April's Real Blog

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This one's 4 the DAWGS!

So of course we got 2 that part of the walk where Dad totally gawks over the teeny-tiny train house [George Stibbs's house for those w/Mikelike impairments]. And since Dad has a thing abt pretending that this isn't his entire reason 4 going on the walk w/me @ all, and acting like we just happen 2 B passing by it by accident, I was all, "There's the little house U like, Pop!" And he, all casual like he wasn't even going 2 look: "Uh huh." Then I was thinking abt how I know Dad has been chomping @ the bit the buy that place 4evs but Mom hasn't allowed that 2 happen, so I decided 2 take another approach 2 uncrowding our living sitch: "Hey, I just thot of sumthing!" "Just" is a bit of a stretch but this is communic8ing w/DAD. U need a strategy. Then I went on w/"Mike an' Dee shd buy it! They're gonna get $25K soon--they cd move here an' B rite down the street fr. us!!" Then, I leapt up in the air, all, "WOOOO HOOOO!!! I'm so totally smart!! I surprise myself sumtymez w/my own brilliance!" Then Dad went silent and I went eyeless, so I went, "What?" Cuz I cdn't C NEthing. And when my eyez came back, I saw that I'd kicked up snow on2 Dad an' the doggies. As soon as the doggies shook the snow off of their fur, they looked up @ Dad & got this total gleeful look, the kind they get when they R inwardly laffing, like @ Buttsy or poor Shiimsa. And I know they musta been thinking sumthin' like, "LOL, how do U like it, PUN BOY!" I'm pretty sure I caught them high-fiving when they thot no1 was lookin'.

NEway, my big "Wooo Hoooo" leap was pretty lame, but I've learned I've gotta do sumthing ostentatious 2 get Dad's attention, yo.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

OMG, I encouraged him!

More on my doggie walk w/Dad the other day. And sorry abt this and possibly the rest of the week. We'll hafta C how this all goez.

The dogs spotted a squirrel up in a tree and went nuts barking @ it. The squirrel ended up dumping a buncha snow on2 the dogs' heads, and Dad was all, "Sumtymez, it's better 2 B barking up the wrong tree." And I actually laffed. W/a big ol' muppet mouth. Y, y, y did I do that? I know it only encourages him, and it wasn't even funny. It's like that crayzee force was controlling me again!

BTW, when Liz read yesterday's entry, she remembered that when I was five, I asked her Y Eddie had 2 sniff everything, and she told me abt dogs using smell 2 identify ppl an' other dogz, cuz every1 has an individual smell. And she sez I went an' sniffed Dad! I'd 4gotten all abt that.

Now, I know what U mite B thinking. All this dogwalking is gonna lead 2 Dad salivating over that stoopid teeny-tiny train house. Well, I'll let you know l8r in the week.


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Monday, February 26, 2007

Smell phone?

I think Dad is slipping. I know Mike is gonna disagree, cuz that's what he does when I say NEthing even a little bit like this, but it's true. U know I h8 the punz NEway, but they usually follow certain rules, and by the usual standards, what Dad sed 2 me on a recent dogwalk just doesn't make it.

U C, we were out walking Edgar and the Dixierat. Dad was walking Eddie and I was stuck with the 'rat. The dogs were sniff-snuff-sniff-snoofah-snurf-sniffa-snooff-whuffl-snerff, snoof-snerfa sniff-snufflsnf, whuffa sniffa sniff-snerfing @ everything, so I was all, "::tsk:: Y do they have 2 sniff @ totally every single thing we go by?" And insteada realizing this was a rhetorical question, Dad was all, "That's how dogs keep in touch with ea other, April.... ...Smell phone." C what I mean? Not "smellaphone," but "smell phone." Much lamer than the usual sooper-lamosity, eh?


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Sunday, February 25, 2007

That's Y I'm their favourite!

Yesterday was hella snowy an' gloomy. I thot it mite B a good idea 2 pay a visit 2 Gramps an' Iris in the afternoon, so I went over there w/the Dixierat, sed my hellos, gave Gramps a big kiss an' hug, and told Gramps what's been going on w/the band l8ly. I described Dunc, me, Eva, an' Luis all lined up singing 2gether while Ger drummed behind us. And Dixie tried 2 jump up on Gramps's lap, which he luvs it when she does that. As I was leaving, Iris was all, "Thanks 4 the magic, April." And I was all, "....What magic?" And Iris sed, "2day, U made the sun shine." Awww.


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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dad irrit8s without meaning 2

Liz was in bed moping trying 2 avoid being depressed, when Dad popped in, sat on the edge of her bed, an' sed, "Well, my sweetheart, now that Howard's been sentenced, U can get on w/yr life ....Move forward!" He tells me that this is the pt where he was planning 2 give her a pep talk leading up 2 her getting her own apt near her work, but instead he got sidetracked w/"Or... Do U have 2 get over Paul 1st?!! ....But now there's Warren! ....He's a nice-looking chap [chap?]. Well-spoken... Good manners, calls U up quite often, doesn't he! [He does?] Ahhhh, but if I was a gambler, I'd put my $ on Anthony!" Oh, really? Like, U've been so subtle abt yr Anthony-preference. ::rolleyes:: Liz sat up, all "DAD!!! Wd U STOP ALREADY?!" He stood up, all, "I'm sorry.... I didn't mean 2 B irrit8ing!" Then he left the room. Liz sez that @ this pt, she sat 4ward, clutched her jaw in her hands, and thot, "MEN!!"

NEway, I M pretty sure Dad has called his bookie and asked him 2 set up a bet 4 Liz ending up w/Anthony. There mite B sum trub finding ppl 2 bet NE other way, tho.


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Friday, February 23, 2007


When Mom and Liz got home from the trial, I heard Liz rite outside the front door being all, "Thanks 4 the lift, Anthony. Thanks 4... everything." Then I looked an' saw Anthony put his rite arm on Liz's left arm, all "NE time." Ew. And Liz seemed 2 have a halo around her hed, which was v. strange.

Inside, while Mom was taking off her boots, she [Mom] was all, "So, it's over. MayB Howard didn't get what he deserved, but it's over." I wanted 2 change the subj, cuz I'm sad abt the whole Howard thing, so I was, like, "Guess what else is over! Mike quit his job @ Portrait magazine! He finally told 'em 2 'stuff it'!" I kinda hunched my shoulders up and pted @ Liz when I sed this. And U mite wonder Y I worded stuff like I did, since Mike had a pretty cushy gig @ Portrait. It's cuz Mom seemed 2 believe the job was, like impinging on his "delicate genius" and that he was, like, doing them sum kinda favour being there. I kinda had 2 phrase it in a way that fit in w/how Mom looks @ the sitch, else she totally wdn't understand.

NEway, Mom was, like, "W8 a minute...Let me sit down. 2 much is happening. I need 2 digest everything slowly and carefully." She had her hand up on her 4head when she sed this, like she was afraid it mite open up an' spit out her brains. She plunked herself down @ the kitchen table, and @ this xxact moment, Dad appeared, an oven mitt on each hand, holding a casserole dish, an' saying, "U're in luck! I made a pot of 3-bean chli!" Mike sez this is Y Dad is the "patriarch of puns." "April, note the subtle punning w/out even having 2 speak the actual pun [on digesting]! We R in the presence of punning GREATNESS." Ewfulness!


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Thursday, February 22, 2007


K, so l8 last nite, Becky wrote:

u prolly herd this frum liz, but howie got a phone call rilly l8 this evening. the sentencing is gonna b 2morrow! can u blieve how they just sprung this on us? sumtimez mboro is krazee like that. i will keep u updated in real time abt the sentence tho--i m bringing my cell in2 the courtroom an' i don't care what judge patterluvver sez abt it!

then a bit l8r, Liz posted

Yes, sorry, I forgot, I heard we are finally having the sentencing tomorrow, which is a huge relief, I'm just positive this means it's finally time for me to get a husband!, sorry I didn't tell you sooner, but I had to call Anthony and talk to him about it a whole lot, and then I had to go over to his house and talk about it some more, and then I had to get Mom's advice, you know she is not just a great editor, but also a super stand-in for my rape victim counselor person Sylvia, can you believe she doesn't answer calls after 10 pm?

Then Becky commented again, with
howie an' apes,

i called dad an' told him that the trial wuz gonna b over 2morrow. dad sed, "never fear, becky-thora. thorvald mordson mcguire is ready! my spear is sharp! the lemurs are hungry and keen!" i sed, "what do u mean, lemurs?" an' dad sed, "much smarter than badgers." i asked, "r they trained? the badgers were trained." dad scratched his beard an' sed, "becky-thora, your fafa did not think the sentencing would happen before monday. i cannot say these lemurs are quite so disciplined as the badgers." an' i yelled, "dad, just use the badgers, okay?" an' dad sed, "i would, except i traded the badgers to the lemur salesman."

so lemurs it is. i have a bad feeling abt this.

Howard popped by and sed

As Becky told you, I got a call from my lawyer, Mr. Benis really late to tell me about the verdict and the sentencing. You remember Judge Patterlover, who is a middle-aged man with sunglasses. According to my lawyer, he has been replaced by an older, white-haired judge; where it is not clear if the judge is a man or a woman. Mr. Benis figures the Ontario justice system got a little tired of Judge Patterlover constantly remanding the trial in order to set a record for the longest sexual assault trial in the history of Canada. I asked my lawyer, who the new judge was? Mr. Benis said it was Judge Snap Decision. I said, “Is Snap a boy’s name or a girl’s name?” Mr. Benis said, “Nobody knows.”

Then two uniformed police officers showed up at the door with a brown prison outfit for me to wear to court. I said, “This kind of gives away the verdict, doesn’t it, since I have been coming to the trial in a suit and tie, and it would make sense for me to show up that way for the verdict ” The police officers said, “With Judge Snap Decision, it just makes the post trial activities go a lot smoother. Be sure to make sure your pockets are empty when you come and instead of sitting by your lawyer, just go straight to the prisoner’s box.” I said, “I thought the prison uniforms were grey or black. Grey or black is a much better colour for me than this brown.” The police officers said, “We got a discount on brown. Just wear the prison uniform to the trial.”

Becky is pretty unhappy about it, but I try to point out the up side is that they probably are not planning to short drop hang me. Becky says she will keep you informed of the verdict and the sentence tomorrow.

Howard Bunt
Wow, after all thoze delayz, I can hardly believe the day has come. Y'know, if Mike happens 2 notice that Liz an' Mom Rn't home, and asks where they R, I'm gonna B all, "They went w/Anthony 2 hear the verdict. Man, the trial sure took long enuf!" Howard, Becky, lemurs? I'm not v. religious, but I'm gonna pray 4 ya!


Invisible Morrie, please stop by here.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mike = "Kept Man"? Ew!

Here's the next bit that Mike hadta say

Little sis. The best thing about quitting my job was how many things I found out about the true nature of my wife as a result. You were there for part of it. I had come home from Portrait Magazine and announced to my wife I had quit my job, and you popped in from around this enormous wall and hallway which were located just behind the stairs to the second floor bedrooms. I have lived at Sharon Park Drive for most of my life, and the tendency for the house to rearrange its interiour has never ceased to amaze me. For example, when I left for work this morning, in place of that enormous wall and hallway was the door to the back porch.

You were there with my children, apparently baby-sitting behind that wall, even though Deanna was home. Back in my old apartment, when there was a baby-sitter waiting there after work, it usually meant Deanna and I were going to go out. That was not the case this time. As I was thinking about this, you said, “Mike finally did what?” Deanna replied, “He left his job at Portrait Magazine! I’ve been begging him to quit and he did!” As you saw, little sis, Deanna gave her begging (whining, caterwauling, nagging, etc.) the total credit for me quitting my Portrait job. I had a sudden thought, which filled my mind with dread: If Deanna thinks “begging” works, then she may continue that practice for the rest of my life. I had this sudden flash of me, in a train conductor’s uniform, playing with model trains.

I was about to launch into a protest, when my son leaped over my shoulder and I caught him just in time. My son was headed for my wallet, but he was not going to get it. This distracted me from my mission long enough so that you were able to fire off your question, “What will you do now?” My mind raced back to the model trains, but I convinced my mouth to answer, “Freelance…And I have an outline done for a second book.” I was thinking of calling it Son of the Soddy or The Soddy vs. Godzilla. Which one do you like?

As you departed, what you didn’t see (probably because you went all black) was Deanna grab me by the shirt collar and say, “I’m going to be the breadwinner. For a while! And...if you’re working at home, we won’t have to look for an apartment in the city!” Then the shame of it all fell on me. I couldn’t think of any couples in Milborough where the wife was the breadwinner, which could stand as a good example for me to follow in my life. Steve Nichols cheated on Anne Nichols. Thérèse Caine cheated on Anthony Caine. The only solution which popped into my head was that I could become a “kept man”. I am sure you know the ones, little sis. I would be a white boy from the suburbs that marries a rich city lady. My job would be to pleasure her and be eye candy. She in returns takes care of all my financial needs. I could not imagine this was what Deanna really wanted. I said, “You’re really OK with this? …I’ll be a ‘kept man’!”

But Deanna answered with an enthusiastic “Yes…and with less tension in your life.—I’ll be able to keep you for longer.” Well, little sis, it’s hard to deny a woman who answers your question with a pun, even if she implied that the tension in my life was going to kill me. Deanna put her arms on my shoulders. I put my hands on her shoulder blades, as she started to slide to the floor. I think it might have led to something else, if Edgar hadn’t been on the floor giving us the evil eye. Gone are the days when a little romantic punning led to some hanky-panky on the floor. I think it’s been almost 5-6 years now since those days. I hope Deanna doesn’t expect me to wear a Speedo as a part of this “kept man” business.

Michael Patterson
Aw, man, I've gotta give sum extra treats 2 Eddie! And I M sooooo replacing my bed when I get the chance. Ew!

Abt yr next book, I think mayB it's time 2 move on fr. the whole "Soddy" theme.

It makes me kinda sad that Dee believed U quit Portrait cuz U asked her, since that seemz 2 have lil or nothing 2 do w/it. Poor Dee! Tho I guess yr rite, this cd put U on the road 2 a "Dad" choo-choo kinda future.

Morrie, I'm sorry 2 hear abt yr trubs w/the shady moving company!


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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mike quits and tells Dee after

Mike quit his job and wrote a post 2 tell abt it:

Little sis. I know it may astonish you to hear this, but even a Patterson can be afflicted with self-doubt. When I was typing up my resignation letter and when I handed it in, I had a song running through my head which went like this:

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh just like Mike
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be large just like Mike.

But as I was leaving the Portrait Magazine parking lot, a different song popped in my head, which went like this:

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me?

With this song in my head, I exited the parking lot thinking to myself, “I can’t believe what just happened…” Little sis, this is because it was as if I had not actually typed up the resignation letter and handed it in. It was like one moment I was talking to Francine and the next I was in my car leaving and I realized that in between those moments all these interesting things had happened to me, which would make a great story if only someone was there to write it down and tell it. In any case, as if to remind myself what I had just done, in case I had forgotten it, I thought, “I typed up my resignation as chief editor of Portrait Magazine…and I handed it in.”

I know what you’re thinking, little sis. “My brother was not the chief editor of Portrait Magazine. He was the senior editor.” This is true, little sis. But sometimes when you write resignation letters and you put the wrong job on the form, the person who accepts the resignation thinks that person in the position is leaving, but doesn’t check the actual signature very carefully. If I go to work tomorrow, and find Barry, the real editor-in-chief is gone, then I will know my plan was a success. The other possibility is that I could claim it was all a joke, since I didn’t put down the right position. I think deep down inside, I knew that idea would never work.

I thought, “I’m giving up my full-time job---at a time when we need it the most!!” And then as I pulled into the driveway of mom’s house, I thought of the reasons why we needed it the most. It took the whole 2 hours of driving from Portrait Magazine to Milborough to think of it, but Michael Patterson is not a man who gives up, except when it comes to firing other people. The reasons I thought were: We don’t have a place of our own to live in, we don’t have a pile of savings,---what is Deanna going to say when she finds out?!! Those are pretty good reasons. I know some people may say, “Just go move into a new apartment, Patterson.” And there are those persons to whom my wife Deanna has explained our finances , who may be wondering why we don’t have pile of savings, if our cost of living was completely covered by Deanna’s pharmacist job and my freelance work. To those persons, all I can say is that my lovely wife is not a mathematician and even her pharmacist skills are questionable.

My wife is, however, an excellent interrogator. I was barely in the door, before she said, “Michael, what happened? I can see on your face something happened. You better just confess what it is right now. You can’t keep any secrets from me. Let me guess. You got another job, didn’t you? Just admit it. You are now working 3 jobs!” I broke down and said, “I can’t believe what just happened…” and told her all the rest of the story. Instead of being mad at me, Deanna was ecstatically happy. She said, “Great!! You finally did it!!”

Then I realized something about my wife I don’t think I had realized before. The fact I had given up my full time job didn’t bother her, not living in our place didn’t bother her, and not having any money didn’t bother her. What made my wife the happiest, was the idea that I had quit work at Portrait Magazine because she had told me to. She quickly pulled out a notebook and wrote on it, “Mike quit Portrait like I told him to back on October 15, 2005.” I said to her, “What’s the notebook for?” Deanna said, “It’s to write down all the times when you did something I said.” Deanna seemed so pleased; I didn’t have the heart to tell her, “I can’t believe what just happened.” It’s better to let her think I was obeying her.

Michael Patterson
I'm surprised Dee wasn't @ least a bit upset that U did all this without talking 2 her 1st, Mike. Tho I guess U do what she sez so seldom, she was only C-ing that angle. I've seen that sad little notebook she carriez around, Mike, and it hardly has NE writing in it.

Also, I thot from our last batch of monthly letters that U 2 had a bunch of $ piled up, partly from a small inheritance Dee recently got. What's the dealio?


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Monday, February 19, 2007

Mike Resigns

Mike posted sum more abt what's been going on @ Portrait mag:

Little sis. Work today was especially difficult. Mom helped me go through the employee records and productivity reports to find the perfect employee to down-size and we kept coming up with Mr. Gluttson or Barry, the editor-in-chief. I told mom, I was pretty sure Mr. Gluttson or Barry didn’t want me to down-size them, but mom told me if I down-sized them, then I could take their job. But without either of them going through a divorce or some other personal disaster which would cause them to leave their jobs without any effort on my part, I couldn’t see a way to make it work, which meant only one thing. I had to eliminate myself, but before I did this, I felt I needed to sleep on it. So, I put my hand on my head and took a nap staring at my computer terminal, which is one of my best places for sleeping.

While I was napping, my coworker Francine came into my office and said, “You look pale, Michael. Is everything OK?” This woke me up, but I kept my eyes closed and said, “No, Francine. It isn’t.” just in case she would get the hint and leave me to my nap. I was not that lucky. She continued to stand there, so I was forced to explain things to her. I said, “Mr. Gluttson wants to downsize again. He told me to eliminate one of the higher salaried positions.” You may remember the last time Mr. Gluttson wanted to downsize and the agonizing decisions I was forced to make about eliminating someone. I certainly don’t remember it; unless maybe Mr. Gluttson was talking about when he eliminated Mitch Frenum, in order to give me his job.

My poor memory was depressing me, and as Francine has done so many times, she said some things to cheer me up. She said, “You have to fire someone? But why? We’re doing so well! We’re turning a good profit—and we’re a great team!” Whenever Francine tries to cheer me up, I have to agree, even if the things she said were not quite true, as any reader of my monthly family letters for the last 2 years would know. So I said, “I know.” Then Francine got down to what she really wanted to say which was, “So, how are you going to eliminate one of us?” and she leaned over my desk and gave me that really scary look of hers, which made me glad I had never dated someone in the journalism profession. I had to tell her the truth, so I said, “I’m not.”

Then I was puzzled about what I wanted to say next to Francine. I thought about saying:

“If ever a man needed killing, it's that no-good, putrid piece of trash over there.” or
"You're better off than me... You got me for a buddy... I only got you." or
'Better men than Michael Patterson have cracked.' "There are no better men than Michael Patterson." or
"First one to make a break for it dies like a dog." or
"I'm not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going." or
"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Instead of those choices, I turned my back to Francine, stared at my computer screen and said, “I’m going to resign.” Fortunately, saying that to Francine is not an actual, official resignation; and I was really interested in seeing her reaction. If she started begging me not to quit because it would destroy Portrait Magazine, I might reconsider. If she said, “Could I have your job?” then I would definitely stay. If she said, “You’re quite right, Michael. I understand home loans are so much easier to get when you’re unemployed.” then I would definitely leave, just to prove her wrong. You may be wondering exactly how Francine reacted, so I will leave that little tidbit until tomorrow. It’s always good to leave your audience wanting a little more, and when it comes to stories about me, who wouldn’t want more?

Michael Patterson
Hmm, Mike I wonder if all this is sumhow rel8ed 2 this weird song Mom was singing, sumthing abt "all the pieces R falling in2 place/Michael is dropping from that rat race." Odd, eh?


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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mike an' Liz Snowball Fite

When Mike an' Liz were supposta B out shovelling, they had a big ol' snowball fite instead. Here's what Liz hadta say abt it:
I told you Mike is evil, it is so nunfair, he told Mom I would shovel the driveway because I don't pay as much rent as him and I feel guilty, but ha ha ha then I got him back because I said, "Geez Mike don't you think you should feel guilty for taking that inside parking space and making Mom park outside?" and that did it, ha ha ha, so Mike had to shovel with me, and then what do you know, instead of working he starts throwing snowballs at me, so of course I had to throw one back, and we both have really good aim, we kept hitting each other in the head, and I decided that wasn't bad enough, so I shoved some snow down Mike's jacket, well then that horrible evil jerk did the most inforgiveable thing yet, he copied me and shoved snow down MY pants!!!, I screamed because no boy is supposed to go in a non married girl's pants least of all her brother, so I fwapped him upside the head again, then I think all those snowballs to the head got to us because we fell down in the snow and jerked and rolled around a lot, and made funny sounds when we grasped for air, later on I looked it up on Dr. Nick's DiagnoseUrself.com, I think we gave each other seizures from the head trauma of the snowballs, I'm not sure why they call it head "trauma," probably because it sounds like "drama," and getting hit in the head is very dramatic, in fact Mom has been telling this story to everybody she meets all day, I am kind of annoyed with her too, nobody needs to know Mike is a sicko pervert who sex crimed me by putting snow down my pants, I would have preferred to deal with that in my own way.

So that's what all the noise was abt outside! I'm just glad it was them insteada me throwin' all that snow around. Cuz if it'd been me, I'da been in hella trub!


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Saturday, February 17, 2007


I was staying over @ Eva's house last nite, an' Mom called an' pretty much begged me 2 come home. I cd tell the main reason was she was tired of dealing w/the pets. Tho contrary 2 the impression Mike mita given U yesterday in the comments, I was NOT letting them starve. Even tho I was sleeping elsewhere, I came by every day 2 make sure they got fed, the dogs got walked, and Buttsy's cage was clean. BUT Mom sed the pets were getting "clingy." NEway, like I was saying, I cd tell that was Mom's main reason 4 wanting me 2 come home, but she tried 2 make it sound like she actually missed me. And she made Mike promise 2 stop calling the rec room a "storage closet." I asked abt taking some steps 2 actually get me back in2 MY room, like getting Mike out, and she sed not 2 worry, things R gonna fall in2 place soon.

NEway, so I came back 4 brekky this morning. Mike told me he'd been 2 distraught 2 write an entry last nite, b-cuz what he'd B writing abt was 2 painful. This got Mom's interest, so she asked him what that was all abt.

Mike: Mom, that awful, thinning-haired, buck-toothed publisher, Mr. Gluttson, has determined that "despite indications of reasonable growth," he sees room 4 "further economizing" 4 Portrait magazine. He called a meeting to tell us that he wants 2 make our "publication" more "profitable," Mom!

Mom: Does that mean he's going to be downsizing?

Mike: Mom, how prescient of you to ask! That is exactly what I asked him! No wonder we get along so well when you edit my manuscript and act as an all-around mentor. A mothering mentor! A mentoring mother! A meretricious. . . .

Mom: Mike, could you answer the question?

Mike: Oh, yes, of course, Mommy! That's the killer, see? He turned that ugly face to me, and he said, "No.... You will!" Me, Mommy! Mr. Gluttson wants ME to downsize!

Mom: Hmph! Well, what can you expect? He's ugly and his name is Gluttson! You can tell that suggests he's greedy and gluttonous!

Mike (sighing): I know, I know! But what am I going to do?

Mom (excited): Well, get a note pad, write out the names of all your employees in one column, and in the next, write out everything they do during the workday! I'll help you figure out who the dead weight is!

Mike: I knew I could count on you! I'll go get a note pad!

And that was that. They're in the living room discussing Mike's staff now.


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Friday, February 16, 2007

Mike parks

Mike sez:

Little sis. I prefer trains and buses to go to work. I am a fan of the mass transit system. When I went to work from our old apartment, I used to I walk to the corner every morning and catch the 7 am bus to Glenn Ave. then hop the train into the city. It might be the influence of watching dad play with his trains for hours on end when I was growing up and just yesterday, but there's something about trains that makes one relax, turn inward, and think.

After my visit with Josef Weeder and Lovey Saltzman, I realized that one of the really nice things about riding on a train to work is you don’t have to deal with corrupt parking lot attendants. Since the fire, I have had to drive to work from Milborough, and most times I get there early enough so I don’t have any problems with unshaven, unbathed, unkempt, undesirable parking lot employees who illegally fill any empty spots which are rented, in order to make extra money for themselves over and above what the person renting the spot has paid. On the day after my visit with Weed and Lovey, I went to work and arrived later than usual at the parking lot, and instead of getting to enjoy the voluptuous advertisement of the girl in the red one-piece swim suit advertising Martini Vodka, on a backdrop of what must be the world’s largest building using aluminum siding; I had to concentrate on the vile, little, orange-haired, obese, rank-smelling, pretentious-sunglasses-wearing attendant telling me “This parking lot is full, buddy.” I explained to him, “But…I have space number 12.” You would think that the word of a Patterson and my mention of a space by an actual number would make him realize he was incorrect about the parking lot being full, but he just stared at me blankly as if he were expecting me to back down and back up.

So I had to explain to him further. I said, “Look. I’m renting that space from a guy called Chuck Haskins.” I said, “called” instead of “named”, because technically his name is Charles Haskins, but the parking lot attendant seemed to be a person with about as much intelligence as a special needs flea, so I didn’t want to confuse him with both names. It seemed to work, because he recognized Chuck’s name, and said, “He never told me nothing.” Let me tell you little sis, the clear indication of gross stupidity is someone who uses a double-negative. Of course, “He never told me nothing” really means, “he told me something” but I was not about to explain a double-negative to a person who could neither appreciate nor understand it.

Instead I got out of my car, walked around the barrier and pointed directly to space 12 and said, “That’s my space! I’m paying for it!” I was sure my physical presence would intimidate the man, but instead he came out of his parking lot attendant booth, to accost me. He said, “Sorry. I’ll need something on paper.”

Little sis. I have been parking in Chuck Haskins’ space ever since the fire, but this is the first time I had to park there some other time than early in the morning, and it was the first time I needed to have something on paper. I was tempted to have a go at this filthy, disgusting, rancid, canker sore of a greedy, parking attendant; but I was reminded of the Patterson credo of passive aggression. So, I opened up my wallet and took out one of my $50 bills and I said, “50 bucks is ‘something on paper.’ and handed it to him. At last we had found a common language, the language of greed. He immediately reacted and pointed to the other man in the parking lot attendant booth and told him, “Hey! Move that car outta space 12!!!” And so he did.

After I was finally parked, I went inside my building and a found a kindred spirit standing by the elevators. He had his hands in his pockets and said to me, “Man! Parking is expensive on this street!” I had to chime in with “You’re telling me!” Which is true, because that’s exactly what he was telling me. I had to grin and bear it, even though I was seething with thoughts of revenge. Fortunately, my weekly column is due soon and I have this sense that a certain parking lot attendant will find himself compared to a carrion bird, feeding on the carcasses of empty, already-rented, parking spaces.

Revenge can be sweet, little sis. There are some columnists, who might take advantage of such an incident to write about Toronto Mayor David Miller and his desire to consider parking lot surcharges to help cut down on the number of cars being used and pollution being generated in the city. But such a writer as that is not Michael Patterson. Politics just muddies the waters. When you want to take someone down, you have to be much more specific.

Little sis, I can tell you that the rest of my day after that also did not go very well, but I am not certain I can tell you it now, without ruining your day for you out of sympathy for me, so I will stop right here, and perhaps continue tomorrow.

Michael Patterson
Hm, I wish I were so poor I cd throw around $50 like that, eh?



Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lovey moves and Mike an' Weed watch

Mike an' Weed went 2 Lovey (cuz it's what they do), an' Mike wrote this:

Little sis. Some days everything is bright and clear. Other days, the visibility is so poor that when you look at buildings or people, all you see is a vague outline and no discernible features. But then you will have something right beside the vagueness which is so clear and distinct it makes you wonder why you can’t see the things standing right next to it. I think I may need to get glasses. I thought about getting glasses a long time ago, but mom talked Elizabeth into getting them instead.

After our coffee together in his studio, Josef mentioned that even though he has not yet purchased the old apartments on Devon Road from Lovey Saltzman, she and her husband Morrie were moving out, even as we spoke, and he suggested we should go and visit and watch the moving men strain and flex their muscles against the weight of Lovey’s enormous collection of broken antiques. That sounded like a good activity to me. We got to the old house and there in front of the house was a clear and distinct moving truck with the word “Moving” on the side, with a box which apparently had been dropped on the ramp to the truck, to effectively block the way of anyone trying to move things to the truck. I whispered to Weed, “Least expensive movers in Toronto, I suppose.” Weed said, “Lovey wouldn’t have it any other way.” But when we tried to get a look at the movers, I noticed the house and the movers and even myself were hazy and indistinct. I said to myself, “It kind of defeats the purpose of coming her, if all I can see is the outline of the movers.” Then an outline approached me which could be none other than Lovey Saltzman herself, and sure enough she greeted us, me first of course, “Michael! Josef! So good to see you!!”

Then Lovey began one of those conversations in her usual style where she says a lot of things without asking or expecting a response, as if she were carrying on both parts of the conversation. She said, “Morrie and I are moving to a condominium. We should have done it years ago.---Jo told you he’s buying this place? It’s a good thing. I gave him a good price. He’ll make it nice again.” I went through what she said in my head, and the only thing I learned new over my conversation with Josef was Lovey and Morrie Saltzman were moving to a condominium and she wished she had done it before. The message was clear to me. She should have sold the apartments before the Kelpfroths moved in and burned the place, so she could get a better price for it.

Then we turned as one and looked at the old house, or rather we looked at the outline where the house was supposed to be, and Weed surprised me by saying, “We’re gonna gut all 4 apartments, put in new wiring, new plumbing---really do a job on ‘er!” I tried to think if Josef had ever dropped an “h” at the beginning of a word before. I couldn’t remember it ever happening. Was my old university roommate turning into a Cockney?

While I was thinking about Josef Weeder playing the part of Alfred P. Doolittle in a production of My Fair Lady singing “I’m Getting Married in the Morning”, everything went black around me. I could Weed clearly and Lovey clearly, but as for myself, I felt as though I had turned into a giant shadow towering over Josef. Then Josef said, “It’s a big investment, but eventually the tenants will pay it off.” “Big investment”, I thought. Was Josef referring to my sudden increase in height? No, my special punning sense revealed the humour was going to come from Lovey Saltzman. She said, “That’s true. You’re young. You’ll live long enough.” Weed looked puzzled, I think perhaps because Lovey could have said more effectively, “That’s true. You’re young enough to see it paid off before you die.” I thought about my especially humourous edited version of what Lovey said and I could not but help to laugh with a sticky-out tongue, even though I was still shrouded in darkness.

What do you think, little sis. Is my vision going, or do you experience hazy vagueness or blackness in your life?

Michael Patterson
Yeah, Mike sumtymez I have the blackness, tho mayB not "hazy vagueness." Oh, an' I vaguely remember that when Gordon took over Daly's Garage, and U went 2 C him, when U came back U sed that Gordo kept referring to the place as 'er just like U R saying Weed did abt Lovey's bldgs.

Dunc, OMG, sorry, I didn't C yr message until this morning. Pls don't run away fr. Mboro!


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Lovey moves and Mike an' Weed watch

Mike an' Weed went 2 C Lovey, cuz that's what they do, and then Mike wrote this:

Little sis. Some days everything is bright and clear. Other days, the visibility is so poor that when you look at buildings or people, all you see is a vague outline and no discernible features. But then you will have something right beside the vagueness which is so clear and distinct it makes you wonder why you can't see the things standing right next to it. I think I may need to get glasses. I thought about getting glasses a long time ago, but mom talked Elizabeth into getting them instead.

After our coffee together in his studio, Josef mentioned that even though he has not yet purchased the old apartments on Devon Road from Lovey Saltzman, she and her husband Morrie were moving out, even as we spoke, and he suggested we should go and visit and watch the moving men strain and flex their muscles against the weight of Lovey's enormous collection of broken antiques. That sounded like a good activity to me. We got to the old house and there in front of the house was a clear and distinct moving truck with the word "Moving" on the side, with a box which apparently had been dropped on the ramp to the truck, to effectively block the way of anyone trying to move things to the truck. I whispered to Weed, "Least expensive movers in Toronto, I suppose." Weed said, "Lovey wouldn't have it any other way." But when we tried to get a look at the movers, I noticed the house and the movers and even myself were hazy and indistinct. I said to myself, "It kind of defeats the purpose of coming her, if all I can see is the outline of the movers." Then an outline approached me which could be none other than Lovey Saltzman herself, and sure enough she greeted us, me first of course, "Michael! Josef! So good to see you!!"

Then Lovey began one of those conversations in her usual style where she says a lot of things without asking or expecting a response, as if she were carrying on both parts of the conversation. She said, "Morrie and I are moving to a condominium. We should have done it years ago.---Jo told you he's buying this place? It's a good thing. I gave him a good price. He'll make it nice again." I went through what she said in my head, and the only thing I learned new over my conversation with Josef was Lovey and Morrie Saltzman were moving to a condominium and she wished she had done it before. The message was clear to me. She should have sold the apartments before the Kelpfroths moved in and burned the place, so she could get a better price for it.

Then we turned as one and looked at the old house, or rather we looked at the outline where the house was supposed to be, and Weed surprised me by saying, "We're gonna gut all 4 apartments, put in new wiring, new plumbing---really do a job on 'er!" I tried to think if Josef had ever dropped an "h" at the beginning of a word before. I couldn't remember it ever happening. Was my old university roommate turning into a Cockney?

While I was thinking about Josef Weeder playing the part of Alfred P. Doolittle in a production of My Fair Lady singing "I'm Getting Married in the Morning", everything went black around me. I could Weed clearly and Lovey clearly, but as for myself, I felt as though I had turned into a giant shadow towering over Josef. Then Josef said, "It's a big investment, but eventually the tenants will pay it off." "Big investment", I thought. Was Josef referring to my sudden increase in height? No, my special punning sense revealed the humour was going to come from Lovey Saltzman. She said, "That's true. You're young. You'll live long enough." Weed looked puzzled, I think perhaps because Lovey could have said more effectively, "That's true. You're young enough to see it paid off before you die." I thought about my especially humourous edited version of what Lovey said and I could not but help to laugh with a sticky-out tongue, even though I was still shrouded in darkness.

What do you think, little sis. Is my vision going, or do you experience hazy vagueness or blackness in your life?

Michael Patterson
Mike, yeah, sumtymes i get the blackness.  Dunno abt "hazy vagueness," tho.
Dunc, OMG, I didn't C yr post until this morning.  Pls don't run away from Mboro!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mike envies Weed

So, here's the next bit of what Mike hasta say abt his recent visit 2 Weed's studio:

Little sis. The times are few when a Patterson feels the pang of the green-eyed monster of envy, and yet it is appropriate on today, Valentine's Day for me to discuss how this situation occurred during my conversation with Josef Weeder. I discussed yesterday how Weed filled up my cup with his warm coffee and after he was done, we relaxed on the chesterfields in his studio, looking into each other's eyes and discussing our shared experience. We also discussed the fire.

Josef said, "We were all thrown for a loop when the fire happened. I mean—moving out of our apartments, having to get the smoke out of everything…" I crossed my legs and looked at Weed. What was he trying to tell me with this rehash of the fire story again? It must mean something more than just smoke-removal. Obviously, "we were all thrown for a loop" is a reference to the chaos of Weed's and my life having to live in different places and not being able to see each other nearly as often as we used to. But the part of smoke removal confused me. If you remove smoke, you can see things more clearly, but what did Jo see?

I was puzzling on this puzzler, when Weed said, "But listen to this! Lovey Saltzman wants to sell the place---and Carleen and I are going to buy it!" I uncrossed my legs and leaned forward and said, "You are?!" You will notice the placement of the question mark and the exclamation mark show the level of my shock. If you will remember, little sis, back to October, 2005, I had convinced Josef to buy both of Lovey's 2 buildings with me, only the have the idea squelched by our respective others, in the form of Carleen and Deanna. Now I wished I hadn't listened to Deanna. A twinge of the green-eyed monster made an appearance but disappeared again. In addition to being able to torture the Kelpfroths, I knew I would be able spend time with Josef for the rest of our lives, so long as we both lived there. But now it will be just Josef and Carleen in the apartments, and I will be an occasional visitor. Not only that, but it dashed any dreams I may have had about Josef moving to Milbourough to be closer to us there. I tried to restrain my emotion as Josef went on.

Next Josef discussed his financial situation. He said, "We own this building—All the space is rented out. I have collateral…and…my dad is gonna gimme a loan!" I wanted to scream out, "NOOOO!!! Don't put together gonna and gimme in your sentence." That's not it. I remember now, I wanted to scream out, "NOOOO!!! Don't take a loan from your parents. They will never let you live it down." But then I remembered Weed didn't have my mom for one of his parents, and my sense of relief was palpable. I felt so happy; I thought it was time for a photography joke. I said, "I thought your dad was out of the picture, Weed." Get it, little sis, "out of the picture". Weed followed up my joke with yet another one by saying, "When it comes to making money, Mike…my dad is totally in focus." Then he sat and looked contemplative. Normally, I would be quite elated Josef had punned using my pun as a starting point, but this time, countenance turned black, I mean to the green-eyed monster of envy.

How lucky Josef Weeder is to have a father upon whom he can depend to get a loan to purchase a Heritage Home. My own father is known for his generosity. He gave money to Lawrence and Nick and Gordon Mayes to get their businesses started. And yet, while we are all piled into the bedrooms of his own house on Sharon Park Drive, I have never heard my dad say, "If you want to purchase the Heritage House, I will be glad to give you a loan." How could it be that I, who once pitied Josef Weeder for his parent's lack of attention, was now envious of his fathers' attention?

It was a strange to thing to consider, but then it passed. After all, who needs the green-eyed monster around? It's just another party invitation.

Michael Patterson
U can just C their "special" relationship shining rite thru, eh?

Mike, I wdn't B THAT envious if I were xxpecting a $25K cheque. U can make a downpayment on a good house w/$25K. I'm just saying.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Punning on "Tense"

Mike wrote sum more abt his recent visit 2 Weed's studio in TO:

Little sis. Just when you think Josef Weeder could not be any more talented, he proved to me that not only is he a superb photographer, but he could also make a living as a party planner. During my most recent trip to visit him in Toronto in his studio, he suggested I should have a party to celebrate becoming an author. I thought he was joking, but he said, "We can use my studio! Look at the space! Invite everyone! Family! School buddies. Guys from work! Make it BIG! B.Y.O.B., right? We line up a food trough, score some seats, wind up the tunes an' ta-daah!"

I expected Weed to finish that last sentence off with "Ta-daah, you have a party." But he didn't. All I could do was stand there, with my hands in my pockets, incredulous at the idea. Little sis. As you are probably old enough to know by now, people in Milborough don't throw parties in the same places where they work. They throw parties in their homes or in hotels. In fact the last party Deanna and I were invited to was Gordon and Tracy's New Years' Eve party in 2003 and that was at Gordon and Tracy's house. Weed's studio is in Toronto, so that might allow us to throw a party there without Milboroughan reprisals, but I didn't know how many people would be willing to drive 2 hours to get to the party. So I said to Weed, "You'd throw a party? Here?"

Weed had already put together a special brew of coffee in the kitchen and he poured me a cup as he responded, "Man, after what we've been through, we both need to unwind!" I said, "Yeah." I knew exactly what he meant. Both our apartments suffered damage due to the fire-starting Kelpfroths. Both of us had to find different places to live while we were waiting for the insurance to come through. Both of us were forced to spend an extended period of time with our spouse or significant other, without any refuge or means to regularly relieve tension.

As I thought about my tension, I said, "…It's been a tense time, hasn't it." As I sometimes do, I stated that question instead of asking it. Weed understood me immediately, as he so often does. He clinked his coffee cup to mine, as we communicated to each other through our eyes our acceptance of each other and my acceptance of his invitation to have a party at his studio.

Then Weed said, "But the best part is…we're talking past tense, Mike! ---The future looks wonderful!!" Weed made a pun off the word "tense." That is the sign of true friend, who will take what you have said make a pun out of it. Weed put his arm around me and led me into the sunset as the credits started running behind us. I said, "Weedie. I think this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Just kidding.

I love visiting Josef Weeder. Not only is he a fantastic photographer, but he is a good party-planner and tension reliever. After that visit with him, my tension was gone and my future looked bright. Thanks to Weed, I decided to stop and enjoy the moment. Not only that, but I am going to have a party in my honour, for the first time since I was in university and Weed threw me a party to celebrate getting a dumpster. I have a feeling this party is going to be even better than that one.

Michael Patterson
I guess we shd consider ourselves lucky that Weed didn't do the old "two tents/too tense" pun. But personally, when sum1 puns on sumthing I just sed, insteada thinking "true friend," I kinda kick myself 4 not phrasing my words more carefully an' punproofly.


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Monday, February 12, 2007

Mike of course went 2 tell Weed abt the book

U will not B shocked 2 hear that Mike d-cided 2 stop by @ Weed's bizness 2 tell him abt the book:

Little sis. A contract for a book is an amazing thing. Not only is it amazing because it means I have a publisher for my book, but it is also amazing how sometimes it seems like it is several pages long and on loose, bendable paper and other times, it seems like it is one page long on heavy card stock. One of those heavy card stock days occurred recently, when I went to visit my closest friend, Josef Weeder. Many people told me I should hire a lawyer to check out my contract (its contents, and not the strangely changing quality of the paper it is on), but I decided the best thing to do would be to take advantage of my friendship with Weed and get him to check out the contract for free. Weed didn’t have any problem with the idea. He said, “I’ll get our intellectual property guy to check out this contract, Mike---but it looks pretty good to me.” I think Weed was saying it looked pretty good because the contract was in a card stock mood at that time, and I have admit it looked pretty good to me too. I said, “Thanks, Weed” just to show those persons who think a Patterson never says “Thank you.”

Then it suddenly got dark. Milborough experiences a lot of blackouts. In the blackness, Weed gave the contract back to me with his right hand and touched me with his left hand. Being touched by Weed suddenly made my left hand extend outward like I only had two very long fingers and a thumb. Before I could turn my attention to this sudden change in my appendage, then Weed said, “So, you’ve done it! You’re an author! How does it feel?” At first I responded, “Tight, man.” But then I thought, he may be talking about my being an author, so I said, “The advance won’t come until next month. And in the meantime, I’ve got bills to pay, get my freelance done, commute 2 hours to work an’ live in chaos at my folks’ place.”

Little sis. I know you might find that last statement a little confusing. After all, didn’t I just write in my January monthly letter that I had an hour and a half commute to my place of toil? Well, little sis, that’s what I thought it was back in January. In February, I have learned to add in an extra 30 minutes to accommodate how long it take for mom to say goodbye to me as I leave for work. I don’t know how everyone else manages to leave for work so much faster than I do. The second thing you may question is the bills, since we are living at home. Even though my $25,000 advance won’t come until next month, this doesn’t mean that our rent in the house has stayed the same. Mom is anticipating the need for more long distance phone calls, and has increased our rent to cover the addition. That is very wise of her, but it does mean I cannot relax when it comes for bill-paying time.

My news didn’t seem to phase Weed. He said, “Mike! Stop and enjoy the moment! You gotta celebrate, man! This calls for a party!!!” He looked at me and stuck his hands out as if he wanted to give me a breast examination. But then he completely fooled me and instead of putting his hands on my breasts, he put his hands around his mouth and he called, “PARTY!” in a voice so loud I swear it felt like the front of my hair line popped off my head.

That’s it for now, little sis. As for what happened next, I will have to leave your readers in anticipation. Did people actually come to Weed for a party on command, or did he just yell the word for effect? You’ll find out tomorrow.

Ew. M I rite?

BTW, am I the only 1 who's confused Y it was a 45-min drive fr. our house 2 Mike's TO apt, but it's 1.5 or 2 hrs from our house 2 his work? TO isn't THAT big, eh?


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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mike an' V-Day Shopping

Mike has gone V-Day shopping an' he wrote a post abt the xxperience:

Little sis. I have some advice for you, which will serve you well for years to come, if you can follow it: Don’t trust the French. I was reminded of this good advice recently when I, myself, failed to follow it. I will tell you what happened.

I had been busying myself writing press releases to publicize my news of getting someone to publish my book. I think I had gotten up to the Chinese Free Press, when mom came into the room and said, “Michael, dear. Valentine’s Day is coming up. Don’t you think you should be out buying something for the one you love?” My initial thought was “But I already got a contract to publish my book. What more do I need?” Then I realized mom must have been talking about Deanna. She said, “After all, Michael. You did forget Valentine’s Day last year.” This was true. Actually, anyone who has carefully observed my Valentine’s Day buying habits would realize I have never bought anything for Deanna. I remember back to the first February of my married life, when my lovely wife, the pharmacist announced that due to mishandling her birth control pills, she was pregnant with our daughter and my plans to go into business freelancing with Josef Weeder were ended before they even got started. I have always assumed the gift I gave Deanna that February would keep me out of candy stores and flower shoppes for the rest of my life. But as I looked at mom, standing in the room practically dancing at the prospect of a Valentine’s Day present, I realized she was right. My book contract spells a new era in my life, an era where I can forgive the past and spend money on an otherwise useless holiday. I told mom I would go Valentine’s Day shopping and she started leaping up and down for joy.

I walked to downtown Milborough, and I saw a shoppe there called La Petite Boutique. The awning and the interiour reminded me a lot of a boutique I saw one time when I was in North Bay called From the Heart Flower Boutique. In the display window was an interesting array of heart-decorated mirrors, Gypsy bustiers, tables, tea pots, toy trains, mime dolls, stuffed farmer bears, pendants, and boxed candy. I was entranced and I completely forgot the advice Anthony Caine had so solemnly given me about the French, and walked into the boutique.

Inside was an even more eclectic mix of objects. Valentine’s Day hand towels mounted into the wall next to the door, a champagne glass with heart-shaped swizzle sticks, a stuffed bear in red and white stripes, and a table cloth design which virtually guaranteed it would only be used with a small, round table due to its placement of heart shapes around the edge of the table. I also marveled at the round shape to the window on the front door, which had to be an extremely inefficient design for someone trying to observe people coming in their shoppe.

Inside the shoppe was a woman in a pull-over sweater, sitting in and amongst the array of Valentine’s Day items, arranging a single flower in a vase (which in retrospect should have given me the clue she was French, even though she didn’t speak it). She said, “May I help you, sir?” My plan was to spend as little time in the store as possible, buy my one item, and then leave. So, I foolishly thought if I mentioned this to the lady running the boutique, she would find me a gift for Deanna, and then get it for me and I would be on my way. So, I said, “Yes…I’d like to get a Valentine’s Day Gift for my wife.”

I was quite surprised when she didn’t immediately hand me a gift, but instead said, “What about your mother!?” The fact she used the exclamation point first before the question mark, made me wonder if her sentence was statement and not a question. I thought, “Question or statement, it doesn’t matter. What mattered was she wants me to get a Valentine’s Day gift for mom. I considered it. After all, if Deanna got a Valentine’s Day gift, but dad neglected to get one for mom (as he has come close to doing on many occasions), then the jealousy between mom and Deanna in close quarters would be too much to bear. So I responded, “Yeah, right…We’re living with my mom right now…and I have two sisters!”

I know the reference to two sisters probably confuses you. I thought of getting you both something, so you would not feel left out, if your boyfriend Gerald paid you as much attention as I have observed you lately getting, and you got nothing; while Deanna and mom got something. But then I reasoned, if I got Elizabeth something in her current mental (lack of a boyfriend) state, she could easily snap and attempt suicide from death by chocolate or the sharp edge of a candy box. On the other hand, I couldn’t leave her out for fear of you two continuing your vicious sister rivalry, so I decided to include you both.

But then I remembered how my daughter has started imitating Elizabeth and saying things like, “With no love from any boyfriend, all a woman can do is wait for her Prince Charming to come and shower her with puns and music.” I couldn’t give Elizabeth something and leave my daughter out. That would give her the wrong impression of love.
So I said, “Oh…and a young daughter.”

The saleslady went black and grabbed the flower vase at such angle to my body the message could not be clearer. The flower vase symbolized exactly how she had her grip on my…I mean a grip on me. She said, “You’re looking for five gifts!”

With her grip on the vase as it was, I knew I had to make my list longer, just to show her it was longer than a mere 5 gifts. So I said, “That means I’d be leaving out my son and my father.” This would mean 7 gifts, which is much more impressive. I think the average is 6 ½ gifts, so I was slightly above average in my gift length.

But the French woman was still not satisfied. Clearly the size of the gift list mattered to her more than the quality or technique of the gift list, and she suggested, “And your wife’s parents?” The prospect of giving Valentine’s Day presents to Mira and Wilf Sobinski was sheer torture. However, seeing her arrange and manipulate the 9 tiny, pink, heart-decorated gift packages so that they formed a long line of pinkness with a head formed from making a second row for 2 of the bags; I was strangely moved. Then she suggested, “You’ll need gift tags with these!” I said, “Really?” I looked at the bags and they seemed unprotected. I was uncertain, until the saleslady leaned forward and part of her anatomy was dangling perilously close to my gift bags so I agreed to the protection by saying, “Um…OK.”

Then the saleslady placed the gift tags on the gift bags and put the gift bags into larger plain white gift bags so no one could tell they concealed the 9 pink gift bags. I paid for the purchase and she handed them to me. As I left she said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” It didn’t feel like Valentine’s Day to me, since I don’t give anything for that day. It felt more like Christmas, since that is the holiday where I actually give gifts. Technically, Deanna gets them; but you know what I mean.

I had been completely duped by the French. If only I had not gone in that store, I might have found something some other place, where the saleslady doesn’t grip a long vase in front of you or manipulate your packages to bend you to her will.

Remember, little sis: Don’t trust the French.

Michael Patterson
Mike, I know U like 2 blame 2 French 4 stuff, but I think mayB U needta look closer 2 home 4 this one. U mentioned how Mom was all bouncy an' happy abt V-Day, eh? Well, I did happen 2 overhear her talkin' 2 Connie earlier this week, sayin' that when she'd been helping Moira @ Lilliput's recently, she'd popped in2 La Petite Boutique, and she didn't wanna go in2 deets, but she had a feeling she laid the groundwork 4 a v. nice V-Day, w/"Michael B-ing especially thotful this year!" I'll let U decide, tho.


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Saturday, February 10, 2007


Hey, so I M staying @ Gramps an' Iris's place this weekend.
It seems that after Mike left from his recent visit, Gramps felt all bad abt not being able 2 say "Congratulations" 2 Mike abt having the book published, and he wanted 2 try writing it down. He cdn't get his right hand 2 do it, so he was trying his left. Iris saw him struggling w/something that began w/"C" and assumed he was trying to ask her 4 sumthing. So she tried guessing: "Coffee? Cold? U want a cushion?" And Gramps was all, "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!" Then Iris was, like, "I'm doing my best. If U're trying 2 confuse me, then congratulations!" Then, Gramps yelled, "YESSS!" And he grabbed Iris, giving her a great big hug." And she sez she thot, "They call this condition 'aphasia.' It should be called 'confuse-ya.'" Yeah, I don't think that'd ever make it as a medical term.
NEway, the reason I know all this abt what Gramps was thinking is that I got him 2 type it out on their computer. It's a bit slow going for him, but he can type out the words a letter @ a time, all hunt-an'-peck. Iris was like, "Y didn't U just do that 2 write 'Congratulations'?" And Gramps just kinda rolled his eyez and didn't try 2 answer. My theory is that he didn't really wanna congratul8 Mike, but there cd B sum other reason. I seem 2 remember sumthing abt Mom saying a handwritten note is "personal" and "heartfelt," as opposed to computer-written B-ing "cold" and "not thoughtful." I think aphasia counts as a good xxception 2 Mom's dumb rulez abt these things, but mayB Gramps was afraid she wdn't think so.

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Friday, February 09, 2007


IN case NE1 mighta been wondering, Mike had some more 2 say in a comment last nite:

Little sis. Sometimes in a good conversation, when you get to a lull, you suddenly come to the realization that things have been happening you have been ignoring because of your involvement in the conversation. For example, when I was talking to our Grandpa Jim about my book, I hit such a lull and I suddenly realized Grandpa Jim’s hair was pushed back on his head almost behind his ears. I looked at his mouth and it appeared as though his dentures had been pushed back into his mouth so his lips were lolling over them. Yes, they were lolling during the lull. Even Iris was standing with her back to the wall as if she had been pushed away from our conversation by some force. Then I realized what had happened. I had been speaking so quickly and so enthusiastically, the sheer force of my verbal output had pushed back Grandpa Jim’s dentures and hair; and had pushed Iris to the wall. Of course, I immediately apologized.

I said, “Sorry, Grandpa—I’ve been talking way too fast! It’s just that I’m so…” Then my mind started to reach for a word like “excited” or “enthused”, but my Patterson heritage simply would not allow that. A pun must be made. If I have been creating an unusual airflow with the rapidity of my conversation, then obviously I must be “pumped", as in To propel, eject, or insert with or as if with a pump and that would have the secondary meaning of “pumped” as in Really excited. Two meanings = One great pun.

One of the little known problems with aphasia is apparently the inability to laugh with a sticky-out tongue at a great pun. All Grandpa Jim could manage was an “Uh!” So, I started to explain it to him. I said, “You know…pumped? Like, really excited?” I was about to launch into definition #2 to complete the map of the pun’s double-meaning, when Grandpa Jim put his hands forward palms first as if he was trying to push me away, or he was trying to show me his technique for doing a breast exam or he was trying to demonstrate another meaning of “pumped” like in Physics where it means To raise (atoms or molecules) to a higher energy level by exposing them to electromagnetic radiation at a resonant frequency. I sat there for awhile trying to interpret his hand motions and while I sat there I could feel my buttocks getting bigger from the lethargy. Actually it was only my left buttock. I hate when that happens after sitting someplace for a long time. It gives you a strange half-female / half-male look, until the swelling goes away. You don’t know humility, little sis, until you have had strangers on the street point at you and call you hermaphrodite. Fortunately, Iris intervened because she was able to understand what Grandpa Jim’s hand gestures meant. She said, “Yes, dear. I’ll get it for you.”

Then she picked a book with the words Picture Pallet (French words) and said, “He finds pictures useful when he can’t express himself.” That sentence struck me with fear, little sis. You are too young to remember this, but when I was young and I explored Grandpa Jim’s old workshop when he used to live with Grandma Marian, I found Grandpa Jim’s picture book which had French words on it. Needless to say, they were pictures I certainly did not want to look at with Iris and Grandpa Jim looking on.

I was greatly relieved to see the picture book was actually a book of pictures of household or other ordinary objects and not pictures of slutty French girls doing naughty things with baguettes and croissants. Iris handed Grandpa Jim the book and then stood behind his chair and grabbed his right arm as his fingers moved across the pictures in the book. I think Iris must have thought that by going behind the chair, I would not be aware of the fact she was moving Grandpa Jim’s pointing hand by keeping a controlling hand on his right arm. For a brief moment darkness fell on me, and I imagined a silhouette which bore a striking resemblance to Grandpa Jim with the extended chin, loose collar, and stray hairs on the front of his head. Only I knew the silhouette was actually me. I could see myself the same age as Grandpa Jim with Deanna standing behind me, supporting me, and she moved my arm to whatever picture she wanted me to say. “A horrible way to go,” I thought and I immediately felt pity for my grandpa. I faded back into reality and I heard Iris say, “What’s that, Jim? …He’s pointing to a car…and…a gas station!”

Little sis. Your brother is not stupid. I could tell Iris was going to interpret the car and the gas station as Grandpa Jim is running out of gas and needs a dinner fill-up, or some sort of environmental statement on how they take the bus everywhere, or just to tell me Grandpa Jim is a little gassy and I might want to cover my nose. But before Iris could even get to her particularly poor brand of humour, I decided to leap forward, grab Grandpa Jim by the shoulders and said, “Thanks Grandpa---I’m glad you’re pumped too!!” I could tell Iris was upset I had trumped her humourous statement, because her whole appearance suddenly darkened. It didn’t matter to me. Standing in front of me was a man who appreciated the fact I had managed to outpun his controlling wife. His radiant grin at me was all the affirmation I needed.

That’s almost all I have to say about my visit with Grandpa Jim and Iris; but I do have a little bit left I will save to tell you tomorrow.

Michael Patterson
Aw, d00dz, I was having so much more fun thinkin' of Gramps cursing Mike out than B-ing all happy 4 him. Weren't U?


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Thursday, February 08, 2007

I am NOT going home!

Hi, foax, I M writing this from Becky's place, where Howard has made us the most delicious brekky. Mike posted this bit last nite:

Little sis. Sometimes a curious thing happens when you learn something new. Not only do you realize that you have learned something new, but you also realize that what you thought you knew or you assumed was correct, was in fact, completely wrong and you wish that you had taken the time to properly research it instead of just charing ahead with your assumptions and putting them into an internationally read publication. For example, if you had read our family's monthly letters or talked to the people who have been around Grandpa Jim, like you and Elizabeth and mom and Uncle Phil; you would get the impression that Grandpa Jim's aphasia meant he was limited to saying 4 or 5 bland words, like "Yes" and "No". You wouldn't know that many persons with aphasia retain certain automatic responses, such as swearing, counting, naming the days of the week and social responses, such as "Fine," "Thanks," and "Hi." As a professional journalist and soon-to-be best selling author, I can tell you there is no substitute for properly conducted research and fact-checking. There is nothing worse than having to publish a retraction or to somehow pretend you had checked your facts all along. Obviously, you and mom and Elizabeth left a little something out of your descriptions of your visits with Grandpa Jim. There is certainly nothing about me which would cause Grandpa Jim to start cursing.

That's how I felt during my visit with Iris and Grandpa Jim, when Iris was telling me, "Sometimes your grandfather says awful things, Michael. He can't help it. He tries to speak-and swear words come out!" I replied to Iris, "Weird!" You see, little sis, when I was little, Grandpa Jim used to swear all the time, so it is odd now that he would try to speak something other than swear words, but he would actually say swear words instead. It made me think Grandpa Jim might have had aphasia when he was younger and living with Grandma Marian. I know that's improbable, but the idea does put Grandpa Jim in a somewhat more favourable light. I was speaking to Iris in shadows at the time she said that, so I think she must have thought she could feel my chest without Grandpa Jim noticing. But he did, and he gasped and put his hand over his mouth. That attracted both my attention and Iris', and she took her hand off my chest. Then we stared over at Grandpa Jim curiously, to make sure his gasping sound wasn't a sign of a new medical problem. Fortunately he looked alright, and Iris continued explaining to me, "It's a curious part of his disability…we're dealing with it."

After having my chest touched, I was desperate to change the subject back to me and my book or some other non-touching subject. I said, "They've offered me an advance, Iris! They say I've written a best seller!" I don't know if I passed on that particular conversation to you or not, little sis. My publisher did actually say my book would be a best seller. I also tried to get him to agree I had written the great Canadian novel, but the publisher said all he really cared about was how well the book sold and not about its place in Canadian history. That's a little short-sighted I think. In any case, Iris' response was also a little less than spectacular, because she said, "That's lovely, dear!" with an especially long exclamation point. I have learned in my experiences with Iris, when she uses especially long punctuation it is a sign her mind is wandering on to things she finds interesting, like bunions and old lady perfumes and arthritis and how many dead people she knows and things like that.

Things got dark again, and Iris leaned her face in close to mine. I was afraid she going to go for a kiss, when fortunately, Grandpa Jim had another bout of cursing. It was, "*@{star symbol}!! Boxcar!! No! No! No! No! NO!!" I wasn't sure if he was mad about Iris' flirting or something completely different. Iris sensed my confusion and said, "He wants to be included in the conversation. He wants to hear more about your contract." I wasn't so sure about that. Grandpa Jim's hand gestures left little to the imagination. So I said, "How do you know?" Iris said, "I can read him like a book!"

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Thanks to Grandpa Jim's disability, Iris was forced to do the punning for the two of them. I felt sympathy for Grandpa Jim's situation like I had never done before. Sheilaugh Shaugnessy may be draped in the glamourous robes of best seller, but now it was my Grandpa Jim's turn to receive my undivided sympathy. He was sitting there in front of me, making obscene hand gestures at Iris. I know it was because Iris had attempted to make a pun off the word "book" since I had been talking about mine. Poor Grandpa Jim. He's trapped in his punless body, having to suffer through Iris' puny punning. I cannot imagine a worse fate. Fortunately, he will be all better by September, or so I've heard.

I'll tell you more about my visit with Grandpa Jim and Iris tomorrow, little sis; and if you're lucky, maybe the day after that too. Just to let you know, since you were sleeping over at that slattern, Becky McGuire's house tonight; mom put Elizabeth temporarily in the storage room, where you sleep. She didn't want Elizabeth to mess up the guest bedroom bed. I'm sure you don't mind.


Michael Patterson
OMG, No! BOXCAR! The rec room is not "the storage room," arsewipe, and it's NOT OK 4 Liz 2 poop it up. Of course I "MIND" U imbecile! Gah, I'm so not coming home the rest of this week. I get no respect in my idiot family!

And BTW, puns R STOOPID and not punning = the least of Grandpa's problems. Just take yr dumb advance $ and get outta my house so I can have my nice, non-poopy room back, selfish prig!


Oh, and P.S.: Gramps does not swear when I visit. He just smiles a lot and enjoys my music. I think Iris was trying 2 spare yr feelings. I'll tell her she shdn't bother, cuz U DON'T HAVE NE FEELINGS! Or @ least U care NOT @ ALL abt NE1 else's.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gramps Swears!

In case NE1 hasn't had enuf of MIKE l8ly (LOL!), he now has sumthing 2 add, on this whole "Gramps thing:

Little sis. After what I wrote to you about keeping my children away from Grandpa Jim for fear of what he might say, since he did mention the deadly pirate Blackbeard; I had a change of heart about seeing him. My publisher said it might be a good idea to get an endorsement for my book about a War Bride from someone famous who had actually met his wife during the war. Immediately, Grandpa Jim came to mind, since he had met Grandma Marian during WWII. So, I decided to brave it, and go visit Grandpa Jim.

After getting lost a few times, I made my way to the door where I remembered Grandpa Jim and Iris lived from when I last visited him during his birthday; but I wasn't sure it was the exact right one. You don't want to be the grandson who can't remember which door is his grandfather's. So, I started examining the door for identifying marks. While I was doing that, I must have been a little noisy, because I heard Iris say, "Did you hear that, Jim? There's someone at the door." Then she opened the door and said, "Michael! How nice! We could use a visit!" I was relieved it was the Iris I hoped it would be, instead of some random Iris I didn't know. I must admit she greeted me at the door with such a big smile, I wasn't sure it was the same morose, complaining Iris which we as a family have grown to love.

I decided not to let the mystery of a happy Iris dissuade me from my task---to get that endorsement. So instead of saying something like, "Hello, Iris. It's good to see you again." I said, "I have something to tell grandpa, Iris!" Mom always said we should ignore politeness, if it gets in the way of doing the right thing, like getting an endorsement.

I went to Grandpa Jim, and I knew I had to introduce the concept to him first. So, I said, "Grandpa! I wrote a book. I've got a publisher, they sent me a contract! Next fall, there will be a book! My book!!" I know what you're thinking. "Why did my big brother repeat the word 'book' so many times?" As you know, little sis, old people are slow to comprehend things, so you have repeat things several times for them to get it once.

Grandpa Jim seemed very happy to see me, and looked into my eyes with a big smile. I thought he understood what I said since I had cleverly repeated the word 'book' over and over again. But then Grandpa Jim said, "*#@{star symbol}{saturn symbol}!!" I thought "Whoa!" And then I thought "I am so glad my children weren't here to hear that. It is definitely not safe for kids around here." I think even Iris thought "Oops!" at that point.

I was livid. I turned on Iris and said, "He's never sworn like that before!" This is true. I know you have had good times with Grandpa Jim from when he used to live in the house with you, but the Grandpa Jim I remember was a chain-smoking curser, who used words he had gotten from his days on the Canadian Air Force. It was clear from what he said though; Iris had been teaching him new swear words. I am pretty sure I have not heard him use the star symbol and the saturn symbol before.

This enraged me even more, and I said, "Is he crazy? Does he even know what I'm saying?!!" After all, most people, when they hear I am going to have a book published, are profuse in their congratulations and usually promise to buy multiple copies of the book when it is finally published and talk about how wonderful it is that a Patterson is actually accomplishing something in their lives. Even if Grandpa Jim can't talk, he should at least be willing to nod vigorously. Instead I had a sense the only thing Grandpa was thinking to himself was, "Hard cover or paperback?"

Well, little sis. I was right to keep the children away from Grandpa Jim. I might write to you some more about my visit tomorrow. If I do, I will probably explain to Grandpa Jim that you get the hardcover first and the paperback later on, for the people who are too cheap to buy the hardcover, even when I am the author.

Michael Patterson
Mike, huh, I cda sworn U wrote in yr Feb letter that the book is being released in paperback. Which soundz kinda chintzy 4 a publishing co that's paying U a gigandor $25K advance, but what do I know abt the publishing industry. I've gotta say I think it's pretty funny that Gramps swore when U told him abt B-ing published. Believe it or not, lots of peeps have been reacting that way when they hear U R having a book published!


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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gramps Again

Even tho Gramps is having speech probs, he can do a lil writing, an' he sent me an e-mail:
April, my favourite grandchild!

Typing this takes much effort and I tire quickly, but it's good exercise for my body and brain! I wanted to tell you about something that happened recently. I was feeling a bit lonely, so I used my picture board to point at a telephone to let my dear Iris know that I wanted her to call one of my friends to have a little visit. Frank wasn't home, so she asked if there was anyone else she could call. I wanted to say "Ben." Ben's another friend of mine, but instead, when I opened my mouth, "Buh... buh... um... Blackbeard!" came out. Iris put her arms on mine and asked, "Jim, you said Blackbeard! He was a pirate!" Then she got down on her knees and said, "Permission to laugh, sir?" I put a hand on her cheek, gave her a tender look, and though, "Permission granted!" Let me tell you this, April. Brains are weird!

Well, I'd better wrap. I'm exhausted!

Love, Gramps
I'm glad Gramps is writing some e-mail. At least he doesn't make a big deal abt such things, like MOM alwayz does.

So, after school, Becks, Vicks, an' I R going 2 the mall 2 get sum cute clothes. Cuz Gramps an' Iris were so nice an' slipped sum surprise $ in2 my pocket the last time I visited.


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Monday, February 05, 2007

Don't WANNA!

Aw, doodz! I'm sitting here 2 write my blog entry this morning, and I WANNA write abt what's going on w/LIZ l8ly. But this incredibly strong force is making me write abt GRAMPS AND IRIS! I don't WANNA write abt Gramps an' Iris. I don't wanna hafta tell U that Gramps was sitting in his armchair, and that Iris came up 2 him, all, "Wd U like a cup of tea, Jim?" And that Gramps was, like, "Yes." I don't wanna tell U that Iris appeared next w/two boxes of cookies, all "We have sum nice cookies... Do U want chocolate or vanilla?" Or that Gramps went "Um... um..." and then pted @ the vanilla box, saying, "Yes... nice.. OK... Box!" which Iris then shook, saying, "This one?" Causing Gramps 2 go "Yes." Then, "Vanilla?" Gramps: "Yes." I don't WANNA hafta tell U that while Gramps was having the tea an' cookie, Iris was all, "Do U want the curtains closed?" And that Gramps went, "No. Sun." Or that Iris went, "So U want them open." And that insteada going, "Yes," that Gramps went "Sun!" Iris: "Closed?" Gramps: "Sun!" Iris: "Open?" Don't wanna hafta tell U that she closed the blinds and that they apparently both thot the same thing @ the same time: "U have no idea how frustr8ing this speech problem is!!!"

I don't WANNA tell U all those things, an' U know what? I'm NOT gonna! (No offense, Gramps/Iris. I just really wanted 2 write abt Liz this week.)


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Sunday, February 04, 2007


Mom got a fone call this morning. And @ 1st she was all, "Oh, it's so good 2 hear from U! We don't talk as much as we used 2!" Then she got this unhappy look on her face and sed, "No way, Lynn, they're on punishment from when that little horndog was hanging signs all over the school about what he was going to do 2 my little girl when she turns 16 on April 1. What? U want a 'colourful Sunday hockey story'? Y can't Mike go 2 a hockey game, then? Not plausible NEmore? Now, really, I don't think. . . . No, no--I don't want another ten yrs of menopause, now that U mention it. No, I don't want my butt and nose 2 get NE bigger. OK, OK, U win. They can go 2 hockey 2nite, but then the restrictions R back in place!"

So then she got off the fone an' told me I hadta call Ger an' set up a d8 w/him this evening 2 go C the tournament playoff game between the Warriors an' the Panthers. Mom was all, "This is how it will go, April. U and Gerald will expend copious amounts of NRG cheering during the game. You'll throw up yr arms in the air a lot when the team of yr choice does well. You both will B v. happy with the outcome of the game. Gerald will have his arm around U as U leave the arena, and U will say, "Whoa! Hockey is totally XXHAUSTING!!" And yr boyfriend will have one of thoze gobsmacked looks on his face. I asked Y that wd B, and she sed mayB cuz he playz hockey himself and knows it takes a lot more stamina than cheering in the stands. And I sed I totally know that, and Y wd I make such a st00pid comment abt hockey B-ing xxhausting? And Mom sed "yrs is not 2 question Y" and "that's the way she wants it." She sed Ger an' I had better cooper8, cuz she doesn't want more menopause or more fugly. So I sed OK. NO1 wants Mom 2 have more meno or more fugly--that's like punishing every1!

NEway, so Ger and I R gonna C sum hockey this evening. We're allowed 1 coffee @ Horny T's afterwards, an' then str8 home. Oh, well, @ least I get 2 spend sum time w/Ger. That'll B cube.


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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Belated Title

Hey, so Mike left another comment last nite:

Little sis. Something that is good for you to remember is there is nothing more romantic than a pun. Even a bad pun, which doesn’t make any sense, in a romantic setting, will take on romantic overtones which resonate in the heart of the most frigid woman.

For instance, last night I was lying on your bed, looking at the ceiling and marveling at how nice your bed was and that you had purchased a queen-sized bed for your bedroom, which is far too much bed for a teenaged girl. I didn’t remember having such luxuries when I lived in Sharon Park Drive, but there I was, holding Deanna’s hand as she did her imitation of Stretch Armstrong. Deanna looked over at me and said, “You did it. After all those late nights of writing and rewriting—you’re the author of a book!”

I thought briefly about correcting Deanna, and pointing out I was an author before, but what I soon will be is a “published” author; but I thought better of it. Deanna slid the hand I was holding under the covers and moved it to a more advantageous position and that gave me the big hint I better say romantic things to her. She touched me on the shoulder with her free hand and said words I have not heard from Deanna in quite some time, “Congratulations, Michael.” As if I had just won a prize. Considering where her other hand was, I believe I thought that was exactly what I was about to win.

I thought, “Well, Michael. Don’t screw up.” And I said, “Well…thanks for being so supportive, Deanna. You helped with every page!” I thought that was an easy truth, since Deanna was the one who went to the Office Depot to get that really nice paper I printed my manuscript on.

Deanna didn’t quite get that. She said, “—by leaving you alone while you worked?” She was really giving me that look which said, “You’re going to like what happens next.” I thought, “Don’t screw up. But then I thought about what she just said. If I agree to what she said then it would be like my saying her ‘leaving me alone’ is right. I didn’t want any of that ‘leaving’ stuff.”

Then I remembered what Dad had said so many times: When you’re in a crisis situation, you can always rely on a pun. I didn’t like the word ‘leaving’ so that was the obvious choice to change for a pun. But what to say? My mind was racing. I thought I could say, ‘By laving me alone’ but that sounded too much like she cleaned me. I thought I could say, ‘By living me alone’ but that was too much like Deanna was a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein bringing her monster to life.’ I thought about saying, ‘By levying me alone’ but that sounded too much like she was imposing a fine on me. I thought about saying, ‘By loaving me alone’ but it was much too bready for me. So, I opted with ‘By loving me alone’, to show Deanna she was the only person to love me while I worked on my book. Aside from my mother. But of course I wasn’t so stupid to mention mom while Deanna was in the mood. You know “in the mood” when you’re single and celibate means a lot different thing from when you’re “in the mood” to write or when you’re married and your wife is “in the mood.”

The pun worked, little sis. After last night, I am strongly motivated to start working on my next novel. If I had known it would have this kind of effect on Deanna, I would have starting writing my novels earlier in my life.

Michael Patterson
Mike, the reason I bought myself a queen-sized bed was that I figged since I was spending MY OWN MONEY NEway, I mite as well get myself sumthing that cd last me thru uni 2 getting my own place. Only now that U've hinted that U an' Dee have fouled it up, I mite just hafta burn it and get another.

Jeremy, that was sum crazy stuff goin' on @ the 3 Kronen last nite. I'd heard abt Wilco the car-driving bunny, but until U actually ride in a car he's driving, U just don't know. Wow! After Zandra an' I had our discussion in the washroom (I'll let her decide if she wants NE1 2 know what we talked abt), I cdn't believe what happed next. I hadn't noticed that Liz had been there all along, quietly drinking herself silly. Then she insisted on getting onstage 2 sing "Four Strong Winds" by Neil Young. OMG, alcohol does sum funky thingz 2 her voice!

NEway, Wilco and Zandra got me back 2 Gramps an' Iris' place just in time 4 me 2 make them a surprise brekky. Now I think I need a nap.


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Friday, February 02, 2007


So, Mike posted a comment, last nite, all


Little sis. After mom had carefully examined my contract for my book, I had gotten from Reiner and Browne Publishers, Deanna decided that we should have a little alone time together, just her and me and the contract. After she got one of you to agree to watch the children, she took my hand and led me to our bedroom. Then she gave me a “come hither” look and as I approached her amorously, she took the contract out of my hand. Then she read:

Dear Michael Patterson,

I opened your package, and from the first page of your manuscript, I could not put it down. I rarely say things like this, but you have crafted a superbly compelling, intensely emotional story. With few adjustments, we can include your book in our fall line up.

Please review the enclosed contract and return it to us with your comments at your earliest convenience.

Then for some reason it either wasn’t signed, or Deanna decided she didn’t want to keep on reading, or Deanna couldn’t pronounce the letter writer’s name. I don’t know which one. It doesn’t matter because reading the letter made me a little sleepy.

Then Deanna pinched herself a good pinch and said, “Know what?” And she gave me a big hug, where my chin could rest on her head. She said, “This is really happening!!!” It was a good feeling. My chin felt especially large and proud at that moment, and I put my hand protectively across her shoulder.

I hope you realize now, little sis, that going into my burning house was definitely worth it, just for that moment. I know mom had been rewriting my monthly letters for some time, saying I already had a contract, that my novel was due in October but the deadline was extended to December, that I had been submitting my chapters to my publisher as they were completed; but now the truth can be known. That contract and the encouraging letter enclosed, has actually caused my wife to have a newfound respect for me. Yes, little sis, your brother writes well enough to get a publisher to give me an advance.

Michael Patterson
I heard there R ppl who R pretty convinced this development w/Mike means the Apocalypse is on its way. Oh, and I'm the sum1 who agreed 2 watch Robin an' Merrie, but of course he cdn't b arsed 2 care abt that detail.


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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sun in Liz's Eyes

So Mike was looking @ his "contract," Dee was hugging him from behind, Merrie was holding a doll and gazing up @ him like, "What's up with Attic Guy," and I sed, "They're gonna publish yr book? Wow! That is awesome!" The awesomeness of course being I shdn't hafta share a house w/Mike 2 much longer. And Dee was all, "Michael, I'm so proud of you." Mike sat down with Mom and let her read the contract, since Mom having managed a bookstore makes her all experty (sarcasm!). And Liz appeared looking annoyed, while Mom was all, "A $25,000 advance, and rite of 1st refusal. That means they want 2 B the 1st ones 2 C yr NEXT manuscript!!"

Liz was standing there with her hands in her pockets, her hair all down and flowy (I guess Mom was 2 distracted 2 notice and yell @ her 4 "loose hair/loose morals"), and Dad was holding Merrie, 4 I think the 1st time ever. And Dad was, like, "Isn't this gr8 news, Elizabeth? Sumthing bad has 2 B followed by sumthing good, rite?" He put down Merrie and sed, "After the storm blows over, the sky B-comes clear and brite!" Then Liz started 2 cry and turned 2 run off 2 another room. Dad was, like, "What's the matter?" And Liz was like, "...The sun's in my eyes."


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