Saturday, November 29, 2014

thai restuarants in seattle

the seattle times just published a couple of pieces about thai restaurants in seattle.

here are the links: Thai food more popular than pizza in Seattle

this above article is written as if this is something to celebrate: we won the prize yall! the most thai restaurants of any city in the usa! woo hooo!

Best Thai in Seattle?

this above article tries to sort through the confusion by naming the best thai restaurants in seattle... and it proceeds to name almost all of them.

this is my problem: thai restaurants are so much the same in seattle. there are very few that do anything original with their menus, and i tend to feel disappointed by my 4th or 5th bite of swimming rama. i can pretty much go into any thai restaurant and name off a dozen+ dishes, and they are guaranteed to serve them. (pad thai, pad see ew, pad khee mao, cashew chicken, tom kha kai, tom yum koung, papaya salad, larb... and then all the curries.) and then, the food tends to be too sweet and too bland. even when i ask for 5 stars, the food ends up being rather mild.

yes, you would think that thai people have only 20 or so dishes that they eat... ever. and it is frustrating because of how many thai restaurants there are here, and so it doesn't make sense that they would all be so similar in their offerings.

it's like one big giant chain. even fast food is more original - i mean, mcdoughs has the big mac and burger king has the whopper, and these sandwiches taste nothing alike. but a red curry from tup tim thai and a red curry from banh thai will be almost indistinguishable. i just wish we had one restaurant that attempted to do something original - like pok pok in portland.

this is why i mostly go to viengthong, the Lao restaurant in rainier valley. it's menu includes items you won't find anywhere else - except maybe at home. but i should probably check out the suggestions in the times article, and see what i might be missing. but for now i will continue to frequent viengthong.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

aladdin can sing in thai

Kind of embarrassing, but I just spent a significant part of my morning watching Thai Disney videos. Despite a couple weird notes, this is my favorite.


Monday, March 10, 2014

getting on... "Getting On" is based on a BBC show of the same name and is from the creators of "Big Love."  HBO aired it with little fanfare, and it was expected that it would play for one season and then disappear.  The first episode aired in December when absolutely no one is watching TV because we are all too busy eating something or buying ourselves presents.

Well, it unexpectedly has awarded it a second season.  (HBO seems to treat its dramas with a little more gentle hand; its comedies seem to get the axe with some frequency.  Both "Hello Ladies" and "Family Tree" were not given second seasons.  The highly-acclaimed show, "Enlightened," was cancelled after its second season, and only got that second season because HBO had a time gap to fill.  And by the way, "Enlightened" is amazing; Amy Jellicoe's eccentricities ring true, and she will undoubtedly remind you of at least one person in your life who you just don't want to be friends with.)

But back to "Getting On."  The show takes place in a geriatric ward of a hospital, and the pilot episode finds the lead characters trying to uncover the identity of a disoriented woman found wandering the streets of Long Beach CA.   (Hint: she is Southeast Asian.)  This scene alone makes the whole six episodes worth it. Take a look -

Also, check out this interview with the couple who created the show:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

the rocket (bang fai)

this film screened at siff this year (seattle international film festival.)  and it's the first time i've seen a Lao language film at siff, so it was pretty exciting.  here is the preview - (it only showed twice - and friday's showing was sold out.)

the only confusing thing about the movie is that the characters are clearly not Lao, (from their dress, and a cultural tradition regarding twins that sits prominently in the film as a plot line, the family appears to be akha.) however, each of these characters spoke Lao, although we can guess that in their traditional settings, they would not.  i guess that the idea of a "Lao" movie, that ends up not being Lao - even though the language spoken is Lao - made me a little sad.  i mean, if you are gonna make a Lao movie, just make a Lao movie - and if you're gonna make an akha movie, just make it... however, this is an Australian production, and the twin plot is central to the story, so thanks to them for making the movie.

and in the end, this is a small point. overall the film was fun, poignant, and also beautiful to look at (despite some stock footage of a bat cave that looked like it was filmed with an iphone camera.  they should have used the galaxy siii.)

grade: b+

Friday, January 18, 2013

indiegogo campaign

hello everyone! please take the time to check out this indiegogo campaign! these youth are trying to raise money for their film to take it to a leadership conference in washington dc! donate if you can, and also share it with your friends and family!

here is a brief description of the film:

A Clean UA is a documentary short by the Southeast Asian Young Men's Group. The film follows Peter Phan, a 17-year-old Vietnamese American, as he decides to quit marijuana. Using a hand held camera, Peter journals the difficulties and challenges of his path to recovery while exploring the benefits of being sober. Peter begins his film just after he's suspended from school for smoking marijuana during lunch break. He's determined to quit marijuana "cold turkey," but he's not expecting the difficulties that arise from quitting: pressure from friends, loneliness, and symptoms of withdrawal. Peter filmed his documentary over a six-month period, and with his film, he aims to promote more open dialogue about this issue with his peers and other youth in his community.

A Clean UA from Joseph Mills on Vimeo.

find out more info about the film and the youth here at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

president Obama takes a trip!

i have not posted here for some time, but for good reason (at least in my head.)  i found myself busy with another website; yes, i was cheating on this website with that one.  but now that the election is over, my responsibilities over there are somewhat diminished, i feel inclined to say a few things here and prove that this blog isn't completelly dead.

but i find that the news that president Obama is taking his first international trip since reelection, (and this includes stops in thailand, cambodia, and myanma,) is a nice segue from my other pro-Obama website and this one here.

here is an article about the planned visit to asia, including a visit with aung san suu kyi.  apparently Obama has plans to push for further reforms in the burmese government, and also his visit in cambodia will coincide with the east asia summit.  let's hope he gets an hour or two to stop and have some saloh machou at one of the local restaurants. 

regardless of how one might feel about this past election (my feelings haven't changed from four years ago,) let's all pray for safe travels for our president and happy outcomes for southeast asia. 

(and thanks emerson for reminding me that i still have this blog.)