Con theo

Lúc trước đám nhỏ cãi nhau khiến người lớn mất lòng. Tôi đề nghị cho chúng nó tạm tách ra một thời gian nhưng bà xã không đồng ý. Hai vợ chồng cãi nhau vì vợ vu khống tôi chia rẽ tụi nó. Thế là cho chúng nọ tiếp tục gặp.

Giờ đây tôi không chỉ trông con mình mà luôn cả thằng cháu. Đi học bơi tôi đón rồi tắm luôn cho tụi nó. Đi học võ cũng tôi đưa đón. Đi học tiếng Việt cũng tôi đón đưa. Thậm chí ngày cuối tuần cũng giao phó luôn cho tôi.

Thế là bây giờ thêm một thằng con theo. Thôi kệ dù sao cũng là cháu biết làm sao bây giờ.

Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now

From his descriptive act of “grab them by the pussy” to his use of the “C” word, Jefferies admits he has a few misogynistic jokes under his sleeves. His takes on Trump and Kevin Spacey are clever and on point. He also delves into being a father and dealing depression. He also revisits gun control a bit. Jefferies pushes toward vulgarity quite a bit. Watching his special right after Gadsby’s is quite a contrast. I still enjoyed his.

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

Gadsby kicks off her Netflix special with hilarious lesbian jokes. She addresses white men in the #MeToo moment and then provides fascinating view on art—particularly Picasso who she hates. The second half of the show, however, Gadsby abandons comedy to share her deep, personal story. The price she paid for being different was devastating. Her powerful storytelling choked me up. She makes me think of my nephew. I need to share this special him.

Thái Cường: Những mảnh mắt nhìn

Những mảnh mắt nhìn của tác giả trẻ Thái Cường được cấu trúc không theo thứ tự. Mỗi chương mỗi truyện nhưng có sự liên kết với nhau. Người đọc có thể tự chọn cho mình lối đọc riêng. Những nhân vật và những hoàn cảnh khác nhau nhưng liên hoan cùng nhau. Nội dung viết về gia đình, yêu thương, thù oán, và cuộc sống. Tuy hơi nhợt nhạt nhưng đọc cũng được.

Mới đó một năm đã qua

Ngày tôi về Việt Nam thăm ba, anh chị em, bà con, và bạn bẹ. Thèm tô hủ tiếu Mỹ Tho thơm phưng phức buổi sáng. Nhớ ly cà phề sữa đá đậm đà. Làm sao quên được những luồng gió mát và phong cảnh an nhàn của vườn hoa Lạc Hồng tôi cùng ngồi bên ba tâm sự. Thời gian bên ba càng ngắn ngủi càng thấy quý.

Đúng là tình cha con. Có xa cách có giận hờn nhưng cuối cùng cũng là tình cảm. Tôi đã thổ lộ rất nhiều tâm sự về ba trên blog này và rồi tôi vẫn thương yêu và kính trọng ông. Tôi cũng không ngờ rằng tình cha con vẫn sâu đậm sau mấy mươi năm không gặp.

Một năm đã tôi qua mà toi6 vẫn ngỡ như hôm qua tôi gặp lại ba. Năm nay con không về được. Hy vọng năm sau sẽ được. Hy vọng ba sẽ luôn khoẻ để cha con mình còn gặp lại nhau.

Things My Xuân Said

As we got into our car. The conversation began:

Dad: Would you like chocolate or chips?
Xuân: I want chocolate.
Dad: Good choice, Xuân. Here you go.
Xuân: Thanks daddy. Chips later.
Dad: What? [Hell no!]

As we were driving, Xuân complained:

Xuân: Daddy, the sun’s in my eyes.
Dad: You can use your hands to cover your eyes.
Xuân: No, go away. You stupid sun.
Dad: What? [Dude, you are two years old].

David Sedaris: Calypso

Sedaris’s latest collection of personal essays is dark, poignant, and funny as always. With subjects ranging from his sister’s suicide to family feud to gay sex to Trump to shitting in your pants, Sedaris is at his finest as he approaches middle age.

He observes (p.4):

Yes, my hair is gray and thinning. Yes, the washer on my penis has worn out, leaving me to dribble urine long after I’ve zipped my trousers back up.

On Jesus (p.34):

And he always has a fantastic body, shown at its best on the cross, which—face it—was practically designed to make a man’s stomach and shoulders look good.

On racism (p.136):

I remember Yiayiá [grandmother] saying some pretty rough things about black people, which is odd given her limited vocabulary. It’s like she took English lessons from a Klan member but quit after the second day.

If you’re fan of Sedaris, it’s a must-read. Even if you are not, give Calypso a read.

Car Issue

May and June were tough. As if being a full-time employee and a parent of four (my three boys and their cousin) were not stressful enough, I took upon myself to revise and update Vietnamese Typography. The book was all I could think about. I worked on it every free minute I had for myself. I stayed up to one or two in the morning for several days in a row then crashed on the third or fourth day. I had no deadline, but I decided to go ahead and put it out on Wednesday. I needed to get it out of my head and move on. Working on the book took away my reading time and I missed reading.

I launched the website while sitting in an Acura dealership waiting for the diagnosis of my 2003 Acura TL. The check engine light came on the day before. A week before that I had trouble starting the engine. The result of the test was not good. The transmission needed to be replaced. In addition to the transmission, the dealer made a list of recommendation that would cost me $8,000. Clocking in almost 210,000 miles, the car is no longer worth spending $8,000. I had it for 15 years, now is the time for it to go. I declined the service; therefore, I paid the diagnostic fee. I just considered it as a $145 car wash. The car is still drivable, but the transmission could blow up any minute. I am intending to drive it until the end of its life.

The dealer tried to sell me a brand new car. With four kids, my wife wanted me to get a car that could fit all of us even though we already have a Toyota Sienna. So I test drove an Acura MDX. It has eight seats, but quite tight. The price tag out the door is almost $50,000. I don’t want to spend 50 grant on car. Our next options were Toyota Highlander and the brand new 2019 Subaru Ascent. I was leaning toward the Ascent so I asked my wife out for a test drive. After being crammed into the Ascent, we both loved how our Sienna feel. We read each other’s mind: Why not getting another Sienna? The Highlander, Ascent, and Sienna are around the same price.

I don’t like shopping for a car and I don’t like to spend so much money on a brand new car, but I would hate it more if I have to deal with mechanical issues. I want a car that would last for 10 to 15 years. My 2003 Acura TL has done its job, but I am no longer trusting Honda and Acura after experiencing three cars with transmission issue.

I wish I don’t have to rely on cars, but I do. That’s life. You make money and you spend money, even on things that you don’t want but need. I keep reminding myself not to let money stress me out, but it gets me everytime. I wish I have the spend-now-pay-later mentality, but I don’t. I worry too much about money and it makes my life more miserable than comfortable. I don’t want to think about it anymore. Fuck it!

Bảo Yến: Về Đâu Mái Tóc Người Thương

Mẫu hậu Bolero không cần đổi mới và cũng không cần điệu đà vẫn đem lại những cảm giác thấm thía cho những tình khúc trữ tình quen thuộc. Từ “Mưa rừng” (Huỳnh Anh) đến “Mùa xuân của mẹ” (Nhật Ngân) đến “Đêm buồn tỉnh lẻ” (Tú Nhi) đến “Căn nhà ngoại ô” (Anh Bằng) đến “Hoa xứ nhà nàng” (Hoàng Phương), giọng miền Trung truyền cảm không rên rỉ gợi lại những hình ảnh đáng yêu của quê hương Việt Nam. Phần hoà âm của Kim Tuấn cũng khá. Phải chi chỉ đơn giản với phần đệm guitar thì phê biết bao.

Releasing The Second Edition of Vietnamese Typography

Completely redesigned, revised, and expanded, the second edition of Vietnamese Typography takes on a bolder visual direction to provide more useful information, supply more illustrations, and feature new typefaces. For the new design, I wanted to turn the website into a rich browsing experience that is similar to a coffee table–worthy book.

The page is structured in a four-column fluid layout using CSS Grid. It is fully responsive from small devices to large screens without limiting the width of the browser. The columns changes from one to two-two to one-three depending how large the screen it. The larger the screen, the larger the illustrations. The size of the body text remains constant.

The text face is set in Fern, designed by David Jonathan Ross for reading text on the screen. I loved Fern the first time I spotted it on his sample page. When I was thinking a typeface for the second edition of this book, I immediately thought of Fern, but it did not support Vietnamese. I reached out to David to see if he would like to expand it some time in the future. Shortly after our exchange, David began to work on it. The first draft he sent me, I thought I have received a special gift. I went through every single diacritical mark and provided him my feedback. He nailed it on the second draft. I am so happy to have played a role in this elegant, grace typeface.

In addition to Fern, I used Roslindale, also by David, for headers. Subheads and captions are set in Retina, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones. I added Exchange, also by Tobias, for the quotes. Besides these four typefaces, I included 40 more typefaces throughout the site. Needless to say, I wanted to have as many typefaces as possible. This is the opposite approach of my conservative view web typography: Only use what you need.

In this new edition, I did not enlist any editors. My friends were already generous enough with their time helping me out with the first edition; therefore, I don’t want to ask for anymore of their precious time. I would have loved to hire an editor, but I did not get enough financial support from the first edition.

For the second edition, I thought of putting it behind the paywall or just release the print edition, but I still love the open web. I have invested tremendous time and energy into the second edition and my hope for the return of investment is still slim. Again, if you find this book useful, please consider supporting the effort.