Friday, September 26, 2014

Pheaturing Phile Alum Neil Sheasby From Stone Foundation

Hey there, and welcome to another entry of the Phile. I am your host, Jason Peverett, star of the new TV show "Brit-ish". Yeah, I expect it'll be canceled soon.  So, yesterday I told you guys about a Florida woman who has three boobs. Here's a picture of her in case you didn't see it...

Well, it was three good to be true. The beautiful dream we've held so dearly to her chest is over. Jasmine Tridevil, the Tampa woman who found immediate Internet fame after claiming to be the first mentally unstable woman to have a third breast implanted between her two real ones has been exposed, and no, we don't get to see that third nipple. Earlier yesterday, TMZ revealed Jasmine Tridevil for the hoaxer she is. Her secret squeezed out accidentally when her luggage was stolen at an airport. According to a document retrieved from the Tampa International Airport Police Dept., a whole bunch of luggage was stolen from an American Airlines conveyor belt, including Miss Tridevil's (actual name Alisha Hessler) black nylon roller bag. The thieves were caught after being able to ID them from surveillance video, and police inspected each stolen bag as they built their case to prosecute. What was found in Tridevil's bag? Some clothes, stilettos heels, some paperwork, a hairbrush, and... a "3 Breast Prosthesis." Horror of horrors. Now, not only is it clear that Jasmine Tridevil's fake third boob was fake, her other two real ones were fake as well. Questions abound. Who made her prosthetic that she told cops cost her $5K? What's that line just below her phone in the above picture? Is that part of the prosthetic? Is her hair covering the other line? Did we have the evidence all along and didn't notice because we were all hypnotized by her third fucking tit? How long did the police hold onto her fake jugs for "safekeeping?" And what, for the love of anything, do her real boobs look like??? I'm hoping, nay, begging, she will show her two real boobs, along with the episodes of the reality show she paid for and shot herself, "Jasmine's Jugs", on her new Facebook page. The page was created just this Monday, September 22nd, under her real name Alisha Hessler (Actor/Director). I am going to spell out the URL here, so you can see it in all its glory: Dot tits indeed, Miss Hessler, dot tits indeed. Hmmph. Okay, moving on...  Shortly after being dropped from a State Farm ad campaign due to his public anti-vaccination stance, comedian Rob Schneider expressed his dismay with the insurance company's decision, quoting George Washington in a tweet, "If the Freedom of Speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter," which would almost seem smart if Washington were talking about insurance company ad departments instead of governments.  Actress Lindsay Lohan gave a singularly Lindsay Lohan-esque performance during her first night on a London stage, performing in David Mamet's "Speed the Plow". Multiple times throughout the play, she forgot her lines and had to rely on stagehands shouting them to her from offstage. However, she neither left the stage midway through the show to down a bottle of gin nor got into a fistfight with any of her fellow actors, so the show has been considered a smashing success. Did you know If you put vodka in a Shirley Temple, that’s called a Lindsay Lohan.  A Peruvian author is suing Disney for $250 million, claiming that its smash hit movie Frozen, about a princess who who grows up with magical powers that she is unable to control and then runs off to an ice palace on a faraway mountain top... stole its story from her autobiography about a woman who grows up in the Andes and survives an earthquake. You see? The two stories have characters growing up, and there's a mountain in both. I wonder how she's going to spend her $250 million. She needs to just let it go.  For millennia, humanity has puzzled over one mystery that seemed as though it would never be solved: what exactly is the flavor of that Mystery Dum-Dum lollipop with the question mark on its wrapper? Now, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mental Floss, we have our answer. It's whatever flavor was in the lollipop-making machine mixed with the flavor of the new stuff that was just poured. Rather than throw the hybrid lollipops away, they just market them as a mystery. So, really, I suppose the flavor is laziness.  I just mentioned Frozen, and I have to say when I saw it back in February I thought one scene was kinda weird.

 I was "Survivor" last night that I DVRed and during the show this happened...

Guess I won as I don't play Cash 3 or Play 4. Haha.  You know they're making anther Avengers movie, and there's one thing they are changing that I do not like. Check it out...

There's no reason for that.  I have to show you this, a sign at a school in I think it is Minnesota.

That's great, right?  Oh, I have to show this as well. Check out this Police poster...

That's for you, Rich.  Okay, so, there's a million blogs out there, people. I'm glad you read the Phile, but I am sure you read some others as well. Not all blogs have had over 700 entries, or stopped posting all of a sudden, and then come back five months later not loosing much of its readers.  Well, occasionally on the Phile I like to randomly pick another blog and add it to the...

Today's random blog is...

Here is a portion of the blog...

You know it's random as the blog is talking about France. Anyway, go read After you read the Phile of course.

If you spot the Mindphuck email me at And don't forget, if you live on Long Island or just visit Long Island email a picture of anything that shows L.I. and I will pick the bet three and show them on the Phile from the Long Island entries on October 14th, 15th and 16th.

Have you noticed that this time of year everything is pumpkin flavored? I hate the taste of pumpkin, and a friend of hr Phile does as well. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Mark this and remember it well, my twisted little meatpuppets... If any of you EVER see me drinking a pumpkin flavored ANYTHING, you have my full permission to place a large caliber gun to my forehead and blow the back of my skull all over the dress of whatever sweet young thing I happen to be standing with. In FACT... if any of you see me drinking ANYTHING other than Tennessee whiskey or German beer in a pub, it is clear that I have been replaced by a replicant and should be dispatched in much the same manner. Thank you... One more thing... I have never been a Yankees fan but I must say... Derek Jeter has more class than any sports figure I have seen in my lifetime. Very happy for the City of New York and my Yankees fans. Excellent ending in his final game at home. Salute...

The 27th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Steven Thomas and this is one of his pieces...

Steven will be a guest on the Phile next Thursday. 

Today's Phile Alum is the bass player for the great British band Stone Foundation whose new album "To Find the Spirit" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile... Neil Sheasby.

Me: Hey, Neil, welcome back to the Phile, sir. How have you been?

Neil: Very well thank you, refreshed after a holiday.

Me: Before we talk about Stone Foundation and the great new album "To Find the Spirit" which I love, recently I interviewed a mate of yours... Mark Baxter. Did you read his book "Elizabeth, Peter & Me" or any of his other books? What did you think?

Neil: I did, I'm a great admirer of Bax's work as well as being a close friend of his, I like the way he just get's on with things, get's stuff done. I think the "Fashion of Football" book is a (lost) classic.

Me: He's a very snappy dresser that Mark is, Neil. You're pretty much of a snappy dresser yourself... compared to me who wears shorts and t-shirts with cartoon characters on most of the time. Where do you and the band get your clothes?

Neil: Personally it can be anywhere or anything that takes my fancy, clothes have always been a big passion of mine. The band are lucky to have a couple of sponsors including footwear company Delicious Junction, I'm in talks with them at the moment about designing a shoe for summer 2015. They like my idea so we'll have to see if anything comes of it.

Me: Mark is a football fan, or soccer as it's known here in America. Are you a football fan?

Neil: Yes, Leeds United and I also follow my local Non- League side Atherstone Town FC The Adders.

Me: Do you follow American football?

Neil: No, I don't really understand it at all I'm afraid.

Me: A friend of Mark's who wrote with him named Paolo Hewitt contributed on your new album, am I right? What did he do?

Neil: Paolo narrates a spoken word piece that he contributed for the album called "Child of Wonder", I think it captures the mood of the album really well. He also inspired the title "To Find the Spirit".  

Me: And isn't Andy Fairweather Low on the new album as well?

Neil: Yes, he is, he sings backing vocals on a song called "Hold On".

Me: Andy took part on Foghat's first album. Have you heard of Foghat?

Neil: Ah, Dave right?

Me: Yep.

Neil: Yeah, I really like the first album which I think was produced by Dave Edmunds.

Me: Yeah, Edmunds produced the album.

Neil: Wasn't there a Savoy Brown connection there too?

Me: Yeah, my dad, Roger Earl and Tony Stevens all left Savoy to form Foghat. Very good, Neil.

Neil: Yes, cool stuff and that's interesting to know that was your dad!

Me: Okay, let's talk about the band... there's seven of you in the band, right? Who is in it?

Neil: Eight in the live band at the moment... Neil Jones, Phil Ford (drums), Ian Arnold (keys) Rob Newton (congas), Spencer Hague (trombone) Gary Rollins (saxes) Gareth John (trumpet) and myself.

Me: How did you all meet and get together, Neil?

Neil: Myself and Neil Jones started the band several years ago, we tried a few different line up's and musicians before finding the right people who have come into the band at different periods throughout our progression, I imagine it will continue to change slightly too, I guess it's only natural with a big line up although I like to think that people are with us for the long term.

Me: Last time you were here you mentioned that Stone Foundation was named after an article in a magazine or newspaper. Was it hard for the whole band to agree on the name?

Neil: It was the headline of an article about Andy Newmark (drummer for Sly Stone) that featured in the Beastie Boys mag Grand Royale. No, I had the name before I had a band!

Me: Anybody ever call you guys The Stone Foundation? I bet that's annoying.

Neil: It happens, it used to frustrate me but I don't bother about it too much now, as long as they are talking about us... we've been called worse things...

Me: Congrats on having a track from our last album "The Three Shades of..." being put in a movie. What's the name of the movie?

Neil: Gunten Tag Ramon.

Me: It's a Mexican and German movie, right? What a strange combination. Have you seen the movie?

Neil: I haven't as yet no.

Me: I was watching one of my favorite TV shows called "Franklin & Bash", and I swear one of your songs was in it. Or a song that sounded very similar. It can't be a Stone Foundation song, right? 

Neil: Yes, "No More the Fool" featured in a scene I think, your ears did not deceive you.

Me: Yeah! Do you get that show in England?

Neil: Yes.

Me: If you could have your music in any TV show, what would it be? "Doctor Who" would be cool. 

Neil: Probably would have been "Breaking Bad" but as that's finished now I'll go for "Peaky Blinders", "Doctor Who" would be just fine too, syncs are the way forward... They need a jukebox in the Rovers Return on "Corrie" I reckon.

Me: "Coronation Street". My mum and I used to watch that show together. Alright, your new album... "To Find the Spirit". Explain what the album cover is about. It makes me crave french fries. Haha. 

Neil: Horace Panter (The Specials bass player) designed the cover, I think it fits the music perfectly and it evokes images of old Jazz styled records, I really like it but if you think it looks like a McDonalds ad then fine, we can't be held responsible for your diet...

Me: Like I said I love the album. When you were here before you said it was gonna be the best release yet and you were right. You must be proud of it, Neil. What does your wife and sons think of it?

Neil: I am proud of it, we all are. My kids won't admit to diggin' it but trust me I find them playing it on their I phones and singing along to it. They came along to a festival gig we did in the summer and they were very proud of their dad I can assure you, they have good taste.

Me: You have two sons, right? What kinda music are they in to?

Neil: I have 3. My eldest, Mason, is almost 21 and is an MC on the drum and bass scene, he's doing quite well and is very creative, the younger two are showing an interest, Lowell plays the drums and Sonny is always hi-jacking my stereo.

Me: My son Logan is 14, and he's into Dubstep. I hate that shit! He does like the blues though, which is cool. What music did you listen to when you were 14?

Neil: I started my first band when I was 14. We followed The jam around and I'd already seen Curtis Mayfield, the Who, Dexys, all the 2 tone bands etc... but it was a very different time back then, youth culture was vibrant and everything was affordable and accessible, great times actually. I loved those teenage kicks, irreplacable, I was lucky.

Me: I was listening to Dave Edmunds, Squeeze, Nick Lowe and Graham Parker back then. All good music, right?

Neil: Yep, great. I'd love Nick Lowe to produce S.F. He'd be perfect.

Me: You were 14 when you started to play bass. What was the first song you learned to play?

Neil: "Start" I think by The Jam.

Me: And how did you choose bass?

Neil: It chose me, that was all that was left so it was like oh okay, I'll play bass!!

Me: Do you have a favorite bass player? 

Neil: Ronnie Lane, Willie Weeks, James Jamerson...I have a few.

Me: Anyway, how long did it take you to record this album?

Neil: About 18 months but we were going in the studio about once maybe twice a week so if you were to condense that time frame down probably about four or five months.

Me: Did you do all the songwriting on it, Neil?

Neil: No, Neil Jones plays a major role in that department too, Neil's quite prolific actually, he chucks away more songs than I can write although we always find a healthy balance between our ideas in the end. The other lads have some really good ideas too, Phil our drummer is a great arranger of songs, It's a very creative set up at the moment.

Me: You're still working with Nolan Porter, an American singer. Is he on the new album?

Neil: He is, he sings "Crazy Love" on the LP and also features on "Bring Back the Happiness".

Me: When are you guys gonna tour the States?

Neil: As soon as the right promoter sorts it out, as long as we can cover our costs we will be on the first flight over, it's something we'd love to do.

Me: Last time you were here you did a tour with The Specials. Any other cool bands you worked with?

Neil: We've been fortunate to support some great bands and artists over the years from Wilko Johnson, Nine below Zero to the Blow Monkeys and Terry Callier, there's been a lot of highlights. Recently we got to play with Kenney Jones from the Small Faces, he sat in and drummed with us on some of their old tunes, that was very special.

Me: Who do you wanna tour with?

Neil: One Direction, the PRS would probably afford us to be able to retire. Weller would be good (and he likes the album so maybe one day).

Me: You're from the Midlands in the U.K., am I right? How far away from Oxfordshire do you live? 

Neil: I'm just over an hour away.

Me: Ever been to Burford in the Cotswolds?

Neil: I've passed through it.

Me: So, what's next for the band, Neil?

Neil: We return to Japan in November for a tour of Tokyo, our last experience over there was fairly mind blowing and there is an audience for us out there and it appears to building too so we are very much looking forward to that. Then we have to get our heads down and record the follow up to "To Find the Spirit" which we are all excited about, the new songs thus far have been really promising, we have already made a good start.

Me: Apart from being in the band you have a business called The Record Shack. Explain what that is.

Neil: I sell vinyl for a living, I do record fairs when I can and trade on Discogs, eBay, etc. during the week, I worked in record shops all my life from leaving school onwards, selling records is all I have known really, they are akin to modern antiques really.

Me: Also, I have to ask, where can I get that cool Stone Foundation shirt you are wearing in this picture?

Me: You probably don't sell XXL large shirts, right?

Neil: I'm sure Pete Playdon at Stone Foundation merchandise on Facebook would be able to sort you out.

Me: Neil, I don't know if we did this before but on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? This is depressing. If you were cremated where would you like your ashes spread?

Neil: I think I would let our drummer Phil roll my ashes up sprinkle them with some medication and smoke them, he'd be high for life...

Me: Neil, thanks for being on the Phile again. Go ahead and mention your website and I wish you continued success. Please come back again, my friend.

Neil: It's and you can also find the band on Twitter and Facebook by simply searching for Stone Foundation. Thanks for having me.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim and Neil Sheasby. The Phile will be back next Thursday with artist Steven Thomas and then on Friday with singer Molly Roth. 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.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pheaturing Stephanie Pressman

Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile, I am your host Jason Peverett, star of the new TV show "Groveland". Batman is not in that one either. How are you?  Four hundred thousand people... including Al Gore, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Leonardo DiCaprio took to the streets of New York City last weekend, with even more participating in metropolises worldwide, to demand that world governments begin taking more actions to halt and eventually reverse anthropogenic climate change. All I have to say is dear climate change organizers in NYC... great job but including a few giant balloons of famous animated characters wouldn't have killed you.  Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has announced that he is re-taking up his beloved smoking habit... something he reluctantly gave up in his 50s now that he is entering his ninth decade of life. "I’m looking forward to that first smoke. I’ve been thinking about that for thirty years," the 80 year old told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It’s one of the few consistent strings of thoughts I’ve been able to locate." Isn't he afraid it's going to ruin his voice?  A former Texas waitress recently revealed that she paid talk radio star Rush Limbaugh back for his disgusting generosity by getting him to inadvertently support abortion rights. After the conservative activist twice left Merritt Tierce $2,000 gratuities at the steak house where she was working, she took the money and gave "a sizable chunk" of it to to the Texas Equal Access Fund. "He’s such an obvious target for any feminist or sane person. It was really bizarre to me that he gave me $2,000, and he’s evil incarnate in some ways." He'll think twice before sharing his money with hardworking people again.  A spacecraft launched by India successfully entered the orbit of the planet Mars yeserday. They somehow managed to achieve this feat for only $74 million, which is less than the cost of the movie Gravity. Though, to be fair, their space program did not have to work George Clooney's fee into budget.  The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic organization led by the extremely wealthy Rockefeller family, which made a great deal of its vast fortune in the oil business announced Monday that it would be divesting from all companies related to fossil fuels. "We are quite convinced that if [John D. Rockefeller] were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy," explained fund president Stephen Heintz, who clearly knows something that the rest of us don't. Move all your money from oil to shotguns, people!  It took them about seven years, but evolutionary scientists have finally managed to find the "crocoduck" that creationists Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort infamously trotted out as evidence against evolution, based upon its apparent lack of existence. The newly discovered Spinosaurus was a 50-foot dinosaur that had features similar both both crocodiles and water fowl, making it an actual, real-life crocoduck. Just think of all those evolutionists who made fun of Cameron when he discussed this creature seven years ago, calling it absurd. They must feel pretty stupid now. It sure would be awkward if science figured out that Kirk Cameron was the missing link.  Legendary psychedelic groove band Pink Floyd just released the cover art for "The Endless River", the band's first album since 1994's "The Division Bell". I'm not a Pink Floyd fan but thought you'd like to see a picture of the cover.

The image of a man steering a boat across a sea of clouds seems perfectly designed for dorm room walls all across the world.  In the news recently there's been a lot of talk of a terrorist group called ISIS. Back in my day I Isis was her...

When I first heard on the news people talking about ISIS I though it was a new Apple product.  Do you kids like video games? There's a brand new Star Wars video game that looks cool. 

God, I wish that was real. I don't play video games, but that one I might've.  I mentioned this last week, and I'll mention it again, I always thought Pokemon was Japanese but apparently it's British. I should've known if anyone. For proof you nay have to look at them and see what they're named.

Hahaha. Cockwomble. That's really funny. I wan an hang my name to Allister Cockwomble. I'm so stupid. Okay, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is this week's...

Top Phive Things Overheard At The New York Climate Change Rally
5.  I hope President Obama can shift gears from doing nothing about guns and income inequality to doing nothing about climate change!
4. The subways are all going to be so crowded after this... I'm glad I rented that stretch Hummer to get here!
3. As Occupy Wall Street proved, if impassioned demonstrators converge on New York and make their voices heard, hey can accomplish anything!
2. I'm not saying we SHOULD riot... I'm just saying that if we DID, it'll be nice if we were marching near the Apple Store...
And the number one thing heard at the New York Climate Change Rally was...
1. We have to do something... it's late September and I'm drinking ICED coffee. This is insanity!

This is a real easy one. Very clever as well. If you spot it email me at Speaking of emailing, as you know on October 14th, 15th and 16th I will be posting the Phile from Long Island, New York and I thought it'll be cool if I had my L.I. readers email me a picture of something to do with Long Island and I will pick the best three and post them here on the Phile. I received a few good ones but a lot I'm still getting are pictures of things that could be anyway. A photo of the Long Island Sound looks like any body of water, know what I mean. My old school friend Jarred who lives on Long Island sent me this picture so you can get an idea of what I want...

Nothing like a traffic jam on 347 while they do road work. See? Something typical Long Island. So, continue emailing me those pictures to Alright, I live here in Florida as you know, and here in Florida some of of the strangest news happened. That's why I have a feature called..

Her name is Jasmine Tridevil. She's 21, from Tampa, Florida (of course), and her name isn't the only thing that's fake. She also has three breasts on purpose. She was born with two naturals and then, after being rejected by 50 surgeons, found one doctor at the bottom of the barrel who would stick a third one on her right in the middle. The doctor had to make that boob from scratch out of silicone, skin tissue from her stomach, and a mini-implant to create a protruding nipple. Later she had an areola tattooed on to complete the look. As Miss Tridevil explained on The News Junkie program on Orlando radio station 104.1, the whole procedure cost her $20,000, and her doctor required that she sign a non-disclosure agreement protecting his identity so that he "wouldn't get in trouble." But why, you ask yourself in your sane-person's head, would she do this? She wants to become an MTV reality star.  MTV hasn't signed on or anything, but she's hired a camera crew on her own to follow her around. Jasmine, if you haven't come up with a name for your show yet, may I suggest "Three Boobs on a Little Lady"? The show is going to be real, and it will be spectacular. Documenting her life as a three-breasted woman, she saved the moment she showed her mom what she had done for the cameras. This is sad for her family, but great for anyone who wants to see footage of her mom freaking out and running out the door. Her mom now refuses to speak to her, and will not let Jasmine's sister speak to her, either. She told her dad on camera, too. Apparently, he "really isn't happy."  Is she crazy? According to Tridevil, "I am crazy. But the crazy people don't know they're crazy, so technically since I know I'm crazy, I'm not crazy." Gotta (third) hand it to her, that's the exact kind of irrational circular logic that is perfect for reality TV. Television stardom is her goal now, but she claims that's not why she got the surgery. She says she is sick of dating, so she made herself "unattractive to men." She clearly underestimates man's motivation. On the plus, side, whoever created that three-boob-bra Etsy store finally has a customer base. 

Third boob's a charm. Haha. Alright, it's Thursday and it's time once again to talk football with my good friends Jeff and Lori in a feature called...

Me: Hey there, welcome back. It's week four already. Time is flying by, right? 

Jeff: Time definitely is flying by. We are now almost to the 1/4 mark of the season and there really isn't a clear cut favorite. Every team has strengths and weakness so far. So we shall see what the rest of the weeks bring us now.  

Me: There's no new NFL controversies this week, are there? 

Jeff: Other than Jonathan Dwyer, an Arizona HB that was also arrested for being part Ray Rice and part Adrian Peterson for domestic abuse and child abuse charges. He threw a shoe "near the child".  

Me: Oh, I didn't hear that story. That's crazy. I think the big football news is Roger Goodell, am I right? Do you think he should be fired? Did he really do anything wrong do you think? 

Jeff: Goodell is as good as gone. I think he should be fired. Regardless of if he had seen the Ray Rice video, what he gave Rice originally was a slap on the wrist. It was only after seeing how bad it was did he step up and do something more towards Rice. He admits he handled it wrong, but I think the damage was all ready done.  

Lori: I think the bigger issue with Goodell is that he's claiming ignorance in the whole case, which he'd told New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was an unacceptable excuse only two years ago during "Bountygate." There's no way he has the support of the coaches, even though he claims he does.  

Me: Good point. Sad news though, a player from the Titans passed away, am I right? 

Jeff: Rob Bironas died in a single car accident. He wasn't currently in the league this season. He was a free agent this season. He was also the son-in-law of Steelers Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw. 

Lori: Not only was Rob Bironas Terry Bradshaw's son-in-law, but he'd only just gotten married at the end of June this year. My heart goes out to both families.  

Me: Wow. Very sad. Okay, let's do the picks. Last week I got knocked to third place. Am I still there? How did we do? 

Jeff: The good news is after week 3 you are not in last place. Lori is going through the same thing we all did. She is having a sophomore slump, going 0-2. We both went 2-0 this week with all three of our teams winning. So right now I am in the lead with 12 points, Jason is in 2nd place with seven points and Lori has 5 points.  

Me: Yeah!

Lori: My record would be better if I wasn't being nagged to make my picks!!  

Me: Hahaha. Okay, this weeks picks... I say Colts will beat the Titans by 13 and Chargers will beat the Jags by 7. What do you two say? 

Jeff: My picks are Miami over Oakland by 7 points and Atlanta over Minnesota by 10 points. 

Lori: I pick Detroit over the Jets with 3 and New England over Kansas City by 1.  

Me: Good job, see ya next Thursday.

Jeff: See you next week.

Polly Bergen 
July 14th, 1930 — September 20th, 2014 
Polly wanna casket?

Way back in January and February I was showing you pieces from an artist named Steven Thomas who was supposed to be the 27th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's art gallery. Well, he still is, and will be a guest on the Phile finally next Thursday. Here is one of his pieces...

Again next Thursday Steven Thomas will be the guest on the Phile. He only had to wait eight months.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is a TV, film, & stage actor, host, singer and songwriter, and she's cute too. Please welcome to the Phile... Stephanie Pressman.

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

Stephanie: I'm exhausted & catching up on sleep. 

Me: You do a lot of interviewing yourself on red carpets and stuff, do you get interviewed often? 

Stephanie: No, normally I hate talking about myself. It's shocking right?! But, I've had these amazing projects I've created or been working on that I love so much so I want to talk about them & share them with the world. 

Me: Y'know, it's a small world... you interviewed Mark Cullen and Robb Cullen who created the TV show "Back in the Game". I work with their cousin Rich at Star Tours at Disney World. I have a screenshot of you interviewing them here...

Me: Weird, right? Have you ben to Disney World? Did you ever ride Star Tours? I know you are a geek like me so I am guessing yes. 

Stephanie: Yes, sure have... In both Orlando & Anaheim...though I never go on a trip to Endor & that hurts my soul... I love Ewoks! 

Me: Endor is boring... just trees. Haha. Anyway, you're from Atlanta, Georgia but now live in California... did you move to California to become an actress? 

Stephanie: Nope, well yes... it's a long story... I moved to L.A. twice before now. The first time I came to act. The second time I came to just enjoy and experience. This third time I came to seek independence. I had gone through a break-up and had friends moving out here and tagged along... I secured a job as a music teacher at a private school before I left and was not focused on acting. 

Me: Your mum was an actress, am I right? Did she give you any advice? 

Stephanie: My mom is really supportive and always has been. I've been acting professionally since I was a baby. She is my biggest fan and pushes me to do as much as I can. I couldn't be in the career I'm in without support it's super taxing and she is always there (3000 miles away) to Skype or FaceTime and read a script for an audition with me. She's amazing and I'm super lucky. 

Me: When did you move to California, Stephanie? A lot of TV shows are being produced in Atlanta all of a sudden it seems. Did you do any acting in Atlanta? 

Stephenie: In a few weeks I will celebrate my 10th anniversary of being in Los Angeles. I like to think I'm bi-coastal, I have an amazing group of agents in Atlanta that I adore and I send in taped auditions for everything filming there regularly. On occasion I book jobs and its great to get paid to work and spend time with my family & they are super excited too. Like I said my entire family is super supportive and get possibly more excited when I book jobs then I do. My aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents are all awesome cheerleaders. 

Me: How old were you when you started acting? You were very young, right? 

Stephanie: Since my mom acted she brought me in to auditions when I was still an infant. I have amazing memories as a child just having fun on set and in auditions. 

Me: When you told your parents you were moving to California what did they say? 

Stephanie: They've always been supportive. When I am home my dad leaves me newspaper clippings of all the TV shows and films currently filming in Atlanta... hinting I could move back home permanently. But overall they've always known I was a performer and they knew this is where I need to be. 

Me: Was it hard to settle in? 

Stephanie: L.A. takes two years to find good friends and five years to understand how the city works and the industry works. 

Me: I can't say you had a hard time finding work, because looking at your resume you do so much. You sing, write music, act, show up in videos, you have your own blog and a web series. Am I missing anything? 

Stephanie: I am creative I like doing creative things. In the last year or two I've been producing. I have a background in art and marketing though. I initially studied those areas in college. So, I do marketing and social media on a lot of friends projects. 

Me: Out of everything you do, what do you like to do the best? 

Stephanie: I can't choose...I love it all or I wouldn't do it. When I moved out here I made a promise to myself I would never do anything for money that I wouldn't do for free. I do love acting and hosting... in life my goal is pretty much to get paid to say things on camera, but my dream job would be a movie musical or a Joss Whedon musical. I'm a huge fan of Joss Whedon and his projects with music, "Once More With Feeling" & "Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog". 

Me: I downloaded your EP from iTunes and like it. Those are all original songs, right? 

Stephanie: Yes, those are all my songs that I wrote in 2004 or 2005, what seems like a lifetime ago. I have some newer stuff I wrote and recorded around 2009 but I've been mixing it for the last five years or so. Some day they will be released. 

Me: When did you start to sing, Stephanie? 

Stephanie: Wow, I always sang... I annoyed my family. I thought I was an opera singer. I loved Annie, Mary Poppins and Newies and I sang along. I sang in the choir at my synagogue I think starting when I was seven or eight. But I auditioned for my school choir and was placed in the city wide honor chorus when I was nine or ten and I think that's when my family and I realized I had any talent as a singer. I loved doing it but surprise someone actually wanted to listen. 

Me: Your EP came out a few years ago, are you planning another one? 

Stephanie: Like I said I've recorded and written new stuff... but music and acting are both twenty-four hour seven day a week careers unless I fall into a lot of money soon and can pay people to do half of what I do daily... so I can focus on both... it's a slow process. 

Me: You also play guitar... did you take guitar lessons or did you teach yourself? 

Stephanie: My middle school music teacher Ms. Shull was awesome she'd stay after school and teach a handful of students guitar technique it wasn't formal guitar lessons it was mostly jamming out with my best friends. One of which was on the first season of "The Voice" and continues traveling the country with her guitar singing her original songs. Her name is Rebecca Loebe you should definitely check her out. 

Me: Rebecca Loebe... I will, and see if she wants to be interviewed here. Are you proud of your EP? 

Stephanie: Um, yes and no. I'm proud of the songs I love those songs I also love the arrangements. I used to gig as a musician with some very talented musicians and we arranged the pieces over a period of two years playing them live together. I am not fond of the mix (because they aren't really mixed) and I would have retracked my vocals... meaning rerecorded my voice because I think those vocals were scratch tracks which means non permanent just for the purpose of recording instruments.

Me: You have appeared in a lot of TV shows... "House", "Castle", "ER"... so, you have been acting for awhile... did you start off doing small parts, extra work? 

Stephanie: Yeh, I think it's important to do everything on a set so you understand and appreciate it all. I look at extra or background work as a paid internship with free food. Plus if you are a union actor doing background it pays pretty well. 

Me: Do you have to audition for those parts? 

Stephanie: You don't have to audition to be an extra. Except in rare cases. 

Me: On "ER", which is one of my favorite shows of all time, you played a nurse. Did you just do one episode or a number of them? 

Stephanie: Just one episode. It was exciting, I was a fan of the show too. It was also the 300th episode so everyone was buying presents for the cast & crew it was pretty awesome. 

Me: Is there any TV show you wish you could be on? 

Stephanie: I obviously would love to be on all my favorite shows which include "Once Upon A Time", "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", "American Horror Story", "The Walking Dead", "Game of Thrones", "Downton Abbey", "Doctor Who", "Sherlock", "Big Bang Theory", "Constantine", and anything animated!!! 

Me: I mentioned you are a geek like myself. Are you into comics and sci-fi? 

Stephanie: Yup, my favorite comic lately has been "Batman 66"... I love the old TV show & grew up watching it & I also really like the new "Ms Marvel". As far as sci-fi I'm one of those people that is excited and supportive of the new Star Wars films and the "Star Wars Rebels" animated series. I am also excited for the new doctor on "Doctor Who" & I'm a big Clara fan. 

Me: What about cosplaying? Are you into that? 

Stephanie: I'm not a cosplayed... don't get me wrong I love wearing costumes... I just don't go to conventions and wear them. I'm typically working at conventions and I know people do both, it's just easier to wear a super cute nerdy dress and walk the floor than to be in a costume all day working. 

Me: Do you go to a lot of conventions? I know you were at San Diego Comic Con... I am planning to go next year. You hosted a panel at Comic Con, right? What was it about? 

Stephanie: Yeh, I get around to most conventions in the southwest and recently attended Wizard World Atlanta in my home town. My panel at SDCC was called "Spark your creativity, a call to action". It was amazing and I am just so proud. The panel featured seven amazing women who are actors and creators, writers and producers. Each woman deserves their own spotlight panel at Comic Con. We had Heidi Cox ("Stalking LeVar", "GeekSpeakTV"), Samantha Mason ("Fashionably Nerdy", "Legends of Atoll"), Helenna Santos ("Ms In The Biz", "The Infected"), Kristen Nedopak (The Geekie Awards, "The Skyrim Parodies"), America Young ("Geek Therapy", "The Chimaera Project") and Patty Jean Robinson ("Pike & Trident") 

Me: Ever been to MegaCon here in Orlando? 

Stephanie: No, but I'd love to.

Me: Do you get recognized when you're at cons? 

Stephanie: Sometimes... I mostly get "Hey, I follow you on Twitter or Instagram" or "I watch "Fashionably Nerdy" & I love it." The last one is my favorite.

Me: I know you have met a lot of different actors in you jobs... ever get star struck? 

Stephanie: I worked with Nathan Fillion for a week and just whispered "Balls" & "The Hammer is YOUR penis" to myself all week. Never actually had a single normal interaction with him. Oh, and I met Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from "Buffy") at a party recently and was pretty star struck. 

Me: If you can meet anybody and interview them who would it be? 

Stephanie: I don't know. There's a lot of people I respect or appreciate their talents. Maybe Kristen Bell, Ellen, Barak Obama, Felicia Day, Jared Leto, Bill Murray (or any Ghostbuster for that matter), JJ Abrams, Joss Whedon, George Lucas. 

Me: You have a blog called Struggles and Success... what was your biggest struggle and success? 

Stephanie: Oh, wow... everyday is a struggle working in an industry that is like pushing a heavy boulder up a hill... and everyday waking up and doing it all again and staying focused is my greatest success. 

Me: What made you write that blog, Stephanie? And what kinda advice do you give? 

Stephanie: I met people on set everyday with lots of questions and I answered the same questions over & over again... I realized I needed a place to send people to find all the answers, a solid resource for actors. 

Me: And you're a part of something called Get Reel. What is that exactly? 

Stephanie: Get Reel is a community of actors and industry folks trying to help each other propel forward... together. I initially started it cause I was frustrated and wanted good solid footage of myself for my acting demo reel I was sick of working for free or very little money with nothing to show for it. I wasted a lot of time and a lot of energy. So one day it clicked I know editors, I know directors, I know DPs (directors of photography... fancy talented camera people), I know writers, and I know talented actors. I should start a group where we make our own projects and help each other! A few years later... I have ample footage and Get Reel has about 1000 members... I try to keep it small.

Me: You have a web series called "Stalking LeVar". Is that LeVar Burton? I met him once when I was working at Epcot and he was an ass... trust me, you don't want to stalk him. Haha. Anyway, where did this idea come from and is LeVar aware of it? 

Stephanie: I came into this project to help out some friends and play a character... trust me, Susan is a character. But the idea came from the creators of the show who are amazingly talented nerd girls and love "Star Trek TNG" and "Reading Rainbow". They wanted to play quirky funny girls and they thought "what if we were two girls stalking a celebrity?"... LeVar seemed an obvious choice. At the time they chose him he was a little obscure and throughout the first season airing he has become a household name again due to his amazing, groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign for "Reading Rainbow". We met and interviewed him recently and he was lovely... he told us he loves our show and wants to be on it soon. His daughter, Mica is an actress and expressed her interest in appearing on the show too. The entire family seems very supportive of our show. 

Me: You are very creative and talented, Stephanie, have you always been like that? 

Stephanie: Wow, um... I was the child of an actor and started appearing in commercials and print ads as an infant before I could talk. So, the acting has always been there. I started singing when I could talk and never thought anything of it because I just loved doing it. Instruments started around eight years old. Visual arts have always been huge for me and I used to work as a graphic designer. So, I would say yes I've always been creative and artistic.

Me: You also take part in an improv group called Dungeon Master. How many people are part of this group and is it fun? I saw a picture of you with some kind of mask on with this group... I think I have it here...

Me: What was that about? 

Stephanie: Dungeon Master is this amazing troupe in Los Angeles where we do a crazy awesome show with about two actors and crew based on the fantasy role playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. We have a basic script for each episode of the show... it's a live theater experience but we call each show an episode because we have a seasonal overarching plot line and each episode is connected to the rest... but every show we take six audience volunteers on a quest and they encounter us portraying monsters and wizards, etc. It's so much fun we have huge dragon puppets that spit fire, we have amazing costumes and sets, we have dance numbers and songs and we have no idea what's going to happen because our party of volunteers have all the control as they are the stars of the show. It's a complete improv exercise for us that are members of the cast. 

Me: That sounds cool. What other kinda improv do you do? 

Stephanie: I do Dungeon Master, which is long form scripted. I am in The Show That Shall Not Be Named (Harry Potter Improv) which is story form... movie form improv, where we tell a complete story set in the world of JK Rowling's stories. Every now and then I get wrangled into some other more traditional short form improv groups and guest in their shows. 

Me: I read in your bio you have different skills... hula hooping, Israeli folk dancing... how did you get into that? Is your family from Israel? 

Stephanie: No. I watched the "Mickey Mouse Club" as a kid and they had trick hula hoopers on and I just picked up a hula hoop and started doing it. I think as adults we tell ourselves we can't do something. As kids we just do stuff and we pick up random skills. Rikudei Am (Israeli Dance) I picked up one summer at summer camp. I was a music teacher at a summer camp and my roommate at camp was a dancer and she taught me how to Israeli dance which is so much fun. It's community dancing and you do all choreographed moment in sync with hundred people it's pretty amazing. 

Me: And also fencing? Fencing? Really? That's so dangerous, Stephanie. How did you get into that sport? 

Stephanie: I'm not an expert swordsman but I went to a performing arts high school and we learned some sword play there and then as an adult I got a Groupon to a fencing school and took some lessons to expand and be more well rounded as a performer... it comes in handy with Dungeon Master, because we have fight scenes and fight choreography. 

Me: You do so much more than I do... I have this stupid little blog and I work at a Spaceport... Haha. Do you ever have any downtime? 

Stephanie: Too much... I get stir crazy when I'm not working. But I try to fill those days with adventures and exploring Los Angeles. 

Me: Two things I have to ask you about that you took part in... The Hannah Montana Movie, and a video for a song called "Big Boobies on Blondes Or Brunettes Or Redheads". First of, what was it like working with Miley Cyrus? That was before her crazy years, right? Was that a fun set to be on? 

Stephanie: She was so nice to everyone... the kindest person... I was surprised. Pretty sure she has it all figured out. The girl had a good head on her shoulders. Okay, "Big Boobies..."... my friends and I used to make comedy music videos... they would ask me to come in and sing or come in and just look fierce on camera and have a generally fun time on set. This song was fun because I sang on it and got to sing funny stuff. 

Me: And that "Boobies" video... I am trying to get the band Blaak Attaak on the Phile. That looked like a crazy video to be part of. How did you get to be a part of it? 

Stephanie: I used to host karaoke at bars and Blaak Attaak is comprised of other other karaoke DJ's and our friend whose a stand up comedian. We all worked for this awesome karaoke and entertainment company No1Betta and we started making funny songs together and crazy music videos. 

Me: You always look like you're having fun no matter what role or what you are doing, Stephanie. Am I right? 

Stephanie: I enjoy what I do... I love being a zombie or a dead body. I've never been a dead body. I enjoy playing... I chose a career that involves a lot of playing dress up... it has it's ups and downs and when I get to go to set and play its what I live for.

Me: Is there anything you did that you didn't enjoy? 

Stephanie: I've done some sketchy music videos. Music videos until recently were all non union so they had no regulations.

Me: Man, I can ask you a million more questions but I know you're a busy person. So, let's finish up... on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Here's yours... This is dumb. Would you go to war if you were drafted? 

Stephanie: I'm totally a hippie... I don't believe in killing or fighting or any sort of senseless violence or death... as humans we are given the honor to be able to communicate through words. I hate that so often we forget this precious gift, so, I would dodge the draft like nobodies business and I'd put daisies in the holes of guns. 

Me: Haha. Thanks sooooo much for being on the Phile. Go ahead and mention your websites, blog, and anything else you want to. Would you please come back on the Phile again, Stephanie? 

Me: Thanks so much, and next time you're in Orlando let me know, and I'll take you to Disney and show you around. Deal? 

Stephanie: Deal... we have already started planning because Diagon Alley was a week or two away from opening last time.

Whew! That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz, Lori Sedlacek and of course Stephanie Pressman. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Neil Sheasby, bass player for the band Stone Foundation. 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.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pheaturing Jason Torchinsky

Hello, and welcome to the Phile, kids. How are you? Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day to all you pirates who have never sailed  a boat, shot a gun, or robbed people at sea. Not only is it Talk Like A Pirate Day today but it's also No Texting Day. I am unclear about whether we can text as a pirate.
According to Apple, the newly released io8 operating system will make it impossible for the company to share customer information with government agencies, a practice that Apple says never ever happens. It also apparently shores up the non-existent holes that did not lead to a bunch of celebrities having their naked pictures not stolen by hackers.  Darrell Hammond, who spent 14 years as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" before leaving the show in 2009 has agreed to replace the recently deceased Don Pardo as the show's announcer so that he may live out his remaining years in Studio 8H of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where things make sense and you never have to sleep under a park bench.  In order to protest an Orange County, Florida court's decision that religious materials can be given to children in public schools, a Satanic organization has decided to pass out their own Devil-themed coloring and activity book. I suppose sacrificing virgins in the pale moonlight gets old after a while. This is true and here is a page from that activity book...

"Parks & Recreation's"Aubrey Plaza will provide the voice for the Internet's favorite disaffected feline in the Lifetime Channel's upcoming holiday movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. It's nice to see that her management people are really looking out for her.  On yesterday's entry I told you about Urban Outfitters tries to make dead college kids cool by selling "vintage" blood-spattered Kent State sweatshirt. Here is the shirt in case you didn't see it...

Well, the company sent out an apology... "Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset."  I hate when "sun-fade" causes my entire shirt to fade in color except for what looks like fresh drips of blood just around the heart. Double-bummer when it's a shirt for a school that, over 40 years later, remains synonymous with our military opening fire on its own civilians. How unlucky! It's nice of UO to every once in a while pop up with one of these brain-dead stunts. It lets us olds feel glad to have long ago aged out of being able to shop there.  So, in my spare time I like to go on Twitter and look up certain words to see what people are saying. One of those words I look up is Foghat and this is a Tweet I recently saw...

Ever been to Popeyes the restaurant? I haven't been to one in years. I don't know if there's even one around where I live. Anyway, I wouldn't go there now if there was. Look what they serve...

I don't think the restaurant has anything to do with the cartoon character Popeye anymore... it used to.  Yesterday I told you I thought Pokemon came from Japan but actually it originated in England. Readers of the Phile sent me email's saying I was wrong, Pokemon is Japanese. Well, if it was, would it have a character named...

No, I don't think so. Pokemon is definitely British.  By the way, if you need help getting that U2 album off your iTunes I think I know somebody that can help...

Okay, so, Facebook has been known to ban a picture or two...but here on the Phile I would not ban anything... well, I would ban a fee things, I was hesitant in showing that page from the Satanic coloring book... but I am not afraid to show the pictures Facebook banned, So, here is a feature I call...

This is something that has been happening for ages. When a 4 year old boy and his friend decide to drop their pants and pee on the backyard fence, one can only hope that they have a camera handy to capture the priceless shot. So, that is exactly what a mother did. This was hands down the best picture she had captured during the entire summer so naturally she uploaded it to Facebook... well Instagram, but that went to Facebook. You may be wondering why there is a Censored sign over their tushes? Well, Facebook contacted the woman and requested that she remove the photo because it was a violation of their terms of service.

I think this one of my favorite Mindphuck's ever. If you spot it email me at As I have been mentioning on October 14th to the 16th the Phile will be coming to you from Long Island. I thought it would be cool to have some of my Long Island readers take a picture of something on Long Island and email it to me. I would pick out the three best ones and show them here on the Phile. I have received some cool pictures and some other pictures of the Long Island Sound that could be any water anywhere, a tree, a boat dock, flowers, the sky... stuff that could be anywhere. I want photos that are obviously from L.I. Okay, so, as you probably know one of my favorite movies recently is Guardians of the Galaxy. A friend of the Phile saw it and I'm interested to see what he thinks. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

I wanted to hate this.. but I didn't. I didn't love it either. I found it fairly entertaining... Howwwwwwever, I had certain "issues" with it... 1. Chris Pratt gets pumped up in the gym, looking all buff and shit, JUST so he can do a cut rate rip off of Han Solo. 2. Zoe Saldana plays the same role she's played in every movie. The badass hot chick that fights for deeply personal reasons... only she's painted green... like that bitch Captain Kirk screwed on "Star Trek". 3. Vin Diesel was paid a small fortune to repeat the words "I Am Groot." over... and over... and over. Must have been MURDER to memorize your lines, Vin. 4. The Raccoon should've been voiced by Joe Pesci. 5. That big bald guy reminded me of Hellboy... only with cooler tattoos and minus the shaved horns. 6. The soundtrack was awesome. Lots of great '70s songs. 7. The main villain should have been played by a well known actor. For some reason I kept thinking of Sting in this role. Anyway... to sum up. I "liked it" but won't be buying the DVD when it comes out.

Good job, Laird. I will be buying in on Blu-ray the day it comes out.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is an artist, writer, and author of "Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture", the 34th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile the very creative... Jason Torchinsky.

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

Jason: Hi, other Jason! Thanks for having me. I'm great.

Me: Okay, before we talk about your book "Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture", which is in the Phile's Book Club I have to talk to you about a certain Atari/8-track racing game called "Slow Ride". Your ad not only fooled Cracked the magazine in thinking it was a real ad, but it fooled me. Here is the ad in question... exhibit A. Haha.

Me: When did you first create this ad, Jason?

Jason: I made that quite a while ago, back in 2003, when I was in LA with my comedy group, the Van Gogh-Goghs. We were doing a whole Atari-oriented feature on our site... and I made that fake ad for that. The original ad I based it on was for some cartridge-switching thing, but I really loved the insanely ecstatic expression on that guy's face. I'd sort of love to know a guy who could get that delighted over a cartridge-switcher. So, the original ad got my attention, and the similarity in size and form of Atari cartridges and 8-tracks was something I'd noticed as a kid. I'm not exactly sure why we picked Foghat for the ad, but it seemed period-correct and there's just something funny about the name.

Me: Okay, so, over the years people have posted this ad on my Facebook page, and someone even sent me a printed out copy of it. Somehow in my fucked up brain I thought I remembered seeing this in the 70s, but obviously I didn't. I told friends I did, so apparently you made a liar out of me. Haha. And Cracked thought it was real. Anybody else you know of thought it was real?

Jason: The fact that anyone thought it may have been real delights me, to be honest. I have seen it on the Internet in various places presented as though it was real, though I can't think of where off the top of my head. I like artwork that sort of rides that line of hoax, and I've explored this again with some later work, including a fake Kyrgyz arcade machine that plays a dead-goat polo game.

Me: So, Cracked mentioned it in an article on their website talking about the people in the ad mostly. How did you first discover they thought it was real, Jas, and what did you think?

Jason: I'm not sure if someone sent it to me or if I chanced upon it on my own. I know right before I saw it on Cracked an acquaintance posted it on Facebook as real. Like I said, any time anyone gets fooled by this, I get a little more delighted.

Me: So, how did you come up with this idea?

Jason: I think it came from the combination of the similarity of form factors of the Atari carts and 8 tracks, and the thinking that, really, someone should have done something like this, right? I mean, why not?

Me: Who are those people in the ad?

Jason: Man, I wish I knew. There was a trend in 70s and 80s ads to have people in them making these absurdly, improbably ecstatic faces and expressions. Whoever that guy was in the background, he's a master. Here's the original ad...

Me: I love the description about the fake game how you described Foghat being "most gifted and savvy group." My dad, who was Lonesome Dave from Foghat, would of loved this whole thing. So, I have to ask, are you a Foghat fan?

Jason: I do believe Foghat was gifted and savvy! I'm not sure I would actually say I was a real fan, but I respected them. I was more of a new wave/early punk kid back in the day.

Me: I just had a thought, I never had Atari, I was more of an Intellivision fan. My sister in fact still owns our old Intellivision and is still works. Anyway, I would of known they came out with a game and 8-track. You were more of an Atari fan I take it, right?

Jason: I have an Intellivision, too! And an Atari. But, back in the day, I was an Atari kid. Still, I really like Intellivisions, too, especially technically, since they were so weird. Where most computers are based on memory units of 8 bits called bytes, Intellivisions used a 10-bit unit called a 'decle,' for example. They're really interesting machines, and the Inty version of "Burgertime" kicks ass.

Me: Didn't you design and build a giant Atari joystick?

Jason: I did! 15x scale, and it actually works! Here's some pictures of it...

Me: What was this for, and how long did it take youth build?

Jason: This was for the i am 8 bit art show in LA, run by my friend Jon Gibson. We wanted something big and interactive for the show, and the giant joystick seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I am 8 bit ( is still doing great stuff.

Me: I was gonna ask if it worked but that would be stupid. Did it move at least? Where is it now?

Jason: It's not stupid! It does work! It plugs right into any normal Atari. The electronics are really pretty simple. When I exhibit it, I usually try to have a nice big projection of an Atari game to play so everything is scaled up. People climb all over it and do their best to try and play the game. It's pretty cumbersome. Currently, it's dismantled in a moving truck! It'll be with me very soon.

Me: Jason, where are you from, and where do you live now?

Jason: I grew up in Greensboro, NC, but have lived in LA for the past 17 or so years... until now. I just moved back to Chapel Hill, NC this past week, mostly for family reasons. That's why the joystick is still in transit.

Me: You are a car enthusiast, right, writing articles about cars?

Jason: Oh yes. My day job is as an auto journalist for the website It's a fantastic job. 

Me: What kinda car do you drive? What do you think of the PT Cruiser?

Jason: I have a number of cars: my daily driver is a 1973 VW Beetle, I have a project car... a British 1973 Reliant Scimitar, and I just bought a 1977 Dodge RV for my cross-country trip. I also have a 2006 Scion xB for my wife and kid. I'm not a huge PT Cruiser fan, but I do like the general category of retro-inspired cars, and I'm quite glad the PT Cruiser exists. It's a pretty successful design for what it does.

Me: You are also a big Star Wars fan as well I think, am I right? You have a life-sized Artoo? Did you build that?

Jason: I am a big fan, mostly of the droids. I actually don't have that R2, but I hunted down a guy around LA that builds movie-accurate R2 droids and took my son, Otto to see it... actually, two, as there was an R5 as well.

Me: We talked about video games, and you have worked on a few. Didn't you work on a Monty Python video game, or this that fake as well? Haha.

Jason: That was real! It was one of the first jobs I had in LA, doing animation and art for the Monty Python Meaning of Life game.

Me: Who approached you for this, Jason?

Jason: Honestly, that I don't remember!

Me: So, you are a writer, artist and designer. What came first and what do you like to do better?

Jason: Artist probably came first, since I've been drawing since I was a little kid. Designer was a direct offshoot of that, a way of making a living from my love of art. Writing came later, but I love that, too. I think I still like the art stuff the best, but I love doing all the things I do.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your book, "Ad Nauseam..." which you wrote with some other people. Who are those people, Jason?

Jason: The book was edited by Carrie McLaren and myself, along with a number of great contributors. Carrie had started a zine called Stay Free! that I worked on with her for years. The book was like a final culmination of that work.

Me: Who came up with the idea for the book?

Jason: We both decided we wanted to do something big to wrap up Stay Free! and this was the way to do it. Media and advertising has always been interesting to me as well, since it's so powerful in our society.

Me: How long did it take you to write?

Jason: I think we worked on the book for about 8-10 months or so. But a lot of it was collecting articles we'd run in the zine before.

Me: Tell the readers what the book is about?

Jason: It's a collection of articles and essays about consumer culture, advertising, and how it interacts with society. We tried to make it funny and engaging, too.

Me: Who came out with the books title?

Jason: That I can't remember. We were originally going to call the book "Consume!", but I like "Ad Nauseam" better.

Me: What do you think of commercials and ads on TV? Do you have a favorite one?

Jason: I have a real love/hate relationship with them. As far as TV ads go, I'm not sure if I have a favorite as such, though early VW ads were pretty fantastic. 

Me: The book is just not about ads, is it?

Jason: Not just ads... it's more about how the entire American consumer culture affects us all. I'm actually starting a new book now, about cars prior to 1880.

Me: Hey, didn't you create some videos for the Onion? The one about Obama's home teleprompter is my favorite. Did you write this whole fake news story?

Jason: I was an idea writer for the Onion News Network (the video part of the Onion) for years. That home teleprompter one was one of my ideas, as well as a number of other segments, including one about the first openly gay racehorse and Joe Biden having to give up doing ads for Hennessey. I didn't write entire segments, I just came up with lists of 20 or so ideas every week, with descriptions.

Me: You're very creative, Jason. Have you always been creative?

Jason: Thanks! And, yes, I think I have been. I can't imagine not working on some creative project at any given time. I go nuts when I'm not making something.

Me: I used to be creative, but not anymore. I don't know what happened. Is Otto your son creative?

Jason: I bet you're still creative. I think he is quite imaginative and creative, though right now that creativity is used mostly to turn things he finds on the ground into pretend spaceships.

Me: Jason, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun, and I hope you an come back soon. Is there anything else you are working on right now?

Jason: Thanks for having me! I'm always writing about interesting stuff on, and I've got that pre-1880s car book. I also have a couple new video game-related art projects I'm starting on. I hope to have them ready for the anniversary i am 8 bit show next year.

Me: Go ahead and mention your website and I wish you continued success, and thanks for making a great ad featuring Foghat... real or fake. And please come back.

Jason: The website is and thank you!

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Jason Torchinsky. The Phile will be back next Thursday with actress, writer and hostess Stephanie Pressman and then on Friday it's Phile Alum Neil Sheasby from the band Stone Foundation. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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