Possum Living

( How to live well without a job and with almost no money) by Dolly Freed

   This is the book Scott is reading for school and for his own future if other careers not working out, Scott will live in the jungle . The plan is to live near the river so he can catch fish daily to feed himself.

The author is very experienced herself, she even tells you what to do with the poor fish like making  Fish egg rolls, Fish ball, Fish con-gee. You also need to have a garden nearby to grow vegetable, herbs. She also raises rabbit for food but you have to slaughter the poor thing for food.Scott might just eat fish since he is afraid of blood ( Funny thing that he gets bleeding nose almost daily).

Also  you should know how to build your own hut so you don’t own the bank any money and install wood burner for winter ( using wood from the forest so you don’t have to pay utility bill.)

Ms.Dolly Freed lived this life in 1978 when she was 18 years old.Wonder how Scott will make it in a few more years but now in his spare time , you would find him sitting on the step of the stair weaving a small blanket or some little basket, then store them in a box next to his bed. He has the habit of a homeless (hoarding things and later hiding them under a bridge .)

Lately, he did build a few  model guns by sawing the wood himself then gluing the parts together. It takes hours to complete  the work himself ;but he seems not to mind at all. I never saw this much focus from this little boy. He even spray – painted the huge gun and it looks like a real one.

My twin is amazingly crafty when it comes to doing anything for fun. But when it’s time hitting the table to study, you would find him falling to asleep in a few  minutes.

The summer school started 2 weeks ago. We get the CST test’s result today. I did very good in Math. English is not as good. Mom is sending all of us to a tutor program for English .

  1.     There are a few new teachers this year. Our social study teacher just graduated from Harvard. He must be so smart  having gone to this university plus he’s a very  handsome man with a super nice personality ( He came to introduce himself to Mom ). I notice smart people are also very good looking. Who says God is fair? He is not fair at all !!!!

The Director: Kevin Nguyen

Kevin has been busy writing a script for his 1st movie. The name is “The Unknown land .” It’s about a plane crash in middle of nowhere, 10 survivors find out that they are with other moving things on this strange land.

The movie stars in this movie are all his friends ; Scott plays the old, homeless man ( of all stars , Scott has the perfect role for his face and personality. Now he is walking around the house in tattered clothes . He wants to live in ” character” till the time director Kevin starts shooting ) . They don’t have a Camcorder yet and they don’t like using Mom’s tiny camera that also serves as a Camcorder ; saying it looks very unprofessional .

Kevin is broke , but he always wants the best brand name he can get: This time a Sony Camcorder.

Poor Scott has to wear second handed down clothes from Kevin but Scott doesn’t mind and never once complain since homeless people don’t complain . They don’t want much material stuffs or none at all since they have to drag it around everywhere( very heavy) .All they want is enough money to buy beer. Scott likes giving his friends money even he knows they won’t buy food but beer. He knows they don’t like milk; so if you don’t like milk, the next thing to drink is beer.

Jonathan – Kevin’s best friend plays the unsuccessful hunter since he can’t catch any animals in this movie. Kevin plays the businessman. Wonder what the businessman doing in the lost land ; he’s probably trying to sell off the metal of the airplane since the price of metal is sky – rocking right now. Mom has an old file cabinet which she has been trying to get rid off for years without paying a fee . Last week, she just put it out on the curb; an hour later the poor thing disappeared .

Poetry by Scott Nguyen

Everyone should have a hero and my hero is Coco, my dog.
Coco taught good to me
Like a holy tree
She is so brown,
Never giving me a frown
She is so small,
Never going to let her fall
She is my coco
And I`ll never let anyone call her loco

Kelly Nguyen

Only two more weeks of school then we ‘ll be off for the summer. I can’t wait. Everyday going to school is just a fun event _ so relaxing  _   just taking it easy.

  School front is ­ changing except  home front  because  Mom is still working hard at her mission _ Nonstop giving life’s lessons. Poor Mom. Poor us.

  I realize how hard it’s breaking a habit. Every time we do something not too good, Mom would pull out a story right there  that  she knew someone or a  friend who did exactly what we did. That miserable human being would end up in jail, getting a ticket from the cop ( like Scott not wearing seat belt) or going to the hospital with broken limp ( again no seat belt ), you will be flying out of the car if there is an accident. Always very horrible pictures for the unlucky one.

  Most of the time , she doesn’t have to finish the story and I know what the end would be like.

   Sometimes I wish I don’t have a Mom as a poet because her mind is too quick for make-up things.

     I wonder what effect did the Korean drama do to her head but she is not the same anymore since she started watching this form of entertainment.

    You can tell how serious this Korean  thing has become because her friend at the temple even wanting it so badly before going to sleep every night.  Whenever  visiting this special  friend, Mom would smuggle in some  Korean Dvd’s  since the master monk wouldn’t like it too much if he finds out .

  Another friend thinking she would be able to go to Buddha’s place in her afterlife   by renting the Dvd’s out ,  asking another friend making   copy, then donate to an all-  female temple in Gil Roy ( This person used to buy fish from the pet store and release them at the lake which is 1/2 hour driving from home,  but since the  gas price getting high , she quits the fish and goes the Dvd’s route. 

    I feel sorry for those fish that being forgotten now; all because of the Korean drama.
May God bless all Mom’s friends.

Scott Nguyen

    Mom just got 3 Happy Buddhas from China town in San Francisco:  The 1st one with his hands over his mouth ( meaning to control your talking). The 2nd one with hands covering his ears( meaning  not listening to nasty gossip). The 3rd  Buddha covers his eyes ( I don’t know what this mean except he is not supposed to see something.)
   I think we need to set the non – talking Buddha next to Scott’ s bed so he  remembers what he’s supposed to do.  Lately he gets into the habit of shouting very loud presenting his case of every unpleasant situation which going against his way.
  Mom lost her computer inside the house; just couldn’t find the poor thing. Now she has to borrow my laptop since her desk top isn’t hooked up  either. Wonder if there is a ghost that keeps hiding stuffs around here besides Mom _  She would not hide her own computer anyway! This puzzle won’t be solved till we see the laptop again.
  The same thing happened a few months ago. Mom has a Dvd recording machine, then one day the remote control disappeared. She was very frustrating  since she couldn’t make any copy. We searched and searched  the whole house upside down; couldn’t find the thing. Then one day while she was sweeping the floor and saw this remote control under the couch without the  battery .
  What happened was Scott taking the battery out and hid the Remote control under the couch. I can’t believe how dumb he was. ( We keep telling him once you take out the used battery , it won’t be good anyway.)
    Scott is the boy whom would take 10 times making the same mistake until the lesson  sinking in.

Kevin June 2011

June 13 th , 2011

   Do you know Scott doesn’t like and won’t eat anything green ( vegetable). He considers it “Grass” and according to scientist Scott  only cows eating grass not human being.  Hope he doesn’t think Kevin and I are cows since we prefer vegetable than meat.

  Summer is really here. We are going on the trip tomorrow . Kevin stays home since he got too many TTR’s ( Time to reflect) during the year when he was trying to be a cool  delinquent to impress his classmates.Surprisingly, Mr.Cool is cooling down a lot ; he’s on Honor Roll this semester . Mom has moved him to family room from the private room and watching  him like a hawk. The minute you take off your eyes, he will be on something else. His favorite activity: Scratching his hair to see how many dandruff – flakes  falling  off his head; then he will be counting them.

Scott  copies Kevin whenever he can like staring  out the window and dreaming like the poet except he’s not producing anything; just wasting time.
  Mom has to put up a prize luring them into the right path. Kevin likes money but if requiring too much effort; he can do without. The best behaving person gets $25.00; whoever does the most pages of Math gets $50.00. Last month, school had a literacy contest: If you read 800 pages, your name will be put into a drawing  to win $50.00 at Barnes and Noble bookstore.
  I might end up winning all prizes at home since the other contestants are too lazy to enter.
 I caught Mom writing poem at Mass , then writing up menu for her up coming party. Pastor John probably is so happy that someone is writing down his sermon. Hope God forgive Mom for her odd action .  Mom says she could listen to the Pastor and writing up menu at the same time.
  June 11st, 2011

The poet is at a funeral now, she went yesterday and again today  saying good bye to her dead friend who was 85 years old. Mom is the only person I know  who likes to come to every  funeral twice since she will never see her friends again.  Mom has either very young people or very old sages as friends; she doesn’t mingle with her own age people claiming the young keeps her young and the old keeps her wise.


We’ve been watching TV with the broken screen (1/3 dark) so if there are 2 people, you will see only one. If there is subtle , you ‘ll have to guess the 3rd part of the sentence _ so annoying.

Mom is trying to translate the subtle of Korean drama into English for Scott and me but she has to stop 2/3 of the every sentence since she couldn’t guess what the rest of the sentence is.

Lately we are hooked with the Korean thing also. The plot is very good; you can’t predict what will happen next. Also the reason we watch Korean drama since the English Tv channel is not turned on except weekend.

Now Scott is fluent in Korean. You will hear Mom and him whispering to each other the secret codes of only syllable like “yes, no, what, Mama, Mom , Pop…” only simple thing they can utter. Can you imagine if they can speak in sentences?

They think noone knows but I know except I don’t let them know that I understand what they are talking about . This is one thing I learnt from watching the drama: Don’t let the opponent know what you think in your head. And you should dress to kill. My God, you should see the way these people dress:: so stylish, so expensive . Scott even copies the hair style _ spiky hair will make you look younger and more handsome . Scott doesn’t look handsome but more like an Indian Mohawk to me.

Well, let’s get back to the poor TV. This broken TV drama happenned because one morning Scott woke Kevin up at 6 AM, went downstair to play the X box ; Mom found out and took away the control. He got mad, went upstair and threw the Frisbie across the bedroom and it hit the brand – new Samsung TV’s screen (we just bought this thing a few months ago.) .

Scott is so bad about anger control.I think he should see a mental doctor before it gets out of hand. Last year he broke the window and it costed a few hundred dollars to fix . Wonder what he will break next.

Mom hid his I-pod and completely forgot the location . You should hear his moaning and see his daily tear for about a month. It was so painful for me to witness. He asked Mom to buy him a replacement set but Mom refused since she knows it is somewhere in the house; she just has to find it. Then by accident she found the I-Pod under the cushion of the armchair while she was in the process of trying to hide Kevin’s computer.

Poor Mom!! Maybe she needs to write down the location of where she hides things from now on like the way she writting up slogan for Kevin to train his character. The lastest one goes like this : IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE. This slogan is currently posted in the bathroom because this is where you find Kevin most of the time.

This week we take the CST test. We’ve been training so hard by the boss.Have to do our best before the summer comes. Next month we will go on to our annual Spring trip( only for the good students), then spend 2 weeks in Florida to visit our grandparents. I can’t beleive how fast the time goes. Mom says in a few more years we will go to college and not seeing each other that often anymore. I feel so sad already.

“This is your magical time.” she always says this.

I wish we could play more since it’s our magical time.

Jan 9th –2010

Mom has to get a Spanish tutor for Kevin since he’s not doing too good in the linguistic department ( I think Kevin is not doing very good in every department because he’s not working hard.) He thinks you just jot down the correct answer without studying. Dad is cutting him off all games and TV, still Kevin manages having fun without these devices . He would go outside to play with the dogs or climbing on the big oak tree and barking down orders to Scott like getting him something to eat or Kool-Aid to drink .

Poor Scott becoming Kevin’s slave whenever occasion arrives.

The tutor came. She is a college student, very pretty, native Spanish speaking. Mom was trying to coach Kevin but it doesn’t work since she doesn’t know any Spanish .

The fee is very high for this tutor so she makes Scott and I sit at the table to learn with Kevin. With this many students, the fee per hour seems cheaper since there are 4 students instead of one. Mom always likes deal and this deal is so good to her. Mom also becomes a student taking notes for the Prince since he doesn’t know how.

Half way through the first session, Scott was falling asleep right there in front of the tutor like he doesn’t even care. Mom let it slide since she was busy taking note.

Mom is on a new agenda to train us to be the best “Citizens”. Every article about kids’ reform will be saved and read to us for entertainment like “ Taming the tantrum.” This article in the Sunday newspaper described how a 2- year old picks mid – Target to throw the Titanic of fits…everybody’s watching…what do you do…?

While they were shopping at target, the 2years- old wanted something which the Mom didn’t let him. So the little boy started screaming and threw himself on the floor. The mother did the same thing and repeating everything that the boy was saying. A store employee came over and ready to call security. Suddenly, the boy stopped and stared at the Mom. Then with light crying, he asked if the Mom was O.K.

That Mom reported the boy never throw tantrum again.

Maybe Mom should start breaking window every time Scott does it so he can stop his odd behavior. I think he should see a mental doctor. But he just tried out for basketball and got accepted into the program so maybe all this anger could go to the ball from now on.


Jan 19th – 2011

We had 3 days weekend but that seemed not enough for Kevin . He claimed he was so sick when arriving at school’s parking lot; so Mom had to take him back home. Mom said later he went back to sleep immediately ( I think he wasn’t sick but just sleepy.) Mom told me she was fooled by Kevin so there won’t be a next time like this.

Two hours later, Mom got a call from school that Scott is not feeling good; so Mom had to come to pick up the little prince . Coming home, I saw both of them playing in the yard like a holiday.

Jan 23rd– 2010

Just went to beauty salon for my nail instead of church ( Hope God forgives me this time). It costs Mom a fortune at this place doing my nail maybe because of the French name “La Belle”. Everything with a French name ends up costing more than any other language . I told her I won’t eat out for 2 months to make it up.


Jan 7th –2010

Mom just finished reading “ The Madoff Chronicles”; she asked if I would like to try it. So I decided to read for class assignment instead of other book. Here is the report about the man and what he did : Through sweet talk and shrewdness, Mr. Madoff managed to swindle 50 billions out of investors.

50 billions _ Imagine how much money that is because each billion has 1000 millions . Looking at the picture, Mr.Madoff is about 6 feet tall, tight- lipped, quite a handsome man in his younger day . He is very good at talking that people gave him money to play with; but he spent their money on good vacation, nice homes around the world and private planes. What a charm life he led for a long time until his scam unraveled.

So not becoming any victim of any scam ( Mr.Madoff blamed because of people’s greed that expecting him doing miracle that he had to turn return into unreal fiction for almost 30 years.) So he just typed up statements and send to people each month telling them how rich they had become.

This is the best non-fiction book I’ve read so far.

Mom is training me how to read people’s face and dogs so I won’t make mistake like Mr.Madoff’s victims : looking at a person’s face, his grin, his talk, his movement of body language and then you can tell whether they are good dogs or good people.

Life’s lessons takes a long time to learn,” Mom says “so this is a good time to start.” when we are still of age.

Mom must have gotten her heart broken badly in her young days so the first lesson she wants me to learn in life is never let anyone break my heart.

The trick is being able to read your boyfriend before letting him become your boy friend,” said the expert; “Never forget this critical point. Once he becomes your boyfriend, it’s hard to break away.”

The second lesson is how not to lose your money when lending it to “your loved one” meaning the boyfriend again . Or believing blindly “the too good to be true promise” like Mr. Maddoff’s.

Decent people do not borrow money anyway , especially from girls . Only crooks do this.”

My aunt is shocked sometimes when she finds out about life lesson Mom trying to teach me . Anyway, when you have a Mom as a poet and teacher , you never know what you learn the next day.

Right now, for me it’s easier to read dogs’ face than people’s: Dogs have no motive making money or advancing in society since they are all taken cared of. The question is how to choose smart dog or dumb dog ( Kiki is bright, Coco is not.)

When we have left over ham; I would chop it off and mix with bread to feed them by my hand. Kiki would try to go around the bread , just pick out the ham “ no bread thank you.” But Coco would blindly swallow anything . When Kiki is hungry , she would make noise so you notice. Coco is quiet like a monk meditating.Only eat when given.

Mom picking Coco up a lot since she feels sorry for that dog. I feel hurt that she doesn’t pamper Kiki as much. She says she feels sorry for Coco not being as smart as Kiki. So when you are dumb, you will get more love.

Jan 8th -2010

I should stop wanting to have stuffs that my friends have : the latest one is I-pod which each of us got for Christmas present from our cousin _ Dr. Christopher. I kept nagging at Mom for this but she kept saying I don’t need to have this $300.00 toy .

The next toy I want is the berry cell phone which my 3 best friends already got ( Mom doesn’t think I need that either.) Mom is very good at getting into the way of my wish list.

I notice that if you are a doctor like my cousin . He buys very neat toys for us every Christmas comparing to other family members . So this will be my career choice for sure: Save life and buy great toys at the same time. You can be your own boss, taking off whenever you want to go on vacation.

Dec 2nd –2010

How come my world is not calm and ordered? I should try to meditate here and there with Kiki and Coco. The dogs behave better than we do: very calm, taking meal as delivered, feeling grateful if we pick them up and hug . Dogs don’t have to go to school or trying harder. Maybe Kevin wants to be a dog.

It’s hard for him to try any harder( or he’s not trying at all). You should see him walking around school with shirt inside out like a convict in jail ( This marks you as a trouble maker for the day; you will dress like this till you correct your bad deeds.)

Scott is wavering between the good and the bad , but he is more on the good side since he still wants prize for his effort.

Poor Mom still trying to mold Kevin into better form or he’s too old to be molded. Every morning on the way to school, Mr.Robbin still says on the cassette tape :” Never too old for anything you want.” We prefer listening to the rap music but Mom won’t switch till we hear what Mr.Robbin gets to say first. Wish Kiki could listen so she can stop being nasty to Coco once in awhile ( Coco is very afraid of Kiki even she is older.)

Here is another life lesson _ size doesn’t count, just the mentality. Once you act timid or afraid, the other side will boss you around. So in life, I need to act like Stella: Miss- know-it -all . She has a very strong character, even her Grand Mother is scared if her temper.


Kevin is weaned off TV completely, no need to watch anything now. This week the video game is out of his touch again.

In Kevin’s class, there is a boy who is on top of everything except look ; he is a tiny boy. Kevin calls him “Nerd”.I wish Kevin were a nerd in this way. I respect this boy’s mind: He gets a scholarship this summer to attend some college in the East Coast. I am trying to be number 1 like this boy.

Something is happening to Kevin. He’s resisting to being good. Wonder how worse he can get. Everyday is a struggle of who would win the battle between Mom and Kevin. Each wants their own way. Scott is doing good since Mom has to pay him a salary to do his homework well and chores around the house. Kevin doesn’t care fort small change.

It’s so hard for Mom. Finally, all her reading and wisdom come down to this final test: How to deal with her oldest son.

The Chinese Tiger Mother is making news. Mom is into reading this manual to follow the Tiger’s foot step. Mom says comparing to her, Mom is still too soft on us : We haven’t watched TV in ages. The video game is off for the brothers. This week, friends will be cut off for Kevin _ he won’t see those dear faces till he makes a change of grade in Math and Spanish.


The Spanish Tutor comes every Sunday for 2 hours . Mom has to sit at the table taking notes for Kevin since he doesn’t know how. I think Mom knows more Spanish than Kevin .

Since having my private room, I am into reading more since no one bothers me anymore.


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