April's Real Blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ancient Sailing Ship

So Liz e-mailed again & sed that after her big crisis over the lesson plan, her idea was 2 have her students imagine life on an ancient sailing ship, using the sun and the stars 2 navigate. She wrote that she hoped Jesse didn't do NEthing scampy like pretend 2 retch over the side of a ship. Liz sez she got this "ship" idea from the sicky feeling she got from drinking way, way 2 much coffee. Liz is still looking for more ideas she can use the next time she has a crisis like this, so if NE1 has something, pls post!

Apes

40 Comments:

  • At 7:53 AM, Anonymous miss peach said…

    April, your advice yesterday was good. Elizabeth, Google is your friend! And if you're really in a pinch, get the little terrors to paint a fence for you.

    Miss Peach

     
  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Mark Thackeray said…

    Just get your students to respect you. Once you earn your respect, they will come to love you, and then the rest will follow.

    Mark Thackeray, aka "Sir"

     
  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Too Much Coffee Man said…

    DON'T BLAME THE COFFEE! ALL HAIL THE COFFEE!!!

    Too Much Coffee Man

     
  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger A. Nonny Mous said…

    Wow I didn't know so many people cared. Jesse is a little punk. That is all I have to say on the subject for the moment.

     
  • At 8:43 AM, Anonymous shanwaki mtiglaka said…

    jEssE, jessE, Jesse, all we evar heer around heer is JeSSe. i'M so siCK of THis Jesse kid geTTInG all the atteNtiOn around here when Nice quiet kids like me get nothin'. That's it! I'm gonna pReTenD to BarF when i Get baCk frOM lunCH today.

     
  • At 8:49 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    of course they care, u r MY sis! jk, i hope something will b useful 2 u.

    ger & i have been working on cheering up dunc this morning. he's still mumbling abt hermits & goat farmers, but i think he's coming around. he & becky r kinda like they don't know how 2 act around ea other. kinda awkward-like.

    apes

     
  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

  • At 9:19 AM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    I met Ardith Narayan at the Milborough Seniors’ Living Palace lobby this morning. She is an Indian woman, which was not clearly evident from her picture you showed me yesterday, but her style of dress is not very traditional, and she does not wear a bindi dot on her forehead, so I am guessing that she is not Hindu or at least not a strict Hindu. She was polite when we met, so I took her up to meet your grandparents.

    Iris greeted us at the door of the apartment, and took us to the living room, where your grandpa Jim was sitting on the chesterfield. He said, “Whoo hoo! Coward. Is this your new girlfriend? It looks like you nailed a pretty one.” Iris retorted, “No, Jim, you know that Coward is promised to April as her back-up gay.” Ardith gave me a questioning look, but before I could explain about back-up gays, Iris went on, “This is the lady Coward called us about, who wants a job doing a little in-home care for us.” Jim immediately said, “In-home care. I don’t want any in-home care. I don’t care how pretty the girl is.” Iris said, “Remember your manners, Jim. Now Mrs. Narayan, that is an unusual name. Are you by any chance related to the famous Indian author R.K. Narayan?” Ardith said she didn’t think so. “Narayan is my married name. My husband told me that it was shortened from Naranayanaswami, when his family came to Canada years ago, but that’s all I know about it.” Iris asked, “So, what experience do you have with in-home care?” Ardith said, “I was Deanna Patterson’s, your daughter-in-law’s babysitter when Deanna was at work, up until the arrival of baby Robin. I've never taken care of an elderly couple, but I'm sure it can't be more of a challenge than Meredith.” Iris chuckled at that. “Yes Merrie can be handful.” Jim said, “How would we know that? Mike and Dee only came to visit us that one time in the last 3 years. We only see them at holiday gatherings.” Iris said, “Hush dear. Try to be polite.” Ardith said, “What would you need me to do?” Iris said, “Jim has a very strict schedule for his medicine and his food and he has a tendency to binge eat cookies, which his doctor strictly forbids. Also, you need to keep him out of the dogfood.” Jim said, “Can you make cookies, Ardith? If you can sneak me some cookies, you’re in.” Iris said, “Jim, stop making a fool of yourself. Of course, if we hire Ardith, she will not be making you cookies.” Jim said, “Then I don’t want her. I don’t care how attractive she is. No cookies. No deal.” Ardith then leaned over to Jim and whispered something in his ear, which I couldn’t hear. After she finished, Jim leapt up and said, “Holy Mackerel! I’ll give up cookies for that! You’re hired. When can you start?” The interview seemed to be going well and I had to get to my work, so I excused myself and left them to work out the details. Anyway, I think that Ardith Narayan has been officially hired.

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    that's good news abt ardith. gramps can b a handful 2, lol. ardith, if u can keep gramps fr dog-napping dixie &/or feeding her havarti cheese, that wd also help lots!

    apes

     
  • At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet said…

    Liz, I agree with your little sister that you can find just about anything you need on the internet. The internet rocks!

    Helen

     
  • At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Cecilia said…

    I don't really have any suggestions for Liz, but don't you hate those pictograms on restrooms and fire exits that show a woman wearing a dress and, instead of having two normal legs, she just has one pointy one? I think we should all fix them whenever we see them (click my link to see what I mean)!

    Cecilia

     
  • At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Brenda Starr said…

    Dear Howard and Girls,

    I am so sorry I haven't been in contact with you all. My boss, Mr. Bottomline, has had me cornered working on a stupid biography about that horrid Mench chef. He's calling it an autobiography, but to be an autobiography the chef would have to write it himself. The truth be told, what they want is for the chef to get all the credit and for me to get the short end of the stick. I'm a reporter. I report, not write books. Besides what is so special about the life of some stupid chef? Who cares right? This book is going to take me forever to write.

    Meanwhile, The Professor has called me. He says he needs to track down Stephanie. He believes that she, or someone connected with her is building the aging frequency into the GPS devices in an attempt to age non-marrying straight men. He theorizes that whomever has hatched this diabolical plan is of the belief that all people should marry young and have children young. He also found another side effect of the transmitter. Women who don't have children until their later years, lets say their 30's. Well, their teeth begin to become bad with gaps, their noses grow, their bottoms become wide, their hair frowzy. All in all they become extremely frumpy and unattractive to the opposite sex. I've seen recent pictures of Liz from Mtigiwaki. As you will note she is starting to look incredibly frumpy. This is the effect of the device when children are not born of a Milborough resident at a young age. I suspect that Liz doesn't have much time left before the effects are irreversable.

    All that said, The Professor has concocted a potential vaccine for the straight males. Howard I'll be over at your house this evening to innoculate you. The Professor says there is only a 30% chance of it working, but at least there's a chance. At the very least it will delay the aging effects for a few years...so that Duncan, Gerald and Jeremy don't need to wed in their teens. The Professor will contact each of you and set up an appointment for your innoculation.

    Becky,

    I have been reading that you are confused about a kiss you received from Duncan. Please understand that you have Starr quality. Duncan was over come by that mysterious power you have and kissed you. He may not know why he did it himself. Get used to being kissed, it's just the price you pay for Je ne sequa.

    Love,
    Brenda

     
  • At 11:20 AM, Blogger howard said…

    Brenda,

    I love it when you speak mock French, or is that Mench? It makes my heart skip a beat. I look forward to being innoculated by you at my apartment tonight, but of course, you are my favourite drug.

    I am surprised that the GPS also could affect women. I hope that Elizabeth can find a dentist to remove her GPS before her body is permanently damaged, but I suspect she will have to travel to find one. I think that Vivian Crane told me she did dentistry, along with the other jobs she does; but Elizabeth should probably seek a professional.

    Votre amour,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    ms. starr, mayB we can overnite lizzie some of that special punch the professor gave every1 @ the party?

    i think stephanie the web designer is going 2 b @ my mom's store this afternoon.

    apes

     
  • At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Brenda Starr said…

    April,

    The Professor says that the special drink must be fresh in order for it to work. He said something about the smoke. I'm working on getting some to her, provided she'll favor me with a quick interview.

    Howard,

    Mench would be: Hola mon chéri. Je vous verrai esta noche. Je serai sûr de porter votre robe préférée, si usted sea seguro usar mi preferido pele. guiña cligne de l'oeil guiña.

    Of course that's all mock. I like mocking Mench.

    Always,
    Brenda

     
  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omigod, we just had a special, unscheduled assembly. & it was dunc's mom leading it! dunc totally looked like he wanted the ground 2 gobble him up. but afterwards, he sed he wanted 2 b the one 2 post the deets on this.

     
  • At 1:58 PM, Blogger howard said…

    Brenda,

    You called me chéri. Oh my god. I wish I knew more Spanish to know what 'pele' is, but I definitely will use it.

    Su amor,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Something interesting happened today at the Mayes Midtown Motors restaurant. Tracey Mayes came in and said, “The persons for whom we are throwing the party on Saturday are here. I want you to give them anything they want.” I said, “Who will handle the restaurant with Fiona?” Tracey said, “I’ll cover for you. It shouldn’t take too long.”

    Then she introduced me to Wilfred and Mira Sobinski. I told her that I met them before at the Brenda Starr party and asked how Wilfred was doing. Mira spoke up and said, “He says he’s fine, but I worry about his arteries.” I said, “I mean about the injury he suffered at the party.” Wilfred said, “Just a few bruises. Nothing to worry about.” I took them into the back of the restaurant and got them a couple of chairs and asked them what food they wanted for the party. Wilfred didn’t want much, but Mira said, “Wilfred, you don’t get parties like this every day and Mrs. Mayes said we could have anything you want. I am going to get you all your favourite things.” So Mira rattled off a list and Wilfred tried to act perturbed, but he was clearly pleased. “Goodness, Mr. Kelpfroth, is there anything you don’t know how to make?” She asked. I told her there were quite a few things, but she hadn’t asked for them. I asked them if there was anything else.

    Mira said, “If I think of anything, we’ll give you a call. We have to go for a dental appointment with Dr. John Patterson now. His office called this morning and said that he had used some defective material in our dental work and he needed to replace it.” I asked, “You live in Burlington and come to Milborough to see your dentist?” Wilf said, “Yes. Our dentist and his wife are our in-laws. We sometimes have problems dealing with them and our kids-in-common, so we try everything we can to make nice with them.” Mira said, “Let me tell something Mr. Kelpfroth, the things that have been done to us would amaze you.” I said, “Like what?” Wilf rolled his eyes, like I had just asked the worst question in the world.

    Mira started, “Our daughter Deanna married Mike Patterson, Dr. Patterson’s son. I always wanted a big wedding for both my daughters, but my oldest Andrea eloped. That left Deanna. So when she was dating Mike seriously, she kept on putting off the wedding. ‘We can’t get married until I have a job. We can’t get married until I take this trip to Honduras.’ It was very frustrating. Finally she agreed on a date and so I thought we were all set. Wilf is a pretty important man in Burlington, and we were prepared to do the wedding right.” Wilf sort of groaned at this point.

    Mira continued, “Well, it turns out that Deanna and Michael wanted to live together, but my daughter didn’t want to do that without being married first, so they wouldn’t be living in sin. So, they get married in secret, only the secret is kept from just 2 people, me and Wilf.” Wilf said, “I will have to admit that it really hurt us when we finally found out.” Mira said, “Of course that was after we paid thousands of dollars for a fantastic wedding ceremony, which we thought was the real one. If we had known that they were already married, we could have saved that money we spent on the wedding as a gift for a down payment on a house, like we did with Andrea. Even so, after spending all that, do we get even a thank you? No, we do not. Instead, my own daughter makes this big deal about how the Pattersons are paying for her wedding dress, which is nothing compared to the total wedding expenses.” Wilf said, “Please, don’t tell the dress story.”

    Mira ignored him and said, “My daughter and Elly are in the wedding gown shop and picked out her dress without me. They don’t want me to know this so when I come to see it, Elly Patterson is hiding behind this screen, so I can’t see her. Of course, I can hear her breathing with that big nose of hers, so I know she’s there. Nobody else has a breathing sound like hers. So, I play it cool and just sit there and take it, while my own daughter says, ‘Thanks mom’ to Elly behind the screen. It still makes me sad to think about that.” She started sobbing a little bit and Wilf said, “There, there, Mira.”

    After she recovers a little, she started up again, “So then, Howard, after they are married, the trouble gets worse. Wilf and I get left out of everything or we are the last to find out anything. I don’t find out my daughter has gone back to work after her first child until other people tell me, I don’t find out I have a grandson until several hours after he was born and everyone else is already there at the hospital, and I don’t get invited to my own granddaughter’s second birthday party. That really hurt. One time when we went to visit them, Mike threw us out of their apartment.” Wilf said, “Well, we were there a little late and we weren’t invited.” Mira said, “There is a gracious way to ask people to leave. You don’t throw someone out and then call them names like abrasive, self-centered, controlling, intrusive, and inflexible through the door. I didn’t deserve to be treated that way and neither did you.”

    Wilf said, “Now you’re whining Mira.” Mira said, “But I don’t whine nearly as much as Elly Patterson does. The first year after our granddaughter was born, I made an arrangement with Mike and Dee that they could do part of Christmas at our house and then do part of Christmas at Elly’s house. But, oh the complaining I got. Now, every single stinking holiday we have to go to Elly’s house, and watch her take credit for the food she makes her daughter cook, just to keep the peace.” Wilf said, “It’s one of many things we do to keep the peace.” I said, “That doesn’t sound fair.”

    Mira continued, “No it’s not. It’s so hard to let our kids run their own lives, but now it’s worse, because I think Michael is going insane.” I said, “How do you mean?” Mira said, “First, when our grandson was born, he told Deanna’s doctor to give her sedative to me. Right in front of us. And then he and his family go out in the hallway and have a big conversation about how I cause chaos. I thought he had lost it.” Wilf said, “The Pattersons are just rude, that is not evidence of insanity. Mira said, “That’s not all. The last time I visited Deanna at her apartment, they were having this fight with their downstairs neighbours and Mike had put tape as a dividing line in the middle of the hall to divide the property that was theirs and the neighbours. It was just a mean thing to do to aggravate the neighbours. Who does that sort of thing? No one sane. And then he wrote this article in the Clarion Weekly that said all these horrible things about his neighbours, comparing them to animals marking their territory and worse. Dee told us to buy a copy because she was so proud of him, but Wilf and I read the article and thought he had gone over the edge.” Wilf chimed in, “I had my doubts about Mira’s story about the tape, but the article pretty much confirmed it. No reasonable man would write something like that in such a public venue about people they were still living next to. I don’t understand why they couldn’t just talk to the neighbours like civilized people.”

    Mira said, “Well, you know the reason why?” I said, “What’s the reason why?” Wilf said, “Our daughter and Mike were in elementary school together and let’s just say that during that time we noticed Elly Patterson’s method of disciplining her kids is a little loud.” Mira said, “Wilf. You are being too nice. Howard, the woman opens her mouth as wide as she can and yells at her children at the top of her lungs. She makes these horrible screeching noises. It had to affect Mike. Now he will do anything to avoid confrontation, like with his neighbours. His mother has scarred him for life. It’s sad really. I would feel sorry for him, if he wasn’t such an arrogant prig.”

    At this point Wilf said, “Mira we have to leave to make our dental appointment on time.” Mira said, “It was so good meeting you Mr. Kelpfroth, and if I think of anything else I will call you.” I said, OK and they left. That was an interesting conversation that I thought you should hear. Were all those things they said true?

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, sad 2 say, but i can pretty much back up mira on all that stuff. & i'm ashamed 2 say i never really imagined she was so hurt by all that. mike an' dee totally act like she's got no feelings, but i oughta know better, cuz every1 does.

    mira mite have a pt abt how my mom raised mike. liz tells me i'm lucky cuz mom was mellower by the time i was born. i don't know, cuz obvs i can't compare what i wasn't around 4.

    apes

     
  • At 5:22 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    You can back up Mira on all that stuff? I am surprised. I had hoped that her story was just a warped perspective on things. I really don't know your brother and his wife, but is this behaviour typical of them toward everyone or just the Sobinskis, and my uncle Melville and aunt Winnie?

    By the by, did Stephanie the web designer show up at your mom's store? I am anxious for details.

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    ok, so i'm @ my mom's store now & she went out 4 a "break", lol. i had an interesting encounter w/steph, the web designer who helps my mom. she was in the store 2day 2 help my mom w/various computer issues, & when i got in after school, she sed, "elly, i think april needs a manicure." i was a lil embarrassed, cuz i didn't think my nails looked that bad, but my mom was all, "if steph sez u need a manicure, then u need a manicure." so we were walking out 2 "just nails," which is next 2 marjee's salon, & steph told me, "don't worry, april, yr nails rn't ugly or nething. i just needed an xcuse 2 talk 2 u away fr. yr mom. & besides, a girl can always use a manny."

    so mrs. shen, the owner, was doing my nails while her daughter, miss shen, did steph's nails. steph told me, "the famous reporter brenda starr was in the shop 2day & she wanted 2 get sum info fr. me abt the gps devices. we went out 2 lunch @ that hot restaurant @ mayes midtown motors. they have a new chef, u know." i told her i'd heard that. "neway, i really wanted 2 help ms. starr, really i did. but there were certain thingz i cdn't tell her outrite. i can't risk yr mother firing me--she's a v. v. important client. but i was able 2 give ms. starr what i hope will b very useful clues and hints. i just wanted u 2 know."

    well, after we talked abt that, steph did an insanely funny imitation of my mom. she sed keeping her sense of humour went a long, long way.

    neway, that's all i've got rite now. howard, this lunch betw ms. starr & steph mighta happed while u were talking w/the sobinskis, i dunno. but if u missed it, i m sure brenda will tell us abt it when she has a chance!

    apes

     
  • At 5:24 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, i was posting while u were, i guess. so i'm sure brenda will fill us in when she can!

    apes

     
  • At 5:29 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    oh, abt yr other question. i guess u cd say that if mike an' dee think of u as a friend, they don't treat u like that. but if they think of u as "the enemy" 4 whatev reason, watch out!

    apes

     
  • At 5:29 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    becks. jtluk. i got the inoculation from the professor. i wunt 2c if it mproved my kissing 2b az gud az duncan’s. can we meet 2 test it out?

     
  • At 6:34 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    So that’s who Brenda was with at lunch. She wouldn’t tell me. I didn’t miss the lunch, I just didn’t understand much of what they were saying. This is the conversation as best I remember it:

    Brenda: Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: My pleasure, now how can I help you?

    Brenda: People could be listening on us, so let’s use a few different words so we can talk. For example, we will call your boss P and those devices that you work on for P, let’s just call them japs.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: You mean japs like the Japanese.

    Brenda: Yes, that’s correct.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Oh I couldn’t do that Mrs. Starr. Mrs. Patterson, I mean P doesn’t like us to use offensive stereotypes in our abbreviations.

    Brenda: OK. Well how about if we call them gyps?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: You mean gyps like “To deprive another of something by fraud; cheat or swindle.”?

    Brenda: Yes, that’s correct.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Oh I couldn’t do that Mrs. Starr. P doesn’t like us to do anything that wasn’t completely legal.

    Brenda: OK. Well how about if we call them gops?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: You mean gops like “A member of the Grand Old Party”, the Republican political Party in the States?

    Brenda: Yes, that’s correct.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Oh I couldn’t do that Mrs. Starr. P doesn’t like us to associate anything with the lower 48, particularly their politics.

    Brenda: OK. Well how about if we call them gups?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: You mean gups like “An abbreviation of guppies, the fish”?

    Brenda: Yes, that’s correct.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Oh I couldn’t do that Mrs. Starr. P doesn’t like us to do anything that could associated with cruelty to animals, even fish.

    Brenda: OK. Well how about if we call them gaps?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: You mean gaps like “An opening or space”?

    Brenda: Yes, that’s correct.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: OK. Gaps then. What were we talking about?

    Brenda: Those devices that you work on for P, we’re going to call them gaps.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: OK. What would you like to know about gaps?

    Brenda: A very smart friend of mine believes these gaps can make single straight men older. Let’s call that a generation gap.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: You mean generation gap like “A difference in values and attitudes between one generation and another, especially between young people and their parents”?

    Brenda: Yes, that’s correct.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Oh I couldn’t do that Mrs. Starr. P doesn’t like us to do anything that could be interpreted as age discrimination.

    Brenda: OK, how about ssm gap – where ssm is for single straight man?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: But ssm can also stand for surface-to-surface missile and P doesn’t like us to do anything that could be associated with war or warlike tendencies.

    Brenda: What do you suggest?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Guys I would like to date or GILD.

    Brenda: All right GILD. So my smart friend believes the gap affects the GILD, so they have to marry young.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: MGILD.

    Brenda: What?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Married guys I would like to date.

    Brenda: Doesn’t P have a restriction on wanting to date married guys?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Oh no. She practically encourages it. She goes on and on about this married man, who does the accounting for her shop that she wants her daughter to date.

    Brenda: Why would P want GILD to become MGILD?

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Mrs. Starr, I can't risk P firing me. All I can really say is that someone known as EP is a really SLP and needs to be SP when it comes to GILD. So P thinks that if EP sees GILD become MGILD because of the gap, then EP will realize she has been wasting time and will turn from SLP to SP and get her MGILD.

    Brenda: Let me see if I understand this. To get EP from SLP to SP, the gap changes GILD to MGILD.

    Woman I now know to be Stephanie: Yes, you have it right.

    Brenda: I don’t know what I’m talking about!

    Anyway, that’s what I remember. Maybe you will have better time understanding it than I did.

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 6:45 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    ow, my head hurts. it cd have sumthin' 2 do w/my mom's planz 4 liz (whose initials are ep). otoh, my mom's initials r also ep. & sp vs. slp? single patterson? single, loopy patterson? me's confused, howard.

    apes

     
  • At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Brenda Starr said…

    April,

    Stephanie is a lovely girl. When she met me at the diner, she was wearing a kicky olive green tank over a turquoise tank. I thought her color coordination choices were odd, but people say Canadian's march to their own drum where color combinations are concerned. She was wearing black pants. Her hair was combed nicely in a bob, it wasn't put up, but hung free. She was in need of a new dye job I could see by the lighter roots of her black hair. Stephanie put her hair behind one ear and I counted no less than 20 earrings. "I usually hide this from Elly with my hair", but here I can relax. She put in her beautiful cubic zirconia nose ring and began telling me of her love of Curt Kobain and Bloom County, especially Opus.

    Apparently Elly thinks that Stephanie spends all her free time in front of the computer. Elly has been known to tell people that , "Stephanie spends every evening reading lead-heavy technical manual, playing fetch with her cats, and practicing Zen to the ever-present hum of her CPU!" But, Stephanie tells me that she's quite the party animal. "Elly needs to feel like she has control in a chaotic world. Control is very important to her. So, I let her think what she needs to think in order to please her. She's not really that difficult as long as you keep up appearances." "But appearances can be deceiving," I said softly as I watched Howard bustle around the diner taking care of the Sobinskis. Stephanie shook her head and her earrings clinked. "Not for Elly. To her the world is black and white, occasionally she'll relax. Like on Sunday and let a little color in. And sometimes there is color in her week, but that's muted colors like mustard and maroon, muted greens and yellows." "Oh," I said trying not to nodd out. Maybe this Stephanie is as boring as Elly says. Stephanie went on for awhile, talking about alphabet soup. C++ and HTML. Finally I asked, "What about the GPS devices?" She took a sip of her drink and looked around warily. "What about them?" she asked. "Who manufactures them?" Stephanie looked around a little warily then leaned forward and whispered, "The Johnston Institute For Better Living." "Who orders these devices?" I inquired. "I don't know," replied Stephanie. "I only work for Elly. All I do is activate the device and monitor." "So Elly orders them?" "No," said Stephanie. They come in from John's office. I think his PA orders them." "Jean Baker?" I asked. Stephanie nodded. We finished our meal and were walking back to the car. "Do you know what these devices do?" I asked. "Of course!" Stephanie answered. "They are Global Positioning Devices. I can pinpoint the location of every device in the system." She frowned then said, "Well not lately, quite a few of them have been on the fritz. Dr. Patterson is very disturbed about it. He's preparing to call in all the devices to have them maintenenced." I wanted to ask more questions but she looked at her watch. "I have to be back at the office at precisely 1pm." she said. "I apologize, but punctuality is one of those small things that keeps the boss happy. I suggest you talk to Jean, maybe she can tell you more." And then she was gone.

    Love,
    Brenda

     
  • At 7:07 PM, Blogger howard said…

    Brenda,

    It sounds like you had quite a conversation with Stephanie after I left to deal with the Sobinskis. I am glad you stopped with the code language, it was making my head hurt like April's. Do you know anything about the Johnston Institute For Better Living?

    Curious,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    y'know, howard, i just remembered sumthin'. when i went 2 my dad's office recently 2 gather those samples fr. lawrence, my dad was sitting in his office looking @ sum brochures. when he saw me, he, like, tucked 'em away real quick in2 a file folder. it didn't mean nething 2 me @ the time, but the brochures sed "johnston institute for better living" on them.

    apes

     
  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Is there any chance you could sneak a look at those brochures? I'm sure Brenda would appreciate it for her investigation.

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 7:19 PM, Anonymous marjee mahaha said…

    Ms. Starr, a woman fitting the description you gave for Stephanie came into the salon this afternoon. I guess this was after she and April had their manicure. She asked me whether I could squeeze her in for a touch-up on her hair colour. Lucky for her, I'd just had a cancellation.

    So while I was applying dye to her roots, she told me, "My employer keeps telling me I should grow out my hair so I can put it up in a bun. But, you know, I have to draw the line somewhere." I didn't know what to make of this at the time, but now that I realize she was talking about Mrs. Patterson, this makes more sense. April, your mom is fanatical about those buns.

    While she was getting ready to leave, she picked up one of those flyers Becky made for beauty lunches. She said she'd have to schedule one of these when her workload lightens up a bit.

    Marjee

     
  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, i can try, but i'd need 2 make up an xcuse 2 go in2 my dad's office & then i'd have 2 snoop in2 his files. & in case he catches me snooping, i need a story 2 xplain that. so i need 2 think this thru a bit.

    apes

     
  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    I don't want you to get in trouble with your dad, but I would be willing to create a distraction, if you thought that would work. Let me know. Brenda may have some ideas, since she is a lot more experienced at this kind of stuff. I will ask her when I see her tonight.

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 7:32 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    thanks, howard, i can use the help. i'll try 2 think of ideas, 2.

    apes

     
  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    I am home from work, and I met Brenda at my apartment. She has given me my inoculation. She is wearing a really stunning low cut dress and is speaking to me alternatively in French and Spanish. It is very difficult to understand. Fortunately, Brenda has great body language. I think it will be a sleepless night. Brenda said she needs to work off some stress from her job.

    I told Brenda about the brochures in your father’s office. She was thinking about a scheme, when I checked my phone messages. There was one on there from your father’s dental office, saying I needed to come in tomorrow to replace some defective material in my dental work. Brenda said, “This is our chance. You go into the office tomorrow and keep Dr. Patterson occupied with your teeth, April will keep Jean Baker occupied, and I will do the rest.” Brenda wants to know if you are available tomorrow morning for such a scheme.

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 9:37 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    we'd need 2 get me outta school, howard. mayB ms. starr cd convince the principal that i'm doing a special journalism thing that requires me 2 b out 4 a while tomorrow morning? if we can get me outta school 4 the amount of time u need me, then i'll do whatev u need me 2 do.

    apes

     
  • At 9:51 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Brenda has already put in the calls to get you out of school and for my appointment. We will pick you up tomorrow. Basically what Brenda wants you to do is to search for the files you saw before, while she keeps Jean Baker and anyone else in the waiting area occupied. She originally thought she would search for the files, until I pointed out that as a celebrity she is not exactly inconspicuous and you are much less likely to be questioned going into your dad's office area. In the meantime, I am supposed keep your dad busy working on my teeth.

    Does that sound like a plan?
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 10:37 PM, Anonymous ardith narayan said…

    Sorry it took me so long to post. Working with Jim and Iris is a full-time job! I hope I make time and a half for overtime...

    It was a rough first day. I remember that working with Deanna's children was much easier, but back then Merrie wasn't hooked on caffeine, so all day I just kept telling myself how much worse it would be if I were at Mike an' Dee's apartment. Iris has a very brusque manner but seems basically nice. Jim is sweet as well, but also seems to be losing it entirely.

    This afternoon when he was supposed to be napping, he escaped. I shadowed him all the way to Elly's, and he was just about to dognap Dixie when I said (in my most roadside voice) "Hey soldier, let's get back to base, it's time for your spongebath. We don't need the private around, getting in our way." He said I didn't look like a nurse, and I said my uniform was on back order, but when it came in he'd be the first to see me in it. I also hinted that maybe he could watch me put it on. He started to breathe kind of heavily and his eyes glazed over, so I just took his hand, led him back home and told Iris he'd been sleepwalking.

    I have promised him that I'm the biggest fan of his rock band, that he's my favorite bandmate, and that I hoped one of the perks of working with him will be that we can take a spin on the dance floor a couple times a week. I also asked him to sign a different part of my anatomy before each gig, but only places where Iris won't see the autograph and get jealous. He seemed to really like that idea, and I think he'll be so busy rehearsing for the next few days that Dixie might be safe.

    Well, I have to get back to my own screaming children. I wish my husband would come back! I always hoped that I would have someone to grow old with, the way Jim and Iris have each other.

     
  • At 11:26 PM, Blogger howard said…

    Ardith,

    It was so nice to meet you this morning and I am glad things went well on your first day at work. Iris and Jim can be demanding, so be careful you don’t end up doing too much that you did not agree to, like shampooing the carpets, degrouting the tile or cleaning up after their dog explodes from eating too much Havarti cheese. I have worked with Iris and Jim before, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Toodles,
    Howard Kelpfroth

     
  • At 11:31 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    becks. where r u? i wunt 2 check out my new kissing technique & ur not returning my callz or posts? ru w/duncan?

     

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