Throwback Tuesday? My Momentary Friends

Lately I’ve been doing a Top Ten Tuesday, but in honor of this years Boston Marathon finishers and last years victims and survivors I’m re-posting this post that I posted the day after last years Boston Marathon.

Patrick Downes, Jessica Kensky

My Momentary Friends

Despite how you may perceive me here, I actually have friends in the real world. Don’t laugh, I do. We all have many different kinds of friends though. We have friends from school, friends from work, and friends in our neighborhoods or apartment buildings. We also have what I like to think of as “momentary friends.” These are people who may enter our lives for only a moment every day or once a week, but in many ways are as important to us as are the friends for whom we profess love and longing.

It could be the cashier you always go to at the supermarket because she has a nice smile and makes small talk about the weather. There’s the security guard outside your office who holds the door as you leave. Maybe it’s even a Facebook friend who was never more than an acquaintance years ago, but who always clicks “Like” to your status updates. Then of course there’s girl at Supercuts who cuts your hair and asks about your plans for the weekend. It’s the guy who says hello as he passes you on his nightly walk down your street.

We all have about a hundred of these people in our lives and I enjoy their momentary friendship immensely. I think we all do. As much as family or friends whom we know by name, these people also provide us with a sense of security. Often, more than “real” family or friends our “momentary friends” are dependable. They’re always there for us with that smile and hello, or perhaps only a knowing nod.  Day in and day out, sometimes for years these nameless people are part of our lives and I miss them and worry about what happened to them when they don’t show up in my daily routine.

I also like to imagine that just perhaps, once or twice maybe my momentary friends and I have saved each other’s lives without even knowing it. Perhaps our three second interaction slowed one of us up just enough in our daily routine that we missed stepping off the curb in front of a speeding bus later in the day. So, for saving my life and brightening my days this post is dedicated to my favorite momentary friends: Supermarket cashier who likes basketball, Indian Girl at Starbucks, Walking Man, Girl with dog, Haircut Girl and Security Guard. Without these people and their momentary friendship my day would be incomplete.  I don’t think I know anyone who was at the Boston Marathon yesterday, but then again, I don’t know about my momentary friends. May you all be safe and may you all be there when I leave the house tomorrow. When you see your momentary friends take that moment to give them a smile, a hello, or a thank you, because you just never know.

As always, if you like what you read at #ThePhilFactor please hit the Facebook, Twitter or reblog button below and I would be humbled if you wanted me as your momentary friend by following me on Twitter @ThePhilFactor and Instagram: ThePhilFactor. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

#MondayBlogs Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth

My new feature, in case you missed it last week, is #MondayBlogs, inspired by Rachel Thompson of Bad Redhead Media on Twitter. We all want people to read our blogs, but that’s a little self-centered isn’t it? On Twitter Rachel encourages people to tweet the twitter handles of their favorite bloggers every Monday with the hastgag #MondayBlogs and she and hundreds of others retweet, spreading the blog love far and wide. I’m trying to do the same thing here.

This weeks blog is Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth by Marissa Bergen. The title is perfect as is the address which is, which is fitting because Marissa and her twin sister were the leaders of a popular NYC girl punk band in the 90′s.

What I love every time I go to her page is that at the right on the top instead of the usual “About Me” tab she has a tab titled “Who the hell is Marissa Bergen?” Gives me a little laugh every time.

What can you expect when you visit Marissa’s blog? Snarky, sarcastic poetry. She’s kind of like Shel Silverstein after a bad day in rush hour traffic. It’s not always poetry. Sometimes it’s her musings on anything that comes to her mind, but it’s always funny. If you’re not familiar with her, go check her out. One my recent favorites of hers is Passover for Dummies. Instant classic.

Have a great Monday! ~Phil


Pennsylvania! Too Weird to Remain a State?

You know how every now and then the people in Quebec start chattering about seceding from Canada and becoming their own country? I wonder why Pennsylvania doesn’t do that. Sometimes I also wonder why the United States doesn’t forcefully eject Pennsylvania from the union.  Political commentator James Carville once famously said, “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.” Pretty funny. That guy should have a blog. Sadly though, his statement is an insult to Alabama.

Some Possibly True Facts about Pennsylvania:

50% of the population is Amish: I love the Amish for their craftsmanship and mysterious culture, but if any group of people should have their own country it’s them.


50% of the population carries guns all the time: This isn’t the Amish 50% either. The northern part of the state is so rural and backwoods that if they had a flag it would be red flannel. If your pick up truck doesn’t have a gun rack it won’t pass inspection.

50% of the population is drunk 100% of the time: According to Pennsylvania liquor laws, if you want to buy beer to take home to consume you must buy a case of 24. Considering how many people own guns in the state, that’s a scary thought.  Also, you’d have to be drunk all the time to want to live in Pennsylvania. I think there’s probably lots of people who want to leave Pennsylvania but they’re too drunk to find their way out. How’s that for a quote. Take that James Carville.

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a fireworks store. Thanks to all the beer, guns  and fireworks there’s plenty of dead cats available. On the northern Pennsyltucky highways there’s a fireworks store every hundred yards. The hundred yards between them is filled with billboards telling you that there’s a fireworks store coming up. That’s right, you can’t buy a small amount of beer but you can buy enough fireworks to invade the Ukraine. Fortunately for us in neighboring states the Pennsylvania residents aren’t allowed to buy these fireworks themselves.


50% of the billboards are for other things: There’s also billboards, yes, literally billboards, for certain types of massage parlors. Is the reason there’s so many of these because people from Pennsylvania don’t want to sleep with other people from Pennsylvania? Possibly. Either way, it probably leads to less Pennsylvanians, which I don’t hear anyone complaining about.


So, based on all those facts, Pennsylvania seems rather… unique. At a family reunion Pennsylvania would be the weird uncle that you tell the young kids to stay away from. Truth be told though, I have some wonderful friends in Pennsylvania and when their probation is up I’m sure they’ll move. Sorry about this Pennsylvania. I was just kidding.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share it by Facebook, Twitter, or reblogging. Unless you’re in Pennsylvania of course. I’m sure there’s some state law against it.  Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! The Perfect Day Is A Green Day


(4/6/13) The day began like any other.  I woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. My work day was uneventful and without stress. At the end of it I was looking forward to seeing my favorite band with my fifteen year old son who has become a fan himself.  As soon as I walked in the door he was eager to go in hopes of procuring a good spot to stand near the stage.

Being an adult male on the wrong side of forty, my desire to stand in line for hours before concerts is several years in the rear view mirror. Being an adult however, I used my super ninja Dad skills to plan when we would get there, where we would park, and which entrance we would use to minimize our wait time and any discomfort I might experience. Unfortunately the universe had gotten wind of my plans and locked the entrance to the arena I had planned to use. My son and I were forced to wait outdoors in the cold for forty minutes without coats. Ugh. Not a good start.

When we did get inside we were pleasantly surprised to weasel our way into a nice spot only fifteen to twenty feet from the stage. After an opening act that appeared to sleep walk through their set list, the arena and it’s 10,000 temporary denizens became quiet. That was when I had two distinctly ‘old man thoughts’ which I’m now embarrassed to admit. First I thought,  ‘After three hours on my feet my back is going to be aching.’  Then very quickly I also thought ‘I’m going to regret not having earplugs.’   After a brief intermission following the opening act our headliner Green Day stormed onto the stage in an explosion of light and sound and my crazy old man thoughts were completely forgotten.


Green Day has been my favorite band since the early 90′s. This was my fifth time seeing them live. The tour had been delayed by three months while front-man Billie Joe Armstrong was in rehab. Billie Joe took the stage like a man making up for lost time and I’ve never seen their show better. Make no mistake, it is a show. Green Day does not play concerts. They put on shows.

With the frenetic energy of a Tazmanian Devil on Red Bull, Billie Joe seemed to feed off the crowd and the crowd seemed to be drawing energy from Billie Joe. From the first note he seemed to delight in orchestrating the crowd with hand gestures and exhortations. Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool seemed to enjoy our participation as much as we did theirs. It wasn’t as if they were playing music for us so much as they were playing it with us and us with them. From bringing audience members up on stage to sing or play instruments to sitting down and letting their 10,000 back up singers finish a song, the night felt like one big party none of us wanted to leave.


It wasn’t just great music either. Green Day  puts on a spectacle that goes beyond the mere playing of music. There are enough strobes to wake a coma patient. There’s the zany, costume and kazoo-laden performance of their campy song King for a Day. Then there was Billie Joe first assaulting his eager audience with water from fire department grade hoses. The next weapon in his arsenal was a device that shot streamers of toilet paper far into the crowd. Lastly, when he ran out of Cottonelle, he pulled out the big gun, literally, firing t-shirts all over the arena at all-too-willing targets.

It was a two hour and twenty minute performance that took my breath away. It also took the breath away of bassist Mike Dirnt who could be seen catching his breath between songs during the encore. While he was catching his breath he was also putting his fist to his heart and mouthing Thank you to audience members repeatedly. We expressed our gratitude to the band with our cheers which were as sincere as their thanks.


As my son and I drove home with our ears still buzzing we talked happily about all of our favorite songs and parts of the show. As I listened to my son I began to reminisce. I realized that I had gone to see my first Green Day  show before my son was born and now we went together. Talk about the circle of life! It brought a happy, little tear to my eye. When I got home I was still too mentally wired from the show to sleep so I grabbed my Kindle, a glass of red wine and, courtesy of Mrs. Phil, the most delicious chocolate cupcake I’ve ever had and I put my feet up and reclined, reading myself to sleep with a smile on my face. The perfect end to a perfect day. A Green Day.

As always, if you enjoy what you read please hit the Facebook ‘Like’ or Share button and by all means, leave comments if you like. What was your favorite concert ever?

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Colors Women Can See That Men Can’t


I could never be a good interior decorator, nor could I pick out bridesmaids dresses. As a man I’m only capable of recognizing about 4 colors. Women on the other hand recognize a whole spectrum of colors that men can’t even see. It’s like women are on hallucinogenic drugs all the time. Maybe Google glass could help me see these colors.

10. Eggshell- man word: white

9. Ecru: Isn’t this the other bird that kind of looks like an ostrich?

8. Auburn: It’s a place in Alabama and why say auburn when you can say reddish brown?

7. Sea foam: Sounds like frothy water to me

6. Teal: Very popular and well known, but it’s basically the snobby name for bluish green or greenish blue

5.  Chartreuse: That’s just too many letters for something as simple as a color.

4. Cobalt: it’s a bad Chevy car and too many letters just to say “blue”

3. Lavender: Isn’t this just a laundry detergent scent?

2. Puce: Sounds like a great word for vomit. “Oh my God! Did you see that some puced all over the bathroom? I’m not cleaning up that puce. I did it last time.”

1. Fuchsia: Might be a shade of pink or a celebrity baby name.

Have a great Tuesday everyone! If you can think of some more good female colors and jokes feel free to add them in the comments. ~Phil



#MondayBlogs: Don Charisma

I’ve decided to start a new feature on The Phil Factor. I was inspired by Rachel Thompson of Bad Redhead Media, who every Monday on Twitter encourages people to share Twitter handles for bloggers they like and she retweets them. I do this, but not everyone who reads my blog follows me on Twitter, so I figured I’d take Rachel’s idea to my blog each Monday so you might have a chance to discover someone new and interesting.

Today’s blogger is Don Charisma, which may or may not be an assumed name. There are two reasons I love his blog: 1) his tagline: “because anything is possible with Charisma”, and 2) he’s a brilliant photographer.


Blogging seems to be about writing about ones self, but Don provides spectacular pictures with explanations about the place and how he took or created the picture. And he has his own logo, see it there in the bottom right of the picture?

As I said, blogging is often self-indulgent, and that’s ok, but let’s take a day a week at least to show some appreciation for the time others take to entertain us on the interwebs. After you visit Don at: why don’t you do your own #MondayBlogs ?

I’ve hashtagged the title so that when this shows up on Twitter it will be retweeted by the awesome Rachel over at Bad Redhead Media. You can find me on Twitter: @ThePhilFactor and you can find Don @Don_Charisma    Have a great Monday! ~Phil


Smells Like Biebs Spirit: Bad Celebrity Fragrances

I think that if I get any more followers for my blog and my Facebook author page I’m going to have to have my own cologne. As idiotic and unbelievable as it may seem all the colognes and perfumes on this list are real. I’d love it if you add your comments or humorous tag lines for them in the comments section.

Justin Bieber: I imagine that Justin Beiber smells a lot like pot smoke and monkeys. On one of the pages promoting his perfumes the description says “Designer Justin Bieber…”  Designer? Really? The only thing he’s designed lately is the downfall of a promising pop music career. He has 6 perfumes for women. Well, maybe not women. I think he’s catering to the Hello Kitty crowd. The way he’s been acting the last 18 months you’d think he’s promoting a fragrance called Someone Should Punch Me.


Donald Trump: The American billionaire tycoon has both cologne and perfume so apparently he’s finally out of the closet with his bisexuality. That’s cool Don. We don’t judge. Supposedly it has “notes of mint, cucumber and basil.” That doesn’t sound like perfume, it sounds like a salad, as if The Donald wants his tossed. If he had a cologne that smelled like actual money? That would be the world’s best aphrodisiac. Donald I know you’re reading this and my blog is copyrighted. You’re going to have to buy that idea from me.

David Beckham and Derek Jeter: There are many, many more athlete inspired fragrances but I chose these two names because you’d know them. A perfume or cologne based on an athlete? No thanks, I can produce my own sweat.

Lady GaGa: Ugh. Just ugh. 

Britney Spears: Of course she has her own perfume. It’s called Circus Fantasy. Brilliant. Who doesn’t want to smell like carnies and elephant dung? But it’s not just Circus. It’s Circus Fantasy. Who hasn’t fantasized about a romantic rendezvous at the circus? Maybe in a clown car.


Neil Gaiman: Although he is wildly popular, the fact that a middle-aged, British author who doesn’t write romance novels has his own fragrance, shows you the difference in humor between America and England. His fragrance, Neil Gaiman’s Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat was actually based on a blog post he wrote in 2007 .

Hmmm….a blog post that spawned a perfume? I wonder what The Phil Factor cologne. would smell like? Imagine the ads…The Phil Factor, for when you want the smell of sarcasm with subtle notes of chlorine, coffee and red wine. Just so you know that I’m not completely without a soul, I toyed with but ultimately chose to leave out jokes about Rhianna and Michael Schumacher’s fragrances. Also, thank you to my friend Karen for suggesting the idea for this post.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share by the Facebook or Twitter share buttons below. And please share your ideas and jokes by leaving a comment. Have a great weekend! ~Phil