Around the Horn: Who’s Watching ‘Fresh Off the Boat’?

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So you might have heard that ABC will be premiering a new series in a couple of weeks entitled FRESH OFF THE BOAT–the first network prime-time series featuring an Asian American family since Margaret Cho’s ALL-AMERICAN GIRL two decades ago. Already the show’s garnered its share of “controversy”–everything from folks offended by the show’s name (should remind everyone that our own DHH wrote a play called FOB over three decades ago) to criticisms about the actors’ accents to journalists asking the cast and producers if chopsticks would be prominently featured. I’ve already blogged about the show and have seen the pilot which I thought was good and does try to do justice to the Asian American characters.

So what does everyone think about the show? Are you going to watch it and why or why not (or if you’ve already seen it, what’d you think)? What sort of impact do you think it’ll have on the community–good or bad? And since it’s being compared to ALL-AMERICAN GIRL, for those of you old enough to remember that sitcom, what do you make of the comparisons?

AROUND THE HORN: Juicy Fruit at the End of the World

I wanted to keep it light this week, so my question is: when the world ends, what’s the one tangible thing you hope will still be around?

Of course, it would be great if stuff like compassion for your fellow man and a working sense of humor still existed, but we all know those aren’t the important things. What we all want to know is where will we find the stockpiles of Shin Black microwaveable ramen; blue Monster; or – my personal favorite – Juicy Fruit?

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Since I’ve already plugged Juicy Fruit three times now, I’ll share my only other obsession: Pringles. Yes, Sour Cream & Onions is a great flavor, but I’m thinking those containers could probably be fashioned as some sort of improvised weapon.

Around the Horn: Show Me Your Weapons!

Both the recent terror attacks on Sony and Charlie Hebdo have made me contemplate and treasure all the more the idea of freedom of speech.  Most of us here are creative people and I remember how Justin told me that the original idea of YOMYOMF was that anything could be said about any topic, no matter how irreverent.  We would, after all, be called “Offenders”.   I, for one, would not want to live in a world where we could not have the freedom of expression we have today.

In my opinion, there is no real religion, Islamic or otherwise that would condone its followers to target unarmed, defenseless people.  These and other terrorists are simply thugs hiding not only under their black masks, but under the masks of religion to commit violent acts.  By shouting “Allahu Akbar” as their excuse, their desecration of Islam is far worse than any cartoonist’s.

So in lieu of our normal Around the Horn question, I would like to express solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and Parisians, and say “screw you” to terrorists around the world.  Offenders, please take a photo of your weapon of choice.

Pen

Around the Horn: Go-to Recipe

What is your go-to cooking recipe? It doesn’t have to be perfect since if it’s go-to, it’s all probably unmeasured.

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DHH: My go-to (which I just made last night) is a personal variation on a Shanghainese dish, “Lion’s Head,” which are basically large braised meatballs (the “head”) with vegetables (the “mane”). I try to make it lighter than the traditional version:

Ingredients: 1 pound ground pork, ½ pound ground turkey, 1 box firm or extra firm tofu, 1 large onion, 1 egg, 1 head napa cabbage (can substitute spinach or bok choy), green onions, soy sauce, mirin or cooking wine, cooking or olive oil, garlic, ginger, chicken or vegetable broth, sesame oil, salt, pepper.

Around the Horn: Regret Minimization Framework

When deciding whether to leave his secure Wall Street job in order to take a risk on starting Amazon, Jeff Bezos used what he calls “regret minimization framework.”  He imagined himself as an 80-year-old reflecting on his life and the choices he’d made.  He knew that the old man would regret not taking a leap and seizing the opportunity “to participate in this thing called the internet,” so the choice became suddenly clear.

What would you like to do now in order to avoid feeling regret in later years, or what choices have you already made that you imagine you may regret?  For those of you with few regrets, what choices did you make that were the right ones?

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Around the Horn: As Seen on TV

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The Magic Bullet, the Slap Chopper, the Forman Grill – we’ve been likely either the recipients of one of these ‘AS SEEN ON TV’ devices or seduced into buying one after binging on Doritos on the sofa while getting sucked into the zone of late night tv or flipping channels while landing a minute too long on the Home Shopping Network. Probably the only item I’ve not regifted at a ‘White Elephant’ party gift exchange and actually continue to use is the ‘George Forman’ grill. It does everything from take the place of a fry pan to an expensive panini maker when you just don’t feel like cooking but can’t bring yourself to eat something microwaved.

What ‘AS SEEN ON TV’ item have you bought or been gifted that actually has held up to it’s infotainment promise? And what has merely served as entertainment value or dust magnet in the closet?

Around the Horn: Best of 2014 Edition

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2014 is drawing to a close, and critics are coming out with their year-end “best of” (and “worst of”) lists. What’s your favorite thing (film or theatre) that you saw in 2014? For me, it would probably be a new play, FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2, and 3), by Suzan Lori-Parks, recently Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre, which tells the story of a slave who goes off to serve his white master fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War. How about you guys?

AROUND THE HORN: Home is Where the Heart Is?

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I left my hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii exactly 20 years ago to seek fame and fortune in Los Angeles (might take another 20 years.) Weirdly I’m reflecting this moment right now in Hawaii where I’m attending my good friend’s wedding.

Now that I’m back here in Honolulu, I almost don’t feel the need to go back to the hustle and bustle. What is this spell over me? The food? The friends and family? The food? The clean air? The food? I know one thing… I’ll wanna come back to LA in one week. It’s such a high with all my intentions of wanting to stay and believe that it’ll be a better life here, but it’s shortly diffused after just 7 days. Isn’t home is where the heart is?

I guess I’m just longing for the feeling of home even when I’m away. It really is like a warm hug here and I wish I can take with me on my plane trip back.

Do you ever wanted to just go back to where you grew up and stay or have you moved on and never looked back?

Around The Horn: Examining the US through the lens of Ferguson

Devonte Hart as captured by photographer Johnny Nguyen. Can I trust this image, or is some news network trying to swing my feelings?

Devonte Hart as captured by photographer Johnny Nguyen. Can I trust this image, or is some news network trying to swing my feelings?

The Ferguson decision came pretty close to my doorstep. I live fairly close to where the Oakland protestors took over the 580 freeway, so I spent an interesting two nights listening to the world outside my window. The next morning(s), the streets were cleared of the broken glass and burnt out garbage bins. And I wondered: were the protests fruitful? Is anything going to change? I feel I don’t know enough of anything to know right or wrong anymore: I don’t trust the media (who controls it anyway?) and the Internet is a rabbit’s hole of personal opinions and surmission.

Around the Horn: End of the Year To Do List

I can’t believe 2014 is almost over. Time just flew by and Black Friday is just around the corner. The weather is getting colder. It’s getting dark really early. Even California is getting some rain to help our drought. Maybe my neighbors will stop watering their lawns for an hour every night. LA man. But there still is a full month left to make this year rememorable. So what is a goal, place, or certain task you were planning all year to do but never got around to it? Was it that room you wanted to paint? Or that museum you wanted to check out? Or maybe that restaurant you read on yelp over and over but never got around to trying it out.

In the beginning of the year, I was planning on fixing my front window of my car. It started out as a small little crack but slowly the crack has spread almost all the way across the entire window passing the passenger side and into the driver side. I got it priced out and even should have got it done. But I really wanted to use this opportunity to somehow use it in a short film. Have someone get run over by my car, fly right into my window, and break the crap outta it. Or maybe some jealous girlfriend decides to smash it with a baseball bat. I figure mind as well since I’m replacing it right. My last car I had a BMX rider crash and roll over the hood. It was sweet. Well the year as gone by and I’ve finally found time to finish writing my short. I wrote in a scene to give it its glory. So hopefully the wait was worth it. After all, I’m tired of hearing my friends bitch and worry about my huge crack in the window.

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Around the Horn: What’s your entertainment binge obsession?

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I am currently obsessed with the Serial podcast, a weekly podcast that unravels one story. I binged listened to it over two days and I cannot wait to listen on how it will end. If you haven’t heard of Serial, it’s so damn amazing, a true crime story unraveled with the very best tropes that make murder mysteries so compelling. It’s a mix of 60 MINUTES, TWIN PEAKS, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET, and THIS AMERICAN LIFE.

A classic PORTLANDIA skit best represents this type of binge obsession:

What series, of any medium (movies, TV, podcasts), that got you hooked that you holed yourself up at home to “consume” it all?

Around The Horn: How Do You Vote?

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This last Tuesday, we the people, in order to form a more perfect union, headed to the polls for our mid-term elections.  Estimates vary, but something like 35% of us eligible voters actually turned out (in war torn Ukraine, 60% of voters made a point of casting their ballots).  So I was feeling pretty good about the “I Voted” sticker I wore on my shirt when I went to work afterwards.  There I ran into my manager Diana, who, I’m guessing, is in her mid-twenties.  I asked if she had voted yet.

“No.”

“Going later today?”

“No.”

“You’re not voting at all?” I asked.

“I don’t think so.”