Home | Directory | Contact | FAQ | Recipes | Restaurants | Vietnamese Recipes | 100 Vietnamese Foods | Subscribe

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ask Wandering Chopsticks 6

Femme Noir by Phong Hong Finalist for Oscars Designer Challenge 2010 5

Earlier this week, it was announced that my cousin, Phong Hong was a finalist in the Oscars Designer Challenge 2010. If he wins, the "trophy girl" will be wearing his design to present one of the Oscar statues to one of the winners at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

Femme Noir by Phong Hong Finalist for Oscars Designer Challenge 2010 6

Please help my cousin win!

Go to ==> Oscar.com <== to vote for Phong Hong. Click on "Select" to view the video and then "Submit Vote." You can log in with your Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace account information. You can vote once a day, EVERY DAY until the competition ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on March 1. I've been finding these monthly "Ask Wandering Chopsticks" posts pretty useful for random announcements and stuff... So quick question, when I link to similar restaurants at the end of my posts, I've been excluding restaurants that have closed. Should I keep doing that, or do you want to see links to closed restaurants anyway? In some cases, it's just a name change so seeing closed restaurants is still useful if I haven't been able to revisit those locations or if you want to see what type of food was available? What about non-SoCal restaurants? For instance, do you want to see all dim sum restaurant posts linked at the end, or just ones in the same geographic area? Or do you not care to have links to similar restaurants at all? Also, in case you haven't noticed, there is now a "Print Friendly" button at the end of every post. Click on that link and you'll have an ad-free version of the page to print. The link also gives you the option to disable images too so you can print out just a text version of any page. Unfortunately, I've already caught someone using this option to copy, paste, and republish several of my recipes on her own site. Please do not steal my content. I get very upset when I find my images and recipes republished without my permission. If you like something, bookmark it or print it out for your personal use. If you're a blogger, link to it or write what you did in your own words and use your own photos. Please respect my copyright and the amount of work I put into creating this blog.

And, mainly because I didn't want anyone else to squat on my page, I've created a Wandering Chopsticks Facebook fan page. Beyond linking to new recipe or restaurant posts, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it? Suggestions? Talk amongst yourselves? Upload photos of you cooking my recipes? I know some people want to comment, but don't want to do it on the blog so you can comment there. Although, I still far prefer interactions to happen here...

Anyway, that's all I've got for now. Got a recipe question? Restaurant question? Just want to say, "Hi?" Did you miss Ask Wandering Chopsticks 1? Go there if you did. Or click on the "Ask Wandering Chopsticks" tag below for previous editions. Otherwise, what's on your mind? You have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 28.

1 year ago today, Museum of the Oregon Territory - Oregon City.
2 years ago today, Taiwanese "popcorn" tofu.
3 years ago today, pretty ribbons and a banana, Nutella, and peanut butter sandwich.


  1. wow! that's great. i'll vote for him.

  2. FINALLY. I missed the last Ask WC post. :( BUT I caught you this time around. :D

    First, I don't want to sound like a crazed obsessed fan/stalker, but I did try to find you on fb to add you a while back so thumbs up to that.

    Secondly, I had a dream that you asked me to meet you up for lunch/dinner of some sort and I was UBER excited. Although I doubt that would happen. lol

    And last, but not least, I have been using some of your recipes for personal use (thank you for that) and I was wondering do you know of any authentic moroccan restaurants and/or restaurants that want you to eat with your hand like in the movie "Along Came Polly"? I've been wanting to try something like that. :D

  3. I have a question. Would you have done anything differently with your blog if you knew what you know now when you had first started?

  4. LiLi,
    Thanks! My cousin needs all the votes he can get!

    I didn't know this had been weighing on your mind for a month. You could ask questions at any time. I just try to organize them a little more with these posts.

    Haha! When I first read your comment, I thought you meant you were trying to figure out my real identity to add me on Facebook. And I wondered how you figured that out? Crazy stalker!!! :P Although, my dad's friend's daughter, whom I hadn't seen in 20 years, figured out who I was. So it's not too hard if you know me in real life. But that's a story for another day.

    Any suggestions on what to do with that FB page?

    Ha! Meeting up with me is nothing to get excited about. :P

    Do you want to try Moroccan cuisine in particular, or you just want to try eating with your hands in general? When I used to live in OC, I passed by Marrakesh restaurant in Costa Mesa, on Newport Blvd. right where the 55 freeway ends. I've never been, but the Yelp reviews do indicate that people eat with their hands there. Prices are around $25-$35 per person for a multi-course meal.

    If you just want to eat with your hands in general, I'd suggest Ethiopian cuisine as a combo platter costs around $10 to $15.

    Or try both!

    Thanks for the wishes for my cousin!

    Can you get more specific? In terms of writing, even from the beginning when no one was reading the blog, I was careful not to write anything that I didn't want my family or friends reading. So I was careful not to use this space for venting or airing dirty laundry or anything like that. While I share some personal information, I think of it as more universal personal things such as family relationships and friendships, not who I do or don't date for instance.

    I wish I had known to use Flickr and to watermark my photos from the beginning. That's just because of the constant content theft. But as for the photos themselves, it was all a learning process so the only way I improved was as I went along.

    I think the main thing for me was that I started the blog at a stressful time in my life. I needed a space to write creatively again and to write just for me. That really hasn't changed even though more and more people I know are reading.

    What I've noticed with newer bloggers is that many of them are more self-promotional than when I started out. They seem to market themselves more, drop links to their own posts everywhere they comment, buy the fanciest camera they can, etc., etc. It's a crowded blogosphere and while that works for some people, it wasn't for me. The atmosphere these days seems more competitive than congenial, and I really miss that. It wouldn't have changed my content. I just write and photograph the best I can at the time I do it, and let Google and people figure out for themselves if a post is any good.

    Anyway, not sure if that answered your question. Just some thoughts on my mind lately.

  5. Thanks for your open and honest response. Yours was one of the first blogs I stumbled across, and I've always enjoyed it. I guess I was wondering if you were to start out fresh now, would it still be the same? And would you have the energy or interest to do it? One of the reasons I enjoy your Weekend Wokking event is that it does encourage that congeniality. Thanks again.

  6. Sijeleng,
    I guess the main difference wouldn't lie with me, but with the blogosphere? My learning curve ie. in terms of improving my photography or the way I write recipes, probably wouldn't have been that different. So while the content wouldn't have changed much, getting my blog noticed would be a lot harder if I were to begin now.

    I didn't and don't blog because I'm trying to get X number of hits or X number of comments, but having readers (many of whom have been reading and commenting for years) helps motivate me to continue. Especially when I hear stories about how they were intimidated about trying to eat and cook Vietnamese cuisine and have ventured out more as a result. Or from readers who struggled with cooking in general until they tried my recipes and learned how easy it was. There's more, but it's that type of interaction and response that encourages me to continue.

    If I were to start now though, I think it would have been harder for people to find my blog so less likelihood for me to have that level of interaction. Crowded blogosphere again and all. But then again, there were other Vietnamese blogs and recipe sites before I started blogging, Google & people sorted out which recipes they liked. I think the "market" does a fairly good job of those things happening naturally.

    My energy levels wax and wane, but that's more because of what else is going on in my real life. This past year, I've taken a lot more trips out of town than I had the previous year, which affected my energy levels. But I just take my time writing posts when I have the chance and try not to get caught up on being first or anything else.

    Thanks for asking such thought-provoking questions and thank you for reading!

  7. Dear WC,
    I am so sorry about the stolen content. It just seems so sad that people want to post something that isn't theirs. I am about to redesign my blog and I have been helped out so much by your how to start a food blog section. You have so many awesome features and you have a knack for helping others, not just with recipes and reviews, but with practical information about blogging. I have no idea how you manage your own site and the advertising for it too. Understanding code and being creative are two very different things and you have both. Keep the faith, your blog is a wonderful place.

  8. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm definitely going to try both.

    As for facebook, I think you should post status updates when you have a new blog post up and I guess interact with your readers there as well.. which seems like what you're already doing so keep up the great work. :D

    I think it would be awesome to meet you. You seem like a very interesting person that I want to learn more about.

    And no, unfortunately I'm not that crazy, or that well connected to be able to figure out who you are in real life. Although, I think it would be great if you happened to be one of my friends from grade school.

  9. Galley Girl,
    It happens. I wish it didn't happen so often, but what can I do? Thanks for such nice words. As for advertising, it's a simple matter of cutting and pasting a code. Not much management there. Just a matter of who to sign up with.

    I did meet up with a reader once. It was a little disconcerting. She was sooo excited to meet me. Trust me, meeting me is not worth any excitement. :P

    I'm definitely not one of your friends from grade school. Although, I'm finding more and more of my cousins' friends read the blog than even I knew. My sister's friend linked to my blog to point out we had the same cousin, not knowing that my sister was the "lil' sis" mentioned. Haha.