Girthy Thirty

I'm a big fan of Freitag. One of my top reasons why I love Bangkok is their pop-up shop in Siam Square. This video of their Sennheiser x Freitag headphones is just too creative: Freitag

“We are constantly course-correcting, adjusting as we make progress. A new opportunity and a new shape becomes possible, and we move to the new one. This won’t be the end of it: Everything is moving, our audience is moving, technology is moving, and we are working hard to make sure the organization is moving too.” Nieman Lab

Wonderful writing - the entire prose is all about flavors underpinned by famine and festival: "I took a pinch of MSG from a jar and sprinkled it into the hollow of my palm, licked it with the very tip of my tongue, firing off the taste-bud nerve clusters, impulses shooting through the brain layers and triggering an electrifying buzz—as if savoring the vast ocean refined and purified, that sensory experience called “umami”! Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami, by Bei Dao, via Aesop

I love the layout of Aesop's The Ledger.

In Anilao I stumbled upon The Fortune article on Heinz-Kraft merger and the Brazilian firm behind it: G Capital. This, for some reason, changed the way I look at the magazine. It's no-nonsense, and is more friendly than stern, warm than corporate.

The New Yorker article by Amanda Petrusich on Miley Cyrus' about face is thought-provoking, as she had essentially distilled it as an act of discarding Black culture - and that Cyrus's position enabled her to do so.

Amazon buys Whole Foods! (By the way, my wife loves their lobster bisque. And basically every single dish we had - the falafel, the quinoa salad, etc.)

From the New York Times: Jonny Sun as an online personality: he's Asian, sure, but only in a sense that he was born there? But very well-written piece - and an interesting field of study in Harvard, too. (They have a Center for Internet and Society?!)

The Creative Review article on the NYTimes article just shown the process it took them to do the comics issue, and it's super interesting.

Also read in the same magazine: the recent facelift on Bloomberg Business Week's design & layout that I found really drab and unimpressive.

"Development economists, for their part, see the company’s transfer fees as a drag on the finances of the poor. The World Bank estimates that fees eat up 7.5 percent of the remittances sent globally. That number is almost 10 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, where there’s less competition, in part because of exclusivity agreements Western Union and MoneyGram negotiate with their local agents." Bloomberg Business Week

Tacos, culture

This series by the New York Times just affirmed that the graphic novel is here to stay.

Also, this is too funny.

Bilingual dogs

This entire working-from-vacation thing is already getting on my nerves.

Fire tricks

I'm feeling better. The most exciting day of any trip is the night before: you read articles on where to stay, what to expect. Although I've been to New York numerous times, this would be my first time to tag along my wife and son, and I know it's going to be a trip of a lifetime.

So here I am, reading an article from Guernica about that distinct intimacy fathers and sons share that goes out the window as soon as the son becomes aware or conscious of how father-son relationships actually work:

With my son, I say I will miss the kissing when it ends, but that may not be true. I know it’s the right and sentimental thing for fathers of my generation, our era, to say. But it’s also the fearful thing to say, like, “They grow up so fast,” which only means that I’m getting older, more quickly it seems.

I was talking to my wife about how bittersweet fatherhood is: for my son, I'm technically a second-rate citizen when my wife's around--i.e., all the time--and a third-rate citizen when we're with relatives who spoil and shower my son with praises. Third-rate citizens are not afforded with any kind of intimacy; in his book, I'm technically a nobody. Rarely do I become a first-rate citizen, save for those days when I work from home, when I get to fetch him from school, when I allow him to bike outside for thirty minutes, when the two of us spend time in a coffee shop, where his attention is all mine.

I think this rings true when I was younger, too: my mother comes first even after she left for the States, when I was a mere ten year-old. My father filled in the gap tentatively, and it was only when I started my life in college when I finally understood him. This was a gradual realization, and I owe it up to our similarities: aside from the physical resemblances (that receding hairline!) he was (and probably is) a frustrated writer, according to my mom - which explains his implicit acts of dissuading me to write. We also share similar behaviors and attitudes in life: for one, we're essentially cheapskates that would rather scrimp to give way to our vices and luxuries. (We even call these our "one-time, big-time" purchases.)

For some reason it takes a lot of time for a son to find a way to love his father: it almost always starts with denial, or in some cases, rejection. Now that I'm a father, I hate to say that it pains me to see my childhood through my father's lenses - it's like forcing myself to soak my face in a pensieve. The big question: is there a way to make things right, or make up for the lost time?

Xin chao

In the bathroom, soaked in warm water spiked with epsom salts, the four year-old chanting: Vietnamese, Vietnamese, Vietnamese.