April's Real Blog

Friday, September 14, 2007

Here's another reminisce-o-gram from Mike:

Formerly little sis. I know I promised you and your Blog fan base I would talk more about Gramma Marian and what a “great” grandmother she was; but I got a last minute input from mom. She handed me 4 pictures and said, “Talk about these instead, Mike.” I said, “Are these pictures I have ever seen before?” Mom just gave me an evil look.

I showed my daughter the first picture and the script said, “One time, my mom took Elizabeth and me all the way to Vancouver to see Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marian.” My daughter said, “You said Gramma and Grampa before.” I said, “I know. But I have Grandpa and Grandma in this script from mom. Now, look at this picture.” In the picture was mom with the scarf she always seemed to wear around Grandma Marian. She had a suitcase under her left arm and with her right arm, she was pushing a stroller with Elizabeth in it. Mom was doing a pretty good job with that pushing, because when I try to push a stroller with only one hand, the stroller usually goes off to one side. She must not have been going too fast, because there I was hovering in front of her. The word balloon for the picture said, “Michael. I want you to get on the same plane we’re on.” My daughter said, “You could get on a different plane than your mom?” I said, “No. When I tried it, it didn’t work.”

My daughter stared at me blankly, so I showed her the next picture and read the script, “It was a long trip. I remember, because Elizabeth cried all the way.” In the picture was me wearing my Patterson man sweater/shirt combination with my fingers in my ears, mom holding Elizabeth by her shoulder and her stomach in the next seat, and a grumpy-looking man in the seat next to mom. My daughter said, “Look, Daddy. That guy in the picture next to Gramma Elly doesn’t have any arms.” I said, “No wonder he looks so grumpy.” My daughter said, “I think he’s grumpy ‘cause Auntie Liz was crying. Look what the word balloon says.” And sure enough, the word balloon said, “She must have a problem with her ears!” That’s some pretty good crying, if you hurt not only the ears of the people around you, but your own ears too.

I showed my daughter the next picture and read the script which said, “Mom was really miserable, which made me kind of happy…” In the picture, I was reading with my eyes closed, and mom held Elizabeth over her shoulder to point her crying noises at the seat behind us. It looked like that trick worked, since there was a little explosion back there. My daughter said, “You were mean when you were little, Daddy.” I said, “Not mean. There are lots of things you can do with a crying baby on a plane; but mom prefers to be miserable and suffer. It’s only when she is miserable and suffering, that mom is truly happy.” My daughter said, “And when she eats.” I said, “And when she eats. That’s right, too. So, if mom is really miserable, she is really happy, which means I should be happy too. Doesn’t that make sense?” My daughter said, “No, Daddy.” I said, “Let’s look at the next picture.”

The last picture was a picture of me with just a pupil for an eye and no sclera, which is how I looked in those days. I was still reading, only now I had a smile on my face. My mom looked over at me, and my little sister “Blurbp”ed up the green and red thing she had eaten for lunch. I read the script which said, “’Cause next to my baby sister, I was beginning to look like an angel!” My daughter said, “You don’t look like an angel in the picture. You look like the devil.” I said, “Daughter. You have to understand mom to understand why I looked like an angel. Now, what am I doing in the picture?” My daughter said, “Reading a book.” I said, “And how does my mom feel about reading books?” My daughter said, “She talks about reading books to us all the time, but she never does.” I said, “I mean, how does my mom feel about people who read books?” My daughter said, “They are like God.” I said, “And how would an angel look to my mom?” My daughter said, “Like a person using his wings to read a book.” I said, “Exactly.” My daughter said, “You still look like a devil.” I said, “What’s important is I looked like an angel to mom and I still do, even to this very day.”

More tomorrow, formerly little sis. Perhaps I will speak of Grandma Marian. It all depends on what mom hands me.

Michael Patterson
Y'know, Mike, I was surprised when Mom got me making fake old pics in Photoshop again, since I figured there were enuf real old pics 4 U 2 use 4 the reminiscing. Especially since I know I've seen pics of U, Liz, and Mom visiting Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marian during this early trip. There R even pics of Dad dropping U off @ the airport and pics on the plane. I dunno Y Mom thinx we need 2 supplement them. Also, there R pix from a l8er trip when U were older and Dad went w/U 2, and U all also went 2 Winnipeg and saw the other grandparents. So, Y'd U make it sound like this trip U just told Merrie abt was the ONLY time U ever went 2 visit Mom's parents? Or is it one of those tricky choice-of-words things. "One time, my mom took Elizabeth and me," as opposed to other times, when Mom AND Dad took U?

NEway, it sounds like Merrie has a pretty clear idea of what kind of a kid U were!


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  • At 7:05 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    The joke's really on Mike, isn't it. I've noticed your older siblings have distinct trouble with facial expressions. Mike clearly had no idea that Elly probably wanted to force feed him that book for sitting there grinning while she had to comfort a sick, scared-out-of-her-mind infant because he can't read body language. Liz, on the other hand, has no idea what her facial expression IS. Last March, during the party, her mind was telling Warren "I'm in between men right now and even if I weren't, you're not the sort I'm looking for." She had no idea her facial expression could only be interpreted "Take me here, take me now, my stallion of the skies." Half of the trouble in her life stems from the fact that her facial expressions rarely match her real mood.

  • At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I really wish you would read more carefully. “One time, my mom took Elizabeth and me all the way to Vancouver to see Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marian.” That was a part of script which went along with the pictures, not an actual thing I wrote. Obviously mom really wanted to say, “Once upon a time” but decided on “One time”, probably to avoid comparisons with fairy tales. We all visited Grandma Marian more than once, as you well know.

    Also, I see your friend pretending to be the tiny, parasitic, Amazon catfish is still writing to you. I don’t know why a catfish would be criticizing my ability or Elizabeth’s ability to read facial expressions, but his/her/its logic fell apart when, unable to find an example of Elizabeth’s inability to read facial expressions, instead turned to stating that Elizabeth was unable to interpret her own facial expression. Catfish may have different expectations of facial expressions because their eyes are on two different sides of their heads, but most people I know can’t see their faces to interpret their facial expressions unless they use a mirror, and that includes our sister Elizabeth.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 2:11 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    I stand my assessment. Most people are aware at some level what their bodies are doing and don't need to look in a mirror. As an example, I know I'm sitting here smirking while I'm reading Michael's exercise in long-winded, ignorant bombast. Liz can either be explained as someone who's getting mixed signals or, more likely, learned to deal with a socially awkward situation by smiling a plastic smile and hoping she isn't misinterpreted.

  • At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Maxine Hebert said…

    These stories are very nice and fun, Michael, but what about your wife Deanna? I don't know I've ever met you, but I promise that Dee and I are very close friends. In fact, I'd say we're best friends! Anyway, I grew up with her and I remember having lots of fun times with her family. I know her mom comes off as a little mean and selfish, but no one is all evil! She can be a very nice, charming lady. I know Dee has some pictures of her when she was younger, and some pictures of them doing fun things together. She was also very close with her grandparents, who are immigrants from Poland. All in all, her life is very interesting, too. Why isn't your daughter intestered in that?

  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    She probably would be interested and both her parents would gladly tell her about her mother's side of the family history, Maxine, but I fear Deanna's album may have been lost in the apartment fire nine months ago. Ah, well. She'll ask and
    find out eventually.

  • At 3:36 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    mike, i talked 2 mom, and she enjoyed pting out that i was mistaken abt sumthing. she told me that in 1983, she and dad took mike and liz out 2 winnipeg, but NOT 2 vancouver. the following yr, mike flew out 2 vancouver all by himself 4 a visit w/grandpa jim and grandma marian.

    dreadedcandiru2, mike is stubbornly un-self aware. maxine, i wd like 2 hear stuff abt dee's memories from growing up, but i'm guessing we will only hear the ones that involve mike.


  • At 4:13 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Not only he is not self-aware but the blustering simpleton doesn't know what an online handle is. I'll bet he can't actually make heads or tails of the thick pile of gibberish he wrote. To him, it's a grand and glorious saga of human endurance. To people who speak plain English, it's either the War Bride lifted clean or his loading down the sad life history of his old landlady with fifty-dollar words.

  • At 7:24 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    yeah, i think mike believe u r an actual fish, and he is trying 2 figure out how a fish can get computer access and learn howta type, lolol!


  • At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I see the person who thinks he is a translucent, eel-like fish (I know a fish can't type, eh?) is still writing to you. He/she/it seems to know a lot about smirking and smiling, which is a little unusual for a fish. I was fortunate to have seen a real candiru on display at an aquarium in Halifax a few years ago. I can’t say that I recollect it smiling or smirking, so perhaps this person is putting his/her/its personal affectation on this poor innocent river dweller.

    As for his/her/its accusation I cannot make heads or tails of the thick pile of gibberish I wrote, I can tell the river creature wannabe is not accustomed to handling good, solid paper. There is nothing like the paper copy of a manuscript. Some authors would say that it is even more important than the copy you have on your laptop or electronically stored in your editor’s office. When you have your hands on your paper manuscript you can certainly make heads or tails of it. Page 1 is the head. The page with”The End” on it is the tail. Of course, it is silly to try and explain something so simple to a person who thinks he/she/it is a fish.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    Maxine Hébert,

    I think I remember you. You were in my wedding, the fake one backin 2001 I mean, and not the real one back in 2000. It’s good to hear from you and certainly a lot better than having a conversation with someone who thinks they are a fish.

    Deanna does have some albums which were saved from our apartment fire and hand-delivered to us by some firefighters. The reason why my daughter is not that interested in them, is because she has seen them all before. They were in the apartment with us, and Deanna left them out, especially for my children’s younger years when they needed to be reminded which of their grandparents was good or evil.

    These other photo albums of mom’s, my daughter has never seen, so naturally she is more interested in them. As everyone knows, young children hate repetition and only like to see things they have never seen before.

    However, I have it on good authority that my lovely Deanna will tell the story about how she disappeared from my life after our elementary school years together. But first I have to let my daughter know how my grandmother Marian was great.

    By the way, Deanna wants to know if you’re married with children yet, so she can socialize with you again.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger howard said…


    My girls vie for my affection too, kind of like your sister and your brother did with your mom, except with less crying and vomiting. They are both at the ages where the father plays the important of giving them the love and acceptance they need from a male figure, and a lot safer than it would be to get it from boys their age. I would hate to get a call from the school saying a teacher caught either María or Ana kissing a boy at school, particularly at their ages of 10 and 12. They are way too young. That would be a sign I was not doing my job as a father.

    By the way, something interesting happened this morning. After my shower, I found writing in the steam on the washroom mirror, and my daughters and wife Beatrice swear they had nothing to do with it. It said, “yrrow t’nod lirpA lleT” I wrote it down, but I have no idea what it means. Nothing comes up when I Google it. The idea someone snuck into the washroom while I was taking a shower makes me a little nervous. We had the police over and they searched the house thoroughly but didn’t find anyone. I am definitely going to keep the doors and windows of our house locked tonight.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 9:12 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omg, howard, don't u c? that must've been a message fr. lirpa, my "mirror" self, escaped again from her "mirror" world. i wonder what she thinks i mite b "deirrow" abt?


  • At 11:44 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    I'd ask you to wish Error-prone the Stumbler a happy anniversary but that would be insincere considering a teeny-tiny fact (namely, I'd be three months too early) he and his wife want kept secret from someone they hate for no good reason. Reminding the Pronouncer that respect must be earned would contradict everything he is.

  • At 12:35 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Who is that fish person talking to? Some friends of yours with an anniversary I guess.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 1:26 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I was quite relieved today to discover that mom did not hand me new pictures, and I was actually able to find the photos of my trip (mom wanted me to talk about yesterday) with mom and Elizabeth to see Grandma Marian and Grandpa Jim in Vancouver. I showed them to my daughter and said, “Finally, we arrived.” My daughter said, “That’s great grandmother Marian and Grampa Jim with their arms out.” I said, “That’s right, and mom has her arms up and she is saying ‘Mom! Dad!” My daughter said, “How could she see?” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Gramma Elly. Her hair is over her eyes. How could she see?” I said, “Obvious she can’t. She is waving over to the right, when Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marian are right in front of her.”

    Then we looked at the next picture. Grandma Marian had my head in her enormous hand. I remember she had really big hands for a woman. Her word balloon to me in the picture said, “Now, Michael, you take this bag, I’ll take your suitcase…” I remember Grandma Marian loved to play that luggage-switching game. I don’t think I ever got that suitcase back, but I might be wrong. My daughter said, “Oh no! Daddy! Gramma Elly can’t see and she’s kissing Grandpa Jim on the mouth! Eww!” I said, “It may come as a surprise to you daughter, but there was a time when your Grandma Elly was affectionate.” My daughter said, “She kissed a lot of people?” I said, “Yes.” Then my daughter said, “What’s Grandpa Jim putting in Gramma Elly’s bag?” I said, “What? What do you mean?” Then I looked at the picture closely, and sure enough, there was Grandpa Jim’s hand reaching into mom’s bag on the side. I knew what it must be, but who wants to get into a discussion with a daughter about the more criminal aspects of Grandpa Jim and mom. So I said, “No, daughter. That’s what we call an optical illusion.” My daughter said, “What’s that?” I said, “It just looks like Grandpa Jim slipping something into mom’s bag, but his hand is really reaching out to pick up Elizabeth. Let’s look at the next picture.” I certainly didn’t want her to keep looking at that one.

    In the next picture, I have a small bag, Grandma Marian has my bag. In her word balloon she said, “You take Elly’s luggage, dear---and we’ll leave her to pick up the baby’s things.” Grandpa Jim had Elizabeth in one arm and mom’s luggage in the other. I remember Grandpa Jim was Elizabeth’s favourite because his cigarette breath was almost as bad as her Lizardbreath. Mom picked up an extra suitcase off the luggage carousel, which you could barely see in the picture. My daughter said, “Why didn’t Gramma Elly give great grandmother Marian a kiss?” I said, “Didn’t she?” My daughter said, “No.” I looked back at the pictures and I said, “Now daughter, do you see anyone giving Grandma Marian a kiss?” My daughter said, “No.” I said, “There you see, it’s all equal. It doesn’t matter if mom doesn’t kiss Grandma Marian, if no one kisses Grandma Marian.” My daughter said, “Poor great grandmother Marian.”

    I decided to show my daughter the next picture. It was of mom, holding the stroller, her pocketbook, the suitcase, a bag full of stuffed animals, and a large garbage bag of things. My daughter, “Gramma Elly was a cowgirl!” I said, “A cowgirl. What do you mean?” My daughter said, “Her legs are like a horse rider.” I looked and sure enough, there was mom all bow-legged and looking disoriented. I said to my daughter, “I think the joke is that Grandma Marian and Grandpa Jim thought there wouldn’t be much baby stuff as there was, and mom didn't tell them.” My daughter said, “Who took the cases to the airport?” I said, “We all did.” My daughter said, “Then Grandma Elly knows how many suitcases she has.” I said, “Probably, but her short term memory stinks.” My daughter said, “What?” I said, “She might have forgotten how many bags she had.” My daughter said, “Then how did she know what bags are hers?” I said, “From the labels.” My daughter said, “That’s silly.” I said, “I know and that’s why it’s funny. Sometimes silly things are funny.” My daughter said, “Maybe. So did Gramma Elly get on a horse to carry the bags?” I said, “No. Grandpa Jim came back and helped her, and she didn’t ride him.” At least I think she didn’t.

    Well, formerly little sis, tomorrow is my break from looking at photo albums, so I hope you have something exciting to write about. Something more exciting than getting luggage in an airport would be quite nice.

    Michael Patterson


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