Archive for X-Man

12 years old!

I am finally 12 years old! After many months (12, to be exact) of being 11 years old and undergoing many ridiculations of people who stood tall above me, I now have the ability to grow into the 12-year-old stature and become a likeness of those who once I considered giants. And while they grow taller, as I, I will eat and exersize and sleep and do anything it takes to grow taller and bigger and stronger than those heedless monsteres towering above. Beware!

And certainly the wisdom and knowledge. With age comes wisdom, so I must be sure to read and learn and let my brain GROW and GROW just as fast as my body, so I will alter the annoying A-
’s and make them A’s. To do that, I must listen to the teacher and learn the homework and do whatever I can do, use my highest effort.

The particular day was important, too, because I only get have them for (1/365.25) of my life, and this one was quite a bit more special, mainly because of the fact that my grandparents came from all the way to CHINA to witness it. They added quite a punch to the spectacular day. I also watched a fantastic movie, one that attracted even more people than Harry Potter, G-FORCE. IT was a very happy and laughable day and the story will stay on this blog until the blog is closed, which I hope won’t ever be.

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Melanie Bryant and Her Great Book

“A marvelous speaker is coming today,” Mrs. Schultz, my 6th grade teacher said. “She is Melanie Bryant, a wonderful new author of one book, ‘The Prophecy Keepers’. She is in the library right now, waiting for us. So let’s go!”

As the class marched over to the library, I was thinking. How was this Melanie Bryant? What was her book like? Questions formed in my mind, ready to be asked. Just then we reached the entrance to the library.

Our class and other classes filed quietly into the library, and I saw the author. My first impression was a quiet, nice lady in her late 20’s, and though some say first impressions are incorrect, this was perfectly right.

Welcomed us, and immediately started talking about the book. “This book is the Prophecy Keepers,” she said, “It is the first of a series of five. Only this one is published, though.” She went on to say that she had written almost all of the other four books, and when they will be published.

What I was really interested in was the process of publishing. She said that is was terribly depressing, and very time-consuming. She would send out a letter, talking about the book, to about ten publishers at a time. Almost every time, a ten letters would come back, politely refusing the book, and listing why it wasn’t accepted. When she received this, she would revise, edit, write a new note, and send it to another set of ten publishers.

Occasionally, she would receive a reply saying that yes, they wanted to read the manuscript after reading the letter. But after sending the manuscript, most of those replied no. But finally, after a couple months, she sent her forty-fifth letter, and got her book accepted.

“It was a very small publishing company,” she explained, “but it spent a lot of time and money getting the word out that ‘The Prophecy Keepers’ was getting published.” And after another many months of revising, it was in Barnes & Nobles everywhere.

I was amazed and impressed at the ability to talk. Once she started, she never hesitated or stopped, just kept going. She answered questions clearly, and was very persuasive at wanting us to read her book. When she was finally done talking, a wave of students came to her, holding money in their hands, wanting to buy the book. Another wave came, holding out their hands or post-its or whatnot, asking for her to sign them. Obviously, she had gained a lot of respect and popularity among the group.

The class went back excited, and very talkative. Everyone was talking about how great Melanie was and how they must read her book. It was a great thing for me, my class, my teacher, my school, and Melanie for her to inspire us at our school.

The Prophecy Keepers

The Prophecy Keepers, Front Cover

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The Better One: Stienway or Yamaha?


The Yamaha Corporation has been going for about 110 years. The founder, Torakusu Yamaha, started liking making instruments when he was told to fix a neighbor’s organ. He soon developed Nippon Gaku Ltd., which made organs. It expanded to Pianos, Harmonicas, then to motorcycles, etc.

Yamahas have a wide range of price. Small, upright, 44” ones may cost about $3,400, while large, grand, and 50” C and S series ones are $12,000. Most of them are about $6,500.

Sound Quality
The tone of sound is moderate. It is soft, and very responsive, so that even if you touch it softly, it will make a nice sound. Unfortunately, Grand pianos might sound “brittle”.

There are many different kinds of pianos, with electric, acoustic, upright, and grand. New kinds allow you to record yourself, and play with yourself. You can also play with a CD. Their technology and time put into the pianos is great.

Unfortunately, Yamahas’ durability is not so good. The wood that they use is naturally hard and not of top perfection, so a 50 year old Yamaha is not so healthy.

On a good tone, it is a pretty good piano, and many people use them. On a harder tone, it is quite less than its reputation.

Yamaha Dikslavier Grand
Yamaha Dikslavier Grand

Yamaha P121NT Upright
Yamaha P121NT Upright

Yamaha YPG535 Electric Keyboard
Yamaha YPG535 Electric Keyboard


Steinway was founded by Henry Steinway in 1853, in New York. He already had made 482 pianos before starting the company, which let him make bigger, better ones.

The Steinways are very expensive. Large and luxurious ones might even go up to $168,000!
The lowest average price would be about $19,500 for a 48” upright piano.

Sound Quality
Very deep and rich, and the pedal provides a great smoothing sound instead of ‘mushing’ sound, as the other pianos have. It is truly a great sounding piece of furniture.

There are many types, electric, grand, upright, but also special edition ones from around the world, re-makes of historic ones, and other pianos that no other company has. Yet they all have the unique, full sound of the Steinway.

Steinway’s durability is very good. They may last up to a lifetime, maybe even two. This definitely compares to the Yamaha, with only about 30 years of beautiful melody.

Very nice sound, very nice looks, very nice durability. The Steinway is simply the best in pianos and people take pride in playing one. One thing: the price is a bit too high, though.




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At Home

Now that dad is gone and I am alone with my sister and babysitter, the only time I have time with my mom is on the weekends and the evenings. What do I do?

Yesterday I went with my Mom to the movies to watch RATATOUILLE (rat a too ie). It was hilarious. It took place in Paris where a rat named Remy who has a keen sense of smell and can cook and a man named Linguini who dosen’t know how to cook and gets a job at a famous restaurant named Gusteau’s. Little did Linguini know that he was the rightful heir for the manager. Without knowing, he become the garbage boy and while he was mopping, he accidentally knocked part of a pot of soup out and was so anxious Linguini started adding all the spices he could find. He tried the soup and he threw up. So the rat kicked in and with his cooking skills made it so delicious that the customer was delighted. Soon the word spead and everybody started ordering the soup while all the employees thought it was Linguini who made to soup so delicious. Linguini knew it was Remy and soon he went up in Linguini’s hair and he agreed for Remy to control him by pulling on different parts of his hair. He impressed the current manager so much that the manager let Linguini take his place. In the end, he told everyone that it was the rat in his hair controlling him and making the dishes the employees didn'’t belive him and quit. So Remy’s rat family took over and the next day an employee returned and saw all the rats swarming about the kitchen and finally belived that “Anyone Can Cook”… even a rat!

After the movie, we went to the CPK and ate pizza and ravioli. It was good!

I woke up today and played piano. We cleaned up the house and we washed the car. Water splashed everywhere and we slowly wiped off the bird poo. In the end, it was sparkly clean and smooth.

We ate at McDonald’s for lunch and played in the back where there was a play structure.

Everything is going fine and I am content.


Gold Rush Day

A few days ago, on May 17th, we had a “Gold Rush Day”, when we pretended to be prospectors, the people who were searching for a place to “strike it rich”. We used bags of “gold” with numbers on them showing how much they cost to trade.

We had many different stations, such as the General Store, where we buy toys and candy using our nuggets, the Doctor’s Office, when we pretend to have ailments and pay for medicine, and the saloon, where we played blackjack and bought chips and drinks. It was very amusing, and we had delicious beans (yes, beans) for lunch. I liked everything, but the fact that the Jacob’s Ladders were sold out, I wasn’t happy with that. In the end, we had a hoedown when we square danced. It was exciting, especially the time when Lola Montez (alias Mrs. B) fast-forwarded the CD and everybody started tripping and falling down.

Lola Montez (Mrs. Buckingham) on the “river” directing us to our next stations. The tents around the river were where the old gold miners used to live.

We’re in line, ready to eat lunch. Quite a crowd!

Oh yes, we all had fake pioneer names. Dawa was ‘’Hog-Eatin’ Johnson”, Kate was ‘’Clementine'’, and I was ‘’Piano Playing Butterfingers'’. I actually played the piano for the whole fourth grade in the end, when we were all singing ‘’Clementine'’ and ‘’Oh, Susanna'’. Everybody cheered me in the end.

Anyways, the gold rush days were fun. But that was not how real people folt in the gold rush. It was very tiring. A miner usually only mined $4-$6 a day, and eggs at that time was $3 each! Usually the entrepueneurs, or people who start their own company, really got rich. Levi Strauss created blue jeans out of tents and earned a fortune. Mr. Stanford owned a supply store and got so much money he created Stanford University. If you were there, what would you be, a prospector or entrepeneur?

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The Polynesian Cultural Center(PCC)

A few days ago, I had a week-long trip to warm, tropical Hawai’i. I went to mant places, including beaches, parks, and aquariums. I even went to the DOLE plantation, the headquarters of the DOLE juice company. Yes, I did go to a lot of places, but the one I liked best was the PCC, or Polynesian Cultural Center.

The PCC is a place where you can learn about the Polynesian Islands, the islands in the Pacific. You can explore from the hula-ing Hawai’i to the twisting Tahiti.

There were seven exhibits, Hawai’i, Aotearoa, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga, and Marquesas, though we only got to see three. Each have different traditions and different ways of living, but they all share many properties. I am going to tell you about them.


Aloooha!! Hawai’i is a mystical place, full of adventures of every kind. They invented hula dancing and lei making. Did you know in ancient Hawai’i, kids wouldn’t wear any clothes at all until eight? You wore clothes when you were expected to help out and work. If ancient hawaiians stepped in to the future, they’d be awestruck at all the “responsible eight and olders”. Still, you could play Ulu Maika (Hawaiian bowling), Konane (Hawaiian checkers), and Pala’ie (A loop-and-ball game) anytime.


Kia Ora and welcome to Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud”. Did you know that this is the only Polynesian island that has noticeable four seasons? They speak mainly Maori and English, but there are actually many small ingredients that make up the people’s languages that they speak there. Also inventor of the “Poi Ball”, two balls connected to stringsand twirling them so they hit you on the head and each other in perfect rhythm.These helped males in war with weabons, because they aim and rhythm. Also, in wars they would tattoo themselves brightly on the face and stick out their toungues every once in a while.


Talofa,(Hurry up, respond with Talofa Lava) and welcome to Samoa, where optimistic, happy-go-lucky samoans dwell.They depend mostly on coconut for a diet. Men climbed trees, made fires, and squashed the milk and juice out of the coconut while women weaved. Long ago, they also had tattoos, bright tattoos of nature.


Iaorana and welcome to the island of Tahiti, home of the fast hip-shaking dance, called the Tamure. don’t get confused with it and the hula! The island is pretty clear, but if you want to go there, pack up with hundreds upon hundreds of language teaching books, because there are a lot of languages spoken there!


I say Bula, you say Bula Vinaka. Fiji is directly at the side of the Polynesian Triangle, a triangular shape where all the Polynesian Islands lie. They have strange ways of living. They say that their heads are sacred, so they don’t ever wear hats. Hair was a symbol of manhood, so so you’d be kept bald until you were eighteen! But with their cows, when europeans brang them, the cows went “moo” and “miiee”!


Malo ‘e Lelei and welcome to Tonga, where King Taufa’ahau IV, the last remaining monarch, ruled. The island is located smack-dab on the international date line, so they get to “drop the ball” first. They love language and sound, so they play drums and sing songs on New Year.


Ka Oha.This is one of the not-so-famous islands of Polynesia. Marquesans believe that sicknesses are made by supernatural forces. If you did something bad, you would get sick. Healers track their patient’s recent actions to determine the reason of sickness. Usually, they would massage them to relieve their patient’s sicknesses. If they got bitten or hurt, they would hit the wound with a stick so the blood would rush out and “cleanse” the wound.

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Father’s Day poem

I was going to buy you a card with saying
I love you dad,
But after that I noticed
I sould make one myself instead.

Every day I think about you
For your picture’s in my heart,
We shall be very happy
Until we are apart.

Happy Father’s Day to you,
HALT! Just wait there, I’m not done,
I present you with two prizes-
relxation and some fun!


Our Basketball Court

We have a basketball court in our house’s side yard. Before it was an area with a miniature vegetable bed with rocks-small pebbles, underneath it. Dad thought a rocky area and a small vegetable garden, not much usage. So, he wanted it to be a basketball court! He said “Adabracadabra Lobanakabloog! Shocksanamabaka Korkorkorkoo!” And the basketball court formed with a loud koo-koo-ka CHOOOO! Ha ha. Not really. Yeah, it only happens in fairy tales. Listen and see how it really is like here.

He hired some workers to make the basketball court. Rain or shine, they came to our house to work on it. First, they cut off a tree at the corner of the rock area. Poor tree! Then, they started to shovel out the rocks in our side yard into our back and front yard. After that, they started putting on the cement. My friend and I were in the zoo* at that time. When we came back we saw that it was way different than what it looked like before, which was rocky and dusty. Now it’s nice, gray, and flat ground. We were very surprised to see the speedy transformation of our side yard.

My friend and I scratched our names on the cement before it set. Using an iron nail, we wrote: “D.X., D.K., A.T., B.F.F.” That stands for “David Xie, David Ke, Aaron Tang, Best Friends Forever.”

But there was still one important part missing: the basketball hoop.

We bought the hoop but it wasn’t shipped here yet. So, the workers made a little hole in the cement. When the hoop finally came, Dad had to assemble it from the parts. It took him 4 days to set it up. Then he asked my friend’s dad to help him put it in place since the pole was so heavy. After a long struggle, the basketball pole stood proudly over the basketball court like an albatross looking over the sea. It has a clear backboard with a red hoop and a white net. The pole is black and has the height adjustment of the hoop.

Now it is almost finished and we can shoot some hoops even though the lines (3-pointer, free) aren’t drawn. I can also ride on my 2 bikes, one big and one small, or I can ride my scooter since the ground is so smooth. Emily also likes riding her bike on the court. Now we have a place to do what we want and we can invite others to our house to play basketball. Perhaps someday YOU can come to our house to play!

* for the zoo, look at The Oakland Zoo for our adventure at the zoo.

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The Oakland Zoo

Ringg! Ringg! Mom picked up the phone. “Hello?” my mom asked. “Hi! This is David’s dad! We’re coming to your house in 15 minutes to the Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park!”
This was the beginning of my great day.
I woke up and didn’t have any time at all to brush my teeth. I rushed downstairs and ate my breakfast as fast as I could. I finished and waited. And waited. They were late! I rushed upstairs and washed my mouth. Ding Dong! The doorbell sounded. They came! I got my coat and said Goodbye. I hopped into the car and we drove off.
While on the car, Dave* and I got bored. So we got out Dave’s Yu-Gi-Oh cards and dueled. Hey! Wait a sec. We didn’t have a flat surface! Dave got an idea to put my The Ultimate Adventure as the board. Dave’s idea didn’t really work. Since we were on the freeway, the car shook like crazy and the cards slid around. Since The Ultimate Adventure is a book, we just slid them into the book. Vroom! Vroom! We finally got there.
We found a space in the parking lot after like, 1-2 minutes. We walked in and Dave’s mom bought the tickets. Right across the ticket-buying place, there were flamingos and white spoonbills. When we were almost going to leave the flamingo exhibit, 2 ducks flew in. We tried shooing them away, but we were too far. We made loud noises, but only the spoonbills and flamingos heard us. We finally gave up and left. We turned left and saw deer. None had antlers. Probably the males were young, or they were all females, OR the males’ antlers shedded. We got bored and went to the tiger exhibit. Guess what? Only two tigers were there! Dave got the camera and took a picture of a tiger. Then, I spotted a white tiger! It was hiding in a cave. Dave’s mom told us to go on. We continued down until there was a monkey going through a pile of hay. Dave also got a picture of that and went down.
There was the children’s zoo! When you first look at it, it looks like a park. But actually, it was also a zoo. There were turtles and tortoises. They all moved very slowly, despite their large shells. We looked up and there were ring-tailed lemurs. We told Dave’s mom that we were going to go to the lemurs and we ran. Up the stairs, past the frogs and on the sidewalk. We went to the ring tailed lemurs and saw them leaping. We waited for Dave’s parents but they weren’t there so we went to the bats section. We went into the room. There, in a jumbo cage, there were 29 bats. 2 of them were spreading their wings, 2 were “fighting” upside down, and the rest were upside down, wings closed. Then I said “probably your mom is at the lemur exhibit already!” We raced up the stairs and got to the lemurs. Fortunately, the lemurs were still swinging from branch to branch. Unfortunately, Dave’s mom wasn’t there. So we waited. I tricked Dave at thinking that I saw his mom. (Well, I wanted something to do!) Miraculously, I was actually pointing to his mom!
His parents came. We told them about the bats and Susan** wanted to go there. We told her where to go and she (I think) was scared. Then, for some reason, Dave said “Can we explore the zoo by ourselves?”. Now I don’t know why he said this, but Dave just kept on asking and asking. Reluctantly, Dave’s dad let him go. “But,” Dave’s dad said “Meet us at 12:00 at the entrance.”
First, we went to a field of waxed turtle shells. I crawled in and pretended to be a turtle. Then, just for fun, I pretended to be stuck. Dave tried pulling me out but I hooked my feet at the end of the shell. Then he tried pushing me out. Then, I hooked my hands to the shell. This time, Dave saw me. We went to a petting zoo, where we brushed goats and horses. Telling the truth, it was a little bittie boring. So we went out and continued. We went to the Monkey exhibit. Since there was a sign to be quiet, and a lot of people were shouting, one of the monkeys actually, well spit on them. We went to the gift shop and I bought a rain stick for Emily***. It was almost 12:00 and we were waiting at the flamingo/spoonbill exhibit. Then, after a few minutes, Dave’s mom came. We went to the other side of the zoo where we saw ferocious lions, mostly male. Then, I spotted a female lion sitting in the corner!
We continued and saw elephants. It was gray, and big, and weird. We saw it crack a tree branch with its mouth and tusk! We also learned that elephants can only have 4 teeth in its mouth and it changes teeth 6 times in its lifetime. Once it has no more teeth, it cannot eat anymore. Some are smarter a go to the riverbank to see if there are plants. If there are it eats the riverbank plants.(They are softer) We also saw some birds, but Dave got bored instantly. We saw giraffes. Brown and red and brown and dark red and black giraffes. There was also a hawk, and an Egyptian duck, and an intruder duck. Just like the same, we tried shooing it away. Still didn’t work. We were a bit hungry now so we ate at the zoo restaurant. I drank root beer and ate fries and a corn dog. It was good! We went out of the zoo where there was a something like a carnival. We bought tickets for the train ride around the zoo. We saw the lions, the bats in the children’s zoo, the giraffes, ect. After the ride, we bought tickets for the merry-go-around. Then we played Yu-Gi-Oh and Dave won. I went to Dave’s house and continued dueling. We also watched some T.V. I came home, and, just like always, today was a great day!

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Moon and Stars

Once there was a man who was scared of the dark. Every night he would be shivering with frightness. This time there were no lights, nor even the moon and stars. One day he went to a very tall moutain and asked the darkness, “Where are your lights?” The darkness answered,” All behind my back”. The man got and idea.He poked his finger in the sky and there was a tiny hole of light. He liked it and he put the holes all over the night sky. Then he went to the tippy-top of the mountain and , using his stick, made a giant hole. These were the moon and the stars.


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