Daytripping Vietnamese Hipsters

The power of the internet and globalization is so powerful and influential that countries like Vietnam have there own brand of hipsters. I really dig this short film called THE DAY DREAMERS chronicling a simple gathering of what looks like Vietnam’s brand of aimless youth, hanging out, riding their fixed gear bikes and then, tripping out as they see something truly fantastical right out of a Haruki Murakami novel. You can see the influences of other Asian cultures, especially Shibuya street-wear and Japanese indie rock. All in all, pretty fun and would be great to see other youth subcultures from other countries around the world.

7 Cosplay Moments From Comic-Con 2014, or Why Ninja Psylocke Has To Die



Dominic Mah is a writer, director, erratic blogger at, and rock musical enthusiast. He recently co-wrote a feature film about superheroes and sidekicks. He is working on a startup comic book. He is often found in karaoke bars being @dommah and@thorhulkcritic.

Cosplayer Elisa Santullo as Black Widow

Cosplayer Elisa Santullo as Black Widow. You can follow her on Facebook.

Cosplay (a Japanese term deriving from the English, “costume play”) is a subculture that takes many forms, but let’s say it is essentially about people dressing up as their favorite characters from pop culture. At Comic-Con, one of the great world centers of cosplay, the subculture mutates…or rather, transforms….or anyway, it cosplays itself into all sorts of configurations, including:

  • fans dressed up as superheroes, anime characters, robots, etc.
  • models/promoters dressed up as sexy superheroes, sexy robots, etc.
  • club rats dressed up as nerds so they can infiltrate Comic-Con
  • weirdos dressed up as non-weirdos so they can be around Comic-Con
  • people dressed up as superheroes so they can sell something
  • people like me who just own a lot of shirts with robots on them

Cosplay, like music, has its good and bad moments. Here are 7 of the significant cosplays from ComicCon 2014.

Shoplifting While Topless


My fellow Offender Justin sent me this article about 45-year-old Alhambra, California resident Jeannie Hua who turned herself in to police yesterday after an alleged shoplifting incident back in June.


But what makes this story different are the circumstances of the alleged shoplifting incident. Specifically, Hua committed the crime while topless.

Supposedly, during this shoplifting incident, which took place at the Santa Anita mall in neighboring Arcadia, Hua got into an altercation with a security guard, somehow lost her shirt and bra, and ran topless to her Mercedes-Benz before driving off.

So the mystery remains: how did this alleged thief lose her top and bra during the course of her crime? So far, the details remain sketchy, ergo let me offer some possible explanations.

All Asians Look Alike: James Shigeta Edition

As most of our readers know by now, pioneering actor James Shigeta passed away on Monday. As I was prepping to post my blog paying tribute to the late icon, I googled his name to find some appropriate images and this is the first thing I saw staring back at me:


In case, you don’t know who that is—it is not James Shigeta. In fact, it’s my fellow Offender and Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang.

Farewell, James Shigeta!


I had been hearing about the legendary James Shigeta from my old friend Dexter for several years before making my feature The People I’ve Slept With. It is extremely tragic that my friend Dexter also passed away in 2011—at the young age of 41—who was a personal friend of James. When I needed to cast the role of Angela’s Dad—a fun loving and classy Asian American gentleman–Dexter recommended James. I instinctively thought would be a fabulous idea. Dexter set up a meeting with James, his agent Jeffrey Leavitt, Karen Anna Cheung (who played Angela) and me. I remember we went to the loudest restaurant ever in West Hollywood and we all thought James would be fabulous to play Angela’s Dad.

Original Offenders: James Shigeta


It was a revelation: a Hollywood movie made in 1959 that starred an Asian American male lead who saved the day, beat out his white romantic rival, and ended up with the white leading lady. That in a nutshell sums up Sam Fuller’s The Crimson Kimono, which introduced audiences to a young Japanese American actor named James Shigeta as a Japanese American police detective investigating the murder of a stripper in downtown Los Angeles.

I’ve written about the film before (here and here) so I won’t go into detail now but if it was a revelation to learn that such a progressive film could have been produced almost sixty decades ago, it was even more of a revelation to discover that an actor like James Shigeta existed back then. Here he was—a full blown Asian American leading man who starred in Hollywood films at a time when most Asian men were lucky just to get a few lines in a movie as the hero’s sidekick or the bad guy.

Letter To A Douchebag


There are many ways to identify douchebags: their open shirts, their indoor sunglasses, their liberal use of hair product, but what about their parking habits?

I hate people who park in other people’s reserved spaces.  That whole sense of entitlement, of thinking the rules don’t apply to you.  Ugh.  And then there are those people who straddle the yellow dividing lines, hogging up two spots.  And don’t get me started on the goons who park illegally in handicapped spots – in my book, you’ve just booked a seat on the karmic express to hell.

So why on earth did I receive this charming letter the other day?

Learn English/Japanese the Darth Vader Way

For just 3,131 yen (or $31 US), you can learn English or Japanese the Darth Vader way with this new Darth Vader English-Japanese Dictionary:


So if you’ve always wanted to translate phrases like “The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am” or “What is thy bidding, my master?” from Japanese to English or vice versa, the merchandising Force is now with you:

Around the Horn: The High Cost of Food

Vintage Cave, Hawaii

Vintage Cave, Hawaii

How much is too much for a meal? How much would you pay for food? In Hawaii, Vintage Cave has a set menu price of $295 and Sushi Ginza Onodera has a omakase set menu price of $250. Would you pay this much for just one dinner (drinks not included)? How much do you value what you eat, and the way it is prepared and presented? What’s the most you’ve paid for a meal?

ALFREDO: For the meal itself, I have no idea what I would be willing to pay. I like good food, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not really a “foodie,” so it comes down to the overall experience for me – yes, what I’m putting in my belly, but more importantly, who I am with, my state of mind, the million and one particulars of that moment. For a great food “experience,” I don’t mind opening my wallet. I have one dear friend who always makes me laugh no matter what kind of day or week or year I’m having: with him, ridiculously overpriced sushi or cold pizza out of the fridge are pretty much the same to me.

YOMYOMF Rant: If Scarlett Johansson Really Used 100% of Her Brain, She’d Still be Scarlett Johansson


Can we please stop furthering this stupid notion that we only use 10% of our brains? I’m looking at you, new movie Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson. The premise of this film is that once Lucy (played by Johansson) starts using 100% of her brain (instead of the 10% that the rest of us mere humans use) after a “drug mule” incident, she can suddenly do all these incredibly kickass, superhero-y things like this:


The problem with this premise is that we already use 100% of our brains. All of us. Even the dumbest/in-bred over 20 generations/one-step up from the intelligence of an amoeba/waste of skin uses—say it with me now—100% of their brains.

So where did this myth that we use only 10% of our brains come from?

Pikachus in Elevators and on Escalators

Is there anything that could bring more joy, more excitement, more ecstatic sensations to your weekend, than this gif of Pikachus riding up escalators and elevators?


It’s all part of an upcoming Pikachu event in Yokohama, Japan, but who cares? You could ingest some psychedelic drugs stare at the gif above for hours while playing this music in the background on infinite loop (perfect marriage of music and image) and be completely mesmerized and entertained (or at least more mesmerized and entertained than sitting through two hours of the new Hercules).

And you’re welcome for providing you with something to do this weekend.

SAF seeking… A French Connection Part 2


Annika is a 28 year old Cambodian Vietnamese Chinese French American who recently returned to school to finish a bachelor’s degree in computer science and linguistics. Her hobbies and interests include swimming, cooking, baking, writing, reading, math, symbolic logic, learning foreign languages, and drinking espresso – and of course, boys.

(Read Part 1 here)

Oh those Frenchies!

Oh those Frenchies!

Sweat beads roll down his forehead and into my left eye as he’s thrusting.

Goddamnit. Ow. My make-up!

I’m half-squinting like a pirate who forgot his eye patch.

I make a swift shift of my head to the left to avoid anymore of his sweat getting into my eyes. His head follows suit and as he leans down to kiss me, MORE sweat gets into my eyes.

For fuck’s sake!