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Al Franken, The Giant of Senate

In his new memoir, Franken reveals his journey of how a successful satirist became a sophistic senator. To prove that he was serious about politics, Franken and his team had built a DeHumorizer. Fortunately, the humors never left him and they have made their way into this book. He had plenty jokes for politicians, and the best one is reserved for Ted Cruz. Despite the funny moments, the politics became robotic, especially in an almost 400-page book. The content probably could have been cut in half.

Steve Casner: Careful

When my first son was two, I tossed him a ball while he was standing on top of the playground. He took a few steps backward and fell down. If I had thought ahead about the possibility, I could have prevented the accident. When my second son was three, he pulled out the drawers and climbed up. The dressers tipped over and the heated humidifier fell down. He lost control and sat on it. His butt burned. If I had turned off the humidifier, I could have prevented the accident. Then again, I did not read Casner’s Careful, an informative guide explaining the psychology of safety. The stories and statistics on accidents presented in this book are terrifying. Fortunately, we can prevent them by thinking ahead. After reading this book, you’ll think twice about driving and texting, leaving your kids at the pool by themselves even for a split second, carrying your knife around, letting your children sleep on bunk beds, speeding in traffic, and engaging in countless absent-minded haphazards that could lead to serious injuries.

Ngày Cuối

Hôm nay là ngày cuối lớp hai của Đạo, ngày cuối preschool của Đán, và ngày cuối nhà trẻ Teddy Bear của Xuân. Tháng Bảy Xuân sẽ đổi qua nhà trẻ của Đạo và Đán ngày xưa. Cái daycare hiện tại của Xuân cũng tốt. Các cô giáo cũng rất thương nó nhưng vì cái Jewish Community Center đã quá quen thuộc và có nhiều lớp thể thao như bơi lội cho nó học.

Xuân đi học ở Teddy Bear mới mấy tháng nó cũng mới bắt đầu quen. Cô giáo dạy nó biết diễn đạt bài “The Wheel on the Bus” rất dễ thương. Hai hôm nay đi học không còn khóc nữa. Mai mốt qua chổ mới phải tập lại. Hy vọng nó sẽ không khóc nhiều nữa. Rất cám ơn những người cô đã thương yêu và ân cần với nó những tháng vừa qua.

Lawrence Levy: To Pixar and Beyond

In his concise yet insightful memoir, Levy reveals the strategic success behind Pixar. As the chief financial officer, Levy worked closely with Steve Jobs, renegotiated its deadlocked contract with Disney, nurtured the creative team, and looked out for its employees. His contribution played a major role in transforming a potential-yet-unprofitable startup into an iconic animation studio that balances storytelling and technology. A required read for business students.

Respect Nature

Đán: Do Vietnamese people respect nature?
Dad: Of course, we do.
Đán: Then why did you cut down the trees?
Dad: Oh! My bad.

Boy or Girl?

Dad: So, are you a boy or a girl?
Đạo: I am both.
Dad: How?
Đạo: I act like a boy, but I scream like a girl.

Drinking Emotions

Last Saturday, we threw a small party for forty members of our family to celebrate my mom’s 80th birthday. In a fun, love-filled mood, I wanted to have some spirit. My two drinking cousins were there as well so we needed a little reconnection. One of my cousins has gout just like me. As a drinker all his life, he rather lives with the pain than giving up drinking. He now has a huge ball his hand and he still won’t quit.

In reminiscing the good old time and the suffering with gout, I broke out a bottle of Rémy Martin XO. With not too much food in my system (I had to follow Xuân), I finished the bottle with my two cousins. With beer and saké and XO, the two cousins got knocked out. I only limited myself to the XO; therefore, I was not as bad as they were.

At around one in the morning, I was drunk and dead tired, but could not sleep. The hot liquor was flowing through my body and imageries were streaming in my head. All the personal thoughts I would never reveal started to play out in my head. I don’t know if that process is hallucination.

I was half asleep and half awake. I could see the lights coming in the window, but I could not get up until Xuân woke up and wanted to go outside. The XO didn’t give me a headache, but I could feel the hangover. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. I held Xuân’s hand and we walked together out of the house. It was peaceful and I watched every step that he took. I marveled the way he walked carefully off the porch and the he we picked up dead flower from the lawn. In my fucked up head, I almost choked up witnessing a young, innocent kid who is curious about little things in life.

Hard liquor changed my mood. All the vulnerabilities and regrets were fucking with my emotions. Why am I getting myself into this state of mind? It allows me to access the deep secret part of my life that I can not do when I am sobered.

Kory Stamper: Word By Word

In her thoughtful memoir, Stamper sheds the light on the life of a lexicographer. From the complexity of defining a simple word to the controversy of adding a new word to the challenge of reviewing an existing word, she provides eye-opening insights into the process of producing a dictionary. It’s a fun and fascinating read that will make you appreciate the art, the science, and the hard work invested into the lexicon.

Bị Trộm

Sáng nay Xuân xách đôi giầy cho tôi và đôi cho nó. Ra dấu hiệu bảo tôi mang giầy vào và ngồi xuống bảo tôi mang vào cho nó. Mang xong nó dắt tôi đi ra khỏi nhà. Thằng nhóc này thích đi ra đường.

Khi cho nó vào xe thì phát hiện cái loa nhỏ dùng bằng bluetooth của tôi đã mất. Lục soát lại cả xe nhưng cũng không thấy. Cái compartment ở giữa cũng bị mở ra. Khi đến chỗ làm thì vợ cho biết cái glove compartment trong xe minivan cũng bị mở và mất cái bao nhựa đựng mấy đồng lẻ và mấy cái CD.

Không ngờ khu nhà an toàn mà cũng bị ăn trộm. Chẳng lẽ phải đổi nhà?

Lamott’s Number Two

In her inspiring and musing TED talk, “12 truths I learned from life and writing,” Anne Lamott shares her number two:

[A]lmost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes—including you.