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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Steepest Ravine That I've Ever Seen

That should be the opening line of a poem. Am I right or am I right? So. My family and I went to Steep Ravine again. It was awesome, as usual. Steep Ravine is the best place to camp ever. That isn't even an exaggeration. It's right near Stinson Beach, California, just downhill of Highway 1. The waves crash into rocky beaches, the rabbits scamper off the trail as we pass, and the fog crowds around us, but only in a good way. We had a campsite by the bluff, near the ocean. The campsite was basically our tent, picnic table, fire pit, and a hammock hanging from a cypress tree.
Paradise.

On the third day of camping, I was walking from the campsite to the outhouse when I noticed a bird sitting on the path. This is not unusual in any way, but this bird did not move when I walked toward it. It did not fly away or even walk away.
I bent down. A small, fluffy, brown bird sat in the road. Very slowly, I lowered my eyes to its level. It wasn't sitting on an egg or anything, so what was it doing here? Birds are supposed to fly away when I walk past. Maybe this bird was hurt? It looked like a baby-- could it have fallen out of the nest? I picked up a twig and, gently as possible, poked the bird. "Go away," I whispered. "Are you... are you okay?"
"Peek," peeped the bird.
Then I ran back to the campsite and told Mom what I'd just seen. She came with me, and said she thought the bird was probably dying, and there was nothing we could do about it. Then she reached out her hand and stroked the baby bird. I touched the bird too, and it was the sweetest thing. We decided there was nothing we could do, and I went to go play in the tidepools.
But in no time, Rafie came down and led me back to the campsite. He showed me how he and mom wanted to help the bird. The baby bird sat in a clear plastic box, filled with grass. A spoonful of watery oatmeal sat beside the box.
"We're feeding him chewed-up food with tweezers," explained Rafie. "We wanted to leave the naming to you. I think we should name him Cho, though."
"Cho??" I said. "I think we should call him Peek, because of the noise he makes." Mom wanted to call him Flutter, so he remained unnamed.
On Mom's suggestion, I chewed up a strawberry. Then I fed Peek, as I began thinking of him, lumps of the stuff with a pair of tweezers. At first he wouldn't eat it. I tried again and again, but hardly got any of it into him. Rafie decided he might be too cold to eat, and picked up the bird in his hands. I gave him a small lump of strawberry, and his tiny beak opened. Peek snapped at the strawberry and swallowed it. I fed him a bit more, then we discussed what to do next.
Rafie and Solomon wanted to care for Peek, maybe even take him home. Mom said if we cared for him we'd probably have to keep him as a pet forever and couldn't release him into the wild. We all liked the idea of keeping this bird for a pet! We decided to take him into town and ask a bird expert what was wrong with Peek and how we could save him. So we put Peek in the car and got ready to go.
But as soon as he was in the car, Peek freaked out, fluttered around, and then flew a little. Well, if he could fly he would be okay, and so Rafie took him back to where I found him. Meanwhile I flipped through a bird book and learned that Peek was a baby Wrentit.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hi.

I know I haven't posted much recently. I shall post again soon!
P.S: New poll! Please please please vote.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Love It!!

I must say that, checking my blog's stats, I've been thinking, Wow, I love this! People from all over the world have been looking at my blog! I feel so... internet. (Yeah, now internet is an adjective!?) Even though my main audience is people in the USA-- mostly Californians that I know in real life, is my guess-- I've had a devoted viewer or two in Malaysia recently, and people in 8 other countries have seen my blog. That's really amazing, if you think about it. When I started this blog the only people who read it were a few of my friends. Then I linked to it on a few websites like Twitter, NaNoWriMo, and Figment. And now a bunch of you are reading my blog.
Sometimes I get annoyed at people who talk tons about TV shows, or spend all their time playing computer games. But this idea of a place that is all over the world, of talking to people across the face of the earth, this is what technology is about.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh, and I edited my layout a bit. Do you guys like it?

Homesick Hatred: A Piece of Fiction

Author's note: I wrote  this BEFORE, not after, I went to sleep-away camp this summer. My experience was nothing like the experience of the character in this story. ALSO, it was NOT based on what I thought camp would be like. It was about the way I felt when I was nine, and went away to camp for the first time.

This could be a painting, thought Anya Vanessa Johnson as she leaped out of her parents’ car, lugging a suitcase. ‘Summer Camp Scene.
‘Anya V. Johnson.
‘Watercolor.’
Fishes darted through a stream. A circle of people stood between bushes. Six wooden houses were barely visible between the trees.
She hugged her parents goodbye. They were to blame for making her late for camp. Once they’d checked her in with the head of camp, Anya walked toward the circle of campers.
“My name’s Leo and my favorite food is nachos,” said a boy.
“My name’s Zoe,” said a girl next to the boy. “My fave food is ice cream!”
“Hold on,” said a counselor, looking at Anya. “What’s your name?”
“Anya. Anya Johnson.”
“Hi, Anya. We’re going around saying our names and favorite foods.”
Anya gave her name and favorite food.
After the name game, everyone was assigned to their cabins. Anya was in Cabin 5 with about ten other girls. They trudged to the cabin.
--
“Emilie!” Zoe Crimm hugged her friend.
“Zo!” Emilie shouted. They stood in Cabin 5. Zo grabbed the hand of a grinning redhead.
“Yes! We’re all in the same cabin, Gina!” Zo told the redhead. She pulled her friends toward the bunk beds in the corner. “Let’s have our bunks together.”
“I call the top bunk,” said Gina.
“I’ll sleep underneath her,” Emilie said. “Ooh, looks like you’ll be alone, Zo.”
“I don’t care.” Zo tried to look as though she really didn’t. She dumped her bulbous backpack on the bunk next to Emilie’s then looked up to see who her bunkmate was. Oh, it was that pudgy late girl,  with freckles and muddy-colored hair.
“Hi,” said the bunkmate. “I’m Anya. You’re Zoe, right?”
Zo hadn’t expected Anya to remember her name. The name game sure hadn’t helped her. “Yeah.” She slightly smiled.
--
Anya smiled back. Zoe seemed so excited. Anya looked forward to camp too, but she was worried. This was her first summer camp, not a sleepover. In a sleepover you knew  everyone. She decided to befriend her skinny, brown-haired, and apparently popular bunkmate soon, and crossed her fingers that Zoe’s friends wouldn’t think much of it.
The day crept on, filled by sunshine, crafts, and Anya’s worry. As bedtime inched closer, so did the thought of sleeping in a cabin full of near strangers, for the first time in her 13 years. But she participated in camp activities. In the afternoon Anya went boating with Zoe and her friends, a couple boys, and a counselor. While they donned their life jackets, Zoe and her pals talked.
“My mom had to come to camp,” Gina moaned. “I told her to stay out of my hair but of course she won’t. She’s been the cook’s assistant here two years in a row. Now that I’m old enough for this camp she’ll latch onto me like a leech.”
Why can’t Gina take advantage of having a parent at camp? thought Anya. And enjoy her two camp friends? I’d give anything to be in her shoes. Anya had talked to no-one but Zoe so far at camp; the camp had practically isolated her. What a waste of popularity and friends Gina was. It made Anya want to yell. “Shut up and get your life jacket on,” she said. “Shut up about your mom. You sound crabby.” It was true, Anya decided. Gina was just crabby.
Gina’s mouth dropped open. “And you don’t sound crabby?”
Anya became a bomb, holding in her anger. She had to de-activate herself, though. She had to stop herself before she…
--
Zoe watched Anya explode.
“Not that I was aware of!” shouted Anya. “And Gina, you don’t get how lucky you are, with your camp friends! Your mom isn’t some kind of curse! So shut up, Gina! Stop complaining!”
Shocking.
The counselor held Anya’s arm.
“Time. Out.”
--
That night, Anya’s hatred left no room for homesickness. Anya hated Gina, Emilie, and Zoe. Anya hated her explosion.
She pulled her blanket up to her chin. Every other kid in camp slept.
“Tell me why it happened,” someone commanded.
“Zoe?”
“Just Zo. Tell me why you did… that.”
“No! I won’t. Can’t.”
“I can help,” Zo whispered.
“Good night.” Anya lay alone in the darkness. She almost wished she’d told.
--
Zoe knew that something other than Gina was bothering Anya. Zo heard Anya cry, growl, even bang on her bed nightly, when Anya thought everyone slept. But Zo made it her duty to stay up. Anya was probably just homesick, but Zo kept a close eye on her bunkmate for three days. She had to figure this girl out, by occasionally asking what was wrong.
--
Boy, was Zo annoying. She kept asking, What’s wrong, Anya? Like she didn’t know! Anya was sick of it! Somehow Zo knew how homesick and friendless Anya was.
On the fourth day of camp, Anya convinced her counselor to let her spend Quiet Time outside. She slipped out of the cabin, toting a sketchpad and watercolor paints. Time to create ‘Summer Camp Scene’. Anya dipped a brush in the stream and began—
“What are you painting?”
“Why are you stalking me?!”
Zo shrugged. “I want to be your friend.”
“No, you wanna make me feel bad for yelling at Gina. You think I don’t see that.”
“I want to help you, too.”
“You won’t succeed.”
“Tell me everything. I’ll help.”
Anya took a deep, painful breath. Why am I about to tell Zo everything? “I’m homesick. I’ve never been to camp before. I miss my family. I have no friends here.”
“Easy to fix! I’ll be your friend.”
“I miss home, though.”
“Just learn to adjust,” said Zo. “When you travel, you can practice adjusting to different surroundings. That’s all. And befriending people helps too…” and so on. Anya had just told Zo everything, and Zo wasn’t helping at all.
--
Schools teach earthquake safety, but when the Anya Earthquake began, Zo couldn’t have had less preparation.
“You’re just bossing me around! You wouldn’t know about ‘adjusting’! You’re popular! Your advice is ‘get used to it’, right? Shut up!”
Zo flinched.
--
If Anya were anyone but Anya, she’d think this: That Anya. All she does is yell. She almost hated herself, but not quite. Zo’s speech gave her a little hope, she thought that night… and Anya had ruined it. She cried.
Suddenly, she realized Zo was listening. Zo must have listened every night! “Sorry,” she whispered.
“I’ll be your friend,” came Zo’s voice. “Just don’t explode again.”
“I won’t.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Acting Camp

So in the acting camp I'm doing, we don't do a single play. We break into groups of 2 and each group does a scene from a different play. The scene I was assigned was about a murderer named Squeaky Fromme and another woman. Fromme was played by a shy girl who only liked to play characters similar to her, and who didn't like to say the words "shit" (GASP!) or "damn" (Oh my! Shocking!*), both of which she had to say for the part. I, playing the other woman, wouldn't have minded playing Fromme at all.
Not this girl, named Kai. She REALLY didn't like our scene, and she told the teachers so. They just went, "Look, I told you that the show's going to be PG-13. Plus as an actress you need to go outside your comfort zone. Just see if you like your scene better once you've learned it better."
Kai felt annoyed. She didn't want to do the Squeaky Fromme scene, and she complained to her parents. They looked up the musical that the scene was from, and gasped. "This musical is rated R!" they exclaimed. "Our twelve-year-old daughter can't perform this!" They told Kai's teachers that they wouldn't let her do that scene. So the teachers gave us a different scene to perform. In this scene Kai doesn't have to swear and I get to swear! We both liked that!
To find out what scene we'll be doing, go to the performance!! Friday, July 23rd!! Some theater or other!!
--
*That was sarcastic, you know.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Mirror Game

Today I went to an acting camp. It was fun; there were a lot of games. The most striking, interesting game for me was an exercise where we mirror each other. Kids work in pairs, each trying to mirror his or her partner as closely as possible. We began with a leader, who moved and let the follower do the same.  Then the follower became the leader and the leader followed. To stay together, my partner and I had to move slowly, keeping eye contact. When we switched leaders, our movements didn't halt. Finally the teachers said to go on without a specific leader, and then it turned really magical. My partner and I almost became one person, metaphorically we were following each other but somehow not just moving in circles.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Parkour

Today, Solomon, Rafie, and I went to our first Parkour class. (Don't you just love it? I do everything with my little brothers.) Parkour is this weird exercise type of thing that involves a lot of running around and jumping and rolling and stuff. It's pretty fun, but very tiring. It involves a lot of exhausted-ness and sweat and pink faces.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks!

Red! Green!
Gold! Blue!

Fireworks glowing,
Expanding through the sky
Pop-rocks for the eyes,
Shooting up in delicious sparks!

Showering back down, disintegrating,
Melting out of sight...
Gone.