Independent Studies

Since the class I was supposed to teach this semester got dropped, I am now taking on two independent studies. The first one is an independent project research (one credit) for my final thesis in the fall. I know what I wanted to do and I hope that it will be approved tomorrow.

The second one is a challenge, but it is something I wanted to do for some time. It’s a four-credit study. I am thrilled about it. I just hope that I can complete it on time.

My time for the next three months will be devoted to these projects when I am not working, not with my family, or not sleeping. It looks like things are turned out well after all. I knew I should have been more relaxed and stayed calm.

Recent Watched

One-line review of recent movies I have watched.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which took over twelve years to complete, gives viewers the true evolvement of the characters.

In Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, both Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman gave their outstanding performance.

In Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, Bruce Dern gave an unforgettable performance of an aging man who refused to give up what he believes.

Mark Raso’s Copenhagen is just a beautiful romance.

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street marks a fruitful collaboration between Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.


Letter to My Last Client

Dear Client,

In the beginning of this year, I have decided to close out my web design service to move to something else. I contacted all my clients (past and current) about my decision and helped them with the transition.

Your project has been stalled more than a year for unforeseeable situations. As a result, I would like to refund you your full deposit. I’ll send out the check as soon as possible.

Thank you!

I have been pondering on this decision for a while. I just had to take the lost and move on. Both party ended the contract on a good term. I can’t ask for more.

Stressed Our and Sick

I have been stressed out over a minor issue in the past few days. I keep telling myself it is not a big deal and yet it keeps irritating me. The feeling of being screwed is hard to get past. This is reality. When they need you, they would do anything for you. When they don’t need you, they would get rid of you just like that.

It’s a lesson I should have learned no matter who I am dealing with. The more I think about it, the more appalled I get. It’s getting to the point that I get sick to my stomach. As I am trying to focus on spending time with the family, the thought of it gets in my way.

I’ll be alright. I’ll get over it in the next couple of days. I now know how to protect myself in the future, but more importantly, I really need to learn not to take everything too serious. Life ahead will be more treacherous; therefore, I need to learn to control my mind and emotion.

My cousin always said, “Leave everything to Jesus. He will take care of everything.” With just that believe she lives such an easy life. Maybe it’s should be time for me to do the same. I just need to free up my mind and soul and let things work themselves out. I am still lucky to have my wife to lean on. She is so understandable.

Being able to write all this down is making me feel better already. Again stop sweating the small stuff.


Martin Luther King Jr.:

The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy.

“Everything is Awesome”

I must have listened to this song a hundred times now with the kids and still inspired by this line:

Lost my job, it’s a new opportunity / More free time for my awesome community.

How Real Is That?


I lost a whole bunch of money, chasing bitches / But I never lost no bitches chasing money.

Here’s another funny one:

If you are what you eat, how come I’m not pussy?

Kanye’s Dumb/Brilliant Punchline


You will never need another lover / Cause you’re a MILF and I’m a motherfucker

On Music Blogging

I started blogging about music sometimes in 2004. As a way for me to learn English, my primary focus was to describe the details of what I heard such as how a singer moved me or how the instruments grooved me. I obviously had a lot of time on my hands back then. At the time I was working at Vassar; therefore, I signed up for a proofreading session in the writing center. Each week I would bring in my piece. The tutor and I would read over it and make corrections.

My tutor was Natalie Freeman who was an English professor at Vassar. Not only Natalie helped me with my reviews, she also recommended a few music critics I should read. She suggested Sasha Frere-Jones and Kelefa Sanneh. I sought them out and read as many articles I have written. I could not recall how I discovered Greg Tate, but he was instantly became one my favorite critics. He was fearless, eccentric, and thoughtful. I read everything Tate has written that I could get my hands on.

These days Tate has not written much; therefore, I have not reading much either. Sanneh had moved to the New Yorker in 2008 and started to cover sports and TVs. I occasionally read Frere-Jones’ pieces in the New Yorker, but he has now ended that eleven-year gig for Genius.

These days I subscribe to the New York Times’s Popcast to get the latest music news from Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica. I still blog about music, but my focus is mostly on Vietnamese pop. The nice thing about blogging music on my own site is that I could write whatever I like without the fear of offending or kissing up to anyone. I am not a music critic and I will never be, but that doesn’t stop me from listen to music and write down my thoughts. That makes me a music blogger.

Course Dropped

The Advanced Web Design class I spent months and some sleepless nights to prepare had been dropped. The number of student registered fell from 9 to 6.

Although I had invested a tremendous amount of time crafting the web site and the projects, I understand the situation. I also get a sense of the way the school operate. They can cancel the course anytime despite it’s less than a week before the starting date. I apologize to the 6 students who wanted to take the course.

Now I just need to sign up for a class to take instead. My only options are Mobile App Design and Mixed Media. I am kind of interested in the former and waiting for the professor to let me in. I have no idea what Mixed Media is even though I read the course description. It would be my last resort.