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Welcome to my blog, the online version of my life!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What I'm Up To

This is just a random post with what I'm up to!
We are back in our full homeschool life, and no longer on summer vacation. I'm doing a bunch of classes with other homeschoolers, a lot of them taught by Mom. It's like, on Tuesday I've got Latin class; on Wednesday I've got Reading Utopias; on Thursday I've got Tree of Life (Biology) Art History, and another Latin class; and in a few more weeks I'll start having Constitution and Reading Shakespeare on, I think, Wednesdays. Ha ha, and people think homeschoolers don't have homework!
In contrast with Lassen, it's been unbelievably hot. At Lassen, it was like 35 degrees at night, and the general high temperatures were in the 60s. The parents complained of breaking a layer of ice on the dishwater, whereas here I slept in my underwear last night!
Today, we were going to go to swim team. When we got there, it was closed and they said a pipe had burst or something. We swam at Lake Anza instead. Rafie and I swam all the way across Lake Anza! I felt so powerful, and also so tired! Even just a few weeks at swim team really paid off!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lassen!!




Our trip was really great. With adventures ranging from climbing volcanos to exploring caves, we had lots of fun. We were a whole troupe: Mom, Rafie and Solomon; Susan, Evelyn, Clem and Greta; Marina, Arina, Yakov and Ephraim; Elaine, Milo, and Gianna; and me. Our campsite, where we had forts, fires, and food, was great. Every evening we made a fire and sat down to swap campfire stories, tell riddles, or play some 'Truth or Dare'. Milo (A slightly whiny 9-year-old), said that I was the best storyteller in the group. :-)
For our first adventure, we went to Subway Cave, a large lava tunnel. Armed with flashlights, we walked through the tunnel. The ceiling height ranged from a bit above my head level to way, way up. Our friend Clem stubbed her toe four times in Stub-toe Hall. After that Arina, Marina and I went into another cave. This felt a bit more like it was ours, because there were no signs with geologic info and maps to guide us. Water hung on the ceiling, and when combined with golden-colored lichens, it was beautiful. I felt like Tom Sawyer, but it was better because I never got lost. Elaine, Milo and Gianna had not arrived yet, and we were not expecting them.

The next day, we took a hike to Bumpass Hell, where some guy named Kendall

Vanhook Bumpass once fell through unstable, crusty ground and plunged his entire leg, which became useless for the rest of his life, into boiling, bright blue water. We saw those bright blue streams, and holes called fumaroles that spewed insane amounts of steam; and smelled like sulphur or rotten eggs even from up on the boardwalk we had to stay on. We found something Clem called the "Blorping Pot", an underground mud pot from which we could hear noises: Blorp. Blorp. Blorp. We also went to Sulphur works, a bubbling mud pot by the side of the road. While we were gone, Elaine and her kids arrived.

Our next adventure took us hiking up Lassen's Cinder Cone, where we gained
700 ft elevation

in a very gravelly 1/2 mile climb, and I said the word 'epic' a lot. Lassen's Cinder Cone is a volcano, and we went into the crater-like bowl at the top, which was epic. There was an epic view from the top. I could see the bright and beautiful Painted Dunes, alongside long beds of igneous rock that we's walked by, and a blue lake in the distance. The hike up the volcano was hard, but finishing it made me feel really powerful, which was the most epic part: I climbed a volcano! I could do anything!

After these awesome adventures and a relaxing hike around a lake, the trip was seeming perfect. We were ready to have a buffet lunch and chill in a swimming pool/hot tub up at the Drakesbad Guest Ranch. We condensed into three cars, so I was in Susan's car. We hung out and listened to a pretty good fantasy book on CD during the drive. I was reaching for some chap-stick to put on my nose when a jolt shook us as Susan stopped quickly, but not without jolting into the car in front. Then my Mom's car jolted into Susan's from the back. Susan was like, "That car stopped so quickly, and now it'll be legally my fault!" Well, the person in front was injured, so as "witnesses" we had to sit around for three hours. Us kids got out and stayed in a nearby meadow (the road went right through the woods) and ate CLIF bars for lunch. The little children quickly occupied themselves with games.(I know they're only five or seven years younger than I am, but they felt like little children) Finally, when everything was sorted out, the day was used up and we sat around in the campsite for the afternoon.

But before we left, we still got a chance to swim and have lunch at Drakesbad. I stayed in the pool, which was heated by hot springs, until I was hot as a furnace and pink as an unripe strawberry. I was sad to leave, but glad to be going home as well. It was 9:30 by the time we got home, at 10 I was in bed.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Camping is Going to Be Great!

We're going camping at Mt. Lassen tomorrow ! I thought we were going to do it today, even though I hadn't packed yet, but our friends who were already up at Lassen announced that it is very rainy, so we're going to wait a day. Solomon's response was: "Awwww! I like the rain!"
Anyway, I'm excited about camping even if it is tomorrow, because I don't like camping in the rain. Last Spring; our family, Susan and her kids, (Evelyn, Clem, and Greta) Marina and her kids, (Arina, Yakov, and Ephraim) and a bunch of other families went camping together at Malakoff Diggins Historic Park. It got really rainy the second day. I woke up shivering in a leaky "tent" and helped make a spluttering fire. But epic fail! None of us could stand being soaked through all morning, (It's supposed to be a replica of a gold rush camp. Practically the only dry and warm spot was the modern bathrooms!) so we left that day.
Fortunately, the weather reports say the weather will be good while we're there! We'll climb up the volcano, go to a place where scalding water bubbles up from the ground, and learn a ton. I'm going to write about it in my journal and on this blog, and I'll collect rocks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Taming of the Shrew: My Review


From the very beginning, when I saw the amazing sets on the stage for the Taming of the Shrew (From the Marin Shakespeare Company) , I was brought into the world of the play. It was a picturesque beachside building with vine-covered trellises, a little deck, and barrels outside lying around as though on an old wharf around a picnic table. On the other side of the stage, painted waves seemed to lick at the old-fashioned pirate ship-- complete with a crow's nest and gangplank. You might be wondering, Um, are we talking about the same play here? The taming of the shrew is, like, a Shakespeare play. You sound like you're describing the sets for some pirate movie!
You're right! This version of Shakespeare's play, the Taming of the Shrew was set pirate style right down to changes in the script. I thought that it went a little bit far in being silly, but overall it was good. For example, a character called Biondello would come on every time doing some circus trick. First it was tall stilts with little duck feet, then hula hooping while playing a guitar on his head, and then a unicycle...
I also didn't really like one other thing: the play revolves around a belief that women are inferior, and they should be traded and trained. The play is about a man who says that his obedient, humble daughter can only be married when someone marries his nasty, disloyal daughter; and the struggle over the nice girl, and the "taming" of the mean one; that followed.
In general I liked it, though. The acting was great, including funny mannerisms and silly additions. One character would gaze & point at the sky fondly while magical music played each time he said his love's name. :-)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Swim Team

Rafie, (my 10-year-old brother) Solomon, (my 7-year-old brother) and I went to our swim team, the Berkeley Barracudas, today. (Isn't that a great name?) We've been going for a week now. There are three girls my age who have the same coach as I do (Having the same coach is basically being in the same class) who I want to be friends with, but I feel kind of shy. I feel like the new girl even though there are lots of new kids and one of those girls came into Swim Team even later than I did.
Our coach is usually very nice, but today he made me feel a little bad. He told the whole group that we'd apparently forgotten all the work we did yesterday on the breast stroke, which made me feel like I wasn't good enough. Still, with an hour and a half of working out every weekday, we're improving!

My First Post

This is my blog's very first post. Huzzah! On this blog I will write about my life, post short pieces of writing such as poems, and anything else I feel like throwing in. This might become a sort of continuation of my Acorn 'Zine, a handwritten "zine" (miniature magazine: pronounced zeen) that I made a few issues of. It was pretty useless, because I never let other people read it. I mostly just liked the idea of making my own zine. But anyway, this will be like the Acorn 'Zine, but it will be public, and hopefully it'll last longer.

I hope I attract some readers, and if you're among them, I hope you enjoy my posts.