Category Archives: Phillip’s Opinion

My Experiment with Apple’s New Wireless Headphones

There I was, my phone charging but in need to listen to music.  Obviously I didn’t just want to sit there with the headphones strapped in, but I did get a pair of the new wireless headphones Apple is rolling out to replace the white earbuds we’ve all got used to.  So, I decide to test them out.


The new “wireless” headphones

First, they’re not really that glamorous looking…I’m almost certain in a year or two, we’ll look back at these as though they’re prehistoric…kind of like the first cell phones.  They also moved the volume/pause button from the right to left ear bud, which is kind of annoying (unless I have the earbuds in backwards, which would be awkward).

But I have to say the sound quality is not that bad…when you’re in range.  I figured while my phone was charging in my bedroom, I could go outside and do various activities (e.g. doing cartwheels without worrying that my phone will fall out of my pocket…although, I’ve never actually done a cartwheel successfully, so I guess that point is mute).  I managed to get downstairs and perfectly hear the music just fine.  My evil plan was working (muhaha).


Then I made my way outside.  It started to get choppy.  So I stopped moving, figuring the waves had to catch up with me (because I obviously move faster than the speed of light), and the sound came in better.  I started to move again, no problem…I must’ve fixed the problem.  I made it all the way to my car to get something, and had no real issue…I could pause it and play the music, it was awesome.  There were some choppiness, but it wasn’t bad, it was kind of like listening to the radio going in and out.  Then I made my way to the backyard to visualize myself doing the hypothetical cartwheels, and the choppiness grew.  I noticed if I stood still, the sound came in better.  If I was moving, the music would stop.


So now I’m laying in my bed next to my charging phone, writing this and listening to music with the wireless headphones…which kind of defeats the purpose since I could just use the wired phones…

I guess the moral of the story: you need to have your phone in your pocket to use wireless headphones.


Welsh Towns

I saw a video on YouTube where they had Americans try to pronounce the names of towns in Walsh, their reactions to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch were pretty spot on to how I’d feel if I tried pronouncing it

So, naturally, after watching the video I googled Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch to see if it was a real town (it is) and how to pronounce it.  The results came up with this video of a weatherman perfectly pronouncing it during a forecast:

At first I was all impressed that he managed to keep his composure and nail that difficult town name.  But then, I started thinking…he’s the weatherman, right?  He’s in charge of what names he could put on the map.  I mean, in this short clip, he was trying to demonstrate that two parts of Wales were completely different in temperature, why couldn’t he choose a town near Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch that had similar temperatures but was a lot shorter (and easier) to pronounce?  And, he didn’t mention the town that was 12 degrees, did he?

Just putting that out there.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to try to learn how to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch so I can one day visit Wales and hail and cab to take me there…


P.S. The original name of this post was "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch" but it was actually so long it didn't fit into title....

Bending the Truth into a Lie

You know when you’re reading an article online and on the side they’ll sometimes have suggested titles with a picture like “14 Celebs That Hate Each Other.”  I really don’t care about that stuff and I usually just ignore it, but this time it was a picture of Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson, the actors who played Lorelai and Luke on Gilmore Girls.  It caught my eye because I remember reading something after the show finished where Graham said that she didn’t want Luke and Loreali to be together (even though at the Gilmore Girls reunion a couple weeks ago she said she wanted to see them get married), so I was curious if perhaps she said it because of her personal feelings towards the actor.

So I read it, and it legit said “[Graham] claimed they got along well enough to work together, but beyond that, they had their own lives and were not friends at all.”  So…how do you get “hate” out of this.  They were coworkers, nothing more.  I think most of us experience this type of relationship with our colleagues: we go to work, we exchange nice pleasantries, get through the day, and go home.  Just because we aren’t BFFs doesn’t mean we hate each other.


I’m just tired to people taking what other people say and bending it and twisting to make it seem shocking.  Really it was a waste of click.

Jeff Dunham: One Man with So Many Voices

If you’ve never seen Jeff Dunham perform, prepare to have a great laugh.  I saw one of his specials many years ago on tv and was amazed how he could bring his puppets to life.  You forget that he’s a ventriloquist because he gives each one of his characters such life with different accents and personalities.  My favorite is his character Peanut; they have this great bit where Peanut sings/mispronouces Jeff Dunham’s name:

The really clever part about this is Jeff Dunham is doing a great job branding himself and implanting in our memories his name and website.  In the above clip, he spends the full two and a half minutes repeating his name in Peanut’s weird voices, and he refers to his website ( at least six times.  Meanwhile, we’re left repeating “Jeff Dunham Dot Com” like Peanut.  I saw this before I went to business school and was not aware at all what he was doing, but seeing it again made me realize that Dunham is driving traffic to his website and getting his name/brand out there.  And making you remember it.   It’s clever.

Overall, I’m amazed by Jeff Dunham and think he’s a great comedian.  He has a good nature and doesn’t go over the top like some other comedians do.  And it is really hard to imagine that it’s really just one man standing on a stage during this performance because it’s so spectacular.

Take a look at some other hilarious Jeff Dunham skits:

Music On Your Sleeve

I think one of the hardest things to do is to show someone the contents of your iTunes library.  Music is so personal and intimate that it’s really like showing a stranger the contents of your heart.  I get nervous anytime someone wants to see my phone to see what music I have on it because I don’t want someone to judge me or be like “ew, you listen to that person?”  I’m tired of people making assumptions about me because of the music I listen to.

I’ve been having a problem with my iTunes syncing with my phone recently, so I scheduled a genius bar appointment for tomorrow and I’m a bit nervous.  I mean, I’ve done it before, and the people at the Apple Store are generally friendly.  I just don’t like people scrolling through my iTunes.  Which is really odd because I tweet, write, and blog about my music taste all the time.  Like, I don’t mind trending #PhillipsSongOfTheDay and creating Spotify playlists for random people around the world to listen to, but I can’t deal with a Apple genius accessing my iTunes to help me.  In all probability they’re too busy to actually judge my music preference.  Even if they did, the chances I’ll ever run into them again or them remembering me are so slim.

But I think this emphasizes this change the Internet has put on my generation: we’re more aware and self-conscious about our interactions in person, but when we’re online we pull out all the stops.  It’s a blessing and a curse, really.  For me, I’ve been able to open up about my musical taste and share my knowledge online because I don’t get to see my reader’s reactions.  I sort of did when I had the comments activated, but some people were rather ruthless.  Just because I didn’t know the person, they felt no shame in writing rather horrible things about me for what I objectively wrote about. It’s odd that the Internet can do such a thing as opening us up as a society and connecting us, but yet making us anonymous enough to tear each other down.  It’s like the Internet is a big window blind, and while sunlight my peak through and permeate the room, we’re shielded from ever truly experiencing the physical nature of a person.

I guess what I need to do the next time someone wants to make fun of me for liking the music I do is to remember the fact I have a musical preference.  I know who I am and I know what I like.  And I will never apologize for who I am.

Where Is My Mind Rework

So I’m just hanging out and relaxing on a cold Sunday afternoon, and I hear this commercial come on the tv from the other room:

And within seconds, I realize the song they’re playing is an orchestral arrangement of “Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies.  This isn’t the first time I heard companies rework this particular song to promote their products, but I think this particular arrangement is powerful and beautiful.  One of the many things I love about music is that a song can be taken and be transformed to transpire another emotion or feeling.  Just by changing the arrangement, the instruments used, and the tempo, the same song can take us on a different journey.

Here’s the original version of “Where Is My Mind?”:

Give Me that “Title”

She blew up this summer with her hit “All About That Bass,” but Meghan Trainor’s new EP Title really shows that she’s certainly more than her bass.  It’s a relatively short EP (is there really any other kind?) of only four songs, but she’s rather incredible on all of them.  Now, I was obsessed like everyone else with “All About That Bass” (it was even a #PhillipsSongOfTheDay) but I was convinced she would be another one hit wonder.  Then I got Title and realized that her music is actually quite hilarious and fun to listen to…and it’s rather unusual to today’s pop music.

The best anthem has to be the title track, “Title.”  The track itself features an infectious bass singer singing “do” as the bass line (if you hear it, it’ll make sense what I’m trying to explain).  But the thing that really makes the music is the horn that joins in during the chorus.  Trainor’s vocals are vibrant and lively, especially how she sings “give me that title” at the end of the chorus.  It’s just a sweet little tune that you can jam to so you can forget about your day, and it makes you feel better.

The one thing that I really got to like about Meghan Trainor is that her lyrics that she writes are rather colloquial.  I mean that she doesn’t try to be fancy, she just speaks her mind (which, in itself, makes it very clever).  For example, look at these lyrics:

“If I hear that word again
You might never get a chance to see me naked in your bed”

“Then consider this an invitation to kiss my ass goodbye”

“Don’t call me boo
Like you’re some kind of ghost”

Needless to say, I’ve been listen to Title on repeat for a while, and I highly recommend this EP.  All I really can say is that I can’t wait for her full-length album.  Not only does she make great music, but she makes her music her own…which is something hard to do.

Sia Still Swinging From Her “Chandelier”

A while ago I wrote about Sia’s song “Chandelier” and how it holds an air of freedom to it.  Since that time, it has become my most viewed post and has received three comments (thanks guys!!!).  And, since then, I have also managed to change my opinion about the song.

I still think it’s a powerful song and Sia’s vocals are incredible, but I don’t really think it’s as optimistic and joyous as I did back then.  The comments from you guys did fuel this thinking, all of which seemed to agree that there was a depressive nature and feel of suicidal tendencies in the song.  But the more I listened to the song and Sia’s delivery, the more I began to wonder and realize that Sia is really not as happy as I thought she was.  I thought the song was about her fighting off the demons and moving on…but I really think it’s about the struggle of still fighting the demons.

From the first time I heard the song, I always wondered what the first lyric, “Party girls don’t get hurt,” meant.  Originally I just wrote it off and thought it was irrelevant.  Then, I looked at the pre-chorus of “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink/ Throw ’em back ’til I lose count,” and I realized that she is attempting to be a “party girl” because party girls “don’t get hurt.”  In other words, she sees those people who go out and get drunk and party, and thinks they just don’t have a care in the world, so she is going become one of them so as not to hurt anymore.  This now suggests that Sia has a deep pain that she’s trying to outrun, not a joyous moment of freedom that I thought.

With this in mind, I thought about the following lyrics and how I may have misinterpreted them: “Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes/ Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight.”  She’s literally saying “help me” and that she’s “holding on for dear life,” which cannot be construed as being free.  She’s actually suffering and is just trying to make it through the night.  Especially the way Sia sings this part of the song, you can hear the pain in her vocals if pay close attention.

At any rate, I smell a couple Grammy nominations for Sia…she at least deserves Best Pop Solo Performance, if not Song and Record of the Year for “Chandelier.”

Building a Time Machine: The Big Bang Theory’s $1 Million Raise

I just had a fantastic idea.  So I’m going to build a time machine and go back about seven years to 2007 when they were creating The Big Bang Theory and get myself cast as either Leonard or Sheldon (or perhaps Penny…although, that may be a bit harder to pull off).

I know that sounds crazy and stupid, but the three main leads of The Big Bang Theory (Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon, Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard, and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, who plays Penny) all signed a three year contract with CBS (so they’re making three more seasons of The Big Bang Theory!!!!!) and got raises to about $1 million per episode.  Given the fact they make twenty-four episodes per season, that’s $24 million a year… $72 million for three years (if you don’t trust my math, I could show my work….).  Granted, the cast do have their work cut out for them…they all play incredible smart scientists, and the cast always joke around that they have no idea what they’re actually saying.  God knows Jim Parsons really has his work cut out from him, memorizing all of Sheldon’s jargon (see below for examples).  But seriously, I’d be willing to learn the periodic table of elements and sing it in front of a group of people if it got me a job that paid me roughly $1 million a week.

I mean, I’m not shallow and I don’t have a desire to be rich…it’s just I’ve been a broke college kid for the past four years.  Given the fact I just emptied all my savings last week to pay my last tuition bill and I have like twenty dollars to my name, I dream of a world where money is actually something I have.  Like, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to work six days a week and scrimp and save?  Ah….the joy…

It would be so easy to say that I work harder than Parsons, Galecki, or Cuoco-Sweeting, and yet I make like a hundred bucks a week as opposed to their million.  Sure, I work two jobs and go to school full time; I’m up before seven a.m. and home at around midnight (during the school year).  But for some reason I don’t see life like that.  I don’t think I can say what is fair or just.  I don’t know what it’s like to work on The Big Bang Theory, so I can’t decree that I work harder than any of them or that they don’t deserve their salaries.  All I think I know is that where we go in life and our earnings is, hopefully, in direct relation to our motivation and determination, which God knows I have in spades.  So maybe I will have my $1 million a week days…perhaps I need a time machine to fast forward to that time.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.  Jim Parsons said this scene took the most amount of takes to get right…

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) singing the element song…imagine memorizing the whole periodic table of elements and then singing it to a crowd?


Twitter, Let Us #Edit!

Okay, I just have to say that Twitter should allow you to edit your tweets so that you don’t have to delete said tweet and start all over again.  I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweeted something, got someone to favorite it, then realize that I either made a grammar mistake or had a fantastic idea to make the tweet even more hilarious.  So what do I do?  Delete it, lose the favorite, and tweet out a revised version, OR do I just live with the mistake?

So, I just wanted to put it out there that Twitter should let you #edit.