April's Real Blog

Monday, April 30, 2007

I was so much older then I'm younger than that now

Liz sez that she met Candace recently @ the Eats Diners. Liz got there 1st, and she sez that she sat one booth over from a guy who kinda looked like Ger, but w/a larger nose and a brushcut.

When Candace arrived, Liz waved a hand 2 get her attention, and was all "Candace? Over here!" And Candace was like, "Hey, Liz--Sorry I'm l8." When they hugged, Candace was like, "U're looking wonderful," and Liz came back w/"Wow! So R U! I can't believe U're here!" Then they sat, and Liz was like, "U let yr hair go back 2 its natural colour!" And Candace replied, "Yeah. The black was a little harsh." Liz was all, "But U looked cool w/black hair!" Candace sed, "I did, didn't I!" [st8ment, not question] And then Liz, cupping her chin w/one hand and using the forearm 2 prop herself up, sed, "It seems like a million yrs since we were roommates in university." And Candace went, "I know. A lot has happened since then. We were such kids, were'n't we." [another st8ment] And Liz replied, "Yeah... We were so young!"

It seems that just then, Candace, out of the corner of her eye, noticed sum man glaring @ them. She was all, "Oh, I'm sorry, Anthony! I didn't realize U were here! Wd U like 2 join us? It's been so long. . . ." But then Liz hissed, "Candace! That's not Anthony! That's sum old guy! C, he walks w/a cane [not Caine], he's wearing a grandmotherly cardigan sweater! I think he was just glaring cuz of our comment of how yung w/used 2 B. Cuz 2 really, really, really old ppl, we R still yung." And Candace was like, "Oh. Honest mistake."

NEway, welcome back, Candace! Hm, I do remember a colour pic w/U w/red hair, but I was never sure if that was yr real hair colour or if sum1 just coloured that in wrong.


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Sunday, April 29, 2007

It's OK 4 Dad 2 mess up if his client is Mom?

During our celebration dinner last nite @ La Crème de la Crème de Milborough, Dad told us sum story abt doing sum dental work 4 Mom recently. While he was working on Mom's teeth, one of his hygienists popped in 2 tell him that the X-ray developer was on the fritz. And after he told her that he'd deal w/it, she also told him that sum lady named Mrs. Feggmutz just cancelled her 3-hr appt again.

Dad was putting a new crown on one of Mom's teeth, but when she was suppsta "close down gently," she crunched real hard instead, and cracked the crown. Dad thot sum cusses, but only sed, "We've just cracked the crown. We'll order a replacement and I'll put yr temporary back on. 1st, I'll remove the cement from inside it..." Then there was a big "PA-TWANNGG" sound as the temp crown went flying, and Dad thot, "[star] [swirlie] # [saturn] glove is caught in the drill and I've lost the [swirlie] !! [star] temporary!" Then, after he retrieved the temp crown, he was all, "Good thing we found that, or I'd have 2 make another one! OK... I'm going 2 ask U 2 close down gently, please. Gently!!" Then, he thot, "Of course, it doesn't fit. I'll have 2 drill it out sum more, then grind it down...." He finished that all, and he pulled off his mask, saying "There! Nancy will get U a hot towel, and we're all dun!" Then, as he left the xxam room, he kinda fanned himself w/the collar of his hsirt, while saying, "Whoa! [he learned that fr. Everett, his associate] What an awful afternoon! Everything that cd go wrong... went wrong!! ...It's a gd thing I was working on my wife!"

Only, the way he told the story 2 us, he kept the part abt his "client" being Mom a secret until he got 2 that last line of his. He acted like this was a super-terrific punchline 2 a super-terrific joke. Only Mom had this total pinched look on her face that seemed like she didn't think it was funny @ all. And then she pretty much confirmed this by saying that when she heard Dad say that stuff, she sat in the xxam room feeling gobsmacked.

Mike looked fr. Mom 2 Dad an' back a few times. Mom kept having that pinched look, and Dad had that "Oh, no!" look. Then Mike as all, "Well enuf abt Mom an' Dad an' teeth! What abt ME? I'm 31 now!"

And Dad was, like, "Yes! And what a gr8 job we did raising him, Elly! He even rakes w/out being asked!" And Mom was like, "Yes, Mike is such a wonderful yung man! I know the Witch of Corbeil wishes she had a son as gr8 as our Michael!" And then I kinda zoned out 4 a while as they went on an' on, total lovefest. I pictured all the choices* of skirts, pants, shirts, and jackets I have 4 my school uni, and imagined the combinations I mite wear during this coming wk.

Then I noticed that Liz had this kinda faraway look on her face, and I whispered 2 ask her what she was thinking abt. She hissed, "None of yr bizness." I was like, whispering, "U're picturing yrself in wedding dresses, Rn't U?" Then she kinda half-choked on a sob and whispered, "No. Yes." Then she xxcused herself an' ran 2 the ladies room. Mom suddenly stopped mid-praise, and Mike looked kinda annoyed that sumthing interrupted all the Mike-admiring. He kinda elbowed Dee and asked her 2 follow Liz 2 the washroom an' find out what the prob was. Then he was all, "Mom, as U were saying B4 U were so r00dly interrupted."

Then my fone beeped, letting me know I had a txt. It sed, "m @ yr house w/sis h. keep her fr letting perv. jones show up. xoxox ger." B4 I had a chance 2 answer, another txt arrived.: "bro = stupid. i will fix him. h.f." I sent a txt back 2 Ger: "get out! d = pissed @ u. jones @ kool haus 2nite."

NEway, the dinner seemed 2 go on 4evs. 7 courses, 4 hrs. I thot it wd never B over! When Liz and Dee came back from the washroom 30 mins after Liz left the table, Liz's eyes were all red, and Dee xxplained it was just "girl worries."

When we got home, Honoria looked xxhausted, but she sed the kiddies went 2 bed rite on time w/out probs. I was the last 2 B going in2 the house, and I heard a voice loudly whispering from the bushes, "April!" I found Ger hiding in them, and I was, like "Not again! Do U have cabfare and yr fone?" He was like, "Of course I do! But that sister of mine is a conniver! I can't believe what she--" But I didn't have a chance 2 hear the rest of his sentence, cuz Dad was all, "Princess April, R U coming in, or must we keep the door ajar all nite? That wdn't work, b-cuz the door is clearly a door, and not a jar @ all." And he laffed w/his tung sticking out. Yuck. So I hadta go in just then.


*Yay, it's spring now, so no sweaters!!!

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

What kind of person?

Sum more abt my "girltalk" convo w/Liz, when she took a break from her packing 2 talk w/me abt Ger.

So, we both stretched out on Liz's bed, lying on our backs, side by side, as I asked, "So...what shd I do abt Gerald?" Liz was all, "Do U still like him?" I sed, "I guess. But I'm mad. And we're still in the band 2gether. ...I dunno." Liz sat up and asked me, "R U the kind of person who can let things go, get on w/yr life, and just B friends?" I was like, "I dunno." Then I sat up, and I realized we were both pulling our knees up to our chests as we sat. And I asked,"R U?" And Liz replied, "Yes. Yes, I am. But...It's really, really hard."

And as we had that last bit of our convo, from the part where Liz sed "Yes I am," I cda sworn I heard this kinda "guffaw" sound out in the hall, rite outside the room. And I cda sworn it sounded like the "guffaw" was in Mike's voice.

Speaking of Mike, it's his b-day. Mom has sumthing special planned. And she got Steph 2 put up a b-day greeting on Mom's website. NEway, happy b-day, Mike. 31 yrs old!


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Friday, April 27, 2007

Not doing NEthing

After Liz finished telling me I shd say "stuff it" 2 Ger, she got up on the bed, stretched out on her tummy, and sed, "So, tell me what happened!" Sitting w/my knees pulled close 2 me, and a pillow wedged in the space betw my chin and my legs, I was all, "He had sum wine, and we were... um, U know....just sort of ....well, nothing much*... He almost got caught when Mom an' Dad came home! I shoved him out the back door, filled my face w/mouthwash, an' I called a cab after I got 2 bed." OK, this was B4 I "got 2 bed." Not sure Y I sed that. But NEway, I went on w/"But we didn't DO NEthing! Honest!" Liz put a hand on my knee, all, "It's OK, April. I believe U." And I thot, "...We didn't have TIME!"

Well, I'll prolly tell U the next bit of our convo 2morrow.


*I didn't wanna go in2 deets, partly cuz I was a bit mbarrassed, and partly cuz I didn't want Liz 2 get all distracto by being, like, "Ew! U did that?" Not that I did NEthing, U know, bad, but Liz just really gets all "Ew" v. easily.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Girltalk w/Liz

So I finally had the "girltalk" I had tried 2 have w/Liz on the day she blew me off 2 look @ apts. Liz was folding clothes an' boxing stuff, and I was sprawled across her bed. I was all, "Elizabeth, ...If U and a guy were, U know... "doing stuff" and the guy tells his friends U were doing a lot MORE than U were doing... And his friends start, U know, laffing and stuff, an' thinking U were, well, U know. I mean, if U weren't doing stuff and he sed that U were, ...what wd U do?" And Liz kinda raised her brows and sed, "I'd tell him 2 STUFF IT!"

So, Ger, I'm supposta tell U 2, um, "stuff it." And no, not in a "good way."


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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

After sorting, Liz puns in her head

Liz sez that after she sorted her stuff into "keep," "chuck," and "toss," categories, she found herself thinking, "A rolling stone gathers no mess." I was, like, "Oh, so U punned in yr head." Liz sed, yeah, she guessed she had. I pointed out that mayB she didn't move often enuf 2 B considered a "rolling stone," and that if the pun line were true, she wdn't have had all that stuff 2 sort. She just scowled @ me. I then asked her Y three categories, and what's the diff betw "chuck" and "toss." She was all "AUGH!" and called me a "picky-face" again. Whatevs, rite?


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Not asking

Liz sez that after the fone call w/Warren, she went back 2 brushing Edgar. Mom loped in and was all, "Who called? Was it yr friend Warren? Is he coming 2 C U?" Liz tellz me that she didn't answer Mom, she just continued 2 brush Eddy while thinking, "Mother, don't ask. Do not ask." Mom leaned her forearms on the counter and asked again: "Is he coming 2 C U?" And Liz thot even harder, "DO NOT ASK!" Mom carried on, kinda Dadlike: "He's a nice boy, but inconsistent, don't U think? He can cancel a d8 @ the last minute and it doesn't seem 2 bother him.... Does it bother U?" Liz's answer 2 that was 2 throw her head back, unhinge her jaw (kinda Momlike), and let out a huge AAUGHH. Liz stormed off, and, according 2 Mom, this caused her [Mom] 2 think, "I shdn't have asked." Ya think?

Jeremy, I C that U met Gerald's lil sis, Honoria. She xxplained that she's @ our old middle school now cuz she was expelled from that boarding school she useta go 2? So I hear she's having sum trub adjusting 2 public school.

NEway, yeah, my convo w/Ger was def interesting. He kinda got down on his knees an' groveled, asking me 2 forgive him 4 "not being there when [I] needed him" this wkend," and even tho I tried 2 assure him he didn't needta apologize, he took out this weird leather whip and kinda whipped himself on the back. Luckily the caf monitor took the whip away from him. Of course, now he hasta C the school counsellor this wk.

As 4 Mike's 2 articles in the Clarion, the one abt U being "converted 2 good" (and getting the Corbeil cert. 2 go w/that) and the one complaining abt Portrait mag's new direction, U can just know that Mike totally read that stuff out loud 2 all of us. I hadta bite my knuckles 2 keep from LOL-ing super-hard @ that second one! (U C, if I'd laffed, Mike wda stopped and asked me 2 xxplain each laff. And it wda taken him like 4-6X as long 2 read the thing 2 us. So better not to laff.)


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Monday, April 23, 2007

Warren being busy

After Liz finished xxplaining 2 Mom that the move 2 the choo-choo house, and Mike an' Dee taking over our house, were really happening and not just a theory, the fone rang and I answered it. It was Warren, 4 Liz. So I told Liz, who was brushing Edgar (since that was one of her chores that day). I hadta load the dishwasher, and while I was doing that, I heard Liz's side of the convo, where she was all, "Hi,Warren! ...Really? But I thot U had the weekend off? ....Oh. How long will U B in Yellowknife? Wow. So, I guess I won't C U 4 a while! Hey, no problem! Work B4 pleasure! Take care of yrself, OK? C ya!" Then, after she'd clicked the fone back in2 its cradle, she stuck her tongue out @ the fone, all, "BWAPPBLFTT!"

Jeremy, thanx sooooooooooooo much w/yr help sitting the littles. I was able 2 get lotsa h'work dun while U played hide an' seek and handled bedtime. Sorry U hadta get stuck w/an impromptu Liz grammar lesson and w/Mom's compulsive furniture choosing. Yeah, most ppl who come over wanna get away w/out having 2 talkta Mom.

Howard and Becky: Wow! Congrats on Becky scoring that duet w/Mizz Candy Rapper. Yeah, I'm not surprised 2 hear that she an' Brandy R actually v. smart and educ8ed, but I sure bet Liz will B!


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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Liz and Grammar

Sumtymez, Liz likes 2 talk abt her classroom experiences--particularly on change-the-subject Sundays. This morning, over brekky, she was all telling us abt a grammar lesson she taught her grade-four students.

She started the lesson w/"This afternoon, we're going 2 go over sum English grammar." And a bunch of her students let out a big "GROANNN!" in response. One of the groaners raised his hand, all "But we dun that last week!" Liz sez she had a gobsmacked look on her face when that boy sed this, but she was also thinking it didn't matter cuz her intro sentence and his response were, like, "throwaways." She sez the real action of the lesson started w/"Fact: No matter how capable, no matter how intelligent U R--poor grammar will make U sound less intelligent and poorly educ8ed. So let's work on it. OK?"

Me: "OK?" If every1 had sed "NO!" wd U have dun sumthing else? Like play outside instead?

Liz: Shut up and let me tell my story!

Me: Mom, Liz told me 2 shut up!

Mom [looking up fr. her paper]: Wha? Work it out yrselves, girls. I'm dun!

NEway, Liz went on 2 tell us that she sed, "One error I hear all the time is 'Her and I went downtown.'" And she wrote that on the board. She continued w/"Here's a way 2 C if this is correct. Take away 'and I.' --Is it 'Her went downtown'?" She also wrote "Me and him went downtown" and sed, 'What abt 'Me and him'? Take away 'Me.'"

Me: But U cd also take out "and him" cuz "Me went downtown" is equally wrong.

Liz: Which one of us is the licenced teacher, April? And whose story is this?

Mike: So far, not one I'd write a column on, but please do go on!

Liz: Shut up ugly brother! No one asked U! Eat yr toast!

Mike: Mommy, did U hear that? Lizzie told me 2 shut up!

Mom [looking up fr. her paper again] : Wha? Stop it, kids! I told U I'm dun, work it out 4 yrselves!

Liz: OK, I'm going back 2 my story. MayB U all can learn sumthing from this, 2.

Then she told us how a coupla her students chimed in w/answers. One was all, "She went downtown! She and I!" Another sed, "He went downtown, I went downtown... He and I went downtown!"

Me: Smart kid, he caught yr lil oversite.

Liz: Don't make me pummel U!

Me: Threats of physical violence, Ma!

Mom: What part of "I'm dun" do U kids not understand?

Liz resumed, w/how she told those kids, "Good work! Now, many languages permit double negatives. In Spanish, 4 xxample..."

Me: W8, Liz, U chose that pt 2 jump over 2 double negatives?

Liz: Not "jump," April, "transition." And yes, Y do U ask?

Me: Well U really shda gone over the "and me"/"and I" stuff 4 when it occurs in the objective part of a sentence. So many ppl get yelled @ 4 saying "Me and Jimmy went downtown" that they start to think that "Jimmy and I" is sumthing set in stone, like manners insteada grammar, and they'll say "Jimmy and I" no matter where it happs in the sentence. So U get sentences like "Mom gave cookies 2 Jimmy and I" or "It was because of Jimmy and I." U shd really go over the fact that U need "me" in those sentences cuz they require objective case. And have them test by taking out the "Jimmy" 2 C if they'd normally say "cookies 2 I" or "because of I." Which they wdn't.

Mom [taking an interest]: She's rite, U know!

Liz [defensive]: I, I-- I knew that! That's sumthing we're going over this wk! Don't question my methods! I'm a licenced teacher! Now, let me finish my story!

Dad [looking up from Trains Weekly Digest magazine]: Were U saying sumthing, honey?

Liz: Yes, but it's not abt trains, Dad!

Dad: Oh, well U shda sed so. [goes back 2 his magazine]

Liz went back 2 her bit abt double negs, how she told the kiddies that in Spanish, it's OK 2 say "I never did nuthing," while in English. . . . And one of her kids raised her hand while piping in, "I never did NEthing!"

Me: U know, when I was in grade 4, we always raised our hands and w8ed 2 B called on B4 we sed our answers. If not, we got yelled @.

Liz: No more interrupting, Martian creature!

Me: Hey!

Liz then went on w/her story. She wrote a bunch of sentences on the board and asked the class which were correct. The sentences weren't abt double negs, tho; they were abt past tenses, like "I had spoke"/"I had spoken"; "It was broke"/"It was broken"; "He done it"/"He did it"/"He has dun it!" But then she, like, went all ADD and returned 2 dbl negs, calling out a sentence and letting a student respond:

Liz: I don't got no doughnuts?

Student: I don't have NE doughnuts!

Then, back 2 past tenses:

Liz: He shd have did it?

Student: He shd have DUN it!

Liz told us that on the way home, she was thinking, "Good grammar is difficult 2 learn, but sumday they'll thank me. What kind of job can they xxpect 2 get if they can't speak the language!"

Then, she clicked on the car radio. And she heard a DJ being all, "It's Brandy @ rock'n central, been talkin' 2 Mizz Candy Rapper--her and I go way back! She's got a real big hit: 'I Seen U Sweatin'! --Comin' up good on the charts, y'all!"

Liz: Then I felt terrible, because look what I'm up against! They hear all this bad grammar in the media!

Mom: Yes, the media! Terrible!

Dad [half-listening]: Terrible information!

Dee [picking up her head from the table; waking]: Yes, I won't let the children B xxposed 2 the media until they're 12, mayB 13!

Mike: What's this abt xxposed?

Dee: Never mind, Michael!

Mike: OK. [picks up Portrait mag so he can complain abt its "new direction"]

Me: U know, yr kids can just learn 2 code switch.

Liz: What the heck does that mean, Martian?

Me: That just means they'll talk diff ways in diff sitches. Ppl do it all the time. MayB they'll use slang an' stuff w/their friends, but in class and @ job interviews, they'll know how they shd speak and write, U know, formal English.

Liz: That's almost blasphemous, April!

Me: It is not! My English teacher taught us all abt it last week. It also applies 2 kids who grow up speaking 2 languages, but it has 2 do w/regional dialects and slang, 2.

Liz: U think U're so smart! I'm the teacher! That's it, I'm going 2 send a txt mssg 2 Warren! My thumbs R almost 100% healed now! [stomps off]

Me: So, Mike, Dee. Jeremy offered 2 help me babysit sumtymes. U know, like a co-babysitter. He's male, but he's also just a friend, and he wdn't bring wine and try 2 make me to roadside. Plus he has that "Converted 2 Good" certificate from Corbeil. Wd that B OK?

Mike: Wha?

Dee: Yeah, sure, whatever.

Merrie: Jeremy! Like Jeremy!

Robin: Germy! Saved Wobbin!

So, Jeremy, looks like it's OK.

Howard, Becky; Connie is wrong. I did NOT break my pinky swear. She's such a suspicious bizzy-body sumtymes!


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Saturday, April 21, 2007

[Not] Decided?

Liz told me that after she went inside 2 massage her thumb after she had her injury from txt-ing Warren, she discovered Mom sitting @ the kitchen table poring over furniture catalogues.

Mom was all, "I'm glad U found an apt, Liz!" And Liz told her, "Yeah. ....Looks like our whole family is going 2 B uprooted." Liz sat down, and Mom asked her, "Y do U say that?" Liz: "U're going 2 buy the Stibbs' place, rite? Mike and Deanna R going 2 stay here." Mom glanced down @ her furniture ads, all "Well, it hasn't been decided yet." Liz was like, "Yes it has!! U're looking @ furniture catalogues, Mike an' Dee R down @ the bank, and Dad's cleaning out his workshop! So, I'd say it's been decided." Liz sez that Mom got one of her gobsmacked looks and was all,"Oh."

Funny how there was no mention of me. @ least in this bit of convo that Liz reported. Liz sez I'll hafta w8 and C whether NE1 brought up the subject of me being uprooted, or whether this is all we're gonna hear abt this convo betw Mom and Liz.

Jeremy, I hafta say our evening out was v. v. interesting. Sumtymez I 4get just what a gossipy kinda place we live in. Ppl were all, "Isn't that April Patterson on a motorcycle w/sum middle-aged guy? Oh w8, that's Jeremy Jones!" Then they'd take out their cell fones and start txt-ing other ppl, all fast an' furious, till they were suddenly all "OW! TMDI!" NEway, when we were @ Kool Haus, and U leapt outta yr seat and yelled out, "APRIL PATTERSON HAS CONVERTED ME 2 GOOD!"? Well, I hafta say that surprised me. As did the official Corbeil photogs, stenographers, and representatives who popped out of seemingly nowhere 2 snap pics, take notes, and give U yr official "changed 2 good" certificate. Congrats? Oh, and thanx 4 the lesson in riding a motorcycle, @ that vacant lot we went 2 afterwards. That was v. cube of U.

Apes out

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Friday, April 20, 2007

TMDI and changing the subject

And now 4 sumthing entirely different.

Recently, Lizzie was sitting on the front stairs rite outside the house while Mike was raking leaves (hoping Dad wd compliment him). Liz tells me she was sending a txt 2 Warren, all "hi warren! got an apt nthg spcl, 1 rm, bsmt old hse, bt cls to wrk. cnt wt to be on my own agn. my flks plc is crzy. hw r u? whn wl u b bk n twn? hp u r...." Then she let out a gr8 big "OW" as one of her thumbs started having shooting pain. Mike, losing his eyes 4 just a moment, asked the general direction where he'd heard Liz's voice, "Got a case of T.M.D.I.?" And Liz was all, "Yeah. Serious." Then she thot, "Text message digital injury" is going 2 B the next big health issue!"

Nah, mayB next little health issue. I've already seen sum lil news features abt "txt thumb," but it's not b-ing treated as a big thing." BTW, if U use "2" 4 "to" and "B" 4 "be," U can save yr thumb sum ouch-strokes.

Jeremy, I just got another e-mail from Steph. She tells me that 2day shd B the last day I'm having after-effects from the Corbeil Kool-Aid, as the antidote does its work. But she warns me that the after-effects will B sumwhat diff 2day, as they dwindle. Insteada leaping on U and tweaking yr ear, urging U 2 change 2 good, I'm gonna have an irresistable urge 2 caress one of yr earlobes, quite gently, and say, "Now there's a good Jeremy. Good, good Jeremy." Steph was all, "This won't hurt him like the tweaking and wrassling, but w/yr Patterson allure @ its current levels, it cd cause him sum slite embarrassment, as he mite find himself, well--aroused. He might want to take precautions, such as wearing baggy pants and carrying large notebooks to conceal himself." NEway, that's what Steph sez.


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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Everything new?

More on the drama surrounding my 'rents and their decision whether or not 2 sell our house 2 Mike/Dee and move 2 the Stibbs teeny-tiny train house down the street.

I was kinda hanging out in the hallway area, still bummed over my "nothing will B the same" thots following Dee's lil speech 2 Mike abt their kiddles growing up in the same house, neighbourhood, school, an' so on. And I heard Mom and Dad in the kitchen.

Mom was all, "John, if we moved 2 a smaller house, what wd we do w/all our stuff?" And I heard Dad being all, "Leave it here." Mom responded with "....Leave it? ...Here?" And Dad went in2 a whole thing of "Mike and Deanna lost almost everything in the fire! --We leave them our furniture and everything in the cupbds and get NEW stuff!!" Mom seemed 2 warm up 2 that idea, w/"New stuff?" And Dad went w/it: "Totally new!! New bed, new sheets, new towels, new pots and pans, new couch, new TV...." Mom, sounding kinda hypnotized: "EVERYTHING NEW?" Dad sounding kinda worried: "Except me. I'd stay the same."

Huh. Nothing about me. Am I one of the things they'd B leaving behind? And if not, is Dad volunteering me 2 leave behind the new furniture bought w/my own $ from Ikea? And if that's what he has in mind, do I have a say in the replacement furniture? Who'm I kidding? Dad wasn't thinking abt me @ all. He's already all dun w/me in his head.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SAMEness and Difference

Here's sumthing Mike posted in the wee hrs this morning, abt the whole drama of the houses:

Formerly little sis. There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to think about the past and the present and the future, I guess all time, and wonder about his place in it. I stood on the top of the landing and remembered a conversation I had had with mom in that very spot almost 2 years ago. I could see us clearly talking about how it would nice if I and my family got to live in this house. But then as I looked about I realized my parents’ place looks different today. In fact, when my lovely wife Deanna leaned up against me and put her arm around me, (which she does a lot these days), and asked me, “What are you thinking?”, I told her that exact thing that the place looks different.

For instance there was a door just to my left on the top of the landing. That wasn’t there when I was talking to mom back in 2005. And there was this big wall on my right where the landing abruptly stopped. That wasn’t there back in 2005. Then I looked down the stairs, and I swear I saw the stairs at the bottom near the rec room, were enormous and facing at odd angles against a flat wall, which connected to a first floor landing which was at yet another odd angle to the flat wall. I remembered the house used to have normal stairs. And here’s the weirdest part, little sis. There was one leg and one arm on top of the leg which extended into the stair well at such an odd angle, I thought there was no way they could belong to a normal human being. Well, little sis, either my parents’ place looks different, or I was starting to get some terrific vertigo.

I wasn’t dizzy, so I started to think, “Maybe I don’t want to live in such a different-looking place after all.” I speculated out loud to Deanna, “If dad convinces mom to move to the Stibbs’ place…” And I was going to follow that up with, “then we would be practically obligated to buy my parents’ place.” But before I could say that, my lovely Deanna interrupted with her opinion which was, “I’d love to live here, Michael!” What can you say when the little woman comes up with a heartfelt statement like that? You have to give in, is what.

I was ready to say, “Well then we must buy the place for your sake.” But then my lovely Deanna didn’t stop talking and she stared out into space as if she were seeing something in front. I looked to what she was seeing, but there was nothing there. That didn’t stop her from saying, “Merrie and Robin can play in the same park you played in, slide down the same ravine, make forts in the same yard, go to the same schools…” I was about to say to her, “Deanna, dear. You may not remember this, but we used to go to the same elementary school and we used to live in the same town,” when I was interrupted by the overwhelming feeling someone was making a pun off the word “same” in a thought balloon, but I couldn’t see who it was.

Then I was struck with an even more terrifying thought. Why doesn’t Deanna remember our common past herself? Her memory is usually much better than mine. I stretched my memory way back to the time when I used to be in school with Deanna. I saw everything clearly. Not only that but the Deanna I used to know in elementary school had a pointed nose, and normally-sized lips. She moved away when I was young, and I saw her again after she had her car accident.

Could I have been mistaken? Had I presumed that the Deanna Sobinski in the car wreck was the same as the one I knew in elementary school, just because of the similarity of names? I said to Deanna, “We went to the same elementary school you know.” Then Deanna got a strange look on her face and said, “That was a silly mistake I made” and she waved her hand in front of me with an unusual gesture and I suddenly realized that she was actually placing my childhood experience before hers, as a good wife should, and it didn’t have anything at all to do with forgetting our common past. How silly of me to think so.

Michael Patterson
Mike, I think U saw my arm and leg. I was kinda leaning in2 the staircase and hearing U and D talk. Also, rite after Dee sed all that stuff abt the kiddles growing up an' playing in the same places U did, I found myself thinking, "::sigh:: Nothing's gonna B the same." But I wasn't punning, I was just in my own thots abt changes. BTW, I hope U xxplain 2 Dee how dangerous the ravine gets when it floods. U can't go assuming Edgar or Dixierat wd B around and able 2 save whichever little falls in, and that the other doggie wd B able 2 get yr attention 2 come out and C what's going on. Esp. considering how zoned out an' oblivious U and Dee can get.

Jeremy, sorry abt hurting yr ears again. But on the plus side, I did hear Vanessa telling the other V-girls that U mite B the most victimificant boy in Milboro rite now.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

That's how desper8 I felt

Hey, I'm feeling a bit better, so I'm gonna B checking out of the psych ward this morning, in time 2 go 2 school.

NEway, on that day when Mom and Dad went w/Mike and Dee 2 look @ the Stibbs choo-choo house, and came home w/all that talk abt having Mom and Dad buy it so Mike and Dee cd stay @ our house? W/out NE1 caring 2 consult w/me, even a little? Well, I got really, really bummed. Esp. cuz my Dad had obvs already 4gotten abt me and was imagining himself w/just Mom @ the little house. So I went down 2 the sofa bed in the rec room, where I've been living, and curled up on the bed in the fetal position. I cd even feel myself b-coming all tiny, like a yung child. I was even thinking, "Gloom...Gloom...Gloom."

Well, that's the mo that Liz chose 2 appear, all, "I did it, April! I found an apartment!" I didn't answer her, so she kinda perched herself on2 the edge of the bed, and even tho I had my back turned, I had this feeling that she'd contorted her body in sum weird way. But that's not important rite now. Liz was totally, "Hey, R U listening 2 me?" And I went, "Y? U never listen 2 me." Which is so, so true. And 2 show how true that was, she was like, "I can move in next month! U can move upstairs again! U can have MY room!"

Then, I sat up, squeezed a pillow 2 myself, and sed, "Elizabeth, Mike and Deanna mite buy this house. If they do, I'll have 2 decide where I want 2 live--here or w/Mom and Dad!" And Liz, ever sympathetic, went, "So? Where do U wanna B?" And, with this feeling of total desperation, I was all, "How big is yr place?!!" And Liz looked gobsmacky.

BTW, I received an e-mail from Steph xxplaining that, even tho I had that antidote 2 the special Corbeil Kool-Aid, I'd have these weird after effects for a few days. Mostly, this means that when I C Jeremy Jones, I M likely 2 jump on him, tweak his ear, and command him 2 change "2 good." Sorry, Jeremy--I'll try 2 resist, but Steph warns me that this is mostly futile. Pls prepare!


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Monday, April 16, 2007

What if/is

I just remembered a bit more abt what happed that day Mom, Dad, Mike, an' Dee went 2 have a look @ the teeny-tiny Stibbs train house and came home all talking abt making a house switch.

Mom an' Dad came over 2 me, and Dad put an arm on one of my shoulders, all "Don't look so worried, honey. Nothing's been decided yet. It's all 'what if?'" Me: "What if?" Dad: "We're thinking, that's all! U know: 'What if yr Mom and I moved 2 a smaller place down the street?" [What? Soundz like he already decided not 2 take me w/them!!!] Then, "What if Michael and Deanna lived here? It's a perfect house 4 them and 2 big 4 us! ...It's all just "what if." Then Mom and Dad receded in2 silhouette and I thot, "I think 'what if' is going 2 turn in2 'what is'!!" Not only that, but I feel like Dad is really trying 2 get rid of me, like he just wants 2 totally B dun raising kids even tho I'm only 16 an' have 2 yrs of HS left. This is making me feel all bummy. Which brings me to. . . .

K, so like I promised, I'll tell U more abt my time in Corbeil this past wk. Thursday, after I dropped off my stuff in the Johnston Institute guest quarters, Dr. Artemis escorted me 2 this, like, small theatre. She whispered 2 me, "Lynn is a fan of amateur theatre, but she gets annoyed whenever she actually has 2 go out sumwhere 2 C it. So she had this little theatre built, and local theatre groups do performances 4 her here from time 2 time." I was like, "Oh, it's kind of like she's the Queen!" And Dr. A was all, "What do U mean 'kind of like'?" Which made me laff, but Dr. A kept this s00per-serious look on her face, so I dropped the laff.

NEway, there was a table up on the stage, kinda like a kitchen table? With 2 chairs, across fr. ea other. Mrs. Johnston, Stephanie, Nancy, Jackie, Liuba, Allison, and Laura were sitting in the front row. Ea one had a clipboard with a bunch of evaluation forms attached. Dr. A told me 2 got sit in one of the chairs, and then one by one, she had a bunch of guys sit down in the other chair and we were supposta get 2 know ea other. Every guy hadta either B a Milborough resident who xxpects 2 live there 4 the long haul, or sum2 who is willing 2 reloc8 2 Mboro.

Ea guy had one minute 2 chat w/me B4 Dr. A blew a whistle 2 let him know time was up. I had 2 have these quick "d8's" w/25 guys! Man, it was so totally draining, I can't even xxplain properly. I chatted w/, among others, tattooed and pierced drummers; hi-school students (not from R.P. Boire) including jocks, drama heads, computer geeks, and musicians; university students from all over Canada; garage mechanics, dance instructors, veterinary students, law students, firefighters, and one of the guys from Trailer Park Boys.

After that first round, I was sent out 2 have lunch in the caf (linguine alfredo) while the ladies conferred. This took abt an hour. Dr. A then escorted me fr. the caf 2 the theatre and she announced the guys who had made the cut from the 1st round. These were ten guys: (1) Adam Gentlesse, a veterinary student from Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph; (2) Axel Hibobbery, a drummer and music-store employee from Milborough; (3) Monty Sugarbaum, an honour student in grade 11 from the Unser Pipi Trinken Separate School of Milborough; (4) a Milborough firefighter named Hank Buontipo; (5) Myron Mygatz, a criminology student from York University; (6) Dennis North; (7) a Romanian acrobat named Florian Popinklorinescu; (8) a competitive Spelling Bee competitor from Saskatchewan, Piet Zorbeau; (9) an abstract-expressionist artist from Vancouver, Liam O'Leary; and (10) Corey Bowles, who plays Corey on the Trailer Park Boys.

For this second round, each guy had five minutes 2 chat w/me, while the ladies furiously took notes and murmured 2 themselves. This was kinda bummy, cuz it seemed like just when I'd sorta get comfortable an' start enjoying a convo, the time'd B up and the guy'd B hauled off the stage 4 the next "d8" 2 start. After these 10 speed-d8's, I got kicked out again (this time I went 2 the pool 4 a nice swim) so the ladies cd confer again. Then, once again, Dr. A went and got me. (Fortch, she let me shower and change).

We went back 2 the theatre, and Dr. A took from Mrs. Johnston a clipboard. She looked @ the clipboard and read the names of the 3 guys who R now 2 B considered childhood sweethearts for me. They are Adam Gentlesse, Axel Hibobbery, and Dennis North. She had each of these three guys come out on2 the stage and shake my hand. Then she gave ea one a "Johnston Institute For Better Living" tote bag, containing a binder full of background info on Pattersons, a handle-less coffee mug, and an autographed t-shirt.

Friday morning, I went 2 a kickboxing class w/Steph, Laura, Nancy, and Jackie. Afterwards, I was really thirsty, and I was all, "OMG, is there a water fountain." And Liuba came along with a paper cup of fruit punch, and she sed, "Drink this; it has electrolytes." I was so thirsty, I just grabbed it and chugged it down. Then, I looked @ the cup, and it sed, "The Kool Aid" on it. I was all, "OMG, did I just drink the Kool Aid?" And then Mrs. Johnston showed up out of nowhere and she was all, "Yes you did. Relax and don't try 2 resist. It will all B more pleasant if U don't try 2 resist."

Next thing I knew, I was attending workshops on punning, slapstick humour, "making the world a better place just by being a Patterson," "embracing yr OCD," martyrdom, and "co-existing grudgingly with our animal friends." Normally, this all wd have been unbearable, but that Kool Aid stuff was giving me this weird feeling of well being. By the end of the day, I thot Bobby Curtola records were super-cube.

Saturday morning, I took a spinning class w/Steph, Laura, Nancy, and Jackie. This time, I brought a bottle of water, so I slurped that after class. But the spinning class was so intense, I was like totally ravenous afterwards. I was all, "NE1 got a Luna bar or sumthin' like that?" And Liuba showed up with a bar, saying, "Yes, here's a Luna bar." So I unwrapped it and gobbled it down. Then I thot, "MayB I shda looked @ the wrapper 1st." I did, and it was, like, "The Kool Aid in Bar Form." I was like, "I can't believe I also ate the Kool Aid!" And Mrs. Johnston showed up and sed, "U've got filmstrips 2 watch." The filmstrips were all about the history of Pattersons converting "bad ppl" 2 good. Then I had 2 read this super-thick file on Jeremy Jones. After that, I needed 2 relax a bit, so I went off 2 the guest quarters and started listening 2 the Bobby Curtola records Mrs. Johnston had set up in my room.

That's when Jeremy, Howard, Mike, and Becky showed up, and they posted abt what happed when they did. And as we were leaving, Howard was all whispering, "Quick, B4 Mike sees--I have the antidote 2 all that Patterson Kool Aid in yr system." And he jabbed me w/a needle. He whispered, "U have Steph 2 thank. She sed she doesn't want 2 C U turn in2 '1 of them.'" Then U pretty much know the rest.


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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm back an' Mom shdn't have pets

Man, I M so tired 2day, I can't even tell U! When Dr. Artemis an' I left 4 Corbeil on Thurs. AM, I was all, "But I can't just B missing 2 days of school like that! It's v. v. imporant 4 me 2 do well, esp. in math and sci, cuz I wanna get in2 a gd vet school!" Dr. A was all, "Don't worry abt a thing. We've made arrangements 2 have Duncan Anderson catch U up on what U missed when U return." So, like, l8 last nite, after I'd been crashed 4 a while, my fone woke me up and it was Dunc saying I'd better get over 2 his house cuz they covered lotsa big stuff in school on Thurs and Fri.

So I went over 2 his house and we went over our assignment sheets. There were like a zillion math probs 2 do, and there's a project coming up in sci. We dug rite in and we were studying like, 4evs. Dunc's mom brought us sum delish snax while we studied, but I was having trub focusing after my s00per-weird few days. We were still working on the sci stuff around 3 AM, and we musta fallen asleep, cuz @ like 7 this morning, I woke up @ the Anderson kitchen table, my head using our sci text as a pillow. I have a hella sore neck!

So after having sum granola, I headed back home, and as soon as I walked in the door, Mom was all yelling @ me, pting @ my shoez just cuz they were a bit muddy. She didn't even notice the big string of drool dropping outta my mouth (I was kinda falling back asleep while standing, which was hella weird, but xxplains the droolies). A bit l8r, Dad came in from whatevs it was he was doing, w/a yucky runny nose, and I was all, "Stay outta Mom's way, Pop. ...She's acting like a real animal!" Which, come 2 think of it, is a real insult 2 animals.

But Mom heard me, and she came running, and she sed she was just upset cuz the animals had been acting up all morning. Eddy came in from the pouring rain, and even tho she was thinking "Don't shake, Eddy!" really really hard, the dog shook NEway. Then Buttsy chomped on an electric cord again (but only cuz Mom removed the special tape I'd put on 2 stop her from doing that, yo!). Then, Eddy blocked the laundry-room doorway, so Mom tripped on him as she came outta there. Then, she found Buttsy kicking up shavings from her cage, getting them all over Mom's floor as she was getting ready 2 use sum "Kleen" spray sumwhere. She found Dixierat sleeping on the chesterfield an' yelled @ her, and a mo l8r discovered Shiimsa climbing up a curtain. That's when I arrived an' got yelled @. Poor animals. Mom shd not co-exist w/pets.

So, my trip. When we got up 2 the Johnston Institute For Better Living in Corbeil, I got this creepy feeling that I'd seen this place B4. Then I realized this was cuz I'd seen pix on the website Steph maintains 4 Mom. Steph took me in2 an office in the main bldg, and there was this woman who looked like Mom after being on Extreme Makeover. U know, smaller nose, smaller butt, hair cut shorter and lightened, stuff like that. Weird. And she noticed me lookin' @ a pic she had in a frame, sum1 who looked like Liz, only with darker hair and a spark of life in her eyes. She was all, "I C U R looking @ a picture of my daughter, Kate. Kate is a lovely girl, but sadly she doesn't take my advice. She never went into teaching and she didn't stay close 2 home. Instead, she moved off 2 Vancouver, just like my son Aaron, the anti-Michael, had done yrs B4." She held up a pic of a guy who looked kinda like Mike, but slightly chubbier, w/a beard and mustache and a look on his face that made me think he didn't take himself 2 seriously. I had this weird feeling, like I wanted 2 B their sister, but that there was no way.

"April, I know what U're thinking," this woman sed, "but no, I never had a third child, unlike yr mother. But B4 I go in2 NE of that, I feel I shd introduce myself, even tho I know U better than NE1." She xxtended her hand 2 shake it. "Lynn. Lynn Johnston." As I shook her hand, I felt this weird, nearly electric-shock kinda feeling. "Pls," she sed, pting 2 a chair across fr. her desk. "Have a seat. Dr. Artemis, pls xxcuse us 4 a moment. I'm sure Nancy and Liuba have sum snaxx 4 U." Dr. A left, and I sat down.

I was like, "So, Lynn, Y am I here?"" And she was totally, "Please. Call me Mrs. Johnston."

Me: Sorry Mrs. Johnston.

LJ: No problem. I blame yr mother. For many, many things. Yr mother has clearly lost interest in U, I h8 2 say. Yr Dad, 2. There are sum important things they're 2 lazy 2 help U with.

Me: Am I going 2 live here now?

LJ [hysterical laughter] : Me, with a teenangster creature underfoot again? No way! I've got trips 2 Mexico and Spanish lessons 2 keep me bizzy. No, no, April, we're going 2 take care of sum bizness and then send U back new and improved.

Me: But I don't want--

LJ [angry] : Pls, never interrupt me!

Me: Sorry.

LJ: Again, I blame yr mother. I think I'll make her arse extra fat 2day. [Gets an evil grin on her face and starts sketching really fast on a sketch pad. Holds up a pic of my mom w/a miserable look on her face and a huge butt.]

Me: ::Gasp:: [Laughter]

LJ: I know, right? But don't 4get, I can use these powers against U, 2!

Me: Zits. Hair. Regressing 2 babyhood. . . .

LJ [impatient]: Yes, yes. I'm glad U understand. Anyway, April. As you can tell, yr parents can barely keep in their heads the idea that they have a 3rd child. And I have 2 confess, I haven't taken much of an interest in U since U stopped being Aypo. Boy were U cute! How I mourn the little coveralls-clad girl with the pageboy haircut, Farley @ her side. U were just full of beans, and U sed the darndest things! If only we cd have frozen U in time then, while letting the rest progress in real time. But that wdn't have been logical. Cursed logic! @ least this all has taught me that it's a good thing I wasn't able 2 have a third baby of my own, even tho 4 a while there I really wished I cd. Having Elly Patterson give birth 2 a l8-life "oops" baby was the next best thing. But U had 2 go an' grow up, and now U R a 16-yr-old w/2 more yrs 2 go B4 uni, and yr parents R cracking from not being able 2 go in2 "empty nester" life like my Rod and I have.

Me: Rod, is he that guy in the picture over there, who loox so much like Dad?

LJ: Duh. He's also a train nut and dentist. Tho unlike yr Dad he's already retired. Which makes yr Dad v. jealous, by the way.

Me: I'm not surprised.

LJ: Of course not. I mite not B that interested in U NEmore, but I did make U much smarter than Michael and Elizabeth. Poor saps. Oh, don't look so shocked. The strain of making them do all the things I wanted Aaron and Katie 2 do has made them both a bit dim. Michael and Elizabeth that is. Aaron and Katie have a will of their own, but they're also smart and resourceful. What a shame I cdn't pick and choose their attributes.

Me: But then U'd have a Mike and Liz.

LJ: Good pt. I really did make U smarter than Mike and Liz.

Me: So, where shd I live, @ the old house w/Mike an' Dee, or w/Mom @ Dad @ the teeny-tiny train house?

LJ [laughing]: Teeny-tiny train house! U slay me! But that's sumthing U need 2 figure out yrself. In fact, when yr memory clears up, U will probably realize that U already made a decision during this endless story that U and Mike have been recounting on yr blog, abt buying or not buying the Stibbs house.

Me: U know abt my blog?

LJ [rolls eyes]: Come on, now, April! Of course I know about it! Don't worry 2 much abt that, tho. It's not as if I actually read it myself. Steph checks in on it now and then, tho mostly 2 make sure U and yr friends R not viol8ing my copyrights or hotlinking 2 images on yr Mom's website. Every now and then, she gives me a v. v. general summary as 2 what U R discussing and how long it takes 2 tell a story.

Me: Oh.

LJ: Yeah, and I love a story that's stretched out, so when I hear it is taking U four weeks 2 tell the events of one day? Awesum! But don't worry. Yr mom doesn't know abt yr blog, and if she ever found out, she'd 4get an instant l8r. Yr mom h8's "the box" even more than I do.

Me: Yeah.

LJ: NEway, down 2 bizness. U need a larger array of childhood sweethearts, in case yr established ones turn out 2 B duds (C Patterson, Elizabeth as cautionary tale). And U need 2 turn Jeremy Jones 2 gd, 2 make him a suitable contender.

Me: But he's already. . .

LJ [irises turning red; voice coming out deep, male, and loud]: What did I say abt interrupting?

Me: Sorry, Mrs. Johnston.

LJ [back 2 "normal"]: That's better. Now, here's what we have in store 4 U. 2day we're going 2 have two rounds of "speed d8ing." Two rounds 2 fulfill the letter of the "two d8's and desire 2 marry" requirement of Patterson-Richards Accord Childhood Sweetheart laws. The end result of that will B 2 expand yr "childhood sweetheart" pool 2 a total of six potential Patterson spouses. Currently, U have 3: Gerald Millicent Delaney-Forsythe (curse him for that already-established last name!), Duncan Anderson, and, pending conversion 2 "good," Jeremy Jones. U need more. And don't worry abt yung Gerald getting angry or retali8ing against U 4 the speed-dating. His marriage consultant is well aware of these proceedings, and if he acts badly as a result, he understands that I will turn him in2 an animal, such as a dog, monkey, ocelot, or other creature to B named l8r. So he won't act out.

Me: [ . . .]

LJ: Thank U 4 not interrupting. The speed d8ing will take most of 2day. 2morrow, U will go thru a sort of Patterson boot-camp training. And Saturday's goal will B conversion of Jeremy Jones 2 good. [Buzzes an intercom] Liuba, come in and show April 2 her quarters. It's going 2 B an intensive 3 days 4 her.

I will tell U the rest l8r. I'm getting sleepy again! Howard, I'm sorry, but I don't remember what I d-cided abt the house sitch.


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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dispatch from Corbeil

Becky, Jeremy, Howard and Mike are here! Becks just threw me her fone so I cd post this 2 U.

So, they've all been posting abt stuff that's happed. Here's the digest. Mike, Thursday nite/Friday wee hrs, wrote:

Formerly little sis. Per your request while you are out in Corbeil, I am continuing to write about the events involving our visit to George Stibbs’ house and also the events which led up to you being taken to Corbeil. I hope your readers appreciate my efforts, but I doubt they will.

We had arrived home after visiting George Stibbs’ house and as my father often likes to do, he decided to summarize his position on the home-buying situation, in the vain hope that everyone would agree with him. As often as he has been doing this, (which is for as long as I can remember), I can’t think of a single instance where this technique worked, and this occasion was no exception. He said, “Well, that was an exciting visit, wasn’t it!...Selling this house to the kids and moving down the street makes sense!”

Then dad looked about and realized no one was saying anything and he said, “Why is everyone so quiet?” What I wanted to say was, “Dad. I never realized your hair was a toupee, and it is sliding off your head, and without it you bear a strange resemblance to Frankenberry.” However, mom stepped in to keep dad from realizing his hair was falling off his head, and she said, “You’re way ahead of us, John! Besides you and I have 30 years of stuff in this house!” Then we all went to silhouette so dad could pull his hair back up in the darkness. Mom continued on by saying, “You’re also forcing Mike and Deanna to make a huge decision!”

I found I actually had a small difficulty with both of mom’s points. Back last year around this time, mom retired and went on a cleaning binge throwing out most of her possessions from the last 30 years. There wasn’t that much stuff left. As for forcing me and Deanna to make a decision, that was not really true, since my wife had been scheming with my dad for the past month to get us into the old house. Deanna elbowed me and said, “Say something!” I said, “It could work mom……I’ve always loved this house.”

This had a positive affect on mom and she regained her calm composure briefly, until you came bounding down the stairs yelling, “WAIT A MINUTE! I LIVE HERE!...WHAT ABOUT ME?!” When Deanna saw you, she said to me, “Who’s that?” I said, “It’s my sister.” Then Deanna said, “You have 3 sisters?” Then I said, “No. That’s April.” And Deanna said, “You’re kidding.” I said, “No, really. This is April at 16.” Deanna said, “You don’t fool me, Michael Patterson. She has her fingers positioned at her armpits, just like someone doing an imitation of a chicken flapping its wings, and she certainly has the topknot for a chicken. Also, her mouth is shaped like a triangular beak. This is really a chicken person, isn’t it?” I said, “No, Deanna. This is really April.” Deanna said, “That’s all wrong. She’s supposed to look prettier at 16 and not like a chicken. I might have to make a call to get someone here to fix this.” Then she did. Whether or not it had something to do with your trip to Corbeil, I don’t know.

For April’s readers, more tomorrow.

Michael Patterson
Nope, my trip 2 Corbeil had nuthin' 2 do w/"looking like a chicken." Turns out this was a lighting/weird angle kinda ish.

Then, in the afternoon, Jeremy wrote:
april, i’m rilly thinkin’ good thots 4u. wut u don’t know iz i came home frum my internship @koolhaus last nite, aftah preppin’ the sound 4 the weekend shows & found dr. artemis talkin’ 2 my mom @my house. i cud hear her say 2 my mom, “thass not a bad idea, ms. jones. jeremy & april wud fit 2gethah like fingahz in a mitten.” my mom sed, “u mean like fingahz in a glove.” dr. artemis sed, “that wudn’t make ne sense.”

my mom sed, “u talked ‘bout settin’ up jeremy so he wud b converted 2 good by april, so he wudn’t turn out like his dad. i’d say the potential here is 4 them 2…not the delaney-forsythe boy.” dr. artemis sed, “can u sell jeremy on the idea?” then i walked in on them & i sed, “sell me on wut idea?” my mom sed, “dr. artemis has a suggest, which has merit.—why don’t we think about it?” i sed, “u mean ‘y don’t i think ‘bout it? it looks like u2 already made up ur mind.”

dr. artemis sed, “so sad 2c1 so young & yet so evil. i think ur rite, ms. jones. i will go ahead w/my plan & take april 2 corbeil.” my mom sed, “it wud b the best 4 every1 involved.” then dr. artemis left. i sed, “wut ru tryin’ 2 do, mom?” my mom sed, “don’t play coy w/me, jeremy. i punished u 4 ur part in that gym / jam, & then i heard ‘bout how u called the special needs kids ‘retarded’, w/o givin’ them ne explanation of wut the word means. ur turnin’ out just like ur dad, & i can’t just stand by & let it happ. dr. artemis sez april iz supposed 2 turn u2 good, cuz it’s part of her destiny.”

i sed, “wut is gonna happ 2 april?” my mom sed, “dr. artemis sed she needed 2 take a trip 2 corbeil, where, among othah thingz, she will be properly trained on how2 convert a bully n2 a good person.” i sed, “i don’t needta b converted 2 good. i’m not like my dad.” my mom sed, “thass just wut ur dad wud say.” & thass all she wud say & i cudn’t get her 2 change her mind.

neway, april, i’m rilly, rilly thinkin’ good thots 4u.
Weird, eh?

K, so Friday nite/v. early this morning, Mike was all:

Formerly little sis. Once again, per your request while you are out in Corbeil, I am continuing to write about the events involving our visit to George Stibbs’ house and also the events which led up to you being taken to Corbeil.

After you had made your appearance and entrance into the discussion about buying the Stibbs’ house and moving the families about, as you may have noticed (but possibly not, since your focus was clearly not oriented on anyone except you), mom left our little group muttering something about how her entire family had turned against her and she was going to call someone in Corbeil to fix the problem. Then as it always is when two or more Pattersons are gathered together, coffee cups must be filled and served. Dad even broke out the nicer coffee cups that have visible handles on them, but only three of them. I think this was either because dad considers coffee to be an adult drink, and at 16 years old, you are not an adult in his eyes; or it was because dad was afraid of giving you a hot beverage in your mental state at that time. There is also the possibility that dad can’t count properly, but that seems unlikely.

In any case, as dad was serving up the hot java, I clearly remember you saying, “If you sell this house to Mike and Deanna---where would I go?!” I remember the hand gesture you used and the sudden shift of your body to your right. I hope this doesn’t sound too creepy, little sis, but I also remember how your left breast was suddenly quite a bit bigger than your right, and I remember thinking to myself either, “Maybe this is the reason why April is leaning so much.” or “Whoa! Mike! Stop looking at your formerly little sis’ breasts.” I am not sure which one I thought.

Dad didn’t seem to notice your sudden anatomical change, as he was absorbed in coffee-pouring and he answered your question in an indirect way, which is to say he said, “The Stibbs’ house has 2 bedrooms, April.” Of course dad did not say, “And one of those bedrooms would be yours” which I really hoped he would say, so it would make me feel better about some of the ways dad looks at you.

You however, were not done with your physical changes. I remember looking at you, while you said, “But I like it here! I’m not ready to move!!!” Then you seemed to change bodies with one of those sports football guys. This change caught dad’s eye, and I noticed him looking over his shoulder lasciviously at you. I think it was this look which prompted me to say, “Then, you can stay here with us!

No matter my motivation for extending the invitation, my lovely Deanna jumped on the idea. You may not have noticed it, but Dee grabbed ahold of your left shoulder and looked straight into your eye and said, “We’d LOVE IT if you stayed with us!---Why don’t you stay with us?!!

Later, I asked Deanna why she was so enthusiastic about you staying with us. I know you suspected it was because Deanna wanted you to “be a live-in baby sitter!!!” for us, but the truth of the matter is a little more complicated than that. Back when we lived in Lovey Saltzman’s apartments, if Deanna needed a female voice to talk to, there was always Carleen Stein. Now we have been living in mom’s house for almost 4 months now, the one person Deanna feels comfortable talking is you. The Lizardbreath and my mom never play with the kids, but you do. Liz and my mom never ask Deanna how her day was, but you do. As I looked at you with your bulbous lips looking at my Deanna with her bulbous lips, the thought occurred to me, “I think Deanna has made a new friend.” I think my original reaction might have been more like, “Cheeze. My sister and my wife look more alike every day”, but I threw that idea out because when I thought it, I felt myself looking quite a bit like the Lizardbreath and I certainly did not want to have that transformation take place.

More tomorrow perhaps, formerly little sis. I hope your readers can stand the tension.

Michael Patterson
Then, l8r, Jeremy wrote this v. interesting post:
april, i'm kinda writin' this more az a record of wut happed than az a post 2u, so peeps will know wut's goin' on. it all started aftah i went out on my group date w/my v-girl vanessa & the v-girls. we didn't go 2c grindhouse like my v-girl vanessa wunted, & vanessa wuz in a bad mood the whole night. she told me i hadda take her 2c grindhouse by ourselves 2 make up 4 it. wen i sed, "duz this make us like bf/gf?", she kinda growled @me & sed sumthin' 'bout havin' me az a bf wud b like b-ing a live-in baby-sitter, so i guess it didn't.

neway i wuz @my house aftah droppin' off vanessa & i wuz in a kinda bad mood. i wuz brushin' my teeth & then this girl who looked like u b4 u turned 16 showed up in my mirror. i looked b-hind me & u weren't there, so i figgered i wuz gettin' a visit frum ur opposite in the mirror world, lirpA. i sed, "what do u want?" cuz i wuz still in a bad mood. she held up a sign written backwards 2 me which sed, "Watch video." then she held up her cell 2 the mirror & played a bunch of viddies she shot off her cell.

the 1st viddie looked like it wuz taken frum sum1's office mirror. it showed u w/dr. artemis & sum lady who looked a lot like ur mom xxcept w/shorter hair & a lot smaller nose. u were talkin' 'bout stuff & the lady gave u a drink, which u drank & sed sumthin' 'bout how the drink tasted rilly good. & the lady sed sumthin' 'bout how pattersons luv that drink. then u got this rilly big-eyed look on ur face. then the lady sed 2 dr. artemis, "she's reddy."

the 2nd video looked like it wuz taken frum a hand-held mirror & it wobbled a bit. but in the video, sum1 wuz givin' u instructions on the proper application of makeup, clothes & hair 2 enhance ur patterson allure. this video wuz rilly hard 4 me 2 look @, cuz every couple of seconds, i wuz proposin' marriage 2u. evn thru the proposin' i cud c, ur were startin' 2 look more & more like ur sis. ur lips were gettin' bigger & u were wearin' clothes like an old frumpy bag lady & 4 sum reasn i thot they looked rilly sexy.

the 3rd video looked like it wuz taken frum a giant mirror in a dance studio or sumthin'. u were wearin' like a pink karate outfit & there wuz a dummy mocked up 2 look like me. the instructor wuz teachin' u sum kinda weird self-defence where u wud knock down the dummy & then tweak his ear or give him a noogie & yell, "turn 2 good! jeremy! or else!" u looked like u were rilly gettin' n2 & a couple times wen u kicked the dummy between the legs, the instructor sed, "no, april. not there. u might need that sum day." it wuz freakin' me out.

the 4th video wuz u in a class room, & it looked like the viddie wuz frum reflection off sum kinda teachin' demonstration thing. the instructor wuz sayin, "if the pun iz not particularly funny, try 2 make ur eyebrows jump off ur head & make a rilly funny face & ur earrings leap off ur ears." u seemed 2b doin' a good job w/that part & u actually whacked the instructor in the head w/ur eyebrows once.

the 5th video wuz u back in the same class room, & the instructor wuz sayin' 2u, "how many puns can u make w/the word 'pastry'". then u were sayin' "'pastry' sounds kinda like 'pasty', so i cud pun on sum1's pasty skin aftah eatin' nothin' but pastries, like 'i think mom has had 2 many muffins, cuz she looks kinda pastry.'" the instructor sed, "excellent april. u cud b the finest punner the pattersons have had yet. i have seen this kinda natural talent since ur dad." then u kinda blushed & sed, "i hope i can b az good az dad."

that wuz the last viddie & then lirpA lifted anothah sign which sed, "Rescue her." i found a piece of paper & wrote backwards 4 her 2 read, "No way." then lirpA wrote anothah sign which sed, "The Jeremy I know will rescue April." i h8 it wen peeps r rite. i kinda nodded yes & lirpA seemed pretty happ 'bout that. 'course she wuz givin' a big hug 2 my reflection in the mirror & he seemed 2b happier than i wuz,evn tho he looked just like wut i wuz doin'.

so i told my mom 'bout the xxperience w/my mirror & asked her if she wud drive me 2 corbeil 2 rescue april. mom sed, "y wud i do that? u needta b turned frum bad 2 good & they r gonna train her how2 do it." so then i figgered i wud need help w/sum1 i cud trust 2 help me in this kinda sitch. i got on my bike & rode ovah 2 rebecca's place.

i got there & knocked on the door of rebecca's bungalow & rebecca sed, "wut r doin' here? if u wunt leftovahs frum howie's dinner, there aren't any." it musta been a good dinner cuz rebeccah had powdered sugar on her face & she's usually not that messy 'round food unless it's good or unless she's doin' sumthin' i don't wanna think 'bout. neway, i told her the story & asked 4 her help. she sed, "there's no way we're goin' up 2 corbeil 2 mess w/that witch up there. the last tyme howie went there he came back a dog. i'm not gonna get married 2 a dog. 'sides, howie & i r goin' put an offer on a house 2morrow. go away." then howeird showed up wearing nothin' but a chef's outfit & he sed, "i dunno if we shud get the house across frum the stibbs' place, becky. i just read this thing mike wrote on april's real blog & it looks like april may decide 2 stay in her same house." rebecca started cursin' a lot & then she told howeird wut i wuz there 4. howeird looked rilly nervous & talked 'bout the same dog incident, but rebecca wuz suddenly innerested in goin' 2 corbeil 2 ask u which house u picked 2 live in. i guess it's important 2 her 2 live nexta u 4 sum reasn. howeird sed he cud just w8 till u got back.

i sed, "ok. if u don't wanna help me, i needta find sum1 who will help." so, howeird looked kinda guilty & sed, "ok. if we go 2 corbeil, we needta have sum1 w/us 2 protect us frum b-ing destroyed. sum1 the witch likes." rebecca sed, "there's no1 the witch likes better'n mike patterson." i sed, "how do u know that?" rebecca sed, "i've read parts of his book." i hadda agree she hadda point.

so we got in howeird's car & he drove us ovah 2 ur 'rents place (the sharon park drive one). i stayed out in the car & howeird & rebecca went 2 the door & went in. wen they came back out, they had michael patterson w/them. he got in the car & sed 2 me, "jeremy. u r in 4 a treat. it's a good thing i'm not workin' @portrait magazine nemore or i wudn't have the tyme 2 do this." i started 2 wondah wut he wuz talkin' bout, wen he pulled out a laptop & started sayin' out loud 2 me. "stoned season. dedication: 2 the strong women in my life w/o whom this book wud nevah have been written, especially my beloved mother elly & the woman i married. chapter one. soldiers look so good in their tight little uniforms." i think i heard a silent scream in my head. it wuz the beginnin' of several hours of torture where i wud look @my watch & think, "it can't have been only 1 minute since the last tyme i looked @u."

we were several hours on the road & ur bro needed needed 2 take a little voice nap & that gave me the opportunity 2 write this. we r on our way 2 rescue u, assumin' i can survive listenin' 2 the rest of ur bro's book. this bettah be worth it.
OMG! And Howard added:

Jeremy Jones is writing a record of the events on our trip, so I thought I would add a few words in, while I can. We stopped for lunch, and Michael Patterson went into the washroom and he has been primping in the mirror for awhile now, so I figure it may take him awhile to stop looking at himself.

How did this happen? Last night, Jeremy came by Becky's bungalow and told us this strange story about the mirror girl lirpA. I never met her. As you may recollect the action which sent her back to the mirror world from our world was the same one who brought me back to life as a dog. Becky said she was a real slut, the exact opposite of the way you are, so I can only imagine why she would feel the need to have you rescued.

I never wanted to go to Corbeil again, after the last time, but Becky appealed to my better nature. We decided to get your brother, because we figured that if he managed to get the first publisher he sent his book to agree to publish it, then the witch must really like him. The only problem was convincing Michael to come with us.

Becky and I went to your house. She said she had a plan. So we knocked on your door & your sister Elizabeth answered the door. She took a look at me and said, "Aren't you supposed to be in prison?" I said, "I got acquitted and my sentence was reduced to time served." Then she looked at Becky and yelled out loud, "Mom, did Merrie turn 16?" Your mother yelled back, "No." But when she came in the room and saw Becky she grabbed her and started pulling her away from me, saying, "You aren't going to pull the shirt of another girl in our family, you rat!" Becky said, "I'm Becky McGuire. Let go of me, Jelly Fatterson." Your mother looked startled for moment, but said, "It figures an only child like you would end up with Howard Bunt. Why are you here?"

Becky said, "We want to talk to Michael." Your mother said, "He's in a conference with John and Deanna. It seems like all they do these days is talk about their plans without me, like I don't exist." Elizabeth said, "Or me either." The dogs were in the room and they barked something, which sounded to my ear like, "Or us either", but I could have been imagining things.

In any case, they got Michael and he came along with Deanna and your dad. Deanna had powdered sugar around her mouth for some reason, which I don't want to think about. Becky said, "April has failed to convert Jeremy Jones to goodness, but we have Jeremy out in the car to take him to Corbeil to be converted to good. In order for the transformation to be complete, we need to expose Jeremy to something so wonderful and so fantastic, he cannot help being changed." Michael said, "My novel! I can read him my novel! You don't mind if I go, do you mom?" Your mother said, "Of course not. Jeremy must be converted, and April is too lazy to do it." And it was as easy as that.

After Mike went to get his laptop, I said to Becky, "That was great. I am so lucky I have such a smart fiancee." Becky said, "You don't have to be smart to outwit a Patterson. I just hope we can stand to listen to Mike's novel all the way to Corbeil." I said, "I have earplugs in my car." Becky said, "We'll only put them in if we have to." I think we were about a kilometre from your parents' house when they went in.

Mike has finally finished in the washroom. He looks just like your sister Elizabeth with short hair. It's scary how he does that. Time to go.

Howard Bunt
Yeah, it's way spooky when Mike loox like Liz. So, yeah, more deets 2morrow after my brain gets a chance 2 process what happed a bit better. Big congrats 2 Howard on the acquittal and 2 him an' Becks 4 their plans 2 get her emancip8ed an' get a house in my nabe. That'd B sooper-cube!

During their road trip Mike sed:

Formerly little sis. Sometimes there comes a moment when you realize that your work can have a purpose aside from becoming the great Canadian novel, jumping to the top of the bestseller list, and winning all kinds of writing awards. Sometimes, your work can actually change someone’s life. That moment was granted to me, when we received a strange request from the evil Howard Bunt, the slatternly Becky McGuire, and the bullying and rapidly-aging Jeremy Jones; for me to read my novel Stone Season to them.

Becky and Howard tried to make it seem like I would be reading the book just to convert Jeremy to good, which I know is your job, but if I accomplish it, then I will be happy for you to take credit. The only requirement was that I had to ride with them on a car trip to Corbeil, one of my favourite places to go. The scenery is so beautiful up there. After you are living with me and Deanna, if we take any family vacations, I am sure Corbeil will be high on our list of places to visit and you are welcome to stay with us on that trip. You’ve been in Corbeil for at least a day or two now, and I am sure you are falling in love with the place, just as I did years ago, when I was uncertain about whether or not I wanted to become a writer. They have the most marvelous drink they serve there. Just drinking it seems to take all the troubles of the world away. It is quite a learning experience too, as I am sure you are finding out. I learned I wanted to be a writer, and I gave up any idea that I might want to be a photographer. Certainly my success in my writing career has been the proof I made the “write” decision.

As I read my novel to Jeremy, I can see the change coming over him. Each time I say, “Does that passage make you feel like you are turning to good, or do I need to read it again?” Jeremy always says he is turning to good. I can tell it having an effect on Becky and Howard too. They think I can’t see those ear plugs, but little do they suspect it just makes me speak louder, and I can tell from their reactions they can hear me, even though their ears are plugged. With any luck, by the time we get to Corbeil, 3 of the biggest villains in our family history will have a complete change in personality. If only Kortney Krelbutz could have been with us. Oh, well. I hope to see you soon in Corbeil.

Michael Patterson
And then, a desperate Jeremy was all "april, if we don't get 2 corbeil, soon, i think i am gonna kill myself."

Becks chimed in with
well, we're still on r trip 2 corbeil. i'm sure howie or jer will come by soon 2 tell the deets. i m here 2 ask advice abt the whole "home buying" sitch. on 1 hand, i found a house across the street frum the stibbs house, 4 $50,000 plus a full set of bobby curtola records. but then i got a phone call frum my realtor while we have been on r trip. the peeps who live across frum the patterson house on sharon park drive r looking 2 sell. they r willing 2 go as low as $75,000, but no bobby curtola records need 2 b involved. they r in sum kind of hurry. the realtor sed sumthing abt how the owners have seen a bunch of slutty, big-lipped women an' giant chickens over @ the patterson house l8ly. also sum hyperactive midgets an' peeps w/ mutated noses an' chins. they r moving away bcuz they r afraid it mite b caused by sum sort of radioactive contamination in the nabe or sumthing. she also sed the neighbors r v. upset about all the peeps an' cars an' junk they've seen in the yard over there, "it's like the clampetts or sumthing" they sed. neway, howie an' i r mulling over r options. apes, u should try 2 let us know where u r gonna live. it could help us.

btw, these ear plugs work gr8.

And then a bit l8r, they got here, Becks threw me her fone, and I wrote U all this stuff I just wrote:


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Scheme

Mike posted the next bit of what happed when he an' Dee went w/Mom an' Dad 2 C the Stibbs choo-choo house:

Formerly little sis. There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to arrange an elaborate scheme in order to convince his wife to do something. Our dear father has been lusting over George Stibbs’ home and property for the better part of the last 19 months, and after our mother refused to let him buy it, he began this elaborate scheme of pretending it would be a good home for Deanna and me and the kids. And I suppose from mom’s perspective, this might make sense. After all, Deanna and I spent the last 5 years living in a 2-bedroom apartment, so a 2-bedroom house would be an improvement. However, with Deanna’s desire for a place with at least 4 bedrooms, George’s place would never have been satisfactory for us.

As we were looking through George Stibbs’ house during our visit, George magically reappeared from he had disappeared, with his sleeves rolled down since the last time we saw him. Deanna pulled me into a silhouette and said, “Mike, we should step over here and let George work.” I said, “George work what?” Deanna said, “The routine he is going to play on mom.” I said, “What routine?” Deanna said, “To convince mom to buy his house.” I said, “You’ve got to be kidding!”

But she wasn’t kidding. George looked at my dad and mom and said, “That’s not a bad idea, John! You and Elly would fit in here like fingers in a glove! You talked about setting your trains out back there on the property—I’d say the potential here is for you two…not the kids!” Deanna said, “Wow, George is one awful actor.” I said, “Because of the way he can instantly gain weight by just moving his right arm? I thought that was a pretty good trick.” Deanna said, “No. He has completely overplayed it. Elly has her hand on her hip and she’s not looking at George. She’s glaring at your dad.” I said, “How do you know about this?” Deanna said, “Your father and I commute to work every day he goes to work, and we have been discussing our financial future for the last month. He knows how good I am at scheming, and so he enlisted my help for our mutual benefit.” I said, “Then you know what George is going to do next?” Deanna said, “If it’s like what he just did, he is going to completely overdo it.”

Then George put his hand on dad’s shoulder and looked him earnestly in the eye and said with trembling lips, “Sell them YOUR place!!” Deanna groaned. She said, “George is as subtle as your mom’s cooking. He looks like he is professing his love to your dad, not offering to sell him his house. I hope your dad can recover.” And recover is exactly what dad tried to do.

He looked at mom as smooth as could be, without even taking his hand out of his pocket and said, “George’s suggestion has merit, Elly.---Why don’t we think about it?” Deanna moaned. “Geez, Mike. You’re dad’s almost as bad an actor as George. Your mom’s not going to be fooled by that line. ‘Has merit’. Who says that?”

Sure enough, mom’s response was “You mean, ‘Why don’t I think about it?’” Then George had a suddenly disoriented, discombobulated, look. I thought he might have been surprised by mom figuring out dad’s scheme so easily; or he might have been concerned that mom, while doing our patented Patterson splay of hand to the breast gesture, had broken her wrist. Later on, George confessed to me that he briefly couldn’t tell the difference between mom and dad, which is a common problem, but shocking if you’re not accustomed to it.

Mom’s evil eye on dad soon faded and she started to look around the house as she said, “It looks like you’ve already made up your mind!” George winked at dad either indicating he thought the scheme had worked on mom, or it was some kind of pick-up signal. I don’t know which one. Dad looked a little miffed at George, no doubt from his poor acting performance, or because he was trying to pick up dad right in front of mom. It’s hard to say with the gestures of the very old, what they truly mean. All you can know for sure is that if a husband wants something from his wife, he has to enlist the help of his daughter-in-law and use an elaborate scheme.

And yes, formerly little sis, I will have more for you tomorrow.

Michael Patterson
Interesting that no1 mentioned ME having 2 live w/Mom and Dad. I wonder if that meanz they intend 2 haul me off 2 the farm. Or the Catholic military reform school in Ottawa.

Oh, and OMG! Dr. Artemis, that Patterson childhood sweetheart/potetial spouse consultant? She's here now and she's taking me up 2 Corbeil, 2 the Johnston Institute For Better Living! She won't tell me what's gonna happ up there, only that I'm gonna B away until sumtyme Saturday evening. And she sez I prolly won't B able 2 get online the whole time I'm there, so no upd8's from me here until I get back on Sat.

I'm a bit scared, ppl, so pls think gd thots 4 me! Pls check the comments 2 this post 4 upd8's from Mike and others. I'll do a catching-up post when I'm back.


P.S. RIP Kurt Vonnegut. :(

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Trading Spaces?

Mike posted this bit in the wee hrs this morning. Seems he, Mom, Mike, an' Dee went 2 look @ the Stibbs Teeny-Tiny Train House:

Formerly little sis. The day finally arrived in which mom would get to see what George Stibbs’ house looks like. As you know Deanna and I had pretty much decided before we went that the house was too small for my family, so the trip ostensibly was to satisfy mom’s curiosity. Dad had written in his monthly letter from February that the house had marble countertops, oak trim done everywhere, with some tile floors; so I was curious to see if there actually were those things in the house, or if dad, as he does so often in his monthly letters, was simply making things up. I am glad to say I did see some oak trim where the wall met the ceiling.

As mom entered the house, she does as she normally does when she enters someone’s house---she tells the owner what a lovely house they have. Some people might shake hands with the owner or ask to be invited in, but that is not the way mom does it. I remember once, Mira Sobinski, told me it was polite to greet people as you entered their house. She obviously didn’t know what she was talking about.

George responded to mom’s statement with “Uh-huh…We designed it for our retirement.” I know how that is. Deanna and I have often said that we would not get nice furniture until our children were full grown, and the time spent in our room with the new furniture there is certainly a good example of that. In any case, I understood George perfectly. Save the nice house for your retirement.

Dad got confused though, and he was whispering to me. He said, “Please forgive George. This is a wartime house, built shortly after World War II for wartime veterans coming home. George may be old but he’s not old enough to have designed the house for his retirement. What he really means is that he redecorated the interiour for his retirement.”

Then George started wandering off talking about something or other having to do with how there used to not be many houses here 10 years ago before his wife died. I sort of tuned him out and he sort of tuned us out, too, and walked away. Then Dad whispered, “Lois died last year, so George has only been here for the last 11 years. I think he has forgotten we live just down the road from him. The neighbouhood wasn’t that barren 11 years ago. You were only 19 then, Mike. Then dad launched into a story about how things were 11 years ago. Deanna rolled her eyes at dad so hard, I thought they were headed off her head.

I suddenly realized I had forgotten to zip up, so I went over to the window in silhouette to disguise my actions. Mom came over to help, and then said to me in a voice plain enough for everyone to hear, “Your dad has always loved this corner lot. What do you think, Michael?” I replied in a loud enough voice for everyone to hear, “It’s pretty nice, alright. But there are only two bedrooms.” Then mom said per her cue, “Yes, the house IS small.” Dad had been muttering about how he liked the place because it was on 3 lots, and not because it was a corner lot, but interrupted himself saying, “But….you could add on!!” I whispered to mom, “Does dad know we’re not buying this place?” Mom said, “Apparently not. Why doesn’t he listen when I tell him things?”

So, I decided to squelch dad right then and there. I was feeling about 10 cm taller than he was, and I said, “Dad! For what this house and property are worth…Deanna and I could buy YOUR place!!” I have to admit that was putting it on the table for me. I threatened him where he lives. I touched his chest and even gestured to dad down below as if I were getting ready to touch him personally, an action which usually gets his attention. Mira Sobinski says when I do that with Wilf Sobinski, it makes me look like some kind of pervert. Shows how much she knows. I had dad’s complete attention and he gave one of those looks he does, where he has no mouth, or eyes, or nostrils. It’s difficult to read his emotions when he is like that, but I knew it was a positive response.

That’s it for right now, formerly little sis. I’ll save the rest for tomorrow.
Michael Patterson
LOLfulness. Stay tuned 2 C if they reached the conclusion that it wd B a gd idea 4 Mom & Dad 2 take the lil house an' let Mike an' Dee an' the littles have the big Pattermanse.

Oh, and Anthony, Liz has a major hangover and dried vom in her hair this morning. And Dad doesn't look so gr8 either. MayB when U guyz go out drinking 2gether, U shd make sure it's not a school/work nite. I M pretty sure Liz is gonna call in "sick." Dunno abt Dad, tho.


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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Widower Humour?

So, I started 2 tell U, in yesterday morning's entry, abt a recent visit my dad had w/George Stibbs, the guy who owns the lil house my dad has been totally lusting over 4 the longest, longest, LONGEST [boring] time. Cuz it has a big yard. Where a choo-choo guy like Dad wd B able 2 stick a huge model-train layout.

NEway, I've heard that when they were in the house having coffee, Mr. Stibbs was all, "I've had an appraisal dun on this place, John.... Looks like it's worth quite a sum--w/the property and all." He showed Dad sum papers 2 demonstr8 what he meant and asked, "Do U think U'd B interested?" Erm, has he not been paying attention to all the stalking? But insteada saying that, Dad was like, "Umm... When can we come and look it over?" Mr. S was like, "NEtime, now. I've cleaned 'er up sum. She's in pretty gd shape. I h8 2 sell, but I can't live here alone. Nope. Can't do it. My boys tell me 2 re-marry... But when Lois died, I decided that from then on.... I'd go it alone." It seems Dad was all, "I think... If Elly died... I'd do the same thing." Mr. S: "Yep. ...Once is enuf." Dad felt himself having a gobsmacked look in response 2 that. MayB he was also thinking of that terrible comment from Mike abt buying a house being "worse" than getting married.

Oh, and what is the deal w/ppl referring 2 places an' things as "her" and "she"? I know I remember Gordo doing that w/his garage (when it was still just a garage an' not yet the mega-emporium it is now). What's wrong with using "it"? These places and things do not have a gender (@ least not in English). Sheesh!


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Monday, April 09, 2007

Here comes a boring transition

It seemz that on a recent doggie walk, Dad ran in2 Mr. Stibbs, owner of the "teeny-tiny train house" Dad has been lusting over in our neighbourhood 4evs cuz he likes 2 fantasize abt having a huge choo-choo layout on the gigantic lawn the house has. Of course "ran in2" makes it sound way more random than it was, cuz Dad ALWAYS walks by that house when he walks the doggies. That's the only reason he ever even walks the dogs, despite what he told Mr. Stibbs (I'll get 2 that in a sec, don't worry).

So, like, Dad saw Mr. S was out raking leaves, and Dad was all, "Hey there, George!" And Mr. Stibbs went, "Hi. John! ...Taking the day off?" And Dad sed, "Yes, all the better 2 stalk U, mua-ha-ha!" Just kidding, tho that wda been true. Instead, it seemz Dad was like, "Yeah. I decided 2 do the spring clean-up, fix the back door, rake the yard. U know... All the things a guy h8's doing." And I've heard that Mr. Stibbs was all, "So... U're walking the dogs." And insteada admitting what his only reason 4 ever walking the canines is, Dad was like, "Yeah. NE xxcuse 2 put off work is fine w/me." And Mr. S sed, "I just put a pot of coffee on." And Dad, walking toward the TTH, was totally "Fine with me!"

Sorry so boring. Transitions, eh?


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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter, Peeps!

Hey, so it's Easter, ppl! Have a Happy one! Check this comment that Mike posted v. v. early this A.M.:

Formerly little sis. When it comes to Easter, there is nothing like having an elder family member give wisdom to a young child. This Easter, I was looking forward to our traditional Easter Egg hunt and chocolate bunny-eating celebration, and seeing how “hopped up” my children would get from the consumption of sugar, when my wife Deanna said these ominous words, “Now that we are planning to be homeowners in this community, Michael, I think it is time for us to take our children to church. It would help become more a part of the community.” My mouth dropped, and the rest of the family, which I will note included you, suddenly disappeared. Deanna then said in a loud voice, “But we can go shopping for Easter dresses.” This managed to lure my mother out of hiding, because she claimed she wanted to get a new scarf to de-frumpify her dress. Whether she was successful or not, I will leave that judgment to others.

Easter came and in order to beat the crowds, we opted to go to a very early service (early enough so I can write this to you) and it still be on Easter. Deanna was in her pink Easter dress, and my daughter was in her purple one and a white sweater. I was wearing a green jacket and striped green tie, which Deanna had picked out for me when she went shopping. I felt like a golfer, but I restrained myself from mentioning it to Deanna, who was still a little mad from what I said to her yesterday. Our son went into hiding, and then, as you know, mom said, “It’s time to go, April.” Then you said, “I’ll go find Robin by offering him some cake.” Then you disappeared and it got to be so late waiting for you and my son, we decided to leave without you (which I suspect was your plan all along).

The four of us (me, Deanna, mom, my daughter) went to the service, and as predicted, it was early enough so that the place was respectably full but not excessively so. I sat in my seat, very nervous because (to be honest), it had been so long since I had been in a church, I had forgotten what it was about. None of the women with me seemed to be bothered, and my daughter kicked her feet back and forth casually waiting for the service to start.

Once the service started, my daughter ‘s attention was initially rivetted, as she leaned forward with her elbow on her kneee. Then we saw a man and woman in robes speaking and gesticulating to the audience. It was at this point I thought I saw the man who assaulted Elizabeth, Howard Bunt, sitting directly in front of us with 2 burly women sitting next to him. I tried not to attract his attention, but drew my daughter closer to me in case he decided to turn around and pull my shirt or grab my daughter’s sweater.

Then we had to stand and look at this book kept in a rack in front of us. My daughter stood with us, but she was too little to be able to read the book. Then we sat down again, and I was so nervous, I had to take my right hand and hold on to Deanna for moral support.

Then my daughter leaned down in the pew with her little legs spread apart. Mom leaned over to her and said, “Meredith. Stop leaning down like you’re going to go roadside. It’s bad enough you look like Becky McGuire. You don’t have to act like her.” Then Deanna shushed mom and told her not to use that term with a 4-year-old in church. Mom seemed appropriately embarrassed and didn’t say any more.

Then my daughter turned to me. I was afraid she was going to ask me what “roadside” meant, but instead she asked me, “Daddy?” Fortunately, that was a question I could easily answer. I said, “Yes, Meredith!” But much to my surprise, Meredith had a followup question. She asked, “When do they get to the part where Jesus meets the Easter bunny?” My mind was racing. I thought back through It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, but I couldn’t remember any part which talked about Jesus meeting the Easter Bunny, or even the Easter Beagle. Listening carefully to the robed people in front, they seemed to be convinced Jesus had something to do with Easter, so it was possible a meeting took place.

I looked at Deanna, and she appeared to be just as confused as I was. Then mom spoke up and said, “Jesus died, an’ in free days, he came alive again! An’ ev’ybody was so happy they made hats! Den, the Easter Bunny liked the hats, so he gived ev’ybody some eggs an’ some chocolate.” I said, “Where did you learn that mom?” Mom said, “April went to Sunday School once a long time ago, and that’s what she told me. My daughter said, “Thanks for telling me, Grandma Elly.” And Grandma Elly beamed.

That’s what happened.

Michael Patterson
Mike, yeah, so when I told Mom that stuff? I was five! I can't believe Mom never realized a got the Easter story a bit mixed up. This reminds me of the stand-up routine where Ellen DeGeneres sez that Santa Claus didn't come along until Jesus was in grade four!

BTW, when I found Robin, he was curled up on Edgar's lil doggie bed. The poor guy was so pooped, I didn't have the heart 2 wake him. Dad and I R gonna take him 2 a l8r service this morning so he doesn't hafta miss out. Liz sez she can't go cuz she has cramps.

So, the d8 last nite w/Ger. Très Chère was a v. v. nice restaurant. And Ger was v. v. attentive. What I didn't realize was that his "marriage advisor" was going 2 B sitting @ one adjacent table, and that my "childhood sweetheart/potential Patterson spouse" consultant from the Johnston Institute for Better Living, Diana Artemis, Esq., Ph.D., Ed.D., would be @ another. And they'd B taking notes on their laptops and making screen captures w/lil webcams. That was kinda weird. But Ger was v. v. sweet.


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