to cognition we think we're the only ones capable of thinking and feeling. Probably we are able to do it more so, we are very cognitive. But probably animals to different degrees probably can too. This is where I studied at the university and this is what my show is addressing. But always in a comical way, always my work is comical.
Me: I love it that you mentioned Descartes.
Isabelle: Why is that? Why?
Me: Because you're putting Descartes before the horse! Hahahahaha.
Isabella: Ha ha ha ha ha. That's good.
Me: Thank you very much, you could have that one. Why is it important to share the show in a comical way opposed to something like a TEDTalk?
Isabella: Well, with my career, I'm an actress. But I'm old. I'm 67-years-old. I also worked a lot as a model. when I work as an actress and modeling... modeling forget it. I stopped modeling 20 years ago, and acting I could still do some acting but there's less work for old women so that gave me time. It's a little sad but I always liked animals, let me go back to university. So I went back to university and studied what I wanted to always study since I was a child. Then when I started to write things it always turned out to be comical. I think I wanted to be comical, and some is in my nature. In my nature I cannot control it, I like to laugh. So when I write I spend a lot of time alone. When I stay at home and think of jokes I can stay alone and write more willingly. But also there are so many amazing documentaries by "National Geographic" or David Attenborough about animals and I couldn't think I could compete. One of the things they didn't capture, animals make me laugh. There's something absurd about being similar and different. And this is what I wanted to capture.
Me: I had David Attenborough on the Phile a while ago. You said you wanted to study animals since you were a kid, Isabella. were you one of those crazy kids who wanted to bring frogs home in shoe boxes?
Isabella: Exactly. I brought frogs, snails, bugs, dogs, stray dogs, stray cats. Everything I brought home and I always liked animals since I was a little girl. I was just born with it as I was born with brown eyes and brown hair. It's a part of me, I don't know where it comes from. My parents let me do it. My parents always made sure I had a dog I could have cats. They didn't belittle my love for animals.
Me: I was gonna ask you about that. Your parents were famous people. Your mom was Ingrid Bergman and your dad was film director Roberto Rossellini. They were cool about you bringing home grasshoppers and bugs?
Isabella: Yes, they did, they loved animals a lot. My mom Ingrid Bergman was an actress. She worked in Hollywood, she did famous films like Casablanca or Notorious. She always had more than one dog. Three or four dogs, Most of the time we lived in the country or outskirts of the city so we always had gardens so the dogs could run around. That's why we could have four dogs. And my father too loved animals. But on top of it, I grew up in Italy and in Italy the countryside is quite close to the city. It isn't like in New York where the countryside seems to be so foreign and children have never seen a children and are surprised when someone says an egg comes from a chicken. Really the city is very small, and right outside it not suburbia and was countryside. Rome where I grew is becoming a bigger city like New York. But the countryside I grew up in is very close. So knowing something about farming, about animals, and now I have my own farm.
Me: Where do you live now?
Isabella: I live 60 miles from New York City in Patchogue, Long Island. I have a farm with many chickens, turkeys, bees, vegetables, etc.
Me: Patchogue! I know where that is. I grew up in Port Jefferson! Ever been there?
Isabella: Of course, many of times. It's a beautiful village with great seafood restaurants. And the band Foghat used to have a recording studio there, Jason. I bet you never knew that.
Me: Ummmmmmmmmmm. Yep, I sure did. Ahem. How many chickens do you have? Forty?
Isabella: Oh, I have more than forty. I have about a hundred chickens. There's different breed of chickens. It's very interesting, I don't think a lot of people realize there's a lot of farm animals who are endangered.
Me: What? Are chickens endangered?
Isabella: Chickens are not endangered. Different breeds of chickens are endangered because industrial farming favors certain breeds so we eat one type of chicken. On my farm I have mostly endangered breeds of chicken, endangered breeds of turkeys.
Me: How do you remember all the chickens names?
Isabella: I don't remember all my chickens names. Chickens to my surprise have very distinct personalities. So sometimes I recognize a few of them, some of them have names but not all of them. The one who has an extreme personality, the one that is very, very shy and I'm never able to catch, I call her Speedy. Then there's one who has a very strange hair do and when I call her she comes and sits on my lap. She doesn't like to be touched by sometimes she sits there for 20 minutes and I call her Annie Warhol because she just has some funny white turf of hair. Feathers on top of her head. Then there's one I call Red because she's reddish in color and she's very curious. I could tell she's always looking at me and as soon as I leave my car she goes and inspects the car. If I enter a barn as soon as I leave the barn she goes into the barn to see if I touched anything.
Me: Most farmers don't make or get close to the animals for obvious reasons. Why are you different?
Isabella: I think it makes it easier to separate emotionally from animals and say they're stupid, like chickens are stupid. Then they could eat them more easily. I think a lot of the separation from reality of animals, their emotion or personalities is to help ourselves and not gave feelings because of course its much harder to eat them. Although I'm not a vegetarian and I eat chickens, I cannot was my own chickens.
Me: Really? I am not surprised really.
Isabella: I eat the neighbors ones. The other farmers chickens. I'm told that's pretty common, I'm told I'm not the only one. I was told years ago as I'm an actress and a model I'm too urban. It'll take me years to get used to it. But I'm told a lot of other farmers have a hard time eating their own animals. Although I'm not a vegetarian.
Me: I read some other interviews with you and one interviewer said something like that he is surprised that an an icon of cosmopolitan sophistication end up acting out bed bugs sex in your "Green Porno" series. Why do you think this is so surprising to people?
Isabella: I don't know. I was surprised to a little bit. Sometimes I think they think as I worked as a model, I worked with a cosmetic company for many years. I was surprised when people feel that I belong to this the world of beauty I shouldn't have any other interest. Of course I enjoyed modeling, I love photography, I love also fashion and I always use cream and cosmetics. But that doesn't mean it's the only thing I want to do. There are other things I want to do too. Sometimes I heard "she's model and worked with cosmetics companies she's not allowed to have any scientific interests. Or farming interests or whatever."
Me: Do you always have a sense of fun?
Isabella: Yes, I don't know if there was any explicit sense of fun in modeling. Models are always very serious or posing in strange fashion.
Me: I remember when you were on the Letterman show years and years ago, Isabella, and Letterman used to say "you are the most beautiful woman in the world." How did that feel for you at the time?
Isabella: I think it was flattering. I never really did think he was serious. He didn't do a survey. He would say Isabella Rossellini who stars in Blue Velvet or Joy. He would still say the names of the films I would do. It seems a little bit absurd but kind.
Me: How do you think Hollywood has changed since you started as an actress?
Isabella: Well, I don't really know about Hollywood. I grew up in Europe, I was born in Rome and I was raised between Paris and Rome.
Me: What about the film industry as a whole. There's this whole MeToo movement now, what do you think of that?
Isabella: I have to say although actors and actresses they are celebrities so they might get a lot of attention. But I think the problem of abuse is in every field. Nurses, even farmers. I received in my Instagram women who work in farms say they were abused... sexually abused or commented they were heavy. So I think it exists everywhere. It could be that Hollywood stars get more attention because they're famous but I don't think it's phenomenal it happens in Hollywood.
Me: Why is it important to have a laugh in such a rich life?
Isabella: I don't know. I just like to laugh. It's a part of my personality. I share my farm with another farmer and someone asked her what kind of person is this Isabella and she said, "She's joyful." I took that as a wonderful compliment. I do think I was born with a sort of enjoyment ness. I think my enjoyment ness comes from curiosity. I think I found when the cosmetics company fired me or I didn't work anymore in films I could have been depressed. I was a little bit depressed, it wasn't fun. Instead if as they say waiting by the phone to have somebody call me the world has so many wonderful things, what else is out there I could do. Then when I went back to university and went to do my own work as a writer as a filmmaker I was happy to not to work as a model or an actress I wouldn't have time to study thoroughly or creamy own work and write it. So I think the curiosity I have is what gives me joy. Because if there's a disappointment there I don't dwell in it, I think what else is there I could do interesting.
Me: Isabella, thank you so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon. Stay well.
Isabella: Thank you so much for having me.
Me: Say hello to the chickens for me.
Isabella: I will. Caw caw caw they would say. Bye bye.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Isabella for an interesting interview. And she knew Foghat had a studio in Port Jeff! That's crazy! Shit like that makes this stupid blog worthwhile. The Phile will be back Monday with the one and only Ringo Starr. Spread the word, not the turd... or virus. Don't let snakes or alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon