You know those chalky candy hearts that for the better part of a century have been shared on Valentine’s Day? They’re so cute with their little candy inscriptions of “I love you” or “Hugs” or other nonsense. I imagine though that there were some ideas that didn’t make it.
10. It’s not you, it’s me
9. Not a cold sore
8. Maybe Next Time
7. Better late than never
6. It’s eczema. Yes, there. I swear.
5. The Phil Factor
4. My last test was clean
3. You paying for dinner?
2. Almost divorced
1. It’s not yours!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! One of the things I’m in love with is comments. What are your funny ideas for rejected candy hearts sayings?
“Moving on to the big categories, it’s ladies first. Who wants to hear who the Best Actress is?” There’s a round of polite applause throughout the room. “Really, that’s it? C’mon guys! Let’s hear it for the ladies!” This elicits hoots, hollers and applause. Joaquin Phoenix starts to hug Renee Zellweger a little too enthusiastically and spills his drink down her back. In the blink of an eye Gooby is on him and as I hit the garage door remote, Joaquin is dragged out screaming, “You can’t do this to me! I’m the Joker!”
“The jokes on you Joaquin,” I reply. The garage door lowers with Joaquin on the other side pounding his tiny little fists and sobbing. Of course, having done this for the previous six years, I’m unflappable. “The nominees are Cynthia Erivo, Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, and Renee Zellweger. Some big names there along with some lesser known ladies. The winner of the 2020 Phillie Award for Best Actress is Cynthia Erivo because she’s won a Grammy and an Emmy, and having a Phillie would round out her set!”
Pic courtesy of Hollywood Reporter
“Next up is Best Actor! Since I wasn’t nominated again, yes, writing a blog is so acting. Shut up DiCaprio! How many views did your blog get this week? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I’m acting like a writer. That’s acting! Anywho, back to the awards.”
“I guess I’ll have to acknowledge that “Leo” (I did the finger quotes when I said it) earned a nod from the Academy. As did Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix, Antonio Banderas, and Jonathan Pryce. Obviously Joaquin has no chance because we had to drag his sorry ass out of here earlier. Adam Driver is eliminated because, well Adam, I hate to break it to you this way, but you look better in a big plastic space helmet than you did playing an actual person in that divorce movie. So that narrows it down to Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. Jonathan, I don’t know who you are and… well, you’re asleep in your seat right now, the winner of the Phillie for the best actor is Antonio Banderas for his unappreciated work as the dad in the Spy Kids movies!” Antonio stands up, downs a shot of whiskey, throws the shot glass at the wall and strides cockily up to the podium. to collect his trophy.
Pic courtesy of Hollywood Reporter
Here’s the big one folks. Buckle up because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. The nominees for the Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Picture are …(I look down at the list)”Oh for cryin’ out loud! There’s nine friggin’ pictures nominated. Seriously! There were not nine movies last year that I’d spend my money on. And DiCaprio, you were in like six of them and Phoenix was in the rest! Drumroll please!…This time DiCaprio starts the drumroll on the back of the seat in front of him occupied by Charlize Theron. Then she picks it up followed by Laura Dern and one by one, everyone in the room begins the drum roll until the chanting begins, “Phillie! Phillie! Phillie!” It’s this way every year and I smile and wait a few moments until the half assed drumroll and chants start to subside.
They’re all drunk by now and if this announcement doesn’t go the right way, this room could explode. I fumble nervously with the envelope. In the back I notice that appropriately enough, Margot Robbie is making out with Joaquin Phoenix who snuck back in past Gooby when he dozed off. Harley Quinn has again found her Joker. “Ahem…” I clear my throat to get their attention. “The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Picture goes to Avengers: Endgame!” They all look at each other silently and then look back up front to me. There’s a slow build of murmuring rumbling through the room. “But since no one from that movie is here, let’s start the after party!” They all leap from their seats happily shouting and clinking classes, drowning out the protests of Scarlett Johansson who is fighting her way through the crowd towards the front.
I grab the mic for the last time, I tap it a couple times and they quiet down. “And remember, what happens in the garage,” and they all join in shouting, “stays in the garage!”
Thank you for attending my soiree and I’ll see you next year. Have a great Sunday! ~Phil
If you’re new here you may be wondering what the Snap Judgement Oscar Awards are. The Phil Factor Snap Judgement Oscar Awards, also known as The Phillies, is one of the most prestigious versions of the Oscar Awards because first of all, they’re given by me, and secondly, I host them in my garage. I haven’t seen most of the movies and I base my opinions on completely ridiculous reasons, the way you do when you pick movies to watch. So without further self-indulgent blathering, we’ll let the winners do that, let’s get on with the show!
The nominees have already finished their red carpet interviews in the driveway. Adam Driver and Antonio Banderas have already been caught by security, my friend Gooby, behind the garage shotgunning Pabst Blue Ribbons. Margot Robbie dropped her White Claw Hard Seltzer and made a run for it, only to sneak in through the back door and tried to hide in the back row with a baseball hat on. She’s fooling no one.
In my tuxedo t-shirt and ripped jeans I head for the house one last time before the ceremony. Tom Hanks is in the kitchen snorting coke off Kathy Bate’s’s bare stomach as she lays prone across my dining room table. My entrance startles them and Tom reaches for his gun, but relaxes when he sees it’s me. “C’mon you two! The show’s about to start. Get in there!” I say as I grab a tray of Totino’s Pizza Rolls out of the oven and adjust the lights. (Phew! I’m glad I got the commercial sponsors out of the way early)
Pic courtesy of Hollywood Reporter
At the podium I can feel the electric excitement bubbling over in the room. It’s palpable. “Settle down you animals, it’s time to start the show! Who wants a Phillie?”
Applause, whistles and hoots wash over me like a tidal wave. It’s obvious that the assemblage of stars much prefer my laid-back awards show to the stuffy, uptight four hour fiasco that is The Oscars. As I’m about to start the awards I hear the pop of a champagne bottle and Joe Pesci stands up spraying the crowd with bubbly as he shouts, “F*ck the Oscars!” Laughter rolls through the garage and they hold up their glasses hoping to catch a few drops of Joe’s golden shower.
“Alright, let’s get this party started!” I shout into the mic. Here are our nominees for Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Margot Robbie, and Kathy Bates! Scarlett, despite being a 2016 Snap Judgement Oscar winner you’re out, as is Laura Dern and Kathy Bates. Why? Your names are easy to spell and pronounce. Florence Pugh and Margot Robbie, however, have overcome the life long adversity of having to constantly correct people about the spelling or pronunciation of their names. And the winner is…(I improvise my own drumroll on the podium with my hands)… MarGot Robbie! And by the way, it’s Philip with one L, not two. Get it right next time Scarlett!”
Pic courtesy of Hollywood Reporter
“Moving on, let’s get to Best Supporting Actor. This year the category has a star studded lineup of outstanding actors. Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, Joe Pesci, and Anthony Hopkins. Brad, I’m sorry, but you’re ruled out because you can’t make up your mind on Jen. What the f*ck is wrong with you? She’s America’s sweetheart for cripes sake!” Brad laughs and gives me the finger. “Tom Hanks, you’re out because I’m still waiting for the Bosom Buddies movie. Al Pacino? Puh-leeze! you lost me when you pulled the “Hoo hah!” nonsense in that movie twenty years ago. That brings us to Anthony Hopkins and Joe Pesci. The winner is…Anthony Hopkins because his real given name is Philip (with one L) Anthony Hopkins! Got to give props to Philip Hopkins. Yes, it’s true. Go look it up.”
This is always one of my longer posts, but I don’t want this to be as long as the actual Oscars ceremony. Come back tomorrow morning for Part 2 which will include Best Actor, Best Actress as well as Best Picture. Have a great Saturday! ~Philip
Because the National Football League has yet to issue a cease and desist order to me and because it’s funny I’m re-posting this classic that I wrote last year.
I’m not saying that The Phil Factor is The Official Blog of The#SuperBowl, and I’m not saying it’s not. What I am saying is that I want to get a cease and desist letter from the National Football League’s lawyers.
For those of you not from the States, or from the U.S. but you just don’t care, this weekend is the championship game of the National Football League, otherwise known as the #SuperBowl. I’m hashtagging those words, linking to their site, and making a point of using the phrase ‘Super Bowl’ because the NFL (No Phil League) literally tries to sue anyone who uses the phrase “Super Bowl” without paying them millions of dollars to do so. (I’m putting the words Super Bowl in bold print on the off chance that they’ll be more noticeable when someone from the NFL is looking at the internet.) Some networks even prohibit their announcers from saying Super Bowl out of fear of being sued by the NFL. Comedian Steven Colbert has taken to calling it the Superb Owl.
I call bullshit. I don’t care who you are or what entity you’ve created, no one gets to own words. When I’m elected President, or #SuperBowl MVP (Most Valuable Phil), whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating “No people or corporations can own words.” It’s a stupid idea that someone can own the right to the words #SuperBowl. I’m pretty sure that the words super and bowl were around long before American football. In fact, on Downton Abbey last week Mr. Carson was bringing soup to the Earl and Countess in this big, ornate dish and the Earl said, “Why Mr. Carson! That is the most super bowl I have ever laid my eyes upon!” Downton Abbey happened a hundred years ago, so there’s your proof that someone else used the phrase first.
What if I really do own a super bowl? You know, one of those cool ones with a picture at the bottom that you can’t see until you’ve eaten every drop. That is truly a super bowl. Or what about the people who invented the Perfect Bacon Bowl? That has got to be the superest of bowls. If there were a vote I’m pretty sure that the Bacon Bowl beats out football as the best kind of bowl. I’m also pretty sure that the Bacon Bowl people aren’t going to sue me for mentioning their product. In fact, they might even send me a free Bacon Bowl maker for mentioning it (hint, hint). Click on the video below. The song is a hilariously awesome and may sound more than a little like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
I’m also sure that the folks in the legal marijuana states of Washington and Colorado think their bowls are pretty Super too. Is the NFL going to sue anyone there who says to their smoking buddy “Man, this is one super bowl“?
I’m not afraid to say any word I want. And by the way National Football League, what in the hell makes you so arrogant to think that you have to police the world to make sure no one uses your phrase? I would like to hereby announce that I am legally forbidding anyone from referring to themselves as the official anything of #ThePhilFactor unless I declare it. There you go National Football League. I dare you to declare your #SuperBowl is The Official Super Bowl of The Phil Factor. You know what though? I’m not going to sue you if you do. They’re only words. If you think my blog is so awesome that you want to affiliate yourself with it, great, but it’s going to cost you. In fact, nevermind. The title is already taken. I’m officially declaring that the Perfect Bacon Bowl is The Official Super Bowl of The Phil Factor. And if the Perfect Bacon Bowl people wanted to buy advertising space in my sidebar I’m not opposed to that.
As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor, which is the #SuperBowl of blogs, please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. Have a great #SuperBowl weekend! ~Phil
We may be going to different Super Bowl parties this weekend, but a lot of the people at our parties will be eerily similar and equally irritating. Read on and see if you can identify these folks at your party this Sunday. If you can’t, you’re probably one of them.
The Gambler: He may know when to hold’em but he doesn’t know when to fold’em or when to shut up. This guy always wants you to know the “over/under” and how much he’s got riding on the game. And he spends most of the game fuming and stomping around every time an officials “b.s.” call threatens to upset the point spread he wants. He usually has a “prop bet” on the coin toss too. Unfortunately if the game doesn’t go his way The Gambler turns into The Belligerent Drunk. That is unless the black lab covers the spread in his bet on The Puppy Bowl.
The Referee: This tool has to explain every official ruling on the field as if he’s calculating a quadratic equation. He’ll usually say something like: “Well that was an illegal formation because the half-caff flanker position moved from a three point stance to a two point stance without waiting for a pause in the snap count while the rigamarole motion was ad infinitum. Now normally the refs would let that go but because of the down and distance and clock situation they were forced to call it.” Yeah thanks coach, I can’t imagine why you don’t win your fantasy football league every year.
The Commercial Lover: I hate to stereotype, but this is usually a woman. We all know her. She has no clue about what teams are in the game and often thinks that one teams “costumes are pretty.” She usually says, “Oh I love the Super Bowl because of the commercials. I heard this year that Doritos and Coca Cola combined for a commercial where The Pope break dances with a 3-D video of Michael Jackson. Oh wait, wait, wait, QUIET EVERYBODY, I think this is it. SHHHHH…I want to see this one. Did you see that? That was so funny! Oh my god! BEST Super Bowl commercial EVER!” Usually I’m secretly rooting for the drunk, belligerent gambler to spill his beer on her.
Team Jersey Guy: This guy arrives at the party first and only brings a bag of chips. He grabs a beer and immediately plants his un-athletic physique in the recliner directly across from the television an hour before kick off and won’t leave that seat until the game is over. If you’re the homeowner you might as well just haul that chair out to the curb after the game. You won’t want to keep it. He doesn’t even get up to get another beer. “Oh, hey, if you’re going out to the kitchen could you grab me a brewski?” Once he’s settled in he’s almost as bad as The Gambler. Team Jersey Guy is also the pleasant guy who tries to wave your children out of the way if they walk in front of the t.v. during the game and you swear his head will explode if one of the kids even mentions switching the channel to The Puppy Bowl.
Contributions From the Peanut Gallery: Because I got several great suggestions in the comments when I posted this last year, I’m going to add them here and credit their contributors.
The Phone Clutcher: Every party has a pooper– and he or she is usually that person whose gaze is on his or her smart phone, more often than it is upon the TV screen. They get noticeably antsy when told to put their phones down, and often can be found in dusty corners hugging the only thing they care about in the room. Why they go to these parties, I have never figured out. This spot on contribution came for Ally of The Spectacled Bean. Go visit her blog. She’s always interesting.
The Grazers: The grazers are the guys who don’t talk or interact with the rest. They just keep filling their plate and wandering around the house with no reason to be there other than the food. This great one is from John Howell of Fiction Favorites. Go visit John, he’s always got some great writing going on.
The Hater: The person who comes for the “party” and doesn’t care about the game, and proceeds to complain about the game the whole time. They’re always trying to get someone to play cards with them or something. This one is from Dr. Meg Sorick who still believes the Steelers got gypped. Her blog deserves a visit because she writes better than she dresses.
If you have any other suggestions for Super Bowl party people please add them in the comments. This list will evolve every year based on your suggestions. Even my friends from other countries can play! Feel free to add suggestions from your experience at football parties of your own.
This year be sure to look for The Phil Factor commercial during the halftime show. If you miss that, feel free to share this to other social media using the buttons below. Have a great weekend! ~ Phil
Spoiler alert, in case you didn’t know, Sunday is Groundhog Day. Who doesn’t love this movie? Especially since Bill Murray’s character was named Phil. Coincidence? I think not. Also, here’s another spoiler alert, today, February 1st, 2020, I added a new question at the end of this post that I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on.
This post was originally written for #ThePhilFactor on Feb. 2, 2006 and I now post it every year, over and over, just like Phil’s Groundhog Day in the movie.
(Feb. 2, 2006) Last week I waxed philosophic about the idiocy known as The Dr. Phil Show. This week, and today in particular it’s Punxsutawney Phil. Groundhog Day the movie: Good idea. Groundhog Day the tradition: Stupid idea. The dimwitted people of Punxsatawney, Pennsylvannia have been shoving a rodent through a hole in a tree stump for almost 200 hundred years to find out if there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Hey morons, you live in the Northeast! There’s always 6 more weeks of winter! Check the calendar! It says that Spring starts on March 21st. That’s 7 weeks from now. You don’t need a rat being spooked by his shadow to figure this one out. At this point I’m getting tired of all these wanna-be Phil’s trying to horn in on my fame. If, coincidentally, a shot were to ring out in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania today and a certain rodent were to explode in a puff of fur, I was kidding when I wrote this. No harm meant, just a joke. You’ll all be my alibi right?
I’m curious, if you could have one day of your life to do over until you get it right, what day would that be and why? As always, if you enjoyed this vintage Phil Factor feel free to share it via the social media buttons below. Have a great Friday! ~Phil
This isn’t really a throwback because it’s timely and relevant every year and I intend to keep posting it until all the demented parents stop waging psychological warfare on their young children.
(12/22/2012) Most of you are familiar with the Elf on the Shelf right? In the Elf on the Shelf tradition these poorly dressed little plastic elves are mischievous minions of the red suited overlord who spy on the every move of children and report back to their tyrannical leader. That allegedly quaint little elf doll was invented about 15 years ago as a new, and for some toy making company, moneymaking tradition. Fortunately for my kids I wasn’t aware of The Elf on the Shelf when they were young enough to believe in it.
Parents put these little Elves on a shelf and the children are told that the Elf cannot be touched or it will lose it’s Christmas magic. The elf allegedly flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa every night. Man kids are gullible! In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a bunch of maroons!” The nightly flight is how parents explain that the Elf is in a different spot when the kids wake up each morning.
Of course this crazy little ruse makes kids behave in the weeks leading up to Christmas! They’re terrified! Are you kidding me? Even now if you told me a Chuckie doll was going to sit on my shelf and stare at me while I slept, or that it might be moving around my house at night? I would never go to sleep again. The kids have got to be too terrified or too tired to misbehave. No wonder they have a weeks vacation from school after Christmas. They probably spend that week sleeping for the first time in a month.
I have a friend who says that after her kids are asleep she will pose the Elf somewhere to make it appear as if the Elf had gotten into mischief overnight, such as putting him next to a tipped over jar of something, or maybe on a desk next to some torn up papers. So her kids wake up imagining that this creepy little doll with the frozen scary clown smile is moving about the house in the dark destroying things. How much longer before someone imagines the doll picking up a knife? What if in some home where they’re torturing their kids with the Elf on the Shelf, just by coincidence, their elderly dog or cat were to pass away during the night? What do you suppose those kids are going to think for the rest of their lives?
This tradition sounds like psychological warfare against children. How long before we see kids who have grown up with this tradition seeking counseling for PTED, Post-Traumatic Elf Disorder?
Happy Holidays to you and your families. If you really want something mysterious and far less traumatic to just appear somewhere this holiday season you could give my books, Time To Lie and the sequel The Last Locked Door, available in paperback, e-book, and Audible. Give the gift of reading this holiday season and have a great Saturday! ~Phil
In the United States it’s traditional to get together with family on Thanksgiving and share the important things you’re thankful for before gorging yourself on a meal centered on the large, dead carcass of the ugliest bird in North America. Every year everyone shares the usual platitudes about being thankful for family, friends and good heath. Duh! Who can’t come up with that? When I decided to write this I set out to write a positive, uplifting post so that my loyal readers don’t think that my every thought and written or spoken word are tinged with biting sarcasm. So without further adieu, here are some of the everyday things I am thankful for:
1. Girl Scout Cookies: Holy crap! Paradise in cookie form! Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos, Tagalongs, Samoas, Dulce de Leche and many more. Most of the names are completely meaningless in relation to what the actual cookie is, but who the hell cares? I think the mysteriously weird names add to our desire for them. Great cookies, but the Girl Scouts organization is one of the dumbest businesses in existence. They have a product that is universally loved and they only sell it one month a year? Morons! All of them. Their stupid little badges certainly aren’t in business administration. If they sold those cookies year round they’d be a multi-billion dollar operation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. If they sold those cookies year round they could put crack cocaine out of business.
2. The Keurig Coffee Maker: I don’t give a rat’s ass if they price those stupid little “pods” at $5.00 each, it will be well worth it if I can keep getting my morning cup of joe in 30 seconds. My time is valuable and Keurig gave me back about 5 minutes of every morning where I don’t have to stand there staring a a gurgling coffee maker.
3. Screw cap wine bottles: How does it make the wine better if you have to use a separate device that looks like it was designed for medieval torture to open it? And how often have you had the cork break and you have to use all sorts of improvised techniques to get it out and then the wine still has a bunch cork pieces in it that you fish out with your fingers? My wine sources tell me the screw cap is coming back. Simpler is better. Leave the corks for the French snobs to wrestle with. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, all wine bottles will have screw caps.
4. Twitter: As you know, I love my Twitter. If anything big happens anywhere in the world it’s on Twitter instantly. If I need a laugh, give me one minute with my Twitter feed and one of the everyday comedic geniuses on Twitter will give me a smile. Want to know an opposing viewpoint? It’s there on Twitter.
5. Fantasy Football: Yes, it’s a corny little hobby and yes, it’s actually a form of gambling, but outside of my job, this is one of two things that I’ve spent a lot of my free time over the last twenty years. The other thing that the rest of my free time has been spent on? This blog.
All of You: Lastly I’m thankful for all of you, friends, family, co-workers, and strangers from all over the world. You make my day with your likes and comments. I know that over the past year I haven’t blogged much. I’ve had a lot of real life going on in my life, but I appreciate that many of you have popped in here or by email or twitter to say Hi. I plan on getting back to weekly blogging and visiting all of you wonderful friends that I’ve followed for years. Happy American Thanksgiving to you no matter where you’re reading this from. In the comments, if you’re in the bathroom hiding from family, why don’t you add something unusual that you’re thankful for today!
This is my bi-annual reminder that tonight in the United States we move our clocks back by an hour and my reminder to you that it’s stupid. I’ve been posting this every Fall and Spring since 2006 and will continue to do so until we do away with Daylight Savings Time.
When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law getting rid of Daylight Savings Time. I don’t know if all other countries do this. I do know that not all the U.S. states abide by it. Daylight Savings Time was created about 120 years ago to give farmers more daylight in which to do their work in the fields. Call me crazy, but why the hell didn’t someone just suggest that the lazy ass farmers drag themselves out of a bed a little earlier each day? Because those cud chewing, overall wearing, udder jerking lay-abouts can’t be bothered to set their alarm clocks we’re all stuck changing time?
I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but about ten years ago the U.S. Congress, in another colossal waste of their time and our tax dollars, extended daylight savings time by a few weeks on either end.
First off, why isn’t it called daylight spending time since we are using more daylight in the summer months? Secondly, at this point the farmers (except the creepy Amish ones) all have electricity and alarm clocks, which may not have been the case 120 years ago. I can get away with saying that about the Amish because my demographic data shows that for some reason I have very low readership among the Amish. I guess they just don’t get me.
Reportedly the reason Congress did this is to save energy. How will changing our clocks twice a year save energy? Don’t we set our thermostats and use heat based on the outdoor temperature, not how light out it is? I’d like to save the energy I expend changing my clocks! I’d like Congress to tell me when I get that back. Congress has again proven to be the biggest collection of morons outside of…well…I guess I can’t think of a bigger collection. Why doesn’t Congress set their alarm clocks an hour earlier so they can get up early and get more of this important work done?
B.T. dubs, if we set our clocks ahead an hour now but we turn them back in the Fall, over the course of a year what difference does it make? If we learned anythying from Marty McFly it was that we shouldn’t muck about with time. Also, according to statistics, the day after we change our clocks there are more workplace injuries, car accidents, and for the day, a 10% rise in heart attacks.
I for one am not going to go for this stupid daylight savings time thing anymore. I don’t work at a farm or for Congress, so I told my boss that for 6 months I’ll be to work an hour early or late, however it works out. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, this is going to change
If you’d like to support my bid for President or Sexiest Man Alive, please hit the Facebook, Twitter share button below, but hurry because you have an hour less to do it in this weekend. Or is it an hour more? Have a great weekend! ~Phil
Hi everyone! I’m still out here and alive. I’ve actually been back to work for a little over three months but wasn’t blogging much due to the stress, time and travel of the new job. This is a video blog I made about four months ago about the idiocy and proliferation of podcasts but never posted it until now. If you love to hate podcasts, then this is right up your alley. Although, if you do have an alley, I’m kind of jealous. Anyway, enjoy! #ThePhilFactor
Do We Really Need All These Podcasts?
Have a great Thursday and feel free to leave comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts on podcasts. ~Phil
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor.