April's Real Blog

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Give Away" an' stuff

So, like, Liz was nice enuf 2 post last nite abt what's been goin' on in Mtig. 4 those of U who mite not've C'n her post, here'z what she had 2 say:
I am sorry if my letter sounded paranoid before. I got all worked up and I probably shouldn't have. It is not nice to not trust someone. I try hard to trust everybody. Anthony says it's one of my best qualities and I don't want to disappoint people. See, right after the PDA stuff, Susan said she really did have to go. I guess Vivian told her she had to help make food for my big party. That made me feel reassured. I feel insignificant when people are talking about things that don't include me. It was nice to see Susan wasn't going to just talk about herself all night but was going to do some work on my party, which after all is the most important thing going on in the village right now. So everyone should be focused on it, right? That's what I thought too.

After Susan left I told Paul how Auntie Marg told me to make some gifts for the party. I was hoping Paul would explain that to me because where I come from down south it is rude to tell someone they have to bring someone a gift. I was pretty sure it must be a special native custom. But Paul didn't give me a good explanation. He just said there would be a "give away." So I was kind of annoyed because not only was he not telling me what I wanted to hear but he was just standing there and watching me while I lifted some heavy boxes.

So I decided to be assertive like you always want me to. I said, "Paul, why didn't you explain the custom to me? And why aren't you helping me with these boxes? Don't you care about my feelings? And men should have to do housework too!" I was really pleased with myself because I did what you always say ("be assertive") and also I said some of the things Mom says work to make men do what you want.

Well it worked because Paul helped me pick up a box and while we did that he explained that the party would be a traditional ceremony and that it meant I was accepted into the community and that it was quite an honor. I got so surprised by this that my eyes went really wide and I hopped on one foot. Let me tell you that is a bad idea when you are carrying a heavy box of books. The box fell down onto the floor.

That was actually ok with me because I had more important things to do. I wish someone had told me that people throwing a big party for me was a big honor that I should dress up for. It's just not fair to surprise a girl like that! But when you are living in a different culture you have to roll with the punches so I ran right over to a clothing box and started looking for a dress. I had been planning to wear my forest green pants with my yellow ochre t-shirt but for a traditional native ceremony I am thinking I should probably dress up more. I am really cursing that I gave my sexy red dress to you April. That would sure have made me stand out at my party and also helped remind Paul who is the center of his whole universe (wink wink)!

Well I totally didn't notice this but later Paul told me that when I dropped the box of books it fell on his foot. And it was really heavy so he couldn't pick it up again, he had to just scooch it across the floor while he asked me what I was doing. I guess that is why his voice sounded a little strained--his foot hurt. Well I feel kind of bad about that but he should not of surprised me by telling me a party in my honor is an honor, you know?

By the way April I have this one red tank top that is stiff as a board like it's made out of cardboard and not cotton or something. What do you think could cause that?

Liz
I dunno abt yr tank top, Liz, that'z nevr happed 2 NE of my clothes. MayB sum1 else who knowz more abt laundry issues will know an' post, eh?

Hope we get 2 hear U had a fun time @ yr feast!

Howard, hope everything went well w/yr second show and that Becks isn't upset NEmore abt whatevs she was upset abt!

Apes

28 Comments:

  • At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    April,

    Boozhoo (Hello).

    I read your writings talking about my sweet girl and Chipper and me again. At the feast for your sister, there is going to be a “giveaway.” You may not know what a “giveaway” is. Within the Anishinabek Nation, a “giveaway” is a ceremony that is done on a number of different occasions. There will often be a “giveaway” during a powwow. “Giveaways” are normally done when someone has something special happen to them and it is to express their gratitude for this gift. For example, back in May, Mtigwaki(Land of Trees) held its annual baby-welcoming ceremony, and when the babies receive the gift of their names, there is a big potluck feast and then the ”giveaway,” where everyone receives a handmade memento. At the powwow, the “giveaway” usually happens on the final day just before the feast, usually to honour the competing dancers that won the competition. Within some First Nations, the “giveaway” is so popular it occurs for any kind of celebration, like when an Anishinabe student gets a scholarship to university, for example. With my sweet girl, the people of Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) must consider your sister’s departure to Mississauga as something special that has happened to her.

    Once I explained about the “giveaway” to your sister she got very excited and she changed her clothes. My sweet girl looks very “sweet” now. The only thing which confuses me is how she has lived in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) for 2 years and has never heard of the “giveaway” before. When I met your ngashi (mother) last year, she told me she and my sweet girl had been to the Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) powwow and they have a “giveaway” as a part of it. So, I know your sister has been to a powwow. I would ask your sister about it, but right now I need to deal with my foot. I think it might be broken. A box full of school books is very heavy.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Little sis. Excellent use of irony in your writing. Lizardbreath has been “truly accepted into the community” which she has just rejected in favour of working in Mississauga. However, there is also the problem of the plot hole. Lizardbreath is always telling us how there is no privacy or secrets in wherever it is that she lives, and yet, she doesn’t know what is going on at her own farewell feast or how she should dress for it. Obviously, a detail or two has been conveniently left out in order to make our sister seem more ignorant than a Patterson actually is, for dramatic effect, no doubt. Aside from that little quibble, your work is excellent today.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 10:24 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i have this bad feelin’ like ur gettin’ reddy 2 tell sum story ‘bout ur sis that has lotsa wordz ‘bout native culture & iz gonna sound more like a travelogue or a documentary than a real story. pleaze tell me it izn’t true.

    by the way, i gotta a tourin’ gig that starts next week. the only thing iz i am kinda nervous ‘bout b-ing gone frum eva. cud u kinda check on eva just 2 make sure she hazn’t started w/duncan while i am gone? thanx.

     
  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Graham Sheppard. I just love this guy. He and Marjee got completely trashed last night at the Valhalla on Brennevin and then after I drove him to his hotel, Marjee and Graham and I started playing strip poker and then …um…I keep on forgetting you are only 15.

    About Becky. It’s a tour. Becky and Thorvald agreed that Becky needs to expand her horizons outside of the Valhalla and outside of Milborough. He has arranged a tour to promote Becky’s CD. He wants me to go along as Becky’s chaperone. I asked him how he could let me go from the Valhalla, and Thorvald explained that his old folks skits have been so popular, he is going to unleash, I mean, release another one with Basher taking the lead to replace us touring people’s acts. “Art is not always about music, Hoskuld. Sometimes there is drama.” he said. I couldn’t figure out which Icelandic saga that was from, so I just said, “Call me Howard.” I think the skit is supposed to last throughout the course of the tour in addition to Arne the magician, if he can ever get over his supposed “Magician’s Block,” which is his current excuse for not performing.

    I haven’t been on tour in a long time. Not since the traveling show of “Pierre Trudeau on Ice”, and yes, I skated the part of Margaret Trudeau. I remember being tired and whiny all the time, and I wasn’t sure if that was because I was trying to stay in character, or because I actually felt tired and whiny.

    Anyway, we start off next week, and Becky and I or Jeremy Jones (hired as a roadie) may write you from time-to-time to let you know how things are going.

    Howard K.

     
  • At 10:35 AM, Anonymous shannon lake said…

    April,

    Tell your sister that clothes feel like cardboard when they have been laundered with too much starch. My mom does that sometimes. She likes clothes to be nice and flat and cardboardy. I like my clothes to be soft. I wash and iron my own clothes when I can. I was glad when we had our home ec class last year, it included washing and ironing clothes. Mom couldn't say I didn't know how to do it after that class. It's fun to be smart.

    I am not saying that your sister isn't smart. I guess what I am saying is that it sounds like your sister doesn't wash and iron her own clothes. Or maybe she doesn't remember what it is like to wash and iron clothes.

    These other posts make it sound like she forgot what a "giveaway" is, when she should know. Maybe your sister has a problem with short term memory loss. Sometimes I have that problem, too. Is your sister "special needs"? I forget.

    Love,
    Shannon Lake

     
  • At 6:33 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    paul, shannon, liz claimz that she didn't actually 4get abt the whole "give away" thing fr. when mom was up there 4 the powwow, she sez she just hadn't made the connection betw. b-ing asked 2 prepare gifts an' the "give away" tradition. and she sez she didn't interrupt u paul, when u xxplained, cuz she just likes how u tell stuff.

    shannon, afaik, liz is not special needs.

    mike, i just reported what liz sed. if there r holes, liz put 'em there.

    howard, jeremy, congrats on the touring thing, tho i'll miss u guyz!

    jeremy, i dunno if i'm gonna b tellin' stuff that soundz like a travelogue or documentary. prolly so. sorry in advance if that happs.

    apes

     
  • At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Susan Dokis said…

    April,

    I had a good time working with Vivian Crane to make the food for your sister’s feast. Vivian is a good cook and she loves making pies. She said your sister came over to her side of the “teacherage” many times for meals and they had some nice conversations. She said when I moved in the “teacherage” in September, I could come over any time to talk. Vivian told me about how she talked with Elizabeth about training her cat, and Gary’s and her personal history. She told how she entertained your mother when she came to Mtigwaki. She also told me this funny story about when Suds was going to take your sister to meet his parents in White River and how your sister said again and again Paul was just her friend. Vivian thought she was understating their relationship, when your sister got a call from a helicopter pilot who was one of her old boyfriends who wanted to give her a ride from White River to Toronto. Vivian said it was then she learned that maybe she was wrong about your sister’s relationship with Suds. Your sister took the helicopter ride out of White River and did not stay long enough to meet Paul’s parents, and Paul didn’t even get mad, because that’s the kind of guy Suds is. He is one of the sweetest guys I know. Your sister is so lucky to have him as a boyfriend. It’s nice to know there is at least one guy out there, who won’t get angry and break up with you, when you do something insensitive and stupid to him, like we girls sometimes do.

    Gary Crane, Vivian’s husband and my future boss came in while we were cooking and said the results smelled excellent. It will be a great feast. Gary wanted to talk to me a little about the new Anishinabek Nation official language policy, the 42 chiefs unanimously approved during the annual Grand Council Assembly held 2 weeks ago. Gary said, “I knew this was coming. The Chiefs endorsed a resolution declaring that the official language of the Anishinabek Nation is Anishinaabe-mowin, or the Ojibwe language.” What this means for me as a teacher is that the school in Mtigwaki, like other Anishinabek Nation schools, has to adopt immersion and fluency programs as the preferred method of instruction. We can no longer teach Ojibwe as a second language or conventional Ojibwe language instruction. We have to work with the Anishinaabe-Mushkegowuk-Onkwehonwe Language Commission, who has former Deputy Grand Chief Nelson Toulouse as the current Commissioner. Vivian said your mother gave Nelson Toulouse a ride from Mtigwaki to Fort La Cloche once. It must have been a great honour to give a ride to the man who was the then-current Deputy Grand Chief. Gary Crane told me he was really glad he could bring me in to take over teaching from your sister. He said that there was no way she would have been qualified enough to teach an Ojibwe language immersion and fluency program. I felt very glad I had participated in the Native Language Instructors Program as a part of my Bachelor of Education Indigenous Learning from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, or I would have to get a job teaching down South like your sister.

    I’m looking forward to the giveaway at your sister’s feast. I know Suds is going to be lonely, with your sister so far away in Mississauga. I have a blanket I made myself I think I may give him for the giveaway and I think I can get Elizabeth to put some of her favourite perfume in it, so every time he gets lonely, he can put the blanket over him and think of her. If Elizabeth has already packed her perfume, I could use some of my own. Boys usually can’t tell the difference from one perfume to another. Do you know what kind of perfume your sister likes?

    Susan Dokis

     
  • At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Little sis. “You just reported what Liz said.” As a journalist, I know that a reporter has a choice about what to leave in and leave out, and that not only includes the written text, but the spoken questions. Lizardbreath hardly ever writes me, but she does respond to you. Your claim to only report what Liz said, runs pell-mell and smack into this other thing you wrote minute centimetres above the nice note you wrote to me. I quote:

    liz claimz that she didn't actually 4get abt the whole "give away" thing fr. when mom was up there 4 the powwow, she sez she just hadn't made the connection betw. b-ing asked 2 prepare gifts an' the "give away" tradition.

    There is a plaintive plot hole being filled and I cannot help but to think that perhaps it was my question about that same plot hole that inspired you to pose that question to Liz in the first place. Of course I am deeply honoured you would be so inspired by what I wrote to you.

    Keep up the good work,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Shannon Lake said…

    April,

    They have tests they can give you to see if you are special needs. Do you think your sister needs to take one?

    Love,
    Shannon Lake

     
  • At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    April,

    Boozhoo (Hello).

    I read your writings talking about my sweet girl and the “giveaway.” I love explaining Ojibway traditions to your sister. I always felt it was a way to get her to feel closer to my culture and the way of life together in the Northwest. Now she is moving to the South, when I transfer down there, I will have to get used to your culture and way of life.

    I remember when your ngashi (mother) told me about Toronto, the one time I met her. She said she was so glad she didn’t live any closer to the city. She said Toronto is wonderful from a cultural point of view, but the schools there are even more overburdened and the city population is so dense that it's easier to become just a number and be overlooked. She said there were a couple of horrible stories last summer about people who'd passed away in their high-rise apartments and nobody noticed that they were missing until their automatic rent payments started to bounce. I tell myself I will be close to Elizabeth and that is all that matters.

    Vivian Crane checked out my foot and told me it was not broken. It is great to have a nurse right next door. I should say, it used to be great to live next to a nurse, since your sister will soon be gone.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    susan, i think liz likes shalimar. i agree, paul seemz like a v. v. nice guy!

    mike, i copied an' pasted what liz posted last nite. abt filling in "plot holes", liz decided 2 fone me an' say that stuff abt not 4getting after she read what otherz were saying. she didn't seem 2 like that peeps were saying she had a poor memory.

    shannon, i think liz knowz abt the testing cuz they tell u abt that stuff when u study 2 b a teacher in university.

    paul, gah, most ppl'z eyez start 2 glaze over when me mom gets in2 that kinda talk!

    apes

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, if ur stuff iz gonna sound like a travelogue or documentary, it think this may b a good tyme 2 go on tour. i told eva 'bout it & she sed 4 the cowboy 2b accepted on the cattle drive iz a gr8 honour & i shud unpack my best boots & spurz. sumtymez, eva iz hard 2 unnerstand.

     
  • At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Susan Dokis said…

    April,

    Shalimar. I have some of that. Paul is going to love my blanket. It's going to smell just like your sister and me. It will be perfect for those lonely nights, when he has nothing to do but think about your sister all the way over in Mississauga. Thanks!

    Susan Dokis

     
  • At 7:18 PM, Anonymous shannon lake said…

    April,

    If your sister wants to be tested, then let me know. My doctor is great. The test does not hurt at all, not like some doctors' tests.

    Love,
    Shannon Lake

     
  • At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Little sis. Copying and pasting. I suppose I gave you too much credit, because you are a Patterson, and are thus destined to be the author of great things. I should have given the writing congratulations to Lizardbreath instead, much as it pains me to admit that her autobiographical material shows amazing insight into her problematic personality. I still have high hopes for you, little sis. You should consider writing your own material about our beloved sister, instead of relying on her material. That is the only way to learn. Remember to use the outline technique I taught you.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    April,

    Boozhoo (Hello).

    I read your writings responding to my talking about your ngashi (mother’s ) description of Toronto. Your eyes may glaze over when your mother talks about Toronto, but ever since my sweet girl said she wanted to live there, I have discovered I am listening very carefully to the things people tell about going, or being, or living there. It sounds very different from my life in Otter County. How do you like Toronto?

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omg, mike, do u ever pay attention, like, @ all? I do write my own stuff here, like, all the time. THIS TIME, i copied an' pasted sumthing liz posted last nite. and i SED SO RITE AT THE TOP OF MY ENTRY!!!!! 1st u don't notice, and then when i pt it out 2 u, u ACT AS IF I COPY AND PASTE EVERY FRIGGING THING I WRITE HERE!

    and how many times do i hafta say, U DID NOT TEACH ME ABOUT OUTLINES! i friggin' LEARNED FROM A BOOK LIZ GAVE ME!

    omg, omg, omg, u make my HEAD HURT!

    shan, i will tell liz, but i doubt she'll b interested.

    paul, i'd say u can ask mike abt toronto, but he'z not even sure which part of town he lives in.

    apes

     
  • At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Little sis. The next time we get together, perhaps I should let you know a few details about proper capitalization. I would explain about the unnecessary use of too many exclamation points, but sadly this is a family condition. Every Patterson or Richards that I have ever met, uses exclamation points where simple periods would do! I find myself doing it fairly often, and I have to go back and edit them out of my own work.

    I will have to admit I did like your latest post. It showed an emotional content that most assuredly was not copied and pasted from Lizardbreath and is distinctly un-Pattersonian. It was like reading something written by someone else, like an anti-April or a crazy April. Very exciting. However, despite your protestations, it was clearly written using my outline technique and not some technique you learned in one of those stale textbooks espoused by our beloved sister.

    If your head continues to hurt, I can ask my lovely Deanna for a headache remedy, although I would recommend you take whatever Dee does not recommend. You don’t want to get pregnant after all.

    As for Toronto. It is lovely town, if you like towns where you have to repair the apartment buildings yourself, and the rents are so high that even 2 professionals working full time can barely afford them, and it is so confusing to get around in that you don’t really know where you live. It used to be nicely located about halfway between my parents and Deanna’s ogre-like parents, but lately Milborough is in a closer proximity to wherever it is that I live near Toronto. I am not sure if Toronto is moving or Milborough, but considering I find my way home by sheer luck every day, I may not be the best one to ask.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    Michael,
    Boozhoo (Hello).

    I read your writings responding to my request for information about Toronto. Mii-gwetch (thank you) for telling me. I need to focus on the fact your sister will be in Toronto. I think that will help me now.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 9:17 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    hey, paul, since i m not talking 2 mike @ the moment, cd u tell him 2 pay attention 2 the fact that in my daily blog entries, i alwayz use proper capitalization? it's only in the comments that i don't bother w/caps (xxcept 2 yell @ my not-listening-2-me brother mike), but obvs it's not cuz i don't know ne better.

    apes

     
  • At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    Michael,
    Boozhoo (Hello).

    April asked me to tell you:

    pay attention 2 the fact that in my daily blog entries, i alwayz use proper capitalization? it's only in the comments that i don't bother w/caps (xxcept 2 yell @ my not-listening-2-me brother mike), but obvs it's not cuz i don't know ne better.

    That was unusual. I don't think I have ever had a conversation with any of my relatives about capitalization. I guess this is another thing I will have to get used to in Toronto. The closest I got with Elizabeth was when we discussed string theory. I should practice. How do you feel about parentheses?

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    Constable Wright,

    I like parentheses, but you should know that among the Pattersons the 2 next favourite punctuation marks are the ellipsis and the quotation marks, with the dash coming a close fourth.

    I would tell you to communicate something to my little sis, but I know she will read this anyway--Litte sis. It is always a good habit to practice proper capitalization, even if you are writing a lowly comment. You never can tell who might read what you have written and give you a contract to edit their doctoral thesis. Poor capitalization would eliminate this potential money-maker from your prospective employment. And you don't want to turn down work, or you might end up having to borrow money from mom, which is not what anyone should do.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 10:02 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    paul, i think parens r cube an' i like how u use them 2 transl8 the ojibway words u use.

    thanx 4 passing on my message 2 mike. not that he payz me ne mind.

    apes

     
  • At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    April,
    Boozhoo (Hello).

    Mii-gwetch (Thank you) for complimenting my parentheses. I started using them to help my sweet girl learn Ojibway and because your friend Becky McGuire requested it. I hope someday, your sister will become a part of my family and she will be able to communicate with them in both English and Ojibway, even if we live in Toronto and even if your sister no longer has to teach Ojibway to her students.

    Your nindawemaa (brother) likes you. I can tell. Otherwise, he would not write to you so much.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 11:29 PM, Blogger Luann DeGroot said…

    Paul,

    There's something about the naming ceremony I've been curious about. After she attended last year's naming ceremony, Liz mentioned that a specially gifted individual can sense the name, and confers it on the child. Is this more of a spiritual name, like Runs With Bears? Because everyone Liz talks about seems 2 have practical names like Paul & Susan & Gary, I was thinking that maybe the parents give their child an everyday name, but then u get something special @ the naming cermony. Like my parents named my brother Brad, but if he was Ojibwe, he would also have received "Head Like Potato" or something like that when they went 2 the naming ceremony.

    If it is a different name from the ones people use everyday, could u tell us what name u received @ the ceremony when u were a baby? Just curious.

    Thx,
    Luann

     
  • At 12:09 AM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    April,

    I do not like Shalimar. If I remember correctly, it is Becky McGuire who likes that stuff. I think it smells like something a French-Canadian prostitute would wear. I like Cherry Blossom. Not only does it smell good, nice and sweet, but that is the image I like a man to have of me: as a fresh dewy unpicked young cherry blossom. Pretty, huh?

    But I don't think Paul will need Susan's special blanket. I have given him something else to cuddle when I am gone, and it smells just like me. It isn't a blanket though--it is much smaller, and silky and lacy. I think Paul really liked it. His eyes glazed over.

    Liz

    P.S.--Shannon, you are probably too special needs to realize this, but they don't let special needs people become teachers. And I'm a teacher. So I'm not special needs.

    P.P.S.--Stop calling me Lizardbreath!!!

     
  • At 12:29 AM, Blogger Luann DeGroot said…

    OMG, Liz, you gave Paul an armchair doily?!

    Luann

     
  • At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    Luann,

    Boozhoo (Hello).

    I don’t think we have talked before. I read your writings asking about spirit names. You are right. The spirit names are usually like “Runs With Bears” or the one from the States movie “Dances with Wolves”. What you call the practical name is what we call our English name. My spirit name is “Simple View” or Mizhisha.

    Your joke about Elizabeth’s gift to me as an armchair doily is very funny. That was not what Elizabeth gave me though. It is personal, but you can probably guess what it was. I think Susan Dokis still plans to give me her blanket anyway. She said it would be more relaxing for me than Elizabeth’s gift. I agree with her. Elizabeth’s gift makes my eyes glaze over and my heart beat fast.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     

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