Throwback Thursday! If I Can Make It Here…

(2/8/14) Have you ever been in a moment or a situation where you think to yourself, “I wish I could take a photograph of this and remember everything about that exact moment forever?” I rarely have my laptop handy in one of those moments, so usually I take a mental picture. Today, right now, I have my laptop, so I’m going to write about it until I feel like I’ve captured that moment, that feeling.

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It’s 10:45 pm in New York City and I’m in a hotel bar with a glass of wine and my laptop. It’s a very cool art deco, Great Gatsby era type of hotel.  I’m sitting at a table near the window so I can watch the street. The sound of sirens is fading as the ambulance that just passed gets further away. Outside the window, a woman just walked by with a dog in a dress. The Westminster Dog Show starts Monday and many of the contestants and their dogs are staying in my hotel. I met a beautiful, enormous but shy dog in the elevator today. He wouldn’t look at me when I tried to take his picture with my phone. One of my dogs does the same thing. How do they know we’re taking their pictures? They might as well let us because they can’t take selfies.

To my right is an odd, to me, Swedish guy who either knows the waitress or is trying very hard to hit on her. He has a full beard, and kind of shaggy, straight, almost greasy looking hair and is wearing a black leather jacket, black wool hat, and what I’m guessing are skinny jeans. I think he knows her. She keeps returning to talk to him. He still seems a bit odd to me. He’s clutching a piece of paper and glancing about furtively.

I’m here for a work conference. About six and a half years ago through a set of miraculous and extraordinary circumstances I landed this job, which has taken me to many places I never would have gone, including this weekend trip to the Big Apple. A woman who seems to know me from work somewhere just walked by and said hello and I feel badly that I don’t remember who she is. I regularly meet a lot of new people in my job, so it’s possible that I’ve forgotten who she is, but I think she’s mistaking me for someone else. At some point I’ll crack and ask where I know her from.

Why is this particular moment one I want to hold onto? In my life I’ve only had the opportunity to walk around New York City three other times. It really is an amazing city. As you drive into it the iconic skyline looms and you get a sense of specialness. As if just being there is something. It’s one of those places that you see on television or in movies so often that it seems to be more fictional than real. But here I am, sitting right in the middle of it and it looks just like it does in the movies, which is ironic because last spring when they were filming Spider-man 2 they came to my much smaller upstate city to film some of the New York City street scenes.

Tonight I went to the New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. That was pretty cool. It’s one of those places that seems larger than life because of its history and how often I’ve seen it on television. I got a free bobblehead of the teams star when I walked in. Then I got some popcorn and a beer and found my seat to watch the game. Periodically throughout the game they showed the celebrities in the front row; Kevin Bacon, Seth Myers, Christie Brinkley, and Katie Couric as well as a few others that I didn’t know. I doubt that Kevin Bacon is blogging about me right now, but I had just as good a time as he did. Maybe better.

MSG

After the game I walked the bustling New York City streets with hundreds of strangers, “Real New Yorkers!” I thought to myself.  I tried to act normally and blend in so that I wouldn’t look like the bumpkin rube that I probably am. I turned a corner and there was the iconic Empire State Building. When I got back to my hotel I decided that between eating in a diner, walking the streets, going to the Garden and staying in a hotel with dog show contestants, I was having a pretty nice night.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor feel free to share by one of the social media buttons below or just leave a comment or click like. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Wordless Wednesday! Feeling a Little Punchy?

Picture courtesy of: Wall-Therapy.com

Picture courtesy of: Wall-Therapy.com

This awesome mural is another of the many murals you’ll find in my city. It is the work of Irish born, London based renowned street graffiti artist Conor Harrington.

Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Signs Your Wife is Cheating With an Amish Guy

10. She’s never secretly texting in the bathroom.

9. She buys lots of new flannel lingerie

Harrison Ford in the movie Witness

Harrison Ford in the movie Witness

8. Suddenly begins going to nighttime barn raisings with “the girls.”

7. Comes home with straw in her hair.

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6. She suddenly has this new “butter churn” move in the bedroom.

5. Buys a loom

4. Seems oddly aroused when she sees horses on television.

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3. She receives an actual handwritten letter in the mail which you are unable to read because it’s in cursive.

2. Announces that she’s going to the Amish pub to participate in a wet bonnet contest.

1. Gets a tattoo of an Amish hat with the caption “Once you go black you never go back”

You would not believe some of the creepy terms I had to put into Google to find the pictures and get ideas for this. As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog button below. Have a great Tuesday everyone! ~Phil

Mix Tape

Phil Taylor:

A brilliant and hilarious poem about rock music and heartbreak. If you liked music from 1985-1995 you’ll love this.

Originally posted on Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth:

I remember summer break
When you made me the mixed tape
Hisses that I grew to know
That segued from Poison to Skid Row
And how it caught that little laugh
The penny on the phonograph
The Scorpions ‘Still Lovin’ You’
Was it too good to be true?

I saw you kissing Candy Spritz
That same night that the tape would split
You begged me please to take you back
Said you loved me and that was that
I knew that we were meant to be
When Steve Perry sang ‘Faithfully’
So I taped the tape back together
But discerned the tape’s split forever

My faith renewed as I heard
The band Extreme sing ‘More Than Words’
Then came that day you seemed so distant
As if I was nonexistent
Was this something I could beat
With ‘Home Sweet Home’ played on repeat?
Though I was forced to concede
The…

View original 89 more words

Monday Music! Bowling for Soup

Bowling for Soup is a pop-punk band of dudes almost my age. The name of the band is derived from on old Steve Martin stand-up joke. This song, 1985, is full of 1980’s references and is hilarious, as are all their other songs. Yes I’ve seen them in concert too.

Have a great Monday! ~Phil

The 2nd Annual Snap Judgement Oscar Awards

Hollywoodreporter.com

Hollywoodreporter.com

This is my second annual edition of The Snap Judgement Oscar Awards where I give my Oscar Awards based on my own convoluted reasoning without having seen most of the movies. I hope it will eventually become syndicated feature that Entertainment Tonight pays me to do for their website each year and then eventually they’ll invite me into the studio on Oscar night to do a pre-Oscars Snap Judgement Oscar Awards ceremony. I considered giving all the awards to Beyonce just so Kanye wouldn’t storm my blog demanding justice. Without further doo doo, here are The 2015 Snap Judgement Oscar awards!

Best Supporting Actor: This one was easy. The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for  Best Supporting Actor goes to J.K. Simmons for his role in WhiplashI didn’t see Whiplash but Simmons is awesome in those Farmers Insurance commercials and played J. Jonah Jameson in the 2002 Spider-Man movie. When you see this guy who doesn’t think, “We are Farmers! Bum de dum dum, bum bum bum”

Picture Credit: BehindThe VoiceActor.com

Best Supporting Actress: This one was a no brainer too. I didn’t see the movie, but the Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress goes to Kiera Knightly for her role as Benedict Cumberbatch’s girlfriend in The Imitation Game. I heard some guy on the radio talking about how her character balanced  Benedict Cumberbatch’s character by softening and humaninzing him. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever. She’s really cute and has a British accent. In my mind that makes her a brilliant actress.

People.com

People.com

Best Actress: I saw none of the movies in this category but The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Actress goes to Rosamund Pike for her role in Gone Girl because she is the only nominee who has a 6 Degrees of Separation/Kevin Bacon-like connection to The Phil Factor.  Rosamund was in Gone Girl with Neil Patrick Harris who is friends with Lori Duron, author of Raising My Rainbow, who once did an interview with The Phil Factor that you can read here. The fact that she has stuck with the idiotic first name of Rosamund almost disqualified her.

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Best Actor: I was tempted to award this to Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game because I’m a huge Sherlock fan, but, c’mon Benedict! How many times are you going to play a guy with Asperger’s figuring stuff out? Michael Keaton was also a consideration for his scene in the 1988 movie Beetlejuice when he had a tiny head.  Acting with a shrunken head cannot be easy. The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Actor goes to……Andrew Garfield for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Like all guys, I’m a kid at heart and I grew up reading Spider-Man comics and eagerly anticipating the movies. Garfield pulls this role off with aplomb. He almost didn’t win this award because his hair is just a little too poofy to believably fit under a mask, but I let that slide. Also, parts of the movie were filmed in my hometown, so knowing that Andrew was here gives him the Phil Factor connection that put him over the top.

Picture Credit: SONY Pictures and MovieFanatic.com

Picture Credit: SONY Pictures and MovieFanatic.com

Drumroll please…..The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Picture goes to The Interview! Two pot smoking actors strong arm Sony into making a picture the company didn’t want to do and end up creating an international incident and the most talked about movie of the year. Sounds like a movie plot doesn’t it? How could this not win? It was also the focus of one of the most popular Phil Factor posts of 2014, my fictional interview with North Korean Dictator Kim Jon Un.

Sony Pictures and imdb.com

Sony Pictures and imdb.com

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please feel free to share it by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. Have a great weekend and enjoy the Oscars! ~ Phil

Book Review: Revival by Stephen King

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Up front I will say that I’m a Stephen King fan. On his worst days he’s better than most writers on their best days. His descriptive abilities and attention to detail paint mental pictures with a texture that is unmatched. Remember The Beatles? The world’s most famous and most popular band? They had 20 number 1 hits. Stephen King is The Beatles of writers. At least for me he is.

Although The Beatles had twenty #1 hits, with twelve albums there were probably about 100 other songs from those albums that weren’t #1 hits. Stephen King has had a lot of #1 hits. Revival may not be a #1 hit, but it’s not bad either.

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The story of Revival follows the long and winding road of Jamie Morton’s life from the time the young boy meets his towns new pastor until Jamie is an elderly man who witnesses the strange end of the man he had met so many years before. In Revival Mr. King weaves a path for Jamie Morton that you are more than happy to follow through his happiness and heartbreaks. Strangely, Jamie’s path through life seems intertwined with that of his childhood pastor who, after a personal tragedy, turns away from religion as we know it to something that he believes may answer all his questions.

In order to protect others, repay a debt of gratitude, and possibly satisfy his own curiosity Jamie becomes his accomplice, helping him see his final experiment through to the end. And for me as a reader that was where the only bump in the long and winding road of this story appeared. Through the first 95% of this story I was all in, hook, line, and sinker. Loved it. Rooted for the protagonist. Wanted to figure out the mystery. Couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. Then in the climactic scene, almost out of the blue Stephen King made it just a tad too weird. Following the climactic scene there was a nice wrap up and post script for the characters with even a little chilling/haunting reminder of what might be just behind the curtain that we can’t see.

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Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, but temper your expectations just a little. It’s not an all-time classic, literary Hall of Fame Stephen King novel, but it’s still Stephen King. It was a fun ride that I enjoyed from start to finish, and you know what? Just because I didn’t jump for joy at one scene doesn’t mean that I’m right or that you won’t love what I didn’t. It was a fun read and I don’t regret the money or time invested in it.

Have a great Friday everybody! ~Phil