Mom came to school to pick up Scott and me. We waited in the yard for 15 minutes – still no sign of Scott. We went to his class room, no Scott there either. So we had to scan the school playground. There were Scott and Ricky playing on the swing like it were still school time.

Scott just found this buddy Ricky who is also Vietnamese. They both look the same, with not much hair on the head, wearing tattered jeans with rips at the knee. They both wear soldier jackets. From the belly up, Scott looks like a Ninja Turtle. From the belly down, he looks like a Hobo. It’s Winter, so Scott gets away with wearing mismatched socks.

I dressed myself very nicely because I decided to be in fashion. I just bought a pair of jeans from Limited Two for $45.00. Mom was aghast, but I paid for it myself. After the jeans and a few Lattes, I resumed my regular status: being broke again. It’s nice to be broke since you don’t have to think about what to buy till you can get hold of some new money!

For every A we get from school, Mom will give us $2.00. It’s very little money nowadays, but is’ better than nothing. It’s hard time out there. Lots of Mom’s friends got laid off. Mom might have to come back to work again. That is the last thing on her list to do. She is in her early retirement program.

Mom likes to read, take care of us, and write poetry. Someday when I am rich by winning the lottery, I will take Mom and my family around the world. She will get inspired to write lots of poems. Mom is only inspired when she is on the move, not sitting in one place like home. Maybe she could publish her own work then. Money is surely a powerful boss; it does lots of things for you.

Kevin is a hard worker in school. This school expects a lot from students and Kevin is fully inspired. Kevin is doing 7th grade math even though he’s in 5th grade. Every morning, he wakes up at 6 am, and waits till 6.30 to wake Mom up, to make lunch for him and take him to school at 6.45 A.M.

Yesterday, in the car,Scott was trying to raise some money himself by offering to sell me his portable DVD player he got as a gift at Christmas for $5.00 (this thing costs almost $100.00 at the store). This tells you how silly he is. I didn’t want to buy, then Kevin told him he was a fool. A few minutes later, he raised it up to $40.00, still no offer from me. Mom asked why on earth Scott tried from $5.00 to $40.00. He said because he was a very good business man, his price would be raised if no offer wasn’t accepted at the time.

Scott is inspired to be a better boy these days. He’s reading ”Life is sweet” seriously, even marking the pages he likes with great quotes like “Hiding money” (Stories of people hiding money here and there around the house, then later they find the money by surprise. Or people from Japan hiding money in public places, then leave notes for finders to do good deed with the money if they by luck encounter the money).

Scott doesn’t hide money because he gets no money to hide, but now he knows the trick about Mom forgetting where she keeps the money, and he will look for it.

A few days ago, walking into Target from the parking lot, Scott saw a $5.00 bill laying on the pavement. He picked it up making sure his eyes didn’t lie. It was a real $5.00, crumpled up. He was making noises like a rat finding food. But he complained it was nothing like what I found one time at a restaurant: $100.00 bill laying on the floor on my way to the buffet table. I gave each of them $10.00. Now Scott had this $5.00, I demanded back the money I gave him.

Now Scott has a new habit: Everywhere he goes, he scouts the floor to see if any money comes up waiting for him . There is a hard time in this Silicon Valley so money doesn’t fall around waiting for poor Scott.

Megan and I held a garage sale this weekend. We worked hard all Saturday and Sunday. We set up the stalls, the umbrellas, and the chairs. We drew up the signs with big words “Garage Sale”. Mom put up the signs on the front and back of her parked car. This way, cars driving in both directions can see the signs. We also put a pompom with balloons on the light post. I got cold iced tea for both of us.

We just sat and sat and sat under the hot sun waiting patiently. Cars drove by, some just to give a peek , some people got off, looked, and walked away. I thought we really had some cool stuff here: lots of books, nice clothes, and nice stuffed animals. In the end, Megan made $1. 75, I made 2 dollars – for 2 days working really hard.

Scott and Kevin pulled out their stuff late on Sunday; within one hour, Scott made 5 dollars. He sold his gun for $3.00, but he didn’t have any change, so the customer let him have the full $5.00.

Kevin also made $5.00 for the toy gun and the sword. We couldn’t sell too well because we got no guns, just dolls, stuffed animals, and old clothes.

Mom bought a Hello Kitty alarm clock for me from Megan’s merchandise for $1.00 (this thing probably costs $25.00 at the store). She also took back a fancy brand new dress, which I wore once, a nice pair of jeans, and she paid me $2.00 for them. The reason I couldn’t sell as well as the last time was because Mom tried to pull nice things off the display table. She said she paid too much for them, and now I was trying to sell each of them for $1.00.

Mom said even we didn’t sell too well, there was a lesson to learn here: “Try to think very carefully before purchasing anything!” Megan had this fur dog, as big as herself, with a sale tag of $39.99, and still very new. She tried to unload it for $1.00, but there was no interest whatsoever, not even one person asked about this giant bear sitting there smiling the whole time.

Anyway, the lesson to learn here even we didn’t do too well (Mom said this three times): “ It’s very easy to buy but not that easy to sell, no matter how cheap it is.”

We went to Target today for Scott to visit his regular store. Surprisingly, he didn’t buy anything, just some candies. Scott is into candies and gums these days. No more toys after he saw what happened at the Garage Sale. He set out about 10 guns to be sold, but there was only one sale. He felt so lucky and made some croaking sound that was very annoying.

Today at the table while studying vocabulary from the dictionary, he sat and pulled the fat off his stomach, worrying that he is getting fat, or on the way to becoming Mr. Kevin, his brother. Scott is very worried about his look.

May 26th, 2009

From Scott Nguyen,
Today is the day !!!! It is a very special. Can you guess what it is?
It’s my BIRTHDAY. I waited while playing Halo-3.  I died 52 times.  That game is so hard.  Then my best friend, Kevin came, we both set up the water guns and the water balloons.
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Then An and Raul came. Raul is a cool guy.  After that Jared came.  Many of them brought wonderful gifts.

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Then Ricky came with his supercool scooter.
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After that we had the wettest water gun fight ever. Our team was outnumbered.  I sniped at Ricky, Jared and others. Just from nowhere, Kevin came with a hose and started to spray at everyone. HE WAS CHEATING!!!!  Sometimes, I don’t know what’s wrong with that boy! The war went on and on. All of my friends got soaking wet because of that hose.
About one hour later, we came inside to change and had pizza with ice cream . We played more Halo-3. At about 6 p.m , my friends started leaving. I felt very sad that the party had to end.
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I ate so much pizza and cake that my belly is bulging out. I had a very wonderful birthday party.
P.S: Next Saturday, Kelly will celebrate her own birthday because she wants to have it herself with her own friends going to the skating ring. Today she just had some cake, and helping me out with preparation for this party. Kelly is only 10 years old, but she acts like she is the boss of this house.Sometimes, Mom has to set the record straight.