VISUALGUI

Warning: More Dramas Ahead

This Saturday, we will take our last vacation of the summer before the kids go back to school. Vacation is supposed to be relaxing and resting, but I am stressing out about it. It used to be fun, but now it is more like fighting and arguing. It started with the kids, but now it is affecting the adults as well.

My primary role is to avoid confrontation. How will I do that? Well, I’ll just have to keep an eye on the kids the morning they wake up until the night they go to bed. If they can’t get along for a few hours, I can’t even begin to imagine being stuck together for a whole week.

I don’t want to sound like a selfish asshole, but I am tired of all of it. It is already tough keeping an eye on my own kids. Now I have to be aware of everyone’s kids, especially the one who breaks down when he can’t have things his way. It is like hold a hot glass all day long without dropping it.

If I want to relax, I have to let Steve Jobs watching them. They will spend time with their iPads as long as we let them. I am desperate for a digital-free vacation, but it is much harder to enforce when other kids are using it. They always say if you don’t let your kids have it than they just not going to have it. It’s like telling addicts to kick it while watching others using. Good luck with that.

The two weeks experiment of not having iPads worked well. They read more and spent time outdoor more. As soon as you let them back in, they go nuts again. You can take the iPads away from the boys, but you can’t take the boys out of the iPads. With iPads they fought with each other less. So it is a no brainer.

The arguing and yelling issues have caused a headache for me. I get stressed out every time they get together. No matter how many times I warned them and how many times I repeated the issue, they still occur. It is getting to the point that I feel uneasy and not comfortable, but no one gives a fuck what I think. I am an adult; therefore, I have to control my behavior. For the kids’s sake, I just going to do what I have to do. My only hope is to walk away from this vacation without distress.

Visualgui 2018: Iteration 5

In less than five months, I am already itching for a new design. Iteration 5 is all about sans serif. I often go with a serif face for body text, but I am switching it up a bit this time. Halyard, designed by Joshua Darden, has been on my mind for a while so here’s a chance to use it. The wordmark remains the same. As for the layout, I am going for four columns on large screen. CSS Grid makes layout design a joy. I hope you’ll like the new direction.

Lê Minh Quốc: Trong tàn phai có nụ hồng thơm lên

Đây là lần đầu tiên tôi đọc sách tiếng Việt về tự học hoàn thiện bản thân (self-help book). Những bài văn ngắn ngủi nhẹ nhàng nhắn nhủ về đời sống và đạo đức của con người. Sống sao cho nhẹ nhàng (hãy để gió cuốn đi) và có một tấm lòng. Rất bổ ích tinh thần cho những ai chưa từng trải nghiệm với cuộc sống. Riêng tôi thì đã từng lăn lộn với đời nên đọc gần 50 bài cũng hơi bị đuối vì tôi biết được những lời khuyên của tác giả ra sao. Tuy nhiên đó là những lời nhắc nhở đáng nhớ.

Boxers vs. Briefs

Alan Burdick writes in the New Yorker:

This week, a team of researchers at Harvard published the largest and most definitive study of the subject to date, and the findings are compelling. “Men who wore non-boxers”—that is, briefs and their confining kin—“have significantly lower concentrations of sperm and lower sperm counts,” Jorge Chavarro, a fertility researcher at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and a member of the research team, told me. “It’s a numbers issue.”

I believe the study is accurate because I only wear boxers and I have four kids. I never liked my package to be tight. It just feels good letting it loose. The only downside is that you can get horny easily and it will show. In any rate, I have been telling my wife to get rid of all of the kids’ briefs and get them to boxers. This study provides a good reason to switch.

Friday Finds

I want to get back to finding design inspirations, particularly websites with strong typography.

Let’s kick off with my own portfolio site. I made some realignments. I dropped the grid to make the layout simpler. I am still using Roslindale and Bild, designed by David Jonathan Ross for his Font of the Month Club. I made the text much bigger.

Also setting in Roslindale, Jason Pamental redesigned his site using Roslindale’s variable font. I dig the resource section. Thanks for including my websites.

Yesterday, I noticed Vassar has a new design. Congratulations to the talented web team. Under the new director, they appear to be unifying the look and feel rather than letting it loose like when I was still there over a decade ago.

I came across twin soul studio. Very nice use of big types, colors, illustrations, and subtle motions.

The Intercept is definitely not new, but I like the typographic treatment. The infinite scrolling, however, drives me nuts. TechCrunch isn’t new either, but I like the grid layout on the homepage.

I took a recent issue of the Magnolia Journal at my brother-in-law’s house because I was impressed with the typesetting. I am feeling the itch to redesign this blog a bit. I want to make the text bigger, but also keep it readable. Will see.

Thứ Năm lười

Giờ đây tôi rất khâm phục những người sống thong thả. Cho dù nhà cửa họ bề bộn họ vẫn chẳng màng đến. Tôi đã quá mệt mỏi với công việc dọn dẹp nhà cửa. Mỗi lần thấy đồ đạc lộn xộn là tôi bực bội. Cái máu thiết kế sạch và đơn giản của tôi nó trào lên. Tôi rất lười dọn dẹp nhưng không chịu nổi những ngổn ngang. Đang tập không ngó ngàng gì đến chúng cả.

Mới vào hàng 40 mà tôi đã thấy tính tình khó chịu. Mười năm nữa không biết làm sao mà sống. Không biết còn sống được đến bao lâu. Bây giờ chết vì ung thư nhiều quá. Dĩ nhiên là mong cho mình không bị tới số. Nhưng lúc nó đến Chúa cứu cũng không nỗi. Tôi đã chứng kiến vài trường hợp kêu gọi và cầu nguyện Chúa nhưng Chúa cũng chẵng diệt được ung thư. Nên tôi cũng chẳng tin cậy gì nơi ngài cả.

Hôm nay đầu óc nhẹ nhàng nhiều so với ngày thứ Hai vừa rồi. Tôi muốn trở lại với cái lề thói hằng ngày. Sáng đưa con đi học. Đi Chiều đón con về. Hoàn thành những công việc nhà buổi tối. Đi ngủ. Chỉ thế thôi. Cuộc sống đừng drama quá là tốt rồi.

Thứ Tư nóng

Hôm nay quá nóng. Đi bộ vào bữa trưa làm ướt đẫm mồ hôi. Tôi đang muốn được nhẹ nhàng lại nhất là trong trí óc. Mấy hôm nay đang đọc quyển sách tiếng Việt theo đề tài tự giúp (self-help). Mới đầu cứ tưởng là sách viết về tình cảm nhưmg không phải. Quyển sách nói về cuộc sống và những lý lẻ tôi đang làm tôi xáo trộn. Quyển sách giúp tôi vượt qua những chuyện không đáng để ý trong cuộc sống.

Tôi luôn nghĩ đến vợ. Thấy bụng vợ càng ngày càng lớn đi lại khó khăn tôi thương vợ vô cùng. Chỉ còn hai tháng nữa thôi, ráng lên em nhé. Tôi chỉ cầu mong cho thằng thứ tư cũng khoẻ mạnh và không bị vấn đề gì như ba thằng anh nó là tôi an tâm rồi. Biết rằng sướng vài phút cực cả đời nhưng không làm sao kiềm chế nổi.

Hôm Chủ nhật vừa rồi anh vợ gởi thằng con lên ở với gia đình tôi và bà nội của cháu. Thằng bé hiền và dễ thương. Bản tánh hơi đặc biệt. Như tôi trên blog này nghĩ gì viết nấy, nó nghĩ gì nói đấy không cần biết nói cho ai nghe hoặc nói về đề tài gì. Nhiều khi nó hỏi đi hỏi lại một câu hỏi cho dù tôi vẫn trả lời y như thế. Nó kén ăn lắm và chỉ ăn được một vài thứ nó thích. Nó tiếp thu hơi chậm nhưng nó chỉ mới năm tuổi. Còn khá nhiều thời gian để theo kịp. Ba hôm nay nó cũng khá ngoan. Nó và thằng Xuân chơi chung với nhau vui vẻ.

Hôm nay tạm viết thế thôi. Cái blog này đã trở thành những bài viết riêng tư không đầu ra đuôi. Không có gì hấp dẫn cũng chẵng có gì sâu lắng. Tôi cũng chẵng lo ngại gì cả. Muốn viết gì thì viết. Nghĩ gì viết nấy như thằng cháu năm tuổi của tôi muốn nói gì nói.

Better Tuesday

After a good night of sleep, my mind is settling down. Replacing alcohol with fresh mango smoothie feels great. I knew I just needed some sleep and rest.

Driving home from work yesterday I could barely stay awake. I took a short nap and watched some TV with the kids before dinner. They gave me hugs and kisses. Đạo showed me his latest Lego creation. He is way more creative than me. I am so fortunate to have them around when I needed the love.

I need to stop thinking about the dumb shit and just focus on the the things that matter to me most. Fuck the money, fuck the emotion, and fuck the small stuff. Life is too short to concern myself with all the nonsense.

What the fuck is happening to me? Why am I becoming this way? Why am I competing with my own mind? I am still finding my way out of my own thoughts. It will be OK. I still have love and support. I will be fine. My life is good if not great.

Blue Monday

Alcohol and lacking of sleep put me into such a depressive mood as if I am battling two psychological warfares. I am hustling with the outside world and protecting my family at the same time. I overthink every decision I had to make and it had a profound effect on my family.

Our little family depends on me and I am afraid of letting them down. I wish I can be strong like my wife who goes through life while carrying another life inside of her. Seeing her staying strong for all of us makes me love her more and ashamed of myself even more.

She has the ability to just move on. I should too, but I simply can’t and that gets me down. I can’t even deal with the thought of humiliation. When I feel robbed or was taken advantage of, I could not get over it. I hate that feeling even though I brought it on myself. It is just my own thought inside my head that keeps telling me that people are laughing at me.

This feeling will go away when I catch some sleep and slow down my adrenaline. Staying calm with definitely help. I always remind myself to stay calm and to take life easy. Just deal with it whenever it hits you. Obviously easier said than done.

I’ll be fine. I just need to deal with my own demons.

No Free Ads for Car Dealers

After 15 years together, my poor 2003 Acura TL is in devastating condition. Its transmission is failing and it is spreading to other parts like cancer. I am still driving it, but I am afraid it will just die on me one of these days.

My wife and I have been shopping around for a while and we decided on another Toyota Sienna because it has the most room for our growing family. Our forth boy is coming out soon so just want to be done with the car situation.

Late Wednesday night, my wife and I went adopted a brand new 2018 Toyota Sienna SE. It’s a beautiful minivan and it just cost me a big fortune. I need to just let it go about the money issue. I hate making a big decision like this, but it is now a done deal. Just get over it.

The next morning I discovered a decal of Priority logo glued below the left rear headlight. The sales guy also attached its logo on the front and rear of my license plates. The plates I can easily take off, but I am not going to scrape off the decal and leave scratch marks.

I am not going to advertise for the dealer for free after it had charged me a huge amount of money. I wrote to Priority and asked for a small fee to have its logo displayed on my minivan as well as the front and rear license plates for the lifetime of the car. Of course, I did not get any response.

After work, I drove back to the dealer to have the decal remove. The sales guy was shocked that I wanted that done. He asked me if I was sure I wanted it to remove. Of course, I said yes. I don’t want to display the dealer’s logo on my car. I guess except for designers, most people don’t care.

It is ridiculous how much money the dealers have made with the car sales and they also want the buyers to advertise for them for free. We need to demand discounts or remove the logos. We can’t let them take advantage of us.