Weekly Photos: Artwork by Robert Irwin

    This week’s photos accompanying my blog are artworks by Robert Irwin. I just finished rereading his book in the last couple of days; therefore, his work is still fresh on my mind. As a designer, I have always prefer simplicity. As a result, I can relate to his minimalism. I hope you enjoy some of his works I have selected.

Weekly Photos: Artwork by Molly Brauer

This week, I am featuring paintings by my friend Molly Brauer. Molly was my boss at George Washington University School of Business. She got out of communications and picked up painting.

If you visit this site on a large screen instead of a mobile device, you can see some of her beautiful paintings. What I like about her work is that each painting has a wonderful story behind it.

If you are interested in purchasing her artwork, you can connect with her on LinkedIn. She also posts her artworks on Facebook, but I am temporarily deactivating my account. I don’t find the use for it anymore.

Weekly Photos: Life In Quarantine

If you visit this site on a laptop or desktop, you can see that photography occupies a big space on this blog. I want to turn this image-heave design into a weekly feature. Each week, I will select a few photos that are related and let them load randomly as readers visit the blog. What’s the point? I just wanted to give the blog more visual. Why not on mobile devices? I don’t want to waste reader’s data. This is an enhancement, not a requirement.

For the inaugural week, I would like to share some photos of my kids living their lives in quarantine. We, my wife in particular, wanted our kids to spend more time off the screen; therefore, we tried to let them do a bit of outdoor activities like playing in the sandbox in backyard, watering the plants, or biking around the block. With our jobs, we struggled to keep them busy; therefore, we had loosen up the screen time policy. Unfortunately, they had took our generosity for granted.

In the past few days, our two older sons went berserk when we asked them to do school work or turn off their video games. They also threw a fit when they asked us to play video games and we said no. Now we have to re-enforce the strict policy. Their patience for school work is amount to zero. As a result, their academic is suffering. I am feeling guilty and overwhelming.

What a Busy Week

I am happy to see the launch of “Mapping Corruption: The Interactive Exhibit.” I hope the information will shed some light on our current corrupting government. Let’s change that in November. Whether by ballot or mail, make sure to cast your vote in this extremely important general election.

I had the pleasure of working with Grilli Type to review their typefaces for Vietnamese support. I can’t wait to see Vietnamese language added to GT America, GT Pressura, and GT Sectra. I also worked with Signal Type on their Ballinger family. That’s a fine one as well.

What’s next? I started working on a website for a writer this week. She is releasing her third novel and needed a fresh website to promote it. The book won’t come out until November, but the website will be launched in the next few months.

It is unusual to have projects lining up at this time, but they keep my mind off the news, the pathological narcissist, and the coronavirus. I stopped drinking and no longer feeling depressed. I am doing my best to cope with this crisis. It hasn’t been easy, but I have to adapt. I am glad to have some resilience in me. I hope you are doing well too. Just hanging in there. Social distance is working. Stay home, stay safe, and stay informed.

Hy hữu

Lâm Huyền Vi viết:

Donny đọc bài này chưa? Mình hoàn toàn đồng ý với tác giả bài viết. Có nhiều bản hòa âm cho các bài hát của chị Ngọc Lan dở quá. Không biết có ai đó có thể viết lại hòa âm cho các bài đó không? Tiếc quá! Giọng hát của chị thật là hay, nhưng hòa âm thật là tệ.

Tôi trả lời:

Dĩ nhiên là đã đọc vì mình chính là tác giả của bài đó. Thật là một tình cờ thú vị. Visualgui.com là trang blog cá nhân của mình. Không ngờ đã viết bài này tám năm rồi. Cám ơn Vi đọc và chia sẻ. Chúc Vi an lành và khỏe mạnh.

Đã lâu rồi tôi không viết về nhạc Việt nữa cũng nhớ nhớ. Chắc lâu lâu phải lôi ra những album cũ viết cho vui.

Thơ chống dịch

Thấy bà con làm thơ chống dịch vui vui nên cũng tham gia.

Tôi là Doanh
Sẽ không đi loanh quanh
Ở nhà tự xử cho nhanh.

Tôi là Donny
Ở nhà khỏi bận quần xì
Chỉ ăn mì và ngủ li bì.

Các bạn cố gắng ở nhà nhé để tai qua nạn khỏi. Chúc tất cả bình an và khoẻ mạnh.

Letter From Mr. Cường

Cường writes:

Hi Donny,

This is Cuong, the writer at Cuong.com. I was reading a few of your blog entries at VisualGUI and had to email you after I read “A Bad Asian Confession.” Wow. She seemed like a sweet girl. You did mess up. But messing up is part of being young, maturing, growing up. Look at me. I didn’t tell Nhi I loved her until 20 years later. And even then I didn’t take her hand. So your bad ain’t so bad. I hope you contacted your old girlfriend afterwards and made up, even if it was 20 years later.

Keep on writing! Your articles are refreshing! By the way, where’s your email list sign up? Can you sign me up? Thanks!

I just added you to my blogroll! You’re my first!


Dear Anh Cường,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. It is an honor to hear from a Vietnamese-American voice I respect. I am glad that I had discovered cuong.com and subscribed to your blog via RSS Feed. On that note, I have an RSS Feed if you would like to subscribe. I do not have an email subscription because I don’t want to manage an email list. I don’t want to be responsible for people’s email. Furthermore, I don’t want to flood people’s inbox with my rants.

Thank you for sharing your story about your relationship and your advise to reconnect. A few years ago, I came across her name on Facebook through a mutual friend. I immediately sent a friend request hoping that we could put our past behind. Unfortunately, she still has not accepted my request. I tried. Based on some public photos she had posted, she seemed happy with her husband and kids. Maybe it is a good thing we aren’t reconnected.

Also thanks for adding me to your blog roll. It means a lot to me.

Take care of yourself and your family. Stay safe and healthy!


Donny Truong

A Letter to Cancel Our Vacation Rental

Dear Ms. M,

We would like to cancel the vacation resort rental booked for the week of April 4 to 11, 2020, which is three weeks from today. Yesterday the government declared national emergency on Coronavirus.

We understand your refund policy, but we hope that you make an exception for this grave pandemic. We made the decision to stop all non-essential travels until the Coronavirus is under control. The outbreak is too risky for us and for our 80-year-old mother in particular; therefore, this vacation will have to be cancelled. Please let us know if we have any options or if we can work something out.

Thank you for taking this serious matter into consideration.

Best regards,

The Truong Family

Thank You For Your Support

Yesterday I received a generous contribution from a reader. As an independent blogger, I feel appreciative and encouraged. Blogging has become a passion of mine. I am not a writer, but a designer who writes. Blogging has allowed me to express myself through words without filter. I could write whatever I wanted. The freedom is both hypnotic and hell-raising at times.

Although I have invested time and effort into my blog, from designing to writing, I hesitated to ask for support. I don’t want to change the way I write if I have people paying me. Fortunately, it has not been the case. But then on the flip side, why the hell not? I will never know if I never tried it out. Whether I get support from readers or not, keeping my blog up-to-date will not change. Writing has been a way for me to deal with many issues in my head. If nothing else, I can improve my writing. I still trip up on English grammar, but I am getting better. I still make Vietnamese spelling errors, but I am relearning them as I write.

These days, I do cross-posting on Facebook as well. I want to share some of my thoughts to family and friends who do not visit my blog. On Facebook I have 230 friends, which is a much smaller audience than my blog. I pull in about 12,000 unique visitors a month on my blog, but I have no idea who they are or where they come from. I do not have any third-party tracking script on my website. I have no like button and no comment section on my blog. It is just me writing my life away. Facebook is different because it is Zuckerberg’s platform and not mine. All my content belongs to him and I don’t feel easy about it. The good thing is that I can simply turn off the switch and everything will be gone. Most of the content I shared on Facebook I already have an archive on my blog.

If you find me deactivating my Facebook one day, you can always find me on my blog. My blog is where I keep most of my writing. I wanted to thank everyone who had contributed to my blog. If you’ve moved to do so, here’s the link.

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