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Weber on Italic

Hendrik Weber, Italic—What Gives Typography Its Emphasis, (p.19):

In the meantime, typography has performed a balancing act by combining modern and traditional forms. Italics fulfil a typographic mission. They have to stand out clearly from the typeface used for the main text, without invalidating it. For this reason, italic forms today are not only dependent on the zeitgeist but in particular on their upright counterpart’s design.

He went on:

Upright and italic typefaces mutually depend on each other. Without upright typefaces, there would be no italics—and without italics, the options a designer would have when laying out a text would be rather limited. A modern typeface should have at least one italic, as a minimum. The number of italics was also connected with the increasing formal variety of upright text typefaces. This adaptive behaviour to any typeface construction testifies to italics’ quality. At the same time, it is also the reason italics are difficult to classify into a particular category or group.

Hendrik Weber: Italic—What Gives Typography Its Emphasis

A brief book exams the role of cursive in typography, provides the history of the cursive style, and explores the construction of the cursive form. The book includes lots of historical examples as well as visual illustrations of italicized letterforms. The English edition is translated by Dan Reynolds. The writing is a bit dense, but it is an informing, intriguing read for type lovers.

Giới thiệu Vietnamese Typography

Bốc bài viết hay hay này về để lại đây. Thanh Quỳnh Thân Trọng viết trên Facebook:

Phát hiện của ngày # bao nhiêu quên rồi: a complete and thorough research and guidance on designing Vietnamese typeface. (lười dịch tiếng Việt tại hổng biết dịch sao).

Phát hiện này nhân dịp mình gửi email cho 1 type foundry đề xuất làm bản Việt hoá cho 1 typeface mới mua, và nhận ra hông biết phải hướng dẫn một người không-phải-người-Việt (tức 99.9% type foundry hiện tại) cách hiểu và làm chữ cái tiếng Việt như thế nào.

Vietnamese Typography (2nd edition) là luận án thạc sĩ của anh Donny Truong, hướng dẫn căn bản và dễ hiểu nhất và type anatomy của tiếng Việt. “Việt hoá” hay thiết kế font tiếng Việt thật ra rất khó và xí lắc léo vì tiếng xứ mình có quá trời tầng – 3 dòng base grid baseline acensder decensder không chiều nổi chúng bay =))))

Dù không phải người chuyên về typography (các thầy cô giảng dạy môn này ở ĐH đảm bảo nói hay hơn mình) nhưng mình hiểu nôm na là chữ cái tiếng Việt cần rất nhiều dòng guide phụ: guide cho dấu của chữ cái và guide cho dấu thanh. Dấu của chữ cái thì lại có cái dính với chữ (ư, ơ), có cái tách rời (ă, â, ô,…). Dấu thanh thì có cái nằm trên, có cái nằm dưới. Combo huỷ diệt chắc chắn là những từ dài như Nguyễn, Thường, Ngớt,…

Cho nên làm dấu tiếng Việt khó xỉu, không phải muốn đơm dấu ở đâu thì đơm đâu ạ (như bộ font Helvetica Neue lỗi tè lè quất nguyên dấu phẩy làm dấu ơ mà mọi người dùng như đúng rồi.)

Túm lại đây là 1 tài liệu quý giá, lại còn miễn phí. Mình tin là ai giữa dòng đời tấp nập này cũng đã lỡ 1 lần làm chuyện tà đạo là đi đơm dấu cho 1 font không có tiếng Việt, vậy thì tất cả mọi người càng phải đọc qua để gắn sao cho đúng, cho đẹp, cho thuyết phục. Và đọc xong thấy khó quá thì alo cho chính font foundry, gửi cái link này kêu mày làm thêm ver Vietnamese nhá nhá nhá.

Thanks me later, thanks Donny first.

https://vietnamesetypography.com/

Cám ơn bạn nhiều.

Them Wheels

I finally replaced the Flying Eagle wheels (66mm/90a) with Them wheels (58mm/90a). The original wheels were badly out of shapes when I learned to do the power brakes. They were to the point where I could feel the wobbling, which made dropping in a bit scary. I took a while to do the research because I didn’t know if all the aggressive wheels were compatible. In addition, aggressive wheels were so expensive. A pack of 4 wheels cost $40. For 8 wheels, I would spend $80 and I didn’t know if the wheels would be any good. I was also contemplating on getting a new pair of aggressive skates for $150.

A few weeks ago, I found special deal on Roller Warehouse: $20 for a pack of 4 Them wheels. With free shipping, I ordered 2 packs. Replacing the wheels were easier than I had imagined. I am loving the new wheels. They are smoother. The wheels are also smaller, which made skating more stable.

With the new wheels I am holding off on buying another pair of aggressive skates unless I find a good deal. I still am loving my Flying Eagle Enkidu even though the H-block is a bit too small, which makes grinding and stalling harder. I am just going to spend more time working those skills.

Đại ca và con

Hôm nay tình cờ thấy được con trên mạng xã hội. Đại ca xém nhận không ra vì giờ đây con đã khôn lớn và đẹp trai, không còn béo phì như lúc xưa nữa. Hai mươi năm trôi qua và thỉnh thoảng đại ca cũng muốn biết cuộc sống của con ra sao. Giờ thấy con trưởng thành và có tầm mắt thẩm mỹ trong nghệ thuật đồ họa, đại ca cũng vui.

Đại ca xúc động khi đọc những dòng tâm sự của con về “Ba”. Ông đã đem hết tình thương của mình dành cho con và đã nuôi dưỡng con nên người. Trách nhiệm lớn lao như thế chỉ có “Ba” mới làm được. Lúc xưa đại ca còn trẻ nên lo ngại không biết có đảm nhiệm được tương lai cho con. Giờ đây đã bước vào vai trò làm cha, đại ca vẫn băn khoăn với trọng trách của mình.

Nhưng rồi cuộc đời có nhiều đổi thay và đại ca và con cũng không có duyên phận. Lúc xưa con còn bé lắm nên chắc không nhớ được thời gian rong chơi với đại ca. Với đại ca chuỗi ngày đó đã trở thành những ký ức khó phai và đã cho đại ca trải nghiệm thực tế trong cuộc sống.

Dù sao đi nữa mọi chuyện cũng đã trôi qua theo năm tháng. Có hối tiếc cũng đã muộn màng. Đại ca cũng không mong mỏi điều gì cả. Chỉ chúc con luôn thành công trong đời sống và thỏa mãn với những gì mình làm.

Jami Attenberg: I Came All This Way to Meet You

Jami Attenberg writes, “To fuck was divine, but to write was eternal.” In her breathtaking memoir, Attenberg shares her remarkable journey to be a writer. Even though her first few books didn’t do so well, she didn’t give up. She reflects:

Now, nearly twenty years later, I fully understand what the words do for me: when I write, it’s a place I can go to feel safe. It has always worked that way for me, ever since I was a child. The safety of a sentence. The sensation when I push and play with the words is the most pure I will ever feel. The calm space of my mind. I curl up in it. I love when sentences nudge up against each other, when I notice a word out of order and then put it in its correct spot. I can nearly hear a click when I slot it into place. I love making a sentence more powerful, more dramatic or moving or sad. Or when I make a sentence quiet enough that I can almost hear the sound of my own breath. More than anything, I love when a sentence makes me laugh. The words light up for me on the page, showing me what to do, where they want to go. They have always been my best friends in the world. All I need is for a few of them to show up. To soothe me.

In addition to writing, Attenberg reveals personal and intimate details of her life. I appreciate her honesty on friendships, relationships, and self-consciousness. I have to quote the following section in full to remind myself that no one is perfect:

I thought I would be happy by now. I am, for periods of time. I don’t know why I think I deserve to be happy. I’ve done so many things wrong in my life. I’ve lied to protect myself, or for my own benefit. I’ve been mean, said mean things, hurt people’s feelings, and felt justified doing it if I felt they hurt me first. I’ve been selfish, emotionally, physically. I’ve taken what I’ve wanted without asking for it. I’ve been grabby. I’ve taken the last bite. I’ve committed crimes, minor ones, and I suppose it depends on how you feel about the laws of the society anyway, but nonetheless I’ve done these things, knowingly. Stolen things, broken things, vandalized. Consumed illicit substances on both a regular and irregular basis circa 1990 to 2004, and also sometimes still during Carnival season. I’ve cried to get out of a situation. I’ve been grouchy. I’ve yelled at people, lost my temper. I’ve been unfair. I’ve had bad days and taken it out on people, strangers, and loved ones alike. One is no worse than the other. No one deserves any one else’s bad day. I’ve judged people silently and out loud. I’ve taken things in bad faith. I’ve been jealous. I’ve blamed a lot of it on drugs and alcohol, but that’s not an excuse. I have to own up to my faults.

Why do I deserve anything good at all? Is this a question I should even be asking? Why do I deserve happiness? I don’t—not more than anyone else, anyway.

But still, I want it.

I’m a better person now. I’ve grown up, I’ve wizened, I’ve matured. It is time for me to behave well. I still have to live with my guilt for the rest of my life, but the rest of my life is a long time, and I can use what’s left wisely. It is important to me to be of service to my community as best I can.

This doesn’t mean I am perfect now. I will never be perfect. This doesn’t mean I won’t still get things wrong. I have acquired too many scars to be fully healed. I have broken so many bad habits but not all of them. Even the experience of writing a book is just making one mistake after another until you’re not anymore. Every day we sit down to work we swim in a sea of our own fuck-ups. On the shore is one good sentence.

But it does mean I am trying, that I have to try every single day. I am obligated by my beliefs and the lessons I have learned to wake up and consistently try to be a good person. Even if it is not inherent within me, it doesn’t matter. I can still try. And there is no guarantee of happiness to come from this. I don’t have any control over that. I only have control of what kind of person I can be in this world.

I admire this memoir. It’s an invigorating read.

Quốc Bảo: Xinh Trầm Ngoan

Album Xinh Trầm Ngoan gồm có 8 ca khúc quen thuộc của nhạc sĩ Quốc Bảo được cover lại qua ba tiếng hát Võ Lê Vy, Hồ Tiến Đạt, và Lê Hiếu. Bài cũ như hòa âm mới với âm hưởng hiện đại giữa acoustic và electronic.

Chẳng hạn như ca khúc “Em về tóc xanh” bắc đầu với giọng hát của Võ Lê Vy và tiếng đàn dương cầm nhẹ nhàng nhưng khi phần nhịp điện tử gia nhập lập tức đặt người nghe vào một không gian đương đại. Cô trình bài “Em về tình khôi” tốt nhưng diễn đạt “Dạ khúc” xuất sắc. Giọng hát truyền cảm với phần hòa âm ballad thêm vào một chút blues và phần orchestration tinh tế đã thêm vào sắc màu cho ca khúc.

Với chất giọng trầm buồn, Hồ Tiến Đạt trình bài “Tình trầm” hợp. Còn “Cám ơn một đóa xuân ngời” thì đẹp nhưng Hồ Tiến Đạt không có gì nổi bật hơn những ca sĩ đã từng hát ca khúc này. Giọng hát Lê Hiếu vẫn không thay đổi gì, vẫn nồng nàn qua “Tàn phai” và lãng tử qua “Tim anh trôi về em”. Qua nhịp điệu Latin tươi vui, Lê Hiếu toả tình, “Dù đi phương nào dòng sông vẫn theo / Sông theo chân em đi để mãi không cách chia.”

Xinh Trầm Ngoan là một album chất lượng không chỉ từ giọng hát đến hòa âm phối khí, mà còn thiết kế bìa gồm với chữ vẽ đơn giản, bạo dạn, và nghệ thuật. Đúng thương hiệu một tác phẩm của Quốc Bảo.

Saved by the Helmet

This morning, I tried jumping into the quarter pipe, fell down, and hit my head on the metal ramp. Fortunately I had my helmet on. I still felt the impact. I left the skate park and sat on the bench to make sure I could drive home. I took off my helmet and realized I lost my glasses. I looked everywhere, but couldn’t find it. I can’t recall what I did with it.

I had been rollerblading almost everyday for about half an hour. I used the quarter pipe the most to pump forward and backward. I also got a hang of the 180 turns on the pipe. I learn how to stall as well as how to grind. I still have a long way to go, but I am taking my time and being more cautious. I just want to use aggressive skating as a form of exercise.

I haven’t set my foot in the ice rink for a long time. I need to pick up figure skating again. Once the summer is over, I hope that public sessions at the ice rink near my workplace will change so that I can take my lunch break and hit the rink.

I can’t wait for the winter to ski again. I bought a used snowboard. I might give snowboarding another try. It looked fun, but I couldn’t get a hang of it. We’ll see.

The Powerless Parent

Friday was my remote working day; therefore, I took Xuân and Vương to Jolly Yolly Kids Indoor Playground near our house. I wanted them to run around the playground instead of sitting still in front of their screens at home. They loved this “beautiful playground,” as they referred to it, and it had decent Wi-Fi for me to do my work.

We were there for about two hours when Xuân came up to tell me, “Someone just bit me.” He showed me his back and I saw teeth marks. I asked him if he was OK and if he could point out to me who bit him. Both Xuân and Vương pointed to a boy in an orange shirt. He was a big boy, but probably was a bit younger than Xuân. I asked around to find out who was the parent of the kid. I finally approached a man who was gluing to his phone. I asked, “Is he your son?” When he replied yes, I followed up, “Did you know that he bit my son?” He replied, “Yes, I am so sorry. I told him to apologize.” I said, “Why did he bite my son? Was there a conflict?” He responded, “No, he wanted the balloon and he shouldn’t have bitten.” Then he turned to his son, “Preston, say sorry.” His son said nothing. He went on, “If you don’t say sorry, you will get time out.” The kid ran off and continued to play. I turned to the father, “I guess that didn’t do it. You better make sure he doesn’t bite my son again.”

I took my kids away and I told Xuân, “Thank you for telling me what happened. What that kid did was wrong. He should have said sorry to you. I am going to make sure that he won’t do it again.” Instead of getting back to work, I had to watch them play until closing time.

The father didn’t even come to me to tell me about the incident. I had to approach him about it. The kid didn’t even get a fucking time out. He kept on playing like nothing happened and the father went back to his phone. That was some shitting-ass parenting.