Lil Wuyn: An

Tôi ít khi nghe Việt rap. Có nghe cũng chỉ nghe những bài single trên YouTube. Mấy hôm nay được nghe trọn vẹn một album Việt rap của Lil Wuyn. Tôi chưa từng nghe qua Lil Wuyn nên đây là lần đầu đến với An qua một quan điểm tươi mới (fresh). Bài hát tựa đề gây ấn tượng ngay từ flow đến production đến lyrics. Chỉ với tiếng đàn acoustic guitar đơn giản cũng đủ để Lil Wuyn trải lòng của mình về đời sống:

Hành trình không phải là hành hình
Thành hình, thành tài, và là mình
Rèn luyện, cần cù, và tiết kiệm
Càng lớn càng phải có trách nhiệm
Với gia đình, âm nhạc quanh mình.

Cá nhân tôi thích Lil Wuyn raps về tiếng Việt:

Tiếng Việt phong phú
Nghe một hồi lú lúc nào không hay
Có khi líu lưỡi, có khi thật khó
Để phát ra thành âm hay.

Lil Wuyn đem khá nhiêu punchlines vào những verse của mình. “Mở mắt” với Đen, chẳng hạn, Lil Wuyn raps, “Ta cứ chấp thuận những lời phê phán / Vì đến một ngày họ cũng sẽ chê… chán”. Không những chỉ Đen mà còn có sự hiện diện của đàn anh như Young H và Rhymastic trong album của Lil Wuyn.

Với một concept chặt chẽ từ đầu đến cuối, An là một album đầy hứa hẹn cho tương lai. Một album rap Việt có chất thơ và lời động lực mà không cần văng tục. Như Lil Wuyn bài tỏ trong “More Life”: “Tao chọn âm thầm và làm nên chuyện / Chứ không tuyên bố rằng mình sẽ làm nên chuyện”. Keep pushing it, lil bro!

Vũ Trọng Phụng: Lục xì

“Lục xì” là cách người Hoa Việt phát âm hai từ tiếng Anh “look, see”. Nhà Lục xì là cơ quan y tế chuyên chữa bệnh hoa liễu cho phụ nữ làm đĩ. Ở Hà Nội vào thiệp niên 30, thống kê hơn 5000 đỉ lậu — “nghĩa là cứ ba mươi lăm người lương thiện lại có một người thường nhật sinh sống bằng sự gieo rắc vi trùng hoa liễu”, theo phóng viên Vũ Trọng Phụng. Khác với tiểu thuyết Làm đĩ của ông, Lục xì là phóng sự về nạn mại dâm và nạn hoa liễu. Đọc không văn vẻ và hấp dẫn như tiểu thuyết nhưng hữu ích.

Went Fishing With Đán

Highlight of my Father’s Day was spending time with Đán, my second child. Despite the scorching heat, he wanted to go fishing. I had gone fishing in the past, but never paid attention to it. Fishing had never been my thing.

I would rather rollerblade than fish. With my gout flare up, however, skating was out of the question. I took Đán to the state park near our house. Neither of us knew how to assemble a fishing rod. I was grateful for YouTube.

We kicked back, drank Cherry Cokes, snacked on spicy Doritos, and pretended to fish. Obviously we didn’t catch any poor fish, thank goodness. We did, however, spend a few hours together. Đán and I alway have a complicated relationship.

I love all of my kids, but each in a different way. I worry about Đán the most. He had changed so drastically. Of course, kids change when they grow. Even though Đạo is 15 now, I can see him change over the years since the first day we brought him home from the hospital. I kept looking back at clips I filmed of Đán when he was five or six. Now he is completely different, his personality in particular.

He told me that I am being mean to him because of Xuân. In his mind, he always thinks I favor Xuân over him. When he became too verbally aggressive against his younger brothers, especially with Xuân, I stepped in. Both Đạo and Đán have more experience, more vocabulary, and more physical strength than their younger brothers. Naturally, when they picked on Xuân, he couldn’t defend himself yet.

In addition, I am tougher on Đán because he spends way too much time on his computer and doesn’t know how to stop. No matter how many times I explained to him the reasons for what I did, he never wanted to listen. I hope that when he grows older he will understand that my actions have always been fair and balanced.

What I am doing now might make him dislike or even hate me, but I am doing it because I love him way too much. I hope one day he will get it, but if he won’t, I won’t hold anything against him. I just have to do what a father supposed to do. It is my responsibility.

Today we put our differences aside and just enjoy each other’s company. I thanked him for spending Father’s Day with me. It meant a lot to me. I will never forget our time together.

Lễ Cha

Tưởng nhớ đến người đã tạo ra tôi. Lòng này luôn nhớ đến ông. Yên nghỉ Ba nhé.

Inside Out 2

I took all four boys to thee theater to watch Inside Out 2. I loved the first film, which released 9 years ago, and I was hoping that the sequel would be as good or better. I was not let down.

In the first film, Riley, the main character, had Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. As she hit puberty in the second, more characters showed up such as Anxiety, Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui (Boredom). Nostalgia showed up too, but they shooed her away.

I loved the ice hockey actions. The animations were well done. The story was also well-executed. The line that almost brought tears to my eyes when Joy said, “May Anxiety is right. As we get older, we feel less joy.”

Lều Phương Anh: Tình ca Lều (vol2)

Giọt hát của Lều Phương Anh ấm áp và truyền cảm thích hợp với giai điệu blues jazz. Cô covers “Niệm khúc cuối” (Ngô Thụy Miên) rất lả lướt, nhất là tiếng đàn dương cầm, qua phần hòa âm bossa nova. “Bao giờ biết tương tư” (Phạm Duy) được phối theo dàn sang trọng và dây êm dịu. Rất phê với giai điệu Latin cho ca khúc “Sang ngang” (Đỗ Lễ). Hơn đáng tiếc là phần saxo solo hơi bị ngắn. Tuy nhiên, đây là một album tình khúc Việt theo phong cách acoustic jazz đáng thưởng thức về đêm.

Primarium

A while ago Pooja Saxena reached out to me about a project she was working on. She was doing research “to document different models of handwriting that are taught to primary school students around the world.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t help her with that. I referred her to someone else. I am glad to see some information on handwriting education in Vietnamese.

A Year of Nada

A year ago, we licensed a commercial CMS ($21,500 annually) and a cloud server ($11,000 annually). We also paid almost $200,000 for the design, development, implementation, and migration. A year went by, the new website has gotten nowhere. Yet, we need to pay $32,500. This is super wasteful, but it is what happen when someone has no experience in web technologies take charge of the website. I have nothing to say. I just do my part and go with the flow.

Worst Gout Attack So Far

It’s already been 12 days and my gout flare is only getting worse. I could barely walk yesterday. Last night, I was in so much pain I couldn’t sleep. Aleve doesn’t do the trick any more. I am still limping around the whole day today. This is my worst gout flare yet.

I haven’t done any physical activities in the past 12 days. I am going to spend my weekend resting—both my foot and my mind. I can’t be stressed out anymore. There’s no point in putting myself under stress. Whatever happens let it happen. I can’t control anything.

I need to get over this gout flare. I also need to think about my lifestyle. The food I eat and the alcohol I drink. I am getting older now. I really need to take things easy. I will be much more careful in the winter. I can’t afford getting attack during the skiing/snowboarding season.

New Typographic Sample: Làm Đĩ

Làm Đĩ is a novel about prostitution written by Vũ Trọng Phụng. Although it was published in 1936, the book is still a refreshing read. Vũ Trọng Phụng was such a great writer who was ahead of his time. Even though I only read it in recent months, I loved the book so much that I decided to create a sample page to preserve it. For long-form reading, I chose Job Clarendon, by Bethany Heck and David Jonathan Ross. For headings, I selected Albula Pro, by Silvio Meier. For the book title, I wanted a whimsical vibe; therefore, I went with Mireille, by Anita Jürgeleit.