I’m a design director who enjoys blogging, reading, and typesetting.

Liberty Resort

Yesterday, we went back to the Liberty resort for the second time. The first time we skied at Liberty was two years ago and we didn’t have Epic passes. We bought packages that included lift tickets, rentals, and group lessons. Đạo and Đán didn’t want to take their lessons; therefore, I used them. I took three lessons on the same day. The instructors knew me. One of them took me on the green terrain and I was scared. Now it feels so easy.

Today I spent half a day skiing with Vương. Using a harness, I took him on the ski lift. The harness also allowed me to help him turn. He enjoyed the “magic seat” as well as skiing with me. It took us almost two hour to stand in line for the lift. It was super crowded.

After Vương didn’t want to ski anymore, I went alone on the blue terrain. The single line moved much faster. I went down three times and it was time to go home. I tried carving and fell on the green slope. I guess I was leaning too far to the side. I need more practice.

Nguyễn Hữu Lý: Quê hương qua thi ca Việt Nam

Hơn 100 bài thơ qua hơn 100 tác giả viết về quê hương Việt Nam, viết về những địa danh từ Bắc, Trung và Nam, và viết về nỗi nhớ cùng nỗi đau của những tâm hồn tha hương. Tất cả những bài thơ được ông Nguyễn Hữu Lý phiên dịch sang tiếng Anh. Tôi có ý định sau khi đọc xong sẽ tuyển ra một số bài để làm một dự án mẫu đưa vào Vietnamese Typography nhưng tôi không mấy hài lòng về phần tiếng Anh từ cách viết đến ngữ pháp.

James Edmondson: Some Tips on Drawing Type from A to Z (Reread)

Last November, I received a misprinted copy of this little book. Although Oh No had provided me the PDF version, I didn’t read it until I received the corrected print copy. It’s a short book with lots of illustrations and funny explanations to give readers some insights into the world of type design. For type design students, the details and nuances of each letter will serve as an invaluable reference. For typographers, the structure of the letterforms will help them make better type selections. James Edmondson should continue with numbers, punctuations, and diacritics. Just make sure the copies printed correctly before sending them out.

Jumping, Pulling, and Carving

I spent three sessions learning the salchow jump and I still haven’t nailed it. Although the salchow has not clicked, something else has. I went back to the power pulls and I was able to move on one foot for each leg. I have been working on and off on the power pulls for almost a year and they only started to make sense last night. I was so happy about that. I will continued to pull more to gain more power. I will take my time on the backward pulls.

I might switch to the toe loop jump before returning to the salchow. The toe loop jump looks a bit easier, but I am not so sure. Learning on my own is harder than I thought, but I am working at my own pace rather than having to keep up with my classmates. That was stressful about taking group lesson. I don’t want to be the only incompetent skater.

I can’t wait to get back to skiing this weekend. I discovered the carving technique and had been watching several videos on it. Instead of paralleling on my flat skis, I will use my edges by bending my knees and leaning from side to side. Carving will give me more control on steeper slopes. I can’t wait to try it out.

Nicole Byer: BBW

Byer is indeed a Big Beautiful Weirdo and she is damn proud of it. Nn her latest Netflix Special, she didn’t shy from revealing her sexual appetite, her perspective on Black Lives Matter, and her jokes on white women. She also shared her own drinking, eating, shitting, crying, and singing in an airport’s bathroom. She makes you wish that you have the same shameless confidence that she has.

Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster

Gaffigan’s Comedy Monster is a light-weight material filled with self-mockery such as ugly and fat jokes. I didn’t get to see his acting on stage because I was listening to his special while driving to work. These days, I just downloaded Netflix Comedy Special on my phone to listen during my commute. It helps getting to work faster and more pleasant. This one is not so bad.

Tâm Minh: Mưa Xuân

Tập thơ gồm những tác phẩm từ những tác giả tên tuổi như Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, James Joyce, và William Shakespeare được dịch giả Tâm Minh chuyển sang ngữ Việt. Khi đọc tập thơ này tôi chỉ chăm chú vào tiếng Việt để xem ông Tâm Minh chuyển ngữ ra sao. Và ông đã dựa vào ý thơ để viết lại những câu thơ bằng tiếng Việt chứ ông không dịch xác nghĩa. Chẳng hạn như đoạn cuối của bài “The Road Not Taken”, Robert Frost viết như sau:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Tâm Minh chuyển sang tiếng Việt như sau:

Mai này ta kể chuyện đời
Nơi miền đất lạ thở dài luyến thương:
Rừng kia chia cách đôi đường
Ta theo một ngả ít vương dấu giày
Đời ta từ đó đổi thay
Lá vàng theo gió cuốn bay cuối trời.

Không hiểu tại sao ông lại thêm câu cuối: “Lá vàng theo gió cuốn bay cuối trời”. Quyển sách này đã xuất bản vào năm vào năm 2001 tại tiểu bang Virginia, nơi tôi và dịch giả hiện cư ngụ. Nếu có dịp gặp mặt ông, tôi sẽ hỏi thử. Vì những bài chuyển ngữ của ông có chất thơ chứ không chỉ thông dịch nên đọc rất thú vị.

Continuing Freestyle 3

Now that the kids are back to school and I am back to work, I am picking ice skating again. Instead of taking group lesson for Freestyle 3, I am learning on my own with Coach Julia’s YouTube channel.

I can complete one revolution for backward outside pivot. I just need an additional half revolution. Backward inside pivot is a bit tricky, but I also could do one revolution. I can do back arabesques on both feet. I just need more refinements. I am starting to learn the salchow jump. It’s a bit harder than I had imagined, but I am getting there. I haven’t explore the toe loop jump or the toe walley jump. I’ll work on those after the salchow.

The only moves I will be missing are change foot spin and dance step sequence for Freestyle 3. I can’t find any instruction for the dance step sequence on YouTube. I am going to skip the change foot spin altogether since I am not a spinner.

Today at lunch, I went to the Pentagon Row outside ice rink to practice. Unfortunately the ice was hard and clear due to the cold temperature. The surface was also bumpy; therefore, I only skated for 15 minutes and left. I didn’t want to take any risk to practice my salchow jump. I needed an indoor rink to practice. I’ll return to either Fairfax Ice Arena or MedStar Capitals Iceplex.

Just a Nightmare

I just woke up from a dark, twisted, fucked-up dream. There was a funeral for me and I was still alive. Except for my sons, my family members were there to watch me take my own life. There were two planks. One with pointed metal straps for my neck, arms, and legs. One with a bamboo mat placed over and a red pillow with white powder. The powder would make me go to sleep in eternity.

My wife picked the latter and told me that one wouldn’t cut my neck. I thanked her and lay down to rest. As I closed my eyes and started to feel drowsy, I realized that she still cared about me. Then I thought about my kids. Why the fuck am I committing suicide when I still have to raise my kids? I got up and brushed the powder off my face.

What led to my suicidal ceremony was something hurtful I said to someone in our family. I suppose my brain was relaying what I had thought and written about yesterday.

Just to be clear. I do not have any suicidal thoughts. I am in no way of harming myself. I do not feel depressed. In contrast, my life is great. I have a wonderful family. My career is going fine. I love skiing, skating, and rollerblading. I enjoy a glass of wine every night, but I am not an alcoholic. I am trying to live my life because I never know when it is my time to go. I just had an absolute nightmare. I write it out so it doesn’t stay in my head.

Trí C. Trần & Trâm Lê: Vietnamese Stories

I was looking forward to reading Vietnamese traditional folktales in English. Disappointedly, the English translations were so dense that the spellbinding essence of the folk stories didn’t come through. The English stories sounded foreign and stilted. For instance, the idiomatic expression of “Ăn chưa no, lo chưa tới” was translated simply as “carefree” or “Cái nết đánh chết cái đẹp” was translated as “Beauty is only skin-deep.” The literal translations would have been more helpful for language learners.