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.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

hillary clinton visits Laos

admittedly, i'm a bit late on this one.  i've been busy with some blogging elsewhere (related to the presidential election,) but this has been on my radar for a while now. 

secretary of state hillary clinton visited Laos this past month, and in doing so, she pledged that the united states will support the ongoing efforts of bomb removal.  the usa is spending 9 million this year towards the efforts. 

but this is a great first step to our nation taking responsibility for the legacies of our clandestine war 40 years ago.  read this blog for an excellent look at that legacy and its consequences:

and of course, legacies of war website has great content as well:

here are two articles from (ny times and bbc) about clinton's visit:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

it's about durn time

i've been waiting for this all my life.  (well, it would probably be more accurate to say that i've been waiting for rooster sauce flavored doritos... but i will take what i can get.)  thank you emerson for this link:

also, did yall hear that macdoughs is gonna try out some curly fries?  is it possible that i died and went up to heaven?  don't tell me if i did.  but i've really been waiting for this one.  and when it shows up in your local golden arches, then yall all gotta thank the filipinos.  they got more than just jose rizal and manny to be proud of; they paved the way for the food achievement of the year!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


just wanted to put it out there that Laos is representing!

thanks to la for putting this graphic together... (i stole it off her facebook page!)

Sunday, July 01, 2012

the food pic

first check out this website that is actually kinda funny... and then read my comments below.

seriously... i will admit that i am white right here and now, and even i know that this phenomenon is not unique to asians.  i got all these white friends of mine that be posting some serious food pictures on facebook and instagram and twitter... (ok, maybe not twitter... by the way, what is twitter again?  and now that we're done with twitter, what in the heck is tumblr? and why is it missing an "e?"  is this a statement fo some sort, or is somebody lazy to write the whole word?)

so for proof - i submit some food pictures off of facebook posted by white people... 

ok... i was wrong. i only found these two pictures from white people.  one is of a market which is food related, and the other is... what is that??? is that even food?

on the other hand... i did find these few photos posted by one of my Lao friends over the past few days...

so maybe i am wrong... but i really think that the only thing this proves is that asians eat more photo-worthy food than white people.  i mean, who wants to see a picture of a squash casserole? 

Monday, June 25, 2012

come sail away

it is that time of year again... another group of people off to Laos for a summer of study and fun.  (also known as the sail program... which aptly stands for "summer abroad in Laos.") i always feel a tad bit jealous that i never took a whole summer off when i was a younger to do something like this.  well... head to the Lao studies website to check out their bios, aspirations and aspirations...  there should be some links to their blogs as well - so stalk them as they do what all of us wish we could do.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

bumper sticker wisdom

this is awesome. saw this inside a car that was parked along the street. wow. wisdom for the ages in a bumper sticker! where can i get one of these?

Friday, May 25, 2012

jungle golf

i am not sure what is going on here, but between vang vieng, casinos, late-night discos, and now golf clubs swinging through former jungle regions, Laos is turning into the vacation spot for everything but the quiet peaceful culturally enriching paradise it used to be... i'm not complaining, just saying...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

shia reps Laos

shia labeouf (how do you even say that name?) is walking down the streets of america wearing a Laos hat. i think this brings a new level of exposure for Laos, and therefore people everywhere must be making plans to vacation there. i have several of these hats myself, (you can get one for two bucks over there,) but i don't think anyone has decided to vacation in Laos because of my non-celebrity endorsement. i've heard that shia is a movie actor, but i don't think i have ever seen any of his movies while sober or by my own choice (except for holes?) in the end, the term movie actor might be too generous for shia... maybe movie star might be more accurate, since i don't think he actually acts. but as long as he is advertising Laos, we won't complain, (although he may not know where Laos really is...)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

project nim redux

project nim is this crazy documentary about a chimpanzee raised like a human back in the 70s. I first heard about the study in one of my psych classes in undergrad. well, come to find out, there was more to the story than just a research project with a chimpanzee in the center. i won't say more but to point you to netflix or the seattle public library or wherever so you can watch this film.

and then, after watching project nim today and being sufficiently horrified that the whole mess ever happened, i found this article online:

and i know that monkeys and chimpanzees ain'tthe same, (monkees were a music act, rip davy jones, aka artful dodger) but i'm connecting these two stories anyway and closing this entry out with this song:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

this post is not about jeremy lin

i got a text message from a friend in boston a few weeks back asking me if i'd heard of this kid from harvard named jeremy lin - that he is playing for the knicks and posting up some amazing stats. and i replied, "i work for an agency that is almost 100% asian; he is all i've heard about."

but i will not do a post about jeremy. i think he is getting a little worn out on all the attention. so i won't post on his amazing start in the nba, or his actually pretty funny youtube videos. i won't mention all the racist comments (what is wrong with you espn people?) especially the taunts when he played for harvard. and i'm not gonna review all the funny little puns made out of jeremy's last name. i'm not writing about his attempts to get into stanford or the pressure he got from his family to get a real job. i won't even go into his christianity, and i won't even talk about all the press he's received, (even the new entertainment weekly has a 1 page article about him), or the pride that asian americans feel inside when watching him play. and i definitely won't post a bunch of links to a bunch of articles about him.

nope. this blog is about Laos afterall. so once again, this is not a post about jermey lin.

but here is a pretty good article i found:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


i wonder if the rates change based on the number of asians in the school? i know that this happens quite frequently, but i am surprised by the high numbers. well, this article appeared on the google news service. i would just post the link, but what the heck. here is the full text.

Asian Americans most bullied in US schools:
By Shaun Tandon (AFP) – Oct 28, 2011
WASHINGTON — Asian Americans endure far more bullying at US schools than members of other ethnic groups, with teenagers of the community three times as likely to face taunts on the Internet, new data shows.

Policymakers see a range of reasons for the harassment, including language barriers faced by some Asian American students and a spike in racial abuse following the September 11, 2001 attacks against children perceived as Muslim.

"This data is absolutely unacceptable and it must change. Our children have to be able to go to school free of fear," US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday during a forum at the Center for American Progress think-tank.

The research, to be released on Saturday, found that 54 percent of Asian American teenagers said they were bullied in the classroom, sharply above the 31.3 percent of whites who reported being picked on.

The figure was 38.4 percent for African Americans and 34.3 percent for Hispanics, a government researcher involved in the data analysis told AFP. He requested anonymity because the data has not been made public.

The disparity was even more striking for cyber-bullying.

Some 62 percent of Asian Americans reported online harassment once or twice a month, compared with 18.1 percent of whites. The researcher said more study was needed on why the problem is so severe among Asian Americans.

The data comes from a 2009 survey supported by the US Justice Department and Education Department which interviewed some 6,500 students from ages 12 to 18. Asian Americans are generally defined as tracing ancestry to East Asia, the Indian subcontinent or the South Pacific.

Officials plan to announce the data during an event in New York on bullying as part of President Barack Obama's White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

New Jersey parent Shehnaz Abdeljaber, who will speak at the event, said she was shocked when she saw her son's middle school yearbook in which not only classmates but also a teacher wrote comments suggesting he was a terrorist.

Abdeljaber soon learned that her son had endured similar remarks at a younger age but had kept silent. She complained to the school principal but has since pushed for workshops on bullying that involve teachers and students.

"We need a more creative approach and more interaction with the youth, empowering them to do something rather than just going through the framework of authority," she said.

The Obama administration has put a priority on fighting bullying. In March, the president joined Facebook for an online anti-bullying conference, where he warned that social media was making the problem worse for many children.

Duncan, the education secretary, warned that bullying had serious effects as it can lead to mental and physical health problems including dependence on drugs or alcohol.

Duncan also voiced concern about high rates of bullying at schools against gay and lesbians, an issue that has come into greater focus since a spate of suicides last year among gay teens who were harassed.

"We're seeing folks who somehow seem a little different from the norm bearing the brunt," Duncan said.

"We're trying to shine a huge spotlight on this," he said.

A number of Asian countries have also wrestled with bullying.

Japan stepped up measures in 2006 after at least four youngsters killed themselves in a matter of days and the education minister said he had received an anonymous letter from a bullied student who was contemplating suicide.

Friday, February 10, 2012

debbie spenditnow racist superbowl commercial

this mess aired in michigan during the superbow, and this here is some crazy. where do they get these people to run for public office? does he really think this is okay? and here is the kicker (superbowl pun intended): the girl that is supposed to be speaking with an asian accent here & her attempt at the accent is really bad. she clearly is american; she keeps slipping out of her fake asian accent. what are her friends saying about her on facebook - if they didn't unfriend her already. and what's up with all the weird colors? is that supposed to be bali hai?  i swear, richard and oscar should sue this guy for copyright infringement.

wow. once more, say it together: wow. and whatever you do michigan, don't vote for this goon.

thank you alena for making me so painfully aware of this mess.

Friday, February 03, 2012

the following preview has not been approved for appropriate audiences

so i got some questions about the last short movie i posted. it was made by this Lao film company, Lao new wave cinema. they had a movie in the luangpraband film festival and i've posted the preview for their entry below. and although the first 40 seconds of the preview don't show you nothing but who made the film, let me warn you: the 10 seconds after that is a little much. in fact it explodes into a scene of violence reminiscent of some korean films i've seen. and then the preview drops into the usual thai drama fare: scenes of pretty people in everyday situations, a car chase, and someone crying - all with bad pop music overlaying it all.

well, i first heard about the movie from thaan thout karen's blog. link below. she couldn't stay for the whole movie, but she hopes it comes out on dvd because it looked as "slick and professional as anything coming out of hollywood." (i would agree that it mos def looks better than the princess movie... although it ain't outa hollywood.)

so hurray for Laos! and watch or don't watch. but it ain't approved for all audiences.

Monday, January 23, 2012

a little change movie

now this is what i'm talking about... i'm liking this short film a lot. i only wish the subtitles were better. (baan nok shouldn't be translated as dummy, dummy.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

king of the crawfish

so this is my second time to this restaurant - in the east side of chinatown on lane street. (725 s. lane st, seattle, 98104) and i was liking my dinner a lot more than the first time i went. i got the boudin balls and the crawfish etouffee. it is vietnamese-owned and operated, and they know what they are doing up in there. maybe it was cause i just got back from louisiana, but i was loving my dinner.

here is my one complaint - the first time i went, they served my jambalaya (which was pretty okay) in a to-go container. it was like they were telling me, take your food and leave. i couldn't really enjoy it. i felt like i should have been eating it at home in front of reruns of csi maimi. (and i hate that show and all it's kissing cousins.)

the restaurant looks real nice inside, but to the owners: seriously yall - if you see this, stop cheapening up the experience by giving me my food in a plastic to-go container. by the way, they didn't give me none this past time, but i saw the containers on other patrons' tables. weird.

here is the link to the place:

i went with anthony, a friend of mine, and he got the fried softshell crab and the cajun fries, and i don't think he liked his as much. he said it was salty, so he had to dip his crab in some sauce (or was it sweet tea?) in order to tone it down. but that said, i don't like crab (unless it's the fake crab - because that stuff be slappin!)

well, this ain't the only asian-run louisiana-styled restaurant in the area. there is this one - cajun crawfish, and its good too, but lacks the atmosphere of the first. but i did like the crawfish; felt like i was home at a crawfish boil, (although we never had any in my home.)

and then there's this one restaurant in renton, called casian grill, but it seems more of a kid-drink-beer hangout than a restaurant (and they didn't have no crawfish when i went there; all out!) but they do try to mix it up: two distinct menus featuring vietnamese and southern food. kinda like a kfc/tacobell, or a tacobell/pizza hut, or a pizza hut/a&w, or a wendy's/pet-smart. i get the idea, but once you sit down in there, you feel a little bit anxious that the cajun food will never be good enough because maybe the cooks are spending too much time worrying about the asian food.

but that said, here is the link anyway:

and this guy liked it:

but in the end, if there is a war between these three restaurants, crawfish king really is king. check it out. they won't mind.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

10 things i hate (& love) about louisiana

so i am back in seattle again. why do i do this to myself. well, in memoriam of this past trip home for christmas, i composed a list of things that made me sad while in louisiana. and then i thought, what the heck... there is a ton of stuff that made me happy, so i should really intro each one of these bad things with something good. so here it goes, my list of ten things, happy and sad...

1. no need to tell yall, but one of the best things about louisiana is the food!!!! zapp's potato chips! gumbo! po' boys! cane's! jambalaya with beans and shrimp creole on the side! biegnet's at cafe du monde! wooo hooo! really ain't nothing like it:

2. nothing can live forever, but i don't often think about that in terms of trees. well, my home in baton rouge has lost a lot of trees over the years, and this is one of the most recent, knocked down during a storm. i liked this one a lot. raccoons used to live up inside it. sad:

3. look at this thermometer! temperature right about 74 degrees just 4 days before christmas. that is a reason to love louisiana right there:

4. along with trees dying... a lot of stores and shops and malls and what-have-you have shut down. economic downturns, shifts in the population of the city... a lot of reasons. but none is sadder to me than this one right here. the broadmoor theatre. i seen so many movies in this theatre. my mom would drop us off on a saturday and we'd spend the afternoon watching re-releases of jungle book or song of the south. and that little old lady that worked there - i miss her too, may she rest in peace... well here it is:

for more on this, see this blog:

5. we went to new orleans the friday before new years and had a great time. street performers were everywhere, and i got a kick outa hearing this very loud band in the french quarter right under the nose of the st. louis cathedral with it's no noise sign:

6. i'm sad to see the crime in new orleans still going up and up post-katrina. and not just in new orleans, but baton rouge too. and with all the convictions of police officers for unjustified shootings after the hurricane, trust aint very high, as you can see from this graffiti. there was another one that was much more succinct scrawled on the pavement by this one; it had much courser language, so i'm posting this one here:

7. of course, probably the best part of a trip home to louisiana is when you get to see family... so here are my nieces right here:

8. and of course, the worst part of a trip home is that you have to see family... so here are my nieces right here:

9. something else i loved about being in louisiana - seeing real rain and real thunderstorms - like this one brewing to the west. don't see nothing like that in seattle:

10. but the saddest part of all... leaving. here is the view of my plane out the lobby window, readying itself to take me to atlanta where i got a connecting flight back to seattle:

so until i make it back there again, i have this blog post to look at. louisiana: you're the best. and the worst, apparently.