ATH – What’s Your Secret YouTube Video Fetish?

What is your surprising and/or secret, YouTube video fetish?

Mine are ear wax removal videos.  I have no idea how I stumbled across them. They’re fascinatingly gross.  I don’t watch them all the time nor often.  But when I do come across one, I watch them with an intense interest of wow and disgust.  I like them but I don’t like them.  I feel like I should turn away from the screen but can’t.

Haven’t seen one before?  Here’s an ear wax removal goodie titled “Impacted Wax and a Roach In Guys Ear.”

A close cousin to ear wax removal videos is one’s involving blackhead extractions.  YouTube recommended them to me since I was already a fan of ear wax extraction.  Again, a bit gross yet fascinating.  Here’s a blackhead removal goodie titled, “25 Year Old Blackhead.”

So what’s your surprising and/or secret YouTube video fetish?  What’s that thing that you watch every now and then that surprises you that you even watch them?

AROUND THE HORN – Not so fresh, “Fresh Off The Boat” moment…

I had quite a few favorite moments watching ABC’s world premiere of “Fresh Off The Boat” last Wednesday.  One moment I just can’t seem to get out of my mind is when Eddie brought mom’s special Chinese lunch to school and opened it in front of the “popular” kids in the cafeteria.  All the non-Asian kids freaked out, disgusted by the mere sight of one of Asia’s great culinary staples.  And Eddie, trying hard to validate his nut, had to slink away, ashamed, back to the “colored” table.

I had a moment very similar to FOB’s Eddie.  But instead of a bowl of fried noodles, my mom sent me to school with a rice ball.  Now understand, I LOVED my mom’s rice balls.  It was one of my favorite foods that I would eat all the time at home, on our station wagon road trips to national parks, and at countless family gatherings.  We had just moved from Illinois to Southern California.  It was 1978 and I would be starting my first day of 2nd grade at my local elementary school.  Mom bought me a new backpack, new clothes, and a new lunch pail for my first day.  I was ready.  Boy was I in for a surprise, for my mom, in her most thoughtful way, packed me my favorite food for my first lunch.  Who knew that in about 4 hours, my favorite food of all time would become one of my biggest embarrassments.

AROUND THE HORN – Nearest Death Experience?

ROGER:  We will all die.  Eventually.  And hopefully our passing will be peaceful and in older age.  All that said, what’s the closest you’ve come come to your personal, mortal lights out?

What’s your closest close call?  Here’s mine…

plane crash

Ever since I was a child I wanted to learn how to fly an airplane.  It was just one of those things I couldn’t get out of my non-stop, daydreaming head.  So when I finally had enough money saved up to go to flight school, I jumped at the chance.  It was as thrilling as I had imagined.  And to my surprise, scarier than I had thought too.  But my life-long desire to become a pilot trumped my fear of dying in an airborne tin can.  Well, that was the case until flight hour 36 came rolling around…

AROUND THE HORN – Yo best Kiddie Joke

Jokes of youth.

What’s that one joke you told as a young child that made you and your friends laugh so hard that your tummy muscles burned, you could hardly breathe, and you accidentally farted in blissful delight?

As a dad of three very young girls, I’ve have the good fortune of observing developing youth and all the innocence and discovery that comes with it.  My oldest, who is now 5 ½ years of age, has started coming home from school armed with jokes.  What’s ironic is that many of her jokes are the exact same jokes I was telling at her age.  So it’s fascinating to watch as she saunters up to me with a mischievous grin and a giggle and blurts, “Hey dad, wanna hear a joke?”  And then she lays it on me.  I laugh.  I mainly find her jokes funny because I find it cute that she’s trying to make me laugh.  But for her…wow.  She just busts up laughing like she’s on drugs.  And what’s even funnier is how her 3 ½ and 1 ½ year old sisters end up rolling on the floor, cracking up like they are on drugs too.  I don’t think the younger two really understand the jokes.  They’re just being infected by the uncontrollable laughter of big sis.  And though I don’t personally find my kids’ jokes funny from a purely humorous perspective, I can’t help but enjoy and laugh along with the sounds of childhood delight.  OK, it’s more like high-pitched cackling mixed with struggled breathing.

Which brings me to this – What’s that one childhood joke that you found insanely funny when a youth?  Here’s mine…

My Joke:  

A bunny and a bear are sitting next to each other on a log taking a dump.  After a few pushes and grunts, the bear looks over at the bunny and says…

BEAR – “Bunny, do you ever have problems with poo sticking to your fur?”

BUNNY – “Why no Bear.  Why do you ask?”

And with that, Bear grabbed Bunny and wipes his butt with Bunny.


I know, perhaps not so funny as an adult.  But this joke delivered hours upon hours of gut-aching laughter as a kid.

What’s your awesome kid joke?

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PHILIP: Definitely wouldn’t be considered PC, but as kids, we thought Helen Keller jokes were the funniest things. Here are a few:

Why is Helen Keller’s legs wet?

Her dog is blind too.

Around The Horn – Junk Funk

I am shocked how much junk food I eat nowadays.  When I was 21, I used to be a salad-eating, white-meat-only, brown-rice-lovin’, filtered-water-guzzlin’, healthy son of a gun.  So how I evolved into this processed-food-ingesting freak is beyond me.


But instead of feeling guilty about my culinary and dietary destruction, I would like to find the good in the bad, the happy in the sad, the chicken salad in the chicken shit if you will.  Indulge in my fatty indulgence…

I ate a lot of junk food as a child.  And now, I’m eating a lot of junk food as an adult.  What I find most fascinating is that much of the junk I was eating 30+ years ago is the same exact junk that I’m eating today.  It’s like a personal, nostalgic history of unhealthy food love.  Almost.  So the following are a few of my top, life-long crap food passion…

Around The Horn – THREE SURPRISES for 2013

What were your 3 biggest surprises of 2013?  It can be anything – good, bad, and/or something in between.  I’ll share with you my 3…

1)  Renovating a home really can be THE most stressful experience in one’s life.

My wife and I bought a house in April.  It was a fixer-upper.  We never thought about renovating, but given the fact that the house was in a crazy-prime location and we were able to get it under market value, we decided it was worth the energy and effort to renovate.  I distinctly remember a few friends that had either built or undergone a major renovation tell us straight up, “Don’t do it.  It will be THE most stressful thing you’ll ever have to deal with.  You’ll ruin your marriage.  You’ll get a divorce.  Your penis will run away from you.”  (ok, maybe not the last one)  I heard their warnings but I figured it couldn’t be that bad, right?  You know what?  THEY WERE TOTALLY RIGHT.  It has been and continues to be THE most stressful thing I have ever done.  I imagine human torture inhabits the same emotional pain space.

2)  “We’re The Millers” was crazy funny.

Totally awesome surprise here.  A few Tuesday nights ago, trapped in between my 5 and 3 year olds in the dark of our shared bed, I whipped out my iPad and headphones and searched for a movie to watch.  I had passed over “We’re The Millers” on several occasions for my preferred guilty pleasures of action and sci-fi.  But for some reason, I decided to give it a go.  What a treat.  I found myself laughing at least once a minute.  My kids didn’t sleep well that night because daddy kept laugh-bucking them off the bed.

3)  Zero.

That’s the number of times my wife and I have gone out without the kids in 2013.  That’s right – zero times.  Crazy, huh?  So much for date night.  To be fair, we were managing a newborn, a 2 year old, and a 4 year old this year.  So being home-locked is considered pretty normal.  We’ll have to work on that for 2014.  Oh, and just for kicks – how many times did I go to the gym in 2013?  You guessed it – ZERO.  I’m starting to look like Mr. Potato Head.

What are your 3 big surprises of 2013?

Around The Horn – Moody Movie Morphings

I just watched “Saturday Night Fever” for my second time.  The first time was 20+ years ago.  And even then I watched it for a film studies class.  It’s strange how time, life, and experience alters one’s opinion on stuff.  20+ years ago I thought “Saturday Night Fever” was a really solid movie.  But the message I took away from it was about partying, chasing girls, dancing, liberation, and disco.  I saw the fun in the film and relished it.  20+ years and into today, after seeing the movie again, I saw something much different.  Watching “Saturday Night Fever” for my second time was like watching it for the first.  I saw and felt a movie about pain, hopelessness, desperation, pride, disillusionment, social class isolation, and poverty.  Crazy.  Watching the same movie so many years apart and having the viewing experience be so different is interesting.  The first time I laughed and cheered.  The second time I felt pain and experienced deep introspection.  I’m not sure why that is.  Perhaps I was naive 20+ years ago and I could only see a very limited emotional perspective.  But now, 20+ years later, perhaps I have gained a bit of life experience and wisdom gleaned from years of failure.  And with that, my mind is more able to see and relate to the deeper pain and struggle that is artfully hidden behind the visual glitz and glam Travolta’s dance moves and well-coiffed hair.  Who knows.  The older I get, the less I know.  But the older I get, the more I feel.


Is there a movie out there you love but have not seen in a long time?  And when you do finally get around to seeing it again, does it seem totally different?  Or your experience when viewing it again is different than from when you saw it the first time?

Around The Horn – HUNGER

After working in Hollywood for almost two decades, I can honestly say that the movie business is one nutty and fascinating place to make a living.  Many of us have written in our blogs how simultaneously euphoric, wacky, amazing, and random a career in Hollywood can be.  The longer you journey through it, the more you realize how unpredictable the industry really is.  You just don’t know what’s going to come next.

So I’m curious and wish to ask – what keeps you HUNGRY and passionately charging forward year after year?  What’s that thing that keeps your fire burning hot through the more challenging, less glamorous times?  I’m curious because I admire each and every one of you for your individual accomplishments in the arts/Hollywood AND for how long you have been able to do it for (with such positive energy and continued gusto).  So if you’re willing to share, what keeps your hunger hungry?  Thanks!

* * * * * * * *

PHILIP: It’s still fun and for the most part I still get to work with talented, interesting people (including my fellow Offenders), but the thing for me that keeps things fresh is the unpredictability. It’s not like having a standard office job where you pretty much know what every single workday is going to be like. I don’t think I could deal with that. Here, every day is different and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. The downside of that is that there are bad days or bad weeks or even bad (multiple) years–such is the nature of the unpredictability of this business where it can turn from feast to famine in a second. But even that’s part of the challenge and something that I try to embrace.  I love that I wake up every morning and can’t predict what will happen–it can be the best or worst day–but I know it won’t be boring and there will be interesting experiences to be had. And that’s exciting and doesn’t gets old.

QUENTIN: People say there ain’t no free lunch in Hollywood. Well… it’s the free lunches that keep me going. Oh, how can you spot a starving filmmaker in a reception? Well… s/he’s getting food. I’m always in line. And while you’re at it… get drunk for free! That’s Hollywood!

Around The Horn – PEAK

We all have PEAK moments in life – hitting that last second jumper, making the big sale, getting engaged/married, landing that first job, quitting your day job to pursue your dream, a first kiss, etc.  These high moments in life are, more often than not, moments shared with many people, gossiped amongst friends, and celebrated in a public fashion.

But what I’m curious about is a peak moment of yours that was private and perhaps no one ever knew about.  What was that peak moment in your life?  That peak moment that no one knows about that you hold dear, that upon your last few breaths of life, you’ll look back with a smile and deep, meaningful satisfaction?  I’ll share with you mine…

I saved a guy from drowning to death once.  I was in Hawaii body surfing in Makapuu Beach.  Makapuu is known as one of the best body surfing locales in the world, with a long, rolling wave that doesn’t break for a great distance.  The catch, however, is that one has to swim out quite a ways from shore to ride these waves.  On that day, I was right on the edge of “the shark pit” about 150 yards off shore, bobbing up and down in the ocean, waiting to catch a nice roller to glide me back to the beach.  There were only 2 or 3 people out that far with me on that sunny, idyllic day.  Then, all of a sudden, I heard a faint and stuttered cry for help.  It was hard to hear b/c of the roar of the crashing waves and the loud billowing of the Hawaiian winds but I knew I heard something desperate.  So I kicked up as hard as I could with my legs to take a quick look around.  And there, about 50 feet to my right, was wrists and hands slashing and flailing sea water.  There was no head.  It was a person in the last, exhausted moments of drowning, ready to go under.  His head (more like his nose, lips, and one eyeball) peeked out one last time from the sea surface and I heard him gulp water, trying to eek out a cry for help.  And then, nothing…

DADDY FAN – Three…

2 hours before Halloween, I got a trick, a treat, and a 3rd baby in my candy bag.  Yes, I am now a daddy of not one, not two, but three.  Three girls to be precise.  Which is cool because with the help of my sexy Korean wife, I can now field a co-ed, NBA basketball team.  Not just yet, however, since some of my players can’t even walk let alone lift a basketball.  I’m not sure if they’ll be good or sucky basketball players, but there is one absolute certainty that gives me solace – they’ll be smokin’ hot (thanks to the genes of my better half).

So I must wait – 20 years at least to introduce my Korea/China-uniting basketball juggernaut eventually to be known as “The FAN-tasticly Fast Five”.  20 long years…

da booty of my #3

Are you a Hypocrite Rebel?

What once I opposed and resisted, today I embrace and welcome.

It’s tough being a REBEL.  At least it has been for me.  Especially a long-term one.

In my 20’s, I went out of my way to try and think different, live different.  What manifested was a mantra of personal, “anti-establishment” ideals that became my unquestionable beliefs, never to be broken.  Ever.  Some of the flavors of my rebellion were as follows: never marry, never root down in suburbia, organized religion is for the weak, never eat dark meat chicken, etc.  These were my sacred laws to live by till death did we part.

Oh how things change.  Fast forward a decade (or two)…

Today I am married and I enjoy it.  I think marriage is cool.  It’s a constant maintenance challenge, but surprisingly rewarding.  Today I dream of living in suburbia, surrounded by white picket fences and similar homes not too small and not too large.  Today I think organized religion and/or a regular spiritual practice is a helpful, if not necessary, ingredient towards creating and living a happy and healthy life.  And today, I eat almost exclusively dark meat chicken and the skin to boot.  White meat what?

If you don’t mind, what is that thing you TOTALLY REBELLED against in your past that you completely embrace and fully live into now?  What’s your REBEL hypocrisy?  Please tell me I’m not alone…  :)


Today I’m 39.  Tomorrow, I’ll be 40.

It’s strange when you can reference the passage of your time in decade chunks.

From 0-10, I went from baby to boy.
From 10-20, I went from boy to man-boy.
From 20-30, I went from man-boy to a man who acts like a boy.
From 30-39.997, I went from a man who acts like a boy to a man who un-accidentally fathered a bunch of baby boys.  (ok, they’re girls.  but my baby girls look like boys – supermodel boys)

So what’s next?

Ah yes, tomorrow.  Tomorrow I flip into yet another decade of life – the 40-50 cohort.  And if life expectancy averages are indeed correct, my game is more than half over.  I’m one day shy of 40 and the U.S. male life expectancy is 76.  Heck, halftime for me was 2 years ago.  I’m going down the hill.

I know anyone older than me reading this is probably insulted that I even consider myself “over the hill” and will want to stick a stonefish up my ass.