Writing About Your Own Death

Anne Boyer writes in The New Yorker:

In a note about prospective titles for what would become “Illness as Metaphor,” Susan Sontag wrote, “To think only about oneself is to think of death.” Being a writer makes me a servant of sensory details, issuing forth page after page. I am certain that my illness would make a better story if it were someone else’s. Who would want to hear the hammer always complaining about its meeting with the nail? The slightly ill but undiagnosed are better narrators than the truly ill. Their suffering is not so overdetermined. They can be lavishly self-defined, poetic with the glamour of the sick person’s proximity to finality.

To write about oneself may be to write of death, but to write about death is to write of everyone. As Audre Lorde wrote, in “The Cancer Journals,” after she was given a diagnosis of breast cancer, at the age of forty-four, “I carry tattooed upon my heart a list of names of women who did not survive, and there is always a space left for one more, my own.”

Love this passage.

Adobe Transforms from Creativeness to Creepiness

Nico Grant writes in Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Adobe has been working full crank to track every interaction a consumer has with a brand: tallying her visits to a brick-and-mortar store and what she buys; using cookies to monitor her web activity and figure out how many devices she has; analyzing her interest in emails about sales or promotions; and incorporating social media monitoring to see what she says about a brand. Adobe can combine all of this with other companies’ data about a person’s income and demographics to try to predict the triggers that would make her buy a new phone or pair of shoes. In essence, Adobe is trying to know a consumer’s decision-making process better than she may know it herself.

Adobe is getting too big; therefore, it needs to grow beyond designers. It’s sad.

The Kit Kat Cult in Japan

Tejal Rao writes in The New York Times Magazine:

The Kit Kat, in Japan, pushes at every limit of its form: It is multicolored and multiflavored and sometimes as hard to find as a golden ticket in your foil wrapper. Flavors change constantly, with many appearing as limited-edition runs. They can be esoteric and so carefully tailored for a Japanese audience as to seem untranslatable to a global mass market, but the bars have fans all over the world. Kit Kat fixers buy up boxes and carry them back to devotees in the United States and Europe. All this helps the Kit Kat maintain a singular, cultlike status.

This article published last year, but I find it fascinating.

Starting Fresh

I am retiring the good old MacBook Pro after seven years. I never had any problem with it until I upgraded to Mojave about six months ago. It took a long time to start up and crashed Adobe products as well as Microsoft Words. It slows down my production; therefore, I had to let it go.

I am starting fresh with a new MacBook Pro instead of migration over from the old laptop. It gave me the opportunity to clean up all the junks. I migrated email accounts, which were easy, and finally upgraded to Adobe Creative Cloud. I mainly use Photoshop and Illustrator. In addition, I just need to download a dozen of apps. That’s pretty much it. The process took the entire work day.

I am now rocking on a new MacBook Pro, which I hope to last me seven more years or so.

The Weekend is Here, Again

Last weekend, we spent time with my mom in Lancaster; therefore, I did not get to do much around the house. Things are piling up this week. The house has become a stressful environment. Weekends are more like catching up on shit than relaxing. It kind of sucks.

I am losing control of the place. I am thinking of cancelling the spring-break vacation to spend my vacation time throwing things out using Marie Kondo methods. Between the kids’ Tae Kwon Do class and their friends’ birthdays, I don’t have much time left on the weekend.

I want to ignore everything, but I simply can’t. I get irritated even more.

Adobe’s Consolidated Power

Ernie Smith writes in Motherboard:

Adobe is too powerful and can ignore things it doesn’t want to do—whether in the form of cutting prices or ignoring usability concerns—in part because it carries itself like it’s the only game in town.

There is no alternative to Creative Cloud.

The Shen Yun Cult

Jia Tolentino writes in The New Yorker:

Part of the seeming strangeness of Shen Yun could be attributed to a latent Orientalism on the part of Western viewers—including those of us who are of Asian descent. But the real root of Shen Yun’s meme-friendly eeriness is that the ads brightly and aggressively broadcast nothing at all; this is why it’s so easy to imagine them popping up in Ebbing, Missouri, or in the extended Blade Runner universe, or on Mars. The ads have to be both ubiquitous and devoid of content so that they can convince more than a million people to pay good money to watch what is, essentially, religious-political propaganda—or, more generously, an extremely elaborate commercial for Falun Dafa’s spiritual teachings and its plight vis-à-vis the Chinese Communist regime.

Simply fascinating.

Mason for Immigrants

Petula Dvorak writes in The Washington Post:

George Mason is filled with strivers, not schemers. No one with money is struggling to get their kid into Mason. Yet it is a showcase of the American Dream, a haven for middle-class families seeking college degrees for their kids without taking out second mortgages or saddling their children with insane amounts of debt.

And this is a college for the children of immigrants, who are often the first in their families to get a degree.

I am proud to be part of the Mason Nation.

Facebook is Down

The day I decided to reactivate Facebook, it’s down. Oh well, I guess I shouldn’t log back in.

So what’s up? Neomi Rao has been confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Good for her.

I am still debating whether I should do a small website for someone who is connected to the a prominent Republican. Well, It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Will see.

My MacBook Pro is dying. It takes forever to boot up. Microsoft Word fails to open. Adobe products take forever to open. I should hold off on upgrading to Creative Cloud until I get a new MacBook Pro. I am not looking forward to transfer everything over. I guess it is time to clean up everything.

I am reading Stormy Daniels’s memoir. I haven’t come yet. Just kidding. She has good story to tell. I’ll blurb it when I am done.

What else is there? Still stressing the fuck out about everything. I am about to head home soon for the day. This post is super random.

Bribing College Admissions

Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky write in The Washington Post:

Authorities said the crimes date back to 2011, and the defendants used “bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission” to numerous college and universities,” including Georgetown, Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and UCLA, among others.

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.