VISUALGUI
Trương Việt Vương

Scott Kubie: Writing for Designers

This book provides general guidelines for writing based on the four basic workflow:
prepare, compose, edit, and finish. It’s a helpful read, but I was expecting a more laser-focus approach from A Book Apart. I would like to see specific tips on writing clear, concise copy for user interface, product, and marketing. Maybe it should not be a brief, but a full book to cover more practical details.

Horseshit

The President of the United States called a woman a Horseface. His comment is disgusting and misogynistic, but I am not even shocked or surprised given that he himself a piece of fucking Horseshit.

Quincy

Directed by Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks, Quincy documents the 70-year career of the music legend whose producer credits ranging from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. His accomplishments were astonishing. His marriages were not so much. Still, it’s an intimate, inspiring watch. Check it out on Netflix.

Zadie Smith: Feel Free

A collection of essays on cultural criticism ranging from politics, music, art, and film. Smith’s writing is thoughtful, honest, and personal. My favorite pieces are on Jay Z, Joni Mitchell, and life-writing.

Gastroenteritis

What a dreadful Monday. Đán and Xuân come down with gastroenteritis. They both look miserable. Xuân vomited on me twice already. I am now extremely concerned about Vương. He’s only a little over two weeks old. I hope he has not caught the virus yet. Both Đán and Xuân had held and kissed him.

I was supposed to be back to work today, but I am taking an extra week. I was planning on doing some more home repairment, but I ended up tending the sick kids and washing loads of clothes.

Last night I did not get much sleep because Xuân’s temperature shot to 103. I am now totally exhausted. I have to sleep early today to catch up. Life with sick kids sucks.

Structural Typography

Bethany Heck:

Regardless of if you have imagery, regardless of how good the copy is, and regardless of the typeface, if you force yourself to think of type as a structural tool, you’ll always be able to add depth to your designs. It forces you to go beyond the fundamentals of typesetting to seek new opportunities for interaction and storytelling with typography, and to consider the formal qualities of every typeface you choose in the hunt for connections between its graphical design and the message you want to reinforce.

An informing, enlightening read.

Half-Read Books

Kevin Mims writes in the New York Times:

The sight of a book you’ve read can remind you of the many things you’ve already learned. The sight of a book you haven’t read can remind you that there are many things you’ve yet to learn. And the sight of a partially read book can remind you that reading is an activity that you hope never to come to the end of.

I probably have two or three unread books because I could not get through them and thinking of getting rid of them. Maybe I should just keep them for now.

My Yellow Teeth

Last week, I signed a contract for Đạo’s Phase-One Orthodontic Treatment. It costs almost two grants after the special 20 percent off and 50 percent billed to my insurance. I have no idea if he needs it; therefore, I had to rely on the dentist to do what is best for him rather than trying pocket me.

As a father with bad teeth, I do not want my sons to go through what I had been through. From my sixth grade to my freshman year in college, I was known as “the Ching Chong with yellow teeth.” I was embarrassed, but hurt the most when some of my close friends joked about it. Although we were tight, which they must have felt beyond the comfort zone, I was disappointed. I laughed it off, but distanced myself from them.

I have always despise my yellow teeth. When I have to smile for cameras, I often do so without showing my teeth. I once asked my dentist for the whitening treatment, but he told me not to waste my money. I really like my honest dentist.

Nowadays no adults I had interacted with commenting on my teeth, but I can’t help marveling how white, consistent, and beautiful their teeth look. It makes me feel like I am the only person on the planet with brown, nasty teeth. I have thought of extracting all my teeth and getting complete dentures. Then again, when I watched reality shows about how people go through surgery to fix every imperfect parts of their body, it is reassuring to know that not everyone is happy with what they were born with.

I am now content with my teeth as long as they don’t bother me and they do their job: allow me to enjoy delicious food. I don’t need to have perfect teeth to live my life. Appearance remains external. I am now too fucking old to worry about that shit.