Is It Too Soon For 90’s Nostalgia?

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Apparently 90’s nostalgia is a thing for kids born in the 90’s. The 1990’s that is, although I can imagine that the folks born in the 1890’s are feeling pretty nostalgic right now, mostly about having a pulse.

My 18 year old son and his friends are all nostalgic about the TV shows they watched as kids 10-15 years ago. It seems like some sort of weird disease or Benjamin Buttons affliction. When you’re 18 you shouldn’t look back at anything and think, “Those were the good ol’ days.” These idiots don’t even remember the world without the internet and they’re feeling nostalgic about Tommy Pickles and CatDog. Back in the 90’s,  when there was no internet, I used to go around to bars in person and stand on a stage and say stupid stuff like this out loud. And I had to walk there in the snow and it was uphill both ways! There. That’s real nostalgia. For my son, remembering life before Netflix is nostalgia. Yup, I’ve already said to him, “I remember when Netflix was just getting DVD’s in the mail every week.” Those were hard times back then. Things are better now.

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When I was 20 I wasn’t looking back thinking how great things were in my childhood. I was out living life and worrying about things later. Being nostalgic was something old people did. I’ve heard actual adults have nostalgia for the good old days when we’d watch Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Monica every Thursday night. Remember? Back in the day when we had to watch TV shows when they were actually broadcast by the networks, unless of course you set your VCR. Yup, those were the good ol’ days!

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Nostalgia is fun though, isn’t it? I don’t think things were better in the past, but it’s still fun to look back. When I’m nostalgic for my younger days I remember all the great movies and music from the 80’s. When you’re feeling nostalgic, what do you look back on that makes you smile?

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Rock You Like A Hurricane!

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(Aug. 29,2011)  Well it’s hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere. Hurricane Irene ran up the East coast this past weekend and I hope with every fiber of my being that some forward think musician somewhere created a parody song titled “Come On Irene,” based on the 80’s hit by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

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Fortunately I don’t live in an area that ever gets any hurricanes although I felt some of the wind and rain from Irene. In the U.S., our weather people have a tradition of naming hurricanes with people names, such as Hurricane Phil, or Hurricane Betsy. Then the news people are astounded that people refuse to leave their homes when a hurricane is coming. Who is going to be afraid of Hurricane Betsy, or Tropical Storm Cecilia? Remember innocuously named Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, how’d that work out for everyone? Have you ever noticed that when people are interviewed as a big storm is bearing down on their area the homeowners always use the phrase “hunker down”? The interview always goes like this:

Reporter: I’m standing here with Joe and Jane Homeowner who plan on staying right where they are as the biggest storm of the century bears down on us. Joe and Jane, why are you staying put?

Homeowners: Well this little storm ‘taint nuthin. We’ll just hunker down until it passes. Now the storm of ’68, that was a storm!

I’m not sure I’ve ever hunkered down for anything. I think hunkering down best describes the pose my dog takes when she’s going number 2.  If you want people to flee to somewhere safe you have to give  a storm a name that sounds as scary as it is. Why not give it an intimidating name? How about something like Mega Hurricane Deathtron? That might get people out of their homes. Or maybe something simple like The Hurricane of Death? If the Hurricane of Death was headed for my house you can bet I’d get the hell out of the way. Then again, if they named hurricanes like that you wouldn’t have people selling post hurricane t-shirts that said things like “I Was Blown By Irene 2011.” When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will convene a special committee of writers to work on scary, new hurricane names every year.

If you enjoy my nonsense and still have your internet connection after the hurricane you can share this using any of the social media buttons below, follow me on  Twitter @ThePhilFactor and/or subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle. Have a great Thursday!

Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

I’m trying to sell my house.

But I don’t have two cats in the yard. If I did, one potential buyer would want three cats and another would want only one.

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Apparently house buyers nowadays believe that somewhere there is a perfect house that’s tailor-made to their tastes. Guess what? My house isn’t it, and unless you pay an enormous sum and wait a year to have a house made to your personal specifications and tastes, that perfect house doesn’t exist. I was going to go on one of my sarcastic rants about the stupidity of home buyers, but in very un-Phil-like fashion I decided that putting that kind of negative vibe out into the world would not help sell my house. I’m also hoping that the two best songs ever written about houses will help too. It is Music Monday after all. You know how the saying goes: You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. What follows is my open letter to all potential buyers of my home:

Dear House Shopper,

Congratulations! You have come across a wonderful house that has been well taken care of, and significantly upgraded, over the last decade. In the price range you’re looking at, you’re going to have a hard time finding this much square footage that is move-in ready. What does move in ready mean? It means that there’s nothing you have to fix to live here. Is the house perfectly decorated the way you would want? Of course not. I don’t know what your tastes are just like the previous owners didn’t know mine. We changed everything. That’s how you make a house a home.

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Is some of the wood trim and baseboards a little scuffed? Yes they are. Mostly likely from boys or dogs chasing each other up and down the stairs as they played hide and seek. Those dents on the inside of the garage door? My oldest son created them as he taught himself to skateboard in there one winter. Does that peony bush in the backyard look a little overgrown and unruly? Of course it does. How else would you expect it to stop wiffle ball home runs from flying into the neighbors yard? Are there a few scratches in the sink? Maybe a stain  or two on the rug that’s hidden by an end table? Of course. This house is full of imperfections. Do you know why it’s not perfect? Because we lived there. We lived there. If you can get through life without bumping into anything please let me know your secret. On second thought, don’t. I don’t want to know. If life doesn’t cause a few bumps and scratches now and then, you’re not living it right.

If you’re house shopping, don’t look at a house and decide what it is. Look at a house and imagine what it can become. That’s how you make a house a home. When I moved into my house, it had wall to wall orange shag carpet from 1978 and patterned wallpaper everywhere. It doesn’t anymore, but that’s not what makes a house a home. It’s not the right paint color in the dining room or tile in the foyer. Once you buy the house, you own it. Just like life, it’s yours and if you don’t like something, you can change it.

Right now, I’m sitting on my front porch with my feet up, having a glass of wine and writing this. What will you do on this front porch when it’s yours?

Have a great Monday! ~Phil

What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

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How many of you are were aware that the title of this post is the name of a reality TV show that was on E! for 8 episodes in 2013? Apparently we now know the answer. Ryan Lochte would choose to embarrass his country rather than take responsibility for his drunken actions.

Like many world class athletes, Ryan has spent his whole life honing his body for competition while leaving his mind and maturity on the sidelines. Are there sidelines in swimming? I can’t say he left them on the shore because he swims in a pool. Is the place you stand next to the pool a shore?

“I just love standing out there, just doing something different, just being like where someone sees me, they’re like there goes Ryan”

I’m pretty sure the Brazilian police saw the surveillance video and said ‘There goes Ryan.” Like the criminal mastermind that Ryan Lochte obviously is, he dyed his hair silver the day before his crime so that he’d be more recognizable.

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Ryan Lochte very obviously wants to be famous for being famous. Well, congratulations Ryan, you are now more famous for a drunk night in Rio than you’ve ever been for your swimming, your show or your Polo ads. Apparently what happens in Rio doesn’t stay in Rio. Then again, neither does Ryan. He literally fled the country like a fugitive. I’m pretty sure the TSA agents at the airport in the States debated whether or not to let him back in.

“At the start of the day I remind myself, my toughest opponent is in the mirror.”~ Ryan Lochte

Like I said to Michael Phelps last week; you’re 32 years old, stop playing in the pool and grow up and get a real job like the real adult you should be by now. So what does Ryan do now? At his age, his competitive swimming career is over. His life of crime has already been a failure. I’m pretty sure that Polo is already considering gold medal winning decathlete Ashton Eaton as their next model. Hmm… you live in the United States, you’re semi-talented but think that you’re a bigger celebrity than you really are, and you’re unemployed. Obviously he’s got to marry a Kardashian. I think Khloe and Kourtney are currently available.

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Seriously, if you take away his Olympic medals, what have you got left? A good looking asshat with no useful skills and a criminal record in a foreign country. I see a run for President in his future. What’s great about this post is that in the future when Ryan commits another act of public stupidity I can re-post this and get a bunch more views.

Have a great Saturday everybody! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! The Patron Saint of Real Estate

I’ve been writing The Phil Factor so long that I’m about to move into my third house. I already have that house. I just need to sell the house that’s been the home to me and my blog for over ten years. In an effort to conjure up some good luck, my Throwback Thursday is from 2005 when I was trying to sell my house so I could move into this one.

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(08/30/2005) I’m not kidding. There really is a saint who is supposed to help you sell your house. At this point I’ll take help from anyone. Someone informed me that if you bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down in your yard, your house will sell faster. There’s even a book called, “St. Joseph, My Real Estate Agent.” I haven’t gone to church in years, so I don’t think any Saint is going to want to help me sell my house. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Saints were actively trying to block my sale.

Maybe this house is my purgatory, or hell for eternity. It seems to me that burying a religious statue upside down would be more of a Satanic practice. If Satan wants to help sell my house I’m fine with that. He could even have a commission. I’d even sell it to Satan if he met my price. It has a finished, walk out basement. I think he’d like that.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs Ever

Thanks to the Netflix/Hulu era, everyone in every country can watch the popular TV shows from anywhere, so regardless of your home country, I hope you’ll know some of these. Although this is going to be a very United States centric list, I’d love to hear suggestions and maybe links in the comments to anything from anywhere else. This was the toughest Top Ten list that I’ve ever put together.

10. Scooby Doo: Yes, the cartoon theme song. I requested that this be played for my first dance at my wedding but  my bride Velma objected.

9. The Golden Girls: I can’t vouch for this because I never watched the show, but in a lot of other online lists this was included. I didn’t even listen to it when I added it to this list.

8. The Love Boat: Love, exciting and new. Climb aboard, we’re expecting you! When I was a kid I had very little realization that the entire show was about people trying to have sex on a cruise.

7. The Big Bang Theory: A masterpiece by the quick singing lyrical geniuses of The Barenaked Ladies.

6. Family Guy: How could you not sing along to this?

5. Mission Impossible: No lyrics, but iconic nonetheless. Who doesn’t feel some sort of pressure to get something done quickly when you hear this?

4. The Brady Bunch: All of them had hair of gold, like their mother.”  Who doesn’t know that line?

3. Friends: I hate to be the hipster guy who says “I knew this band before anyone heard of them”, but yeah, I had their album before the Friend’s theme song on cassette tape, so suck it losers.

2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: This is still Will Smith’s best work to date.

1. Cheers: Who doesn’t want a bar that feels like home where everyone knows your name?

That’s it. I feel like I needed to make this a Top 20 list to include all the worthy possibilities. What would you add to the list? What would you take off of it? My blogging friend Haylee recently did a great post about TV theme songs as well. You can check it out HERE

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Michael Phelps Get a Job!

Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the Olympics. The other day the announcer mentioned that swimmer Michael Phelps is 31 years old. My first thought was that 31 is super old for an Olympian and it’s time for Phelps to stop playing in the pool, grow up, and get a job like the rest of us adults.

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Think about it; he’s splashing around in a pool with kids ten to fifteen years younger than him. Usually that’s creepy. What if he keeps doing that when he gets home from the Olympics?

It’s not just Michael Phelps though, what the hell do all Olympians do for a career after their Olympics are over? They’ve spent their entire life developing a very specific skill set that is useless in the real world. Sure, Michael Phelps could apply to be Aquaman, but I’m pretty sure that he can’t summon ocean creatures with telepathy, so that’s out. I guess he could be a life guard or give swim lessons at the community pool, but for an Olympian who has traveled the world, that seems too mundane. With his affinity for marijuana though, I can see him working at a pot store in Colorado. “Dude, you gotta try this! This ‘Mexican Gold ‘ is way better than Olympic gold!”

Hmm..I've spent my life doing gymnastics. Now what?

Hmm..I’ve spent my life doing gymnastics. Now what?

Yes, what do you do for a job if you’re a 4’11” (1.6 metres) full grown adult and your primary skill set is jumping around and swinging on things? Disney Princess at a theme park? They could stunt double for children in movies, but how many of those jobs are there? I’ve got it! They’d be perfect for standing next to the “You have to be this tall to ride this ride” sign.

Ok, so we’ve got Michael Phelps  and the gymnasts a job, but what about other Olympians? What about the track and field athletes? What do they do? I ran track for years, but not once in adulthood has running fast been a useful skill in any job. Seriously, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is getting up there in years. What is he going to do next?

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Employer at job interview: “What did you say your name is, Insane?

Usain: No, it’s Usain.

Employer: Well Mr. Bolt, I think I may have heard of you. Your Olympic resume is impressive, but what experience do you have in computer programming?”

Usain: Well mon, Me run from here to de other side of de office and back lickety split.  Want to see?

Employer: Lickety split? What the…? No, sit down. That’s not helpful.  You’re going to need to wear real pants. It’s in the dress code. No short shorts. I also need you to program computers lickety split. Can you do that?

Usain: Give mi sponge fi go dry up sea!

Employer: Jeez! With your heavy accent I have no idea what you’re saying! You’ll be perfect for the customer service line! You’re hired!

Happy Saturday everyone! As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor feel free to share it on social media using the buttons below. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil