VISUALGUI

Đán Stepped Up His Learning

My five-year-old who will turn six at the end of this month finally learned the alphabet letters. For months I have been concerned about his learning ability. When I sat down to teach him the letters, I got frustrated because he could not even go through two letters at a time. I felt like he said random letters just to screw with me.

I talked to my wife, but she doesn’t seem to worry. I sought advice from a friend who is a preschool speech therapist and she provided me tons of useful information and techniques. She also recommended that I take him in for an evaluation. I brought it up to Đán’s teacher in our conference and she advised me to give him a bit more time. She provided the alphabet with images so that he could sound out the letters. For instance, when he says snake, he could figure out the s sound. It worked surprising well. Now he could figure out most of the letters without the images.

I downloaded the Starfall.com app on my phone and let him plays with it. The app seems to help out too. He enjoys it. The next challenge is to get him to read simple words like in, on, and at. I will start him on Let’s Read later on this year. The book helped Đạo tremendously. Đạo likes to read now and I am very happy about it.

Once I can turn Đán into a bookworm, I have done my part. I read very little when I was a kid and I am kind of regretting it. I don’t want that to happen to them.

Lynne Koplitz: Hormonal Beast

With recent cases of sexual allegations, Ms. Koplitz’s rape joke may come off as insensitive. Then again, she is just releasing her Hormonal Beast. When Ms. Koplitz listed the three things men want, she reminded us of Chris Rock’s food, sex, and silence. I was hoping for different things. At 49, Ms. Koplitz has nice things instead of children. That’s fine. Not everyone wants kids. Likewise, her raunchy comic is not for everyone.

Harold Evans: Do I Make Myself Clear?

In his essential style guide, Mr. Evans sets out to clear up muddy writing. He collected wordy, superfluous passages and edited them down to concise, direct, and comprehensible communications. With humor and clarity, Mr. Evans demonstrates ways to turn passive to active voice, remove redundancies, and make each word counts. If you want to make your writing clear, this book is for you.

Giờ Đọc

Tôi thức dậy khoảng năm giờ sáng và trời bắt đầu trở lạnh nên cái sung sướng nhất là được nằm đọc sách cho đến bảy giờ hoặc khi nào Xuân vào phòng đòi xem Elmo. Đến giờ nghỉ trưa, ăn xong tôi lại đọc nữa tiếng trước khi trở lại với công việc. Chiều đi đón Xuân nếu còn dư thời giờ tôi mở sách ra đọc tiếp.

Buổi tối trước khi đi ngủ, Đạo và Đán cùng nhau vẽ còn tôi nằm đọc. Sau đó tôi và Đạo cùng nhau đọc cho đến mười giờ đêm. Đạo cũng rất thích đọc sách nhưng phải cho nó đi ngủ để sáng hôm sau đi học. Sau khi nó ngủ, tôi lại dậy mở đèn ra đọc cho đến khuya.

Dạo này tôi thích đọc xen kẽ giữa tiếng Anh và tiếng Việt. Tiếc rằng ở đây không có những sách chữ Việt tôi muốn đọc. Sau khi đọc ba quyển tiểu thuyết tình cảm tôi chịu hết nổi rồi. Tôi thích đọc chuyện thật (non-fiction) hơn là hư cấu.

Không biết sau bây giờ tôi lại mê đọc đến thế. Chắc tại mù chữ đã lâu nên muốn theo đuổi cho kịp. Tôi muốn mấy đứa con cũng thích đọc sớm đừng để quá trể như tôi. Bây giờ thời gian hẹp hòi tôi lại muốn đọc. Ngày xưa rảnh rỗi tôi đã lãng phí đi thời gian. Lúc xưa cầm sách lên là ngủ. Bây giờ đọc là không muốn ngủ.

Haters Back Off! Season 2

Season 2 pushes beyond uncomfortable zone. Miranda bathes herself in Pascetti bits. Her mom and her uncle fall in love. Her asshole dad returns to manage her. From kidnapping a middle school girl to putting on a fashion show in the hospital to kissing family members on their lips, season 2 is creepy, bizarre, and cringe-worthy. Yet, I have grown to tolerate it. Underneath her selfishness and insensitivities, Miranda shows her emotion and kindness. She stays true to herself and her goal. Haters Back Off! is not for everyone and you would know it within watching the first five minutes of any episode.

Harold Evans on Readability

Harold Evans, Do I Make Myself Clear?, (p.39):

Readability isn’t a literary or legibility issue. It’s a dispassionate, objective measure of whether a selection of words and sentences will be understood by the intended audience. Comprehension comes before enjoyment; you can’t be gripped if you can’t follow the narrative.

Roxane Gay: Bad Feminist

After reading Gay’s riveting memoir, I was hunger for more. I admire her articulate, effortless prose. I picked up Bad Feminist to learn her writing style, but her critical thinking opens my mind on America’s race, gender, violence, entertainment, and politics. Her perspective and observation are honest and thoughtful. From novels to films, women rights to gay rights, and humors to exploitations, Gay offers a powerful, provocative voice of a bad feminist who gives us something to think about.

Misogynist in Chief

David Remnick writes in “The Weinstein Moment and the Trump Presidency”:

Breast groping, crotch grabbing, unwanted kisses on the mouth. This is the President of the United States.

It’s a damn shame.

Judah Friedlander: America is the Greatest Country in the United States

Judah Friedlander should be our president. From climate change to health care, racism to sexism, human rights to same-sex marriage, domestic to foreign, he knows all the policies inside out. If he were to debate Trump, he would challenge Trump on abortion: “How can you look at your two sons, Donald and Eric, and still be pro-life?” His deadpan satire is fucking genius. A must-watch if you need some political comic relief.

Some Updates

Made the text bigger for ON Designs. I also changed the typeface to Pelago a few weeks ago. I like the openness of this latest sans-serif typeface designed by Robert Slimbach.

For Thơ Mưa, I switched the typeface from Cormorant Garamond to EB Garamond, which has been expanded recently by Georg Duffner and Google Fonts. EB is much more legible than Cormorant, the diacritics in particular.

Put together a site to promote Learn. Challenge. Lead. I modified WordPress’s Twenty Seventeen a bit to fit Scalia Law branding. Twenty Seventeen is a decent theme for this sort of promotional site.

As you might have already noticed, I had changed the headings for this site to Halyard Display, designed by Joshua Darden. Just wanted something bold and different. This site is now using four typefaces.