“Adult” Coloring Books

When you talk about adult coloring books you have to be careful not to emphasize the word adult too much or your friends will think you’re coloring a whole different kind of picture. Although I’m sure there are adult coloring books of that kind too.

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Yes, that is real. The whole adult coloring book craze started about a year ago and I sincerely apologize for not having made fun of it sooner. There were just better things to make fun of. This week however, unless you want me to get political, the whole world has gone crazy, so I decided to regress to a happier time and make fun of coloring books.

That’s the key to this adult coloring book craze. Regression. Adults that are completely stressed out by today’s world are picking up coloring books to escape to a time, with a ritual, that was soothing when they were younger. Much younger. Are you kidding me? How soon is it going to be before people start sucking on pacifiers and wearing diapers just to calm themselves? Yes, I know that there are people doing that already, but they’re considered sporadic weirdos and there’s an actual psychiatric diagnosis for it.

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That one’s funny, but I don’t care how stressed I am, I’m not sitting down to color. You know how I regress when I’m stressed? I regress to when I was in college and I drink a beer or two or three. Of course after a few drinks I’m sure you could probably talk me into slipping into a onesie for a bit. And I might need a diaper by then anyway. It would certainly be easier than waiting in line at the bathroom in a bar, but of course, I’m a guy, so we never have to do that. Sorry ladies. You lost the biology lottery.

Earlier I joked about adult adult coloring books, and yes there are those out there too. Ugh. Be glad that I chose not to put some of those pictures here. Coloring those kind of pictures seems like a very weird regressive state. Who is hanging those pictures on their refrigerator? And what is the punishment if you color outside the lines?

Don’t worry, that’s as far as I’ll take those jokes. If you want more information on those kind of coloring books you can go sully your own search history. Doing my research for this I also found that there are adult coloring books with therapy themes with empty word bubbles and you fill in the caption with what you think one character is saying to another.

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Wow. Weirdly creepy, right? Hey, lazy therapists, how about if therapy included you telling adults to just talk to each other? In the picture above I imagine that guy is suffering abdominal cramps from food poisoning and his wife, rather than rushing him to the hospital, is offended that he doesn’t like her cooking.

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Look, I can’t argue. The world is super stressful. But is hiding in a coloring book the answer? I don’t know. But as a public service I put that Donald Trump coloring page there for you to print out. If Donald Trump doesn’t relax you, then I’m not sure there’s help for you anywhere. Or, how about if we all just grow up and write blogs when we want to regress?  Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! My Ten Favorite Bands to See Live!

I love live music. There’s not much better than the energy of a crowd enjoying a live performance. At this point in my life I’ve seen hundreds of bands live, many of them iconic. These are my favorite ten bands that I’ve seen live.

concertfix.com

concertfix.com

10. Fall Out Boy: I first heard about them from a sampler CD that was being given away for free as I left a concert for another band. The video below isn’t them live, but I thought you’d want to hear their remake of the Ghostbusters song for the new movie soundtrack.

9. New PoliticsThey’re different. If you don’t know their music, check it out. The lead singer does backflips and break dances on stage.

favim.com Hayley Williams

favim.com Hayley Williams

8. ParamoreFun music, great band, entertaining show. Lead singer Hayley Williams is not very large as far as human beings go, but on stage she has a powerful voice and never stops moving.

7. Nothing PersonalMy son’s band. I couldn’t leave them off the list or my son would be hurt. He’ll still be mad that he’s ranked 7th. I just didn’t want to show nepotism and I want him to work harder to get to no.1.

6. 3OH!3I just saw them last night at the Alternative Press Music Awards. Flat out fun live. Always a crazy crowd and you can’t help but to jump to their music. Scroll down to yesterdays Phil Factor for a sample.

5. Motion City SoundtrackI just saw them last month in Philadelphia on their final tour. Clever, catchy, pop lyrics. Their stage show is stripped down. No laser lights or explosions, just a great band playing great music with a lead singer Justin Pierre who was probably voted least likely looking rock star in high school.

polyvore.com

polyvore.com

4. Panic! At The DiscoTheir front man, Brendon Urie, is my son’s favorite performer. The bands music is kind of pop alternative rock and Brendon has a Broadway voice and a theatrical stage presence in their shows.

3. All Time LowThey’re a very popular alternative rock band that does a great job at being down to Earth and connecting with their fans. Their shows are full of witty banter with the crowd.

relix.com

relix.com

2. Phish: I’ve only seen this modern day Grateful Dead type band live twice, but one of those times was a doozy. It was at an outdoor venue so as you can imagine, things get a little looser. At their shows the crowd is more entertaining than the band.

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1. Green Day: If you’re a long time reader of my blog you know my love of Green Day. I’ve been a fan of theirs for their entire twenty-something year career. I think it’s cool that guys my age are still popular and playing cool music.

So what are your favorite bands to see live?

Music Monday! 3OH!3 and Katy Perry

To be honest, I think this band, 3OH!3, has better songs, but I’m using the one they made with Katy Perry just to grab your attention because I know you’ve heard of Katy Perry, but you might not know 3OH!3. In case you were wondering, their name is pronounced Three Oh Three. They’re an electronic music duo from Boulder, Colorado consisting of Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte.

I became aware of them in 2008 when their song Don’t Trust Me hit no. 7 on the Billboard charts in the U.S. I’ve seen them a few times live when I’ve attended Warped Tour and they’re always entertaining. I’ve included them in this weeks Music Monday because I’ll be seeing them tonight at the Alternative Press Music Awards in Columbus, Ohio. Do you want to  know why Donald Trump is bad? Because the APMA’s are usually held in Cleveland, Ohio and there’s lots of activities in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the awards ceremony was moved to Columbus, Ohio because of the Republican National Convention.

Have a great Monday! ~Phil

Pokemon Go? Nerdvana!

Last week suddenly there were groups of people with backpacks and cell phones wandering the streets. Sounds like a typical day, except these back pack wearing, cell phone staring nerds were gathering in groups and pointing at things. In the past I’d refer to those groups as “nerd herds,” but this time those groups began to change. As these occurrences became more and more frequent, regular people started to notice and began doing the same thing. And then I became one of them.

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Yes, that picture above was me earlier this week. I had about 15 free minutes during work, so on a city street I found myself  tracking Pokemon. I’m sure by now that you’ve heard of Pokemon Go! It’s an app based game where you track and capture imaginary creatures in real life places. The game uses your phones GPS settings to locate you on a cartoon map, well, not you, but your avatar, and it shows you walking around your neighborhood or town as you track the Pokemon. When you get close enough to one, the game will access your camera and on your phone’s screen you see the real life scene in front of you, as if you were taking a picture, but in that scene is a moving cartoon Pokemon character for you to capture.

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I think the game is great, especially for the nerd herds. People who might otherwise be at home in their mom’s basement insulting strangers on the internet and living life as a Warcraft character are now out in the real world getting exercise and meeting other people. Who knows how many marriages will result from this!

But Pokemon Go! isn’t just all fun and games. Several people have been injured and killed so far as a result of their own inattentiveness while playing. Earlier in the week a Massachusetts man caused a major highway accident stopping his car to catch a Pikachu. In California two men fell down a cliff. They were injured but not killed, although they did need to be rescued by emergency services.  In a town not too far from me a driver crashed their car into a tree because they were playing while driving. As my friend Dave said the other day, “don’t get in the way of natural selection.”

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Something has to be done. Yes, natural selection and the loss of people stupid enough to play while driving is appropriate. We certainly don’t want people that stupid to reproduce. But…we can’t have those people accidentally taking out the good nerds in the process. We need the good nerds. Like it or not, our world doesn’t run without them. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but nerd culture is our culture now. We’re learning their language to navigate the increasingly technological world. We’re playing their games on our phones and we’re watching their TV shows and movies, ie Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, all the popular superhero movies. All of those are things that twenty years ago the average person would have mocked as nerdy or geeky. We are all geek chic now. It’s their world and we’re just living in it.

So, as I said, if the designers could implement some kind of safety features in the game that would save the idiots from themselves and from injuring others, I’m all in. I will happily step into that virtual world, (outside of work time and when I’m not driving of course).

Have a great weekend and may you find a Scyther or Venusaur in your travels. Just look where you’re going please! ~Phil

 

Throwback Thursday! Should We Bubble Wrap The World?

This was very popular the first time I posted it. In a rare moment of clarity for me, I actually got a little philosophical. I hope my new readers enjoy it as well, and if you didn’t see it before, it’s new to you! And seriously, if the bubble wrap picture from Friends doesn’t get you to read this, you’re dead inside.

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We all love bubble wrap right?  What we love about it is popping the bubbles, right? (Does anyone not see a metaphor coming?) In a post a few months ago  about the idiot that petitioned Facebook to remove the “feeling fat” emoji, I said that “nobody’s going to bubble wrap the world to make it safe.” In fact, I don’t want anyone to make the whole world perfectly safe.

Much like our immune system, unless we’re exposed to dangers, we’ll never learn to cope with them. Sadly though, I think that as a society we are doing our children a disservice by trying to bubble wrap the world. I rather liked when I was a kid and our parent’s seemingly didn’t give a rat’s ass about our safety. (How did that saying come about? Did anyone in history ever literally give a rat’s ass for something? How did a rat’s ass become a form of measurement or currency?)

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As I was saying, when I was a kid in the 1970’s it seemed that our parent’s, all of ours, not just mine, didn’t really worry too much about our safety. Seatbelts? We didn’t need no stinkin’ seatbelts! I remember once when some of the kids in the neighborhood went to a summer day camp at the elementary school. When my mom came to pick me up she offered a ride to my friends from the neighborhood. Ten kids crammed ourselves into a Ford Mustang! Not a one of us had a seatbelt or an airbag. Other times I remember kids riding in the open back of pick up trucks. You just held on and hoped there weren’t too many bumps. That’s kind of a metaphor for life, isn’t it?

In the 1970’s so many of us were allowed to go home by ourselves after elementary school that they made up a phrase. We were called latch key kids. Nowadays there’s before school programs and after school programs so that every minute of children’s days are supervised and bubble wrapped. As kids that directed our own time, we learned about the world on our own and used our imaginations to come up with solutions. Sure, sometimes kids broke an arm or a leg, or once my sister tipped over a deep fryer of scalding hot cooking oil on her arm, but those were life lessons and mistakes we didn’t make twice.

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Even bullying was allowed in the 1970’s! Everyone who thinks that cyber-bullying is the end of the world, guess what? Back when I was a kid we bullied and got bullied in person, face to face. I think that’s got to be a lot more traumatic than idiots typing bad words on the internet.  Because my birthday is at the end of the year, I started kindergarten younger than most of my classmates. As a result I was always the youngest, and until puberty, the shortest kid in my grade. Of course I got bullied! You know what? My parents didn’t know about 90% of it and I figured out how to deal with it. Yes, there are limits to what should be tolerated, but if all confrontation is removed or bubble wrapped into polite, non-offensive language, how are we going to learn to have confrontations and disagreements as we grow up?

In the 1970’s life wasn’t bubble wrapped and it was fun. We had Jarts, lawn darts; a toy that was outlawed because of people too stupid to play without hurting themselves. We just threw those sharp metal things around the neighborhood willy-nilly, day and night. If someone lost an eye, well, they learned to be a hell of a lot more careful the next time. That’s the way life should be. Life is one big, stupid learning opportunity that kids of today are deprived of. Let’s see…kids of my generation, grew up, moved out of our houses and got on with things. These days kids never leave their parents home, and maybe it’s because they were never given the freedom to navigate and make mistakes in the real world.

Sorry about the preachy, soap box kind of post today. The genesis was from a conversation I had with a co-worker about how much stupid, dangerous, fun stuff we did growing up that would never be allowed by parents today. In the comments I’d love to hear some of your funny stories about funny, stupid stuff you did growing up. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Celebrities That Deserve a Punch in the Face

Keep in mind that this is only speculative and that I have no plans to punch anyone, nor do I advocate face punching of any kind by anyone else. That being said, if there were no real harm to others and no repercussions to me, these are 10 celebrities whom I believe deserve a strong punch to the forehead.

hotnewhiphop.com

hotnewhiphop.com

10. Kanye West: I figured I had to include him or he’d take offense and storm my blog demanding to be the first one punched. He would also take exception to being listed only 10th on this list.

athomemagazine.co.uk

athomemagazine.co.uk

9. Princess Kate: Listen, Little Miss Perfect, you were nobody before Prince Horse Teeth married you and now you think you’re the worlds biggest trendsetter. Get down off your high horse. You’ll never be Queen. He’s going to follow his Dad’s lead and ditch you for his own Camilla.

civilclothing.com

civilclothing.com

8. Kim Kardashian: Just because you can pose nude doesn’t mean that you should pose nude. Holy crap. Pretty soon people will be so used to seeing her nude that she could go to a shopping mall completely buck ass nekkid and everyone will ignore her. Ho hum. Also, I ranked her ahead of Kanye just to piss him off.

7. Yo! Yo! Honey SinghYes, he’s an Indian rapper.

But he deserves a punch in the face partly because of his name and partly because he uses way too much autotune. If Singh can’t sing, then he ain’t a thing.

conservatives4palin.com

conservatives4palin.com

6. All American voters: Look, I’m a registered independent. I didn’t vote in any of the primaries. All of you who did and who voted for either Hillary or Trump deserve a big punch in the forehead. You’ve left our nation with the choice of the two worst presidential candidates in history.

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5. Tom Brady: The quarterback for the New England Patriots. He and his coach have been caught cheating on multiple occasions and he still acts all holier than thou. I’ve seen him pretty up close at games and he spends half his time screaming at teammates who aren’t as perfect as him. I don’t wish a punch in the forehead on him. I wish him a torn rotator cuff.

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4. Bethenny Frankel: Listen, I have no idea why she created a vodka, wrote four self-help books and has been in every American reality show ever, but if given the choice of chewing broken glass or being trapped in an elevator with her, you know I’d take the broken glass every time.

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3. Jaden Smith: His dad Will Smith can do no wrong, except for opting out of the new Independence Day movie, but 17 year old Jaden is just a moron. He’s compared himself to Galileo, said it’s an honor that people think he’s crazy, and that he and his 14 year old sister, Willow, are “scientists” that will disappear from the public eye in 10 years except to “pop up” to do humanitarian stuff. I wasn’t the son of a famous actor when I was 17, but I know I never said anything that stupid. Jaden, how about if you just shut up for the next ten years?

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2. Fan Bingbing: Are you a Chinese actress or a Pokemon character? With your name, who knows?  Your show is no Game of Thrones and your name is allegedly Fan Bingbing. Please.

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1. Mark Zuckerberg: Good for you. You’re a 30 year old billionaire, you have a wife, a new baby and you want to save the world. You know what? That’s fine…if you don’t feel the need to tell everyone about it. Holy crap you’re  insecure! Just do good stuff and shut the hell up! Bill Gates and his wife do way more good stuff than you and we never hear about it.

That’s my list. Yes, I did go a little international to reach a wider audience, but The Phil Factor knows no borders! So who would be on your list of celebrities that deserve a punch in the forehead? Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Why The Amish Are Cooler Than You

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Admit it, you saw the title and had to read further. I am totally diggin’ me some Amish action lately. I see straw hats, bonnets, and horse drawn buggys and I think, “Damn, break me off a piece of that!” I cannot find me a butter churn fast enough.  We all love the Amish. We find their culture and lifestyle fascinating. Here’s your evidence that the Amish are hot: Last week I bought a shed from the Amish. (Notice how we always refer to them as ‘The Amish’? As if they’re all one group or a large object of some sort.) So after my awesome, built like a fortress, Amish shed was delivered I posted a picture of it on Facebook.  That picture of my new Amish shed generated more comments than anything I’ve ever said or posted on Facebook in the last four years. Either I’m a boring Facebooker or you’re diggin’ some Amish action too.

So why do we all love the Amish so much? Is it their stylish black outfits? They say black is very slimming. Have you ever seen a fat Amish person? Me neither. I wonder what their gyms are like? Instead of a stairmaster maybe they have a butter churn machine. The guys work out by bench pressing 4″x4″ lumber with hay bales on the ends. Do they work out in those sack dresses and the pants with suspenders? Do those come in lycra?

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Another good thing about being Amish; their budget kicks ass. Guess how much money the Amish lost in their 401K’s when the economy tanked? A lot less than me, that’s for sure. You think the Amish worry about how they’ll pay for retirement? Do you know how much they pay for electricity? $0.00. That’s pretty damn good compared with my utility bill. And guess how much they pay for gas? Yup, $0.00. Unfortunately, the gas they’re most familiar is in the form of methane coming from the horse in front of them pulling their buggy.

Rumspringa. It’s the Amish word for a period of adolescence when youth are allowed to leave home for a period of time to experience the modern world and decide if they want to return to the Amish faith. Talk about an awesome hall pass! It’s a wonder they get any of them back. As a parent I love the idea. I’d love to get my kids out of the house for a year or two. In fact, I want to negotiate with the Amish for a reverse rumspringa program. When my kids are being difficult I want to send them to live with the Amish for a year. Building a few barns would straighten out their attitude.

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I fear however that Amish culture as we know it may soon cease to exist and I fear that it may be my fault. I accidentally exposed the Amish to the cartoon Family Guy. The Amish are allowed to use technology for work but not in their homes. The Amish shed maker had to call me to tell me when my shed was going to be delivered and my ringback tone is a clip from Family Guy. At the end of our brief conversation Amish shed maker said, “I like your ringtone.” Since then I’ve gotten 27 hang up calls from an unlisted number. I just hear a little oddly accented giggling before the line goes dead. I’m pretty sure it’s the Amish calling just to listen to Family Guy. This can’t be good.

To be honest, like the Amish would be, this post is an excerpt from my book Fifty Shades of Philwhich features the 50 best posts from the first eight years of The Phil Factor. If you enjoy my nonsense and want to have a literary rumspringa with me you can purchase Fifty Shades of Phil for 99 cents for your Kindle or just the Kindle app on your phone.. Unless of course you’re Amish. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil