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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Script Frenzy Script-- Excerp

int. lilyana’s home – bedroom - day

lilyana and ella, two children, sit on the floor. An ipadlike device and a box of dolls are nearby.
What d’you want to play, Ella?
Let’s play with our ilearn.
(stares longingly at the box of dolls)
The ilearn is boring. It’s all letters and numbers and other things that aren’t any fun. I want to play with dolls.
Oh, Lilyana, the ilearn helps you. It teaches you things. Dolls don’t help you.
(almost shouting)
Play with dolls with me, ok, Ella?!
lilyana’s mother, nevaeh (o.s.)
Lilyana! Ella’s right! Play ilearn, hon.
See? The ilearn is better.
Phooey. Whatever.
Lilyana reaches for the ilearn and begins to press buttons. ella presses a few as well.
cut to:
int. lilyana’s home – kitchen – five years later – night
nevaeh; lilyana’s father, trevin; the eight-year-old sister, renee and Renee’s robot; and lilyana with ella stand around a big table. A red cake with eleven Christmas lights in it glistens on a plate.
all except lilyana
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Lilyana, happy birthday to you.
Now can we eat the cake?
I’m ready!
nevaeh, trevin, renee, and lilyana each take a slice of cake. Lilyana and ella walk into another room.
Happy eleventh birthday again.
Thanks, Ella!
Beeeep. Beeeep.
Huh? What did you say?
(in monotone)
Beeeep. Checking data... checking data... timer equals eleven... destructing, destructing.

ELLA falls to the ground. lilyana rushes to ella and tries to pull ella up.

Ella! What's going on, are you okay, Ella?!
nevaeh  walks in.

Mom! Ella's lying on the ground and talking funny. Help her. I don't know what to do!
Robots only last eleven years, Lil.

ella twitches and stops moving in a puff of steam.

What? I hate that! Why don't we get to play with REAL children?? They wouldn’t just… do THAT I bet!
Lil. Robots are to prepare children for their adult friendships. When your robot wears out, you're grown up.
Lilyana, don't be sad. This is an important step for you.
I don’t see how… aw, I remember how I used to try to take Ella apart to see how she worked. But now my robot’s destroyed.
It was a robot. It was designed to do that.
My robot friend.
Someday you will have a little kid, and you will see that her robot is just like Ella. They manufacture the bots at the Botro Company, and they are all the same. Ella might be gone but it has dozens of clones.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Twelfth Night!

Yesterday we had our performances of Twelfth Night. Thanks to everyone who came to see me.
Before the performance, the moms who were assistants gave me a lot of makeup. I got makeup around my eyes, and "ruby red lips" which made me look like a vampire. I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't look quite the way they wanted when they went onstage-- I heard a few costume complaints, like "I have the worst costume in the play" and "this black Malvolio costume is depressing" and even "I look like a gay potato!" Backstage, we were all waiting until we were allowed to start the play. Many of us stood behind the curtains, Rafie with his cello, me with my lipstick-stained clarinet. Anthony held his turn-off-your-cell-phones speech on a piece of paper. i had taken out my retainer. I walked up to Bryce and said, "Break a leg, literally." It was just because Bridget suggested it!
Bryce was like, "Why??" Last year before the play he had told me to break a leg literally or something like that and when I had asked he said,
"Well isn't that obvious? I'm a Montague. You're a Capulet. Why shouldn't I want you to break a leg?"
Ha ha... I had killed that Mercutio dead later. (That's why Bridget suggested it.) But now, I did NOT say, "Well of course. I'm Maria. You're Malvolio." I said, "Oh, nothing."
So soon Jane the teacher came and told Anthony to count slowly to 60 then go out and start his turn-off-your-cell-phones speech. Jane then walked back to the house, leaving the play in our hands. But not for over 60 seconds! I did not want to wait that long! Either start it or don't, I thought. Finally Anthony gave his speech and finally Rafie and I stepped onstage to perform our piece. And we did! It worked! The music filled the room and filled our ears. My fingers seemed to automatically fly to the right places on my clarinet.
We went offstage soon after. I took apart my clarinet and I was ready to be Maria. (That's pronounced Mar-ay-ah, people like Charlotte K., not Mar-ee-ah)
You know something? Throughout the play my character gets called an "excellent wench," the "youngest wren of mine" (Sir Toby's. When something says 'mine' on it it's probably either Bryce's or Roman's.) and "my noble gull catcher" (Wait, I'm Sir Toby's youngest wren and also Fabian's noble gull-catcher? What's that mean? Ooh, I know: I'm a wren that catches seagulls!)

During the play, I fixed the things I'd forgotten to do in the morning: move a bench, bring a certain prop onstage, and slow down on my lines.We all had fun, stayed in character, and put on a good performance. However, at one point one character was supposed to come onstage with Roman and me, and she was in the middle of a costume change. But I had to go onstage!! So I walked on and called, "FOO-OOL! Come here, 'tis time to put on this beard and carry out our trick. Toby, have you seen Feste?"
Well, Feste came soon.
But that was basically the only mistake! Everyone said later, at the cast party, how I did great, but Rafie got plenty real praise. (Not that mine wasn't real, but it came from family and friends, who would say I did great no matter what I did.) Rafie had strangers-- complete strangers-- come up to him and tell him how well he did and that he had a truly amazing voice. Get this-- someone came up to  me and asked if I knew where that fabulous boy who had sung the song at the end of the play was. I was proud to say that he was my brother!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Homeschool Italia

New family travel blog for Italy: The link is also on the cool links page of my blog.
We're going to Italy in like a week! Hooray.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Runaway Chicken; also, Twelfth Night

Solomon was shouting about something so I went downstairs to see what it was. Goldilocks the Chicken had somehow gotten into the neighbor's yard. We decided the best way to get her back was to climb over the fence and carry her back. I climbed over and picked her up. Then I saw a small gap at the bottom of the fence where she must have gotten through. Solomon coaxed her through it and I climbed back over. Then we put some old bricks in the gap so she wouldn't leave the yard again.

Also, our performances of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night are tomorrow at 11:00 in the morning and then at 7:00 in the evening. I hope to see you guys there! I am ready for the play, but not everybody is. The dress rehearsal was awful and there was one little girl who basically ruined two scenes by missing her cues. Malvolio was pretty smart and saved the scene (but before things got running again it was pretty embarrassing and awkward for everyone on stage). And then there was that scene where the Captain forgot his line. "Her father died and left her in the care of her brother... um..."
Viola tried to disguise her prompt: "Uh... did he, too, die?"
The Captain was silent for a moment then said decisively, "... Yes."
Backstage we were laughing ourselves into stitches but trying not to be heard.
Annnnnd Rafie forgot his cello bow. Buuuuut he played pizzicato and sounded great.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Labs, and How My Science Teacher Totally Saved Me

(No exaggerations included.)
 Time for a field trip! Since QuantumCamp had just ended, a subset of the students were going to Lawrence Berkeley Lab for a cool tour and to see the Cyclotron. Mom and Dad dropped me off at QuantumCamp with three dollars in case we had to pay for bus fare on the way. (Well, as soon as I got in I discovered that we were supposed to have enough money to buy lunch.) We-- four girls, three boys, and two teachers-- all got on a free bus up to the labs. Arina and I sat together and looked out the window and "wrote" on the fogged-up window with our fingers. When we reached the lab we all hopped out and walked in the rain into one of the buildings. I had an umbrella, which I shared with Arina (who had neither a rain coat nor an umbrella).
 It was a quite interesting tour, but I didn't really like being there that much. The air tasted funny and we had to wear goggles on our eyes. The large sized goggles slipped too far on my nose, and the small ones slightly pinched my head. I chose the small ones. A man named Mike showed us around.
 We saw the control room, which looked like a movie set. All the walls save the one we were leaning against were covered in buttons!  The room had seven screens altogether. The control room controlled the whole building, and had a light for each room, that lit up if the room was in an emergency.
 There was a machine called Gretina, that could see gamma rays. It looked like a giant, hollow, aluminum soccer ball with holes where the black spots would go and a lot of machinery around it. There was also a room (called a "cave") where they just do various experiments. That is the place where the scientists discover cool new elements and versions of elements. They had charts on the walls that Mike said contained information that you'd see on any chart today, but that these charts had some information handwritten on, and when they were written on they had just been discovered. So when the scientists learned something new that nobody knew yet they just wrote it onto their charts. The scientists at this lab discovered Berkelium, Californium, Americium, and Lawrencium. (Scientist's name + -ium = new element name!)
 Mike said goodbye to us: "See you in a few years after you all get your Phd's so you can work here, because we could use a few more scientists."
 Then we walked uphill to a cafeteria. There were many, many flights of stairs to get to the cafeteria. Man, it was tiring. I didn't feel like I could keep going but I kept going so I wouldn't seem weak or something. Everyone else was still walking. But it got harder. Oh, we were so close! Wait, no, we had a few more flights. I felt faint. I said so, but nobody seemed to hear me. By the time we reached the cafe I was starting to see gray spots. There hadn't been a chance to sit down on the tour. So I hurried to a seat and sat with my head between my knees.  When I'd sit up, I'd feel faint and see gray spots again. After a while I ventured to the other side of the cafe for some food. I didn't know what I could get with three dollars but it was better than sitting here feeling awful. But walking still made me feel so faint.
 Well, by the time I reached the other side of the cafeteria the gray spots made it nearly impossible to read what they had. There were sandwiches in plastic wrap. I tried to read the sign while trying to stand. Sandwiches cost seven dollars. I asked the lady at the counter how much the Odwalla juice was. She said the people at the next counter knew. I asked them but they couldn't give me an answer either. At this time I felt I had to get back to a chair. I could hardly read what else they were selling so I walked through the gray dots to the table and sat with my head between my knees again. If I didn't get something to eat I would stay this way and be unable to get to the bus stop again. But to get something to eat I had to feel better. So I sat for a long time, trying to get the feeling that I was about to faint to pass. After a time, Ryan (my teacher) asked if I was OK. I answered that no, I was feeling really faint. Ryan said he'd get me something to eat. "What do you like to eat? What's your favorite food?"
 I found I was unable to even answer the question. "Uh... I dunno."
"Do you like... hamburgers?"
"Yes." I could say that much. I held out my three dollars.
"No, I can pay for it."
"Thank you," I managed, very sincerely.
"Now until I get back, I want you to drink this glass of water." Ryan left, and I drank.
I waited for a long time, sipping water and putting my head low down so it would get lots of blood. Ages and ages later, Ryan set down a hamburger and fries on a tray. I thanked him and ate the warm burger, banishing the gray spots and making me feel much better. I felt normal again! I felt just fine. Ryan had totally saved me! I even joined in conversation with the other kids. I saw that they were eating stuff that probably tasted better than my wilted fries and wondered why I hadn't been able to think of anything yummy to eat earlier.
And I felt SO much better. I was so thankful to Ryan. He said later that "you were so pale, I thought you were going to pass out."
I could believe that. While we were in the cafeteria, I'd barely been able to read or stand up. "I thought I was going to pass out!"

Ryan was really a good teacher, and he was great today. It wasn't the money that was so good-- as I'm sure three dollars' worth of food would have helped me-- it was the fact that this guy was nice and wanted to help me. Because really, I couldn't have crossed the cafeteria alone at that point. And now I'm fine.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

QuantumCamp 1

I completed QuantumCamp 1, a science class, today. It was ten weeks long with three-hour classes once a week. My favorite thing I learned today was about quantum jumping. Electrons move around atoms, but they CANNOT be between the levels of the atom. So they go from one level to another in an INFINITELY small amount of time. When people figure out how this works we might be able to TELEPORT.
OK, that wasn't really worth its own post but it's pretty cool.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Octopus

This is a story that I recently wrote:

Flailing my tentacles, I turned to see some people through the glass. ‘Oh no,’ I thought. One of them had a small Bright Light Box. Those things flashed when the people held them up, and they were awfully annoying. In fear, I retreated through the water to the back of my tank, where my eggs and my safe spot were. I squeezed through the  smooth glass entrance to my home. The bottle that I hid out in was just wide enough to fit me.
The people stared. “He’s going into the bottle!” exclaimed one person. “Look at!”
Stupid person. Wasn’t it obvious enough that I wasn’t a he? But I felt safe here. Two layers of glass were between us; they could not hurt me. Then one of the people held up a small Bright Light Box. A flash of light and sound followed. I winced and found myself writhing in fear and panic. Were they going to attack me? Were they going to pick me up so I couldn’t breathe, and put me in an even tinier tank the way they had when I came here? My tentacles were whirling around.
“Did you get a picture of that tiny octopus?” one of the people asked another. If I could have scowled I would have; I did not want to be a cute, tiny octopus. I wanted to be an awesome, mysterious octopus but maybe one that was only a couple inches across like I was now, ‘cause otherwise I couldn’t fit in this tank as well.
“I tried, but it is too dark in here.”
“Oh, too bad.” They all walked away.
‘I’m a coward. I just hide in this bottle,’ I thought morosely. And now I was alone. Since I was taken to the aquarium, I had always been either lonely or afraid. I HATED it. I hated this AQUARIUM.
But I wasn’t totally alone, I realized. My eggs. My eggs were right behind me! And when they hatched I’d have 200,00 little octopus larvae!

The end

Well, that's not the ACTUAL end. That octopus is real. My story made her seem so hopeful, but :( in reality her eggs just hatched and the humans did NOT let her keep the larvae. They took them away and are deciding whether or not to have some of them in the aquarium. To make stuff worse, she (like all octopus mamas) will die soon after her eggs hatch. Well this is sad for everyone but extra sad for me having written a story about her and tried to recreate the octopus's thoughts. :(

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Skin Soup

Several weeks ago, I was having lunch with my friends Xena and Evelyn in between science classes. We decided to go to a chinese restaurant, Great China. I was a little nervous about ordering at a restaurant without an adult. Even though the three of us eat lunch together each week so far we'd gone to less formal places. We sat down at a table and started to look at the menu. A very chinese-looking waitress came to our table and gave us glasses of water and a small metal pot of tea then walked off before we could order. We talked for a little while and she came back with a soup appetizer (even though we hadn't ordered yet.) I felt a bit confused but tasted it, drinking from a strange-shaped spoon. It was hot and partially sweet, a little sour. It had thin lumps of white stuff in it. The soup was OK, but after a few spoonfuls I decided that I didn't like the soup. "It looks like there's skin in it," I blurted out.
Xena looked at her soup. "Eww."
"Don't worry!" Evelyn smiled. "I'm sure it was no-one we know!"
"Oh, now I really don't want to eat it," said Xena.
"Yeah. Gross," I said, pushing my soup aside. From then on we referred to it as the Skin Soup.

A few weeks later we ate there again. We decided to ask what the Skin Soup really was. When we described it, Evelyn's mom had suggested that it could be either bird's nest soup or egg drop soup. When the waitress came with the Skin Soup, one of us asked what it was.
"It is, ah, egg drop soup," I heard the waitress say.
 The waitress left our table. We stared down at our Skin-- make that egg drop-- soup. I drunk a spoonful of it. "I don't actually like it even though it isn't skin," I admitted.
"Me neither," said Xena. "Let's order some good wanton soup."
And I felt a little silly.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Eggs in Strange Places

I looked in the chickens' nesting boxes. There were two green eggs. We hadn't gotten many brown ones recently. I walked back to the garden gate, between five chickens. Where was the sixth, Firefly?? I looked around. She was dark-colored and could blend in well. I spotted her by the fence. "Hey Firefly," I said stupidly, "the rest of the flock's over there." I wondered what she was doing and looked around behind her.
There was a huge pile of... eggs. Eggs! I realized in amazement that the chickens had been laying most of their eggs there and we hadn't even known! Most of the eggs were brown. Of course! That was why I'd collected mainly green eggs. I ran to the house for a basket and to tell the family. We placed all the eggs in the basket-- fourteen of them! The chickens had been hiding eggs here for maybe a week!

Also, Rafie got an awful book called Making Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction. Most of them aren't too harmful, but I don't feel as safe with those plastic-spoon catapults and that mechanical-pencil gun around!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Orthodontia Upsides

There are a few-- a VERY few-- upsides to having plastic and metal in my mouth (aside from supposedly having better teeth):
a. It is much much harder to chew my fingernails.
b. It is IMPOSSIBLE to blow spit bubbles.
c. I am doing a MUCH better job of keeping my teeth clean. I brush and floss at least twice a day. That is because lots more food gets stuck between my braces, or between my retainer and the roof of my mouth, than there normally is between my teeth, so not brushing is really gross.

Script Frenzy

I'm going to do a thing called script frenzy. It's basically NaNoWriMo but instead of novels you write stage plays, screenplays, comic book scripts, TV scripts, etc. The link is The link for kids is
Woohoo! More NaNo-style stuff!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Braces & a Retainer

I got braces and a retainer today. It'sh harder ta tok with brashes anda retainer. That'll get easier, though. It's harder to play clarinet, too. I hope that'll get easier, but I'm just guessing cause I don't know anybody with braces and/or a retainer who plays the clarinet. It's weird having a retainer in the place where the mouthpiece would go.
Anyhow, the whole process of getting braces felt annoying and tasted awful. (I found myself hating my taste buds for that awful taste that sent shivers down my body when I moved my tongue.) And then they gave my my retainer. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw this weird young girl with wires and boxes on her teeth:
Now my teeth kind of hurt and when I got myself a snack I couldn't really chew right. I tried biting it into small bits and then swallowing the bits, but it was harder to eat than usual. Again, I hope that it'll get easier.