April's Real Blog

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

As opposed to "careless" careful

Mom and Dad, after Dad announced his retirement planz, sat down @ the kitchen 2 look @ Dad's ledgers. He tracks family finances in a big ledger book Anthony gave him for Christmas about nine years ago. Mom and Dad of course each had a coffee cup. Dad also had a calculator and a pencil.

Dad was all, "Michael and Elizabeth R OK financially. We've got enuf put aside 4 April's education... And our investments shd carry us thru. With my working part-time, and yr occasional days @ the bookstore, we'll B able 2 live quite nicely... as long as we're careful." Mom put one hand on Dad's arm and sed, "We've always been careful when it comes 2 money, John." Dad looked @ her and sed, "...I mean 'careful' careful." Mom went, "Oh."

Hm, I wonder if this is Dad's way of saying there won't B enuf $$$ 2 fix the porch, put in a new bathroom, or build me a "space" in the basement. And if Mom will think Dad shd unretire so we can have those things.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mom wants 2 tire out retired Dad

Ages ago, Mom and Dad went on their Mexico vacation, went out 2gether on a canoe, looking like ugly twin guys, and discussed retirement. Mom complained that if Dad retired 1st, then he'd be retired, but she'd just be tired. Har-dee-har, rite?

No, I don't think so either. But as U prolly know, it's MOM who retired 1st. She had all these grand plans abt what she'd do when she retired, like going back 2 school and volunteering and stuff, but mostly she's stayed home, flapped her arms, and complained.

After Dad brought Mom the flowers I told U abt yesterday, Dad told her, "My dear, 2day I officially declared my intention 2 retire." And Mom sed, "U did?" Dad went on w/"This morning, I told Everett that beginning in September, I'll B working on Fridays only." He poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot that had been sitting on the warmer since morning (ew!) and Mom immediately lined up her mug, cuz coffee envy. She sed, "That's wonderful, John, we've been talking abt this 4 so long." Yup, years. Then she sed, "There's so much 2 B dun around here.... We need a new porch, new bathroom--and we promised April we'd build her a space in the basement!" Dad went in2 silhouette and sed "Gr8!" just B4 sipping his silhouette-mug.

Then he walked off, carrying his still-steaming mug, and according 2 Dad, he was thinking, "...I'm going 2 stop working so I can WORK." Or he cd, U know, hire contractors 2 do those things Mom rattled off. But I suppose then he wdn't have the luxury of complaining abt how put-out he is, eh?

Well, that sure was boring. I'll go add my "boring" tag now.


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Monday, April 28, 2008

Mom can't accept kindness graciously

Hey, we're off me. Yay! We're on Mom and Dad. Boo!

Dad sez he was leaving work recently (yeah, it seems he still works), and sed, "Goodnite, Jean!" Jean, his assistant, was all, "Goodnite, Dr. P. Have a good evening!" And Dad was all, "Will do." He sez that while driving home, he was singing, "It's a new dawnnnn a new daaayyy 4 meeee." He sez he was in such a good mood, he decided 2 stop @ the flower shop and buy Mom sum potted flowers. As he was paying 4 them, he went, "SNIFFFF..... AAAHHH" and then thot, "...There's nothing like flowers when U wish 22 conver a special message 2 sum1!" Dad sez his special message was supposta B "I luv U so much I bought U flowers 4 no reason." But when he handed the flowers 2 Mom, she took them and then asked, "...What did U do?"

C, Mom can't accept kindness graciously.


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Sunday, April 27, 2008

More flashbacks U didn't wanna know abt

Hey, thanx 4 hangin' w/me @ Horny T's yesterday, Dunc! I was so glad I didn't spew out NE bad not-puns, or wordwork (opposite of wordplay, gettit?). And I know U were glad U didn't say "hum" insteada "eh" or talk abt how U cd get a sports job when U grow up. LOL.

NEway, guess what I woke up 2 this morning? I wandered in2 the kitchen, just wanting a nice bowl of granola w/vanilla soymilk, and who shd I C @ the table, eating my granola, but MIKE! And Liz was @ the counter making toast. And Dad was trying 2 remember how 2 make coffee (he keeps "4getting") as Mom was frying up a mess of bacon-egg slop @ the stove.

I was all, "What's going on here?" And Mom was all, "Isn't this nice! I invited Mike and Liz 2 come over 4 a good, old-fashioned family breakfast. I've been thinking abt the old dayz a lot l8ly and I was thinking how much I miss having my kids with me! I was like, "Hello, Mom? I'm yr kid and I still live in the house, remember?" Mom got a blank look on her face 4 a second, and then she seemed 2 recover and was all, "Now don't U get all defensive and teenagery, U know that what I meant was that I miss having all my kids with me!"

Then I sed, "What abt Dee and the kids?" Mom sed, "Don't B silly, they're not my kids!" I was like, "No, I know, but I'll bet Dee wda liked being included in this lil breakfast thing." Mike sed, "Don't B silly, formerly little Sister! Dee understands when I need a morning 'off.'" I tried 2 resist rolling my eyes, but they ended up rolling on their own. U know how it is. Next I asked Mike if he left me NE granola. "Oh. Was I supposed 2?" ARGH. He's so inconsiderate. Luckily I had sum vegan waffles in the freezer. Every1 in my fam thinks that's synonymous w/"cardboard," so they R totally safe.

I popped a couple of my waffles in2 the toaster and then went over 2 Dad. "OK, Dad, U can just drop the 'helpless' act. We all know U can make coffee but just don't want 2. Gimme the filter!" So he did, looking a bit sheepish, and I made coffee.

Once we were all settled around the table, Mom sat there looking back and forth between Mike and Liz, and then sed, "I can't believe my 2 kids--er, my oldest 2 kids--R all grown up! Lizzie, U were such a cute baby! I remember this one time, U were a baby and Mike was in kindergarten...." And I sed, "OMG, NOT another story from when Mike was in kindy and Lizzie was a baby!" Mom sed, "Who sed that?" And I sed, "ME!" And she sed, "Oh, yeah. Quiet U. I've got a gr8 story 2 share! As I was saying, Lizzie was a very, very cute baby! Sumday, U and Anthony will have a cute, cute baby of yr own!" Liz blushed, and I muttered, "Unless the baby favours Anthony!" Mom glared @ me.

"NEway," Mom continued, "This one time, yr father, here, on one of his good-father days, was playing w/little Lizzie, swinging her around while saying things like, "It's a tootsie pie! How's my bunnikins! How's my cutesie!" Meanwhile, I was noticing what a horrible mess Michael's room was." Mike sed, "Only b-cuz I was creative and inquistive!" Mom muttered, "No, that's not Y." Mike looked gobsmacked, and then Mom continued: "So, yr father went on playing w/Lizzie, sitting on the chesterfield while holding her on his lap and saying, "Tabump-tabump ta babbsie boo.. She's my little girlikins!" I walked in2 this charming tableau, where Michael was leaning on one arm of the chesterfield and smiling at his father and sister. But I couldn't stand it NEmore. The sight of that messy room had caused an anger that was boiling inside me, and I scrunched up my eyes, threw my mouth open, and shrieked, 'Michael Thomas Patterson! Get downstairs and clean up yr room!!'"

Mike sed, "Oh, I remember that! That's when I sed, 'C, Elizabeth.. Sum day they'll call U by yr real name...." I recall that Dad looked gobsmacked. Mom sed, "Of course he did." I sed, "W8. 'Michael Thomas Patterson.' How come the "Q & Eh" @ Mom's website has his name listed as 'James'?" Mom sed, "Honey, U can't xxpect the bizzy ppl who maintain my website 2 take the time 2 look up things like that. I M sure that Steph, or whoever, decided that 'James' sounded like a sensible middle name 4 Michael, since that's my father's name and I'm such a Daddy's girl." Dad sed, "Or @ least U were until yr dad b-came old and infirm." Mom glared @ him and he sed, "Sorry, I only meant 2 thot-bubble that comment, not say it out loud." I sed, "Mom, shdn't we get Steph 2 fix that answer on the website? Now ppl R gonna know Mike's middle name is really Thomas." And mom sed, "Dont' bother Steph w/trivia like that. We can just agree that Mike has 2 middle names now." Mike looked a bit confused.

Liz sed, "Can we get back 2 talking abt how cute I was when I was a baby? That's my favourite, talking abt me being so very cute! I remember Dad useta really luv me when I was his cute little girl! Then April came along and ruined all that. " I was like, "Oh, God, here we go again!"

Jeremy, pls hurry back from yr chess thing in Etobicoke!


Edit: Hey, Mike, when U were here earlier this morning, I was so distracted by the whole "middle name" thing, I 4got 2 ask abt Y Mom wda told U 2 go "downstairs" 2 clean yr room, if U, Dad, and Lizzie were on the chesterfield in the living room. Did Mom an' Dad make U sleep in the rec room back then?

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

That wasn't what I meant

Gerald's in my science class. Wdn't it B interesting 2 know what happened in our science class? Like did we have a lab, and what type of science R we studying this yr, NEway? But no, it seems I M supposta B discussing what happed rite after our science class, when every1 but us 2 had left and we were dawdling.

Ger was all, "Do U think I'm crazy 2 want 2 tour w/Becky's band, April?" And I sed, "No. I think it's a wicked idea, actually." Sum of us @ RP Boire have decided it's funny 2 pretend we R from Boston, Massachusetts. NEway, I went on, as I picked up my notebook (4tunately avoiding the chemical spill on the counter), "I mean, she IS famous. U R gonna B onstage w/all the action, an' lites, an' screaming kids!" I finished picking up my notebook, and Ger came up 2 me and I looked up @ him and sed, "And Gerald... U really R a good drummer. U shd go 4 it. Do what yr heart tells U 2 do." And Ged sed "Thanks." Then he put his notebook sumwhere, I don't know where, put a hand on each of my shoulders, and kissed me on my mouth while actually saying "SMOOCH!!" Then he retrieved his notebook from wherevs and sed "Your suggestion!" Meanwhile I was so stunned I felt myself getting glassy-eyed, blushing, and saw six lines appear in the air, by the rite side of my face.

Sorry abt that, Jeremy, but like I sed, it was Gerald who did the "SMOOCH" on me. I didn't "suggest" it, despite what he sed. But just this morning, I overheard sumthing v. creepy. Mom on the fone. On her side, it was, "Yes, your Royal Corbeilness, I did distribute the memo 2 April's teachers, informing them that she is broken up with that Jones boy. As if! Of course it's going 2 B Gerald. We chose him 4 her when they were both eight yrs old!" Then she saw me and sed, "Got 2 go, the eagle has landed!" And hung up. I was like, "MOM! I'm w/Jeremy! Gerald and I agreed we're on different paths! We're not ending up w/ea other just cuz Mike and Liz both ended up w/their childhood sweethearts!" And Mom sed, "Your destiny happens whether you fite it or not. U can let it happen EZ, like Mike did, or U can make it difficult, like Liz!" And I sed, "U sound just like MIKE!" And Mom sed, "Yr brother is a wise man, April! Not 2 mention a published author!" And then I went 2 the washroom and got sick.


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Friday, April 25, 2008


After Dunc, Eva, and I got back in2 the bldg after our not-deep talk on the bleachers and on the way back, I found Ger in the hallway, @ his locker. I sed, "Hey, Gerald... How's it going?" He was all, "OK." I sed, "R U still talking 2 me?" He was like, "Sure. Y not." Then I sed, "I was talking 2 Eva an' Duncan... An' we were saying that no matter what, ....No matter where we go, the 4 of us hafta stay friends. Alwayz." And Ger was all, "I'm cool w/that! ..U wanna keep in touch w/ME, April?" Which was kinda weird, cuz I thot that was what I'd just finished saying, but just in case Ger sumhow didn't understand, I was like, "Well, YEAH!" Then I sed, "Welll keep in touch w/Luis an' Becky and, sumday when there's a class reunion, an' we're all gray-haired an' OLD, we'll remember this day an' this promise--OK?!" And Ger sed, "Yeah! OK!!" Then we walked down the hall, him w/his arm resting on top of my rite shoulder, and me w/my hand on his back. And Ger sed, "But that day is SO far off... it's hard 2 even IMAGINE!" As he sed that, a portly old, balding male teacher walked by, and I guess that was supposta B sum kind of irony. I h8 when things happen just 4 that reason.

And as I write this, I realize that we made this big promise that "the 4 of us hafta stay friends" but we'll only "keep in touch w/Luis an' Becky." Y can't the SIX of us all B friends an' all? Hmm. And Y, Y, Y have we been talking like we're in grade 12, all farewellish.


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dunc channels.... my dad?

As U mighta guessed, on that day when we were discussing our plans of the future (or lack of plans), Eva had 2 have her turn after Dunc and I had had ours. So, while we walked back 2 the school bldg from the bleachers, I dutifully asked her, "What abt U, Eva?" And Eva decided 2 do the whole "Whoa" thing, too, and went, "Whoa. Future career. That's tuff. I can't give up singing. I'm not planning 2 B a professional singer... but I HAFTA sing! So I guess I'll take, like, general arts an' C where I go from there." I sed, "Yeah... U gotta start sumwhere." Then Duncan was all, "An' who knows! We cd all end up doing sumthing completely different from NEthing we ever imagined!" Then 4 no reason, Eva and I traded places (I had been 2 Dunc's left, w/Eva 2 his rite). And then Dunc sed, "Exciting, hum?" He actually sed "HUM." Just like my DAD does. Y doesn't he just say "Eh"? We R Canadians, after all! NEway, Eva and I got these terrified-gobsmacked looks on our faces and Eva went, "Yeah." And I was like, "Totally."


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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When Eva is a Laff Track

I don't even wanna tell U my latest story, cuz it ends w/me making a way lame kinda "wordplay" and I M ashamed. But here goes.

We (Duncan, Eva, and I) were still on the bleachers. I had just been talking abt my plans 4 vet school. Dunc sed, "Ummm...I'm sort of interested in business stuff. I'm also in2 sports... An' travel an' communications." I was listening, but also noticing I had gone eyeless and my body proportions were way off again, like I was built like a 6yo or sumsuch. It was v. v. disturbing!

I sed, "U cd open a travel agency!" And Eva sed, "An' organize worldwide sporting events!" Of course neither Eva nor I knew the slightest abt what it takes to do either of those things, but whatevs. Dunc sed, "Who knows..."

Then he sort of half got up, kinda sticking his butt out like he needed 2 poo. And he sed, "I mean, doors open, rite? U get started in sumthing an' U meet people an' doors open. There's always an open door." Eva had half-stood up, and I was also starting 2 get up as I sed, "Yeah..." Then as Duncan started 2 walk down the bleachers, I told him, "...U just hafta remember 2 let go of the knob!" Yeah, I know, that was stupid and made no sense, but Eva laffed NEhow. Like a laff track.

Zandra, I didn't C yr comment from last nite until this morning. Dunc, OMG, R U OK?


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Eva interviewed me on my career plans

Duncan, Eva, and I all 4got our PE uniforms, so we hadta sit on the bleachers while everyone else ran around frolicking on the track or sitting in the field conducting foot self-massage. A couple of the kids who were frolicking had ink-black skin and no features. They almost looked like silhouettes, but U cd tell they weren't silhouettes cuz U cd clearly make out their gym uni's and sneakers.

NEway, Eva decided 2 interview me abt my longterm plans. She does that sumtymes, and it can B a bit annoying if U R not in the rite mood. She went, "Do U totally know what U're gonna do, April? ...Career-wise?" Y can't I have friends who talk like normal teenagers? And notice her "totally." Who "totally" knows @ this pt? Esp. in grade 11. I told her, "Um.... I think so. Well... Not totally. Stuff cd change, but we'll C." I held up one knee 2 stretch a bit, so I cd pretend I was doing sumthing vaguely phys-eddish, and I continued w/"I mean, I've checked out what I need 2 do 2 B a veterinarian, an' it's what I THINK I want. @ least, it's what I'm interested in. I'm sort of.... U know... leaning in that direction. An' ... who knows. It all depends, rite? @ least I'm gonna give it my best shot." Dunc looked kinda worried, and Eva went "Sweet." Then Dunc turned his head 2 smirk @ her while she sed, "....I wish I was as sure of myself as U R!" I felt a gobsmacked look forming on my face.

Dunc sed, "It's 'I wish I were,' Crazy! We just went over 'conditional' in English class, don't U remember?" Eva scowled and sed she was being colloquial. Dunc sed "colloquial" is not an xxcuse 4 "stupid."

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Monday, April 21, 2008

I make a snotty dig @ Ger

On the day when I'd made that comment I told U abt, where I sed I wanna lead insteada follow, I was standing in a classroom w/Eva and Duncan (I'll let Dunc xxplain Y he's back from Barbados), just after class. Ger b-came a silhouette and snubbed us. Eva's face became kinda abstract looking as she asked, "What's w/Gerald, April?" Cuz I'm, like, his keeper or sumthing. And Dunc was all, "He just went by w/out saying NEthing 2 us! ...Did U guyz have a fite?" As we walked out of the classroom, I sed, "He sed he was gonna tour with Becky's band, an' not go 2 university... An' I guess I gave him a hard time." I still wasn't questioning Y touring this coming summer automatically means no uni NEXT YEAR, but I wasn't thinking super-clearly.

Out in the hallway, Dunc sed, "He's a really good drummer, April. MayB he's doing the rite thing!" And Eva sed, "Yeah! I mean, if it doesn't work out, he can alwayz go back 2 school. U know--as a mature student." Since I was in a mean, bitchy kinda mood, I joked, "With Gerald, 'mature student' is an oxymoron. Eva and Dunc laffed @ my joke. I think we all felt kinda insecure abt ourselves that day, since we all looked as tho we'd been v. badly drawn, and our proportions were way wrong. Eva and I had oversized heds, and the lower halves of our bodies were way too small 4 our torsos. Our legs were way spindly and our feet looked ridiculous. So jokes @ Ger's xxpense took our minds off all that, I guess. It was sucky, yeah, but @ the mo, I was just happy 2 get an EZ laff! Sorry Ger!


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Sunday, April 20, 2008

A boring story I already told U

Welp, I already told U abt 2day's story 2 wks ago, when Mom accidentally released it as an alternate story. Here's what I told U then:
Mom just informed me that, for some reason, we have an alternate story to discuss 2day. She sez ppl haven't seen or heard abt the pets in so long they R starting 2 spread rumours that she tossed them in2 the basement 4 the entire winter. NEway, yesterday, Eddie went outside 2 dig up bones and composted garbage. When Mom was "SCRAPE, SCRAPE, GLOPP, SPLTT-ing" dog food in2 Eddie's bowl, I joked that she needn't feed him cuz he'd decided 2 eat out. Get it? "Out?" Yeah, I know, that was totally unfunny and I need 2 get out more. Plus I was having a "fugly" day, w/my hair titely bunned in that propeller 'do and me wearing a pink top and purple pants Mom picked up @ the mall on clearance and insisted I "try" cuz otherwise she wasted $5.99.
Then, when Mom realized her goof, I added:
Mom sez she goofed and we R prolly gonna B discussing this doggie story again two wks from now. Sorry abt that. Mom may or may not have stopped feeding Dixie.
Mike tried 2 get me 2 withhold the story until now:

Formerly little sis. You are not supposed to talk about Edgar digging up bones in the back yard, until Mom and Dad have had a chance to deal with those bones, if you know what I mean. Mom is right. Wait until April 20. That should give them enough time to dispose of the...um...bones.

Michael Patterson
Well, it was boring the last time I told U abt it, and it's still boring now. Sorry, peeps!


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

I try a Patterson over-the-shoulder parting shot

I was walking w/Ger in2 the school recently, and we were complaining abt our homework load, as kids our age do. I channeled Keanu and Everett yet again w/a "Whoa!" And then sed, "If we're going crazy w/work now, what's it gonna B like when we get in2 university?!!" Um.... I'm not sure." Then he did that thing ppl always seem 2 do around here. He was perfectly quiet 4 the amt of time it took 4 us 2 get from the walkway in front of the school 2 the stairs, up the stairs, and in2 the school, B4 he continued w/"I don't think I'm gonna go." It's a gd thing that I hadn't 4gotten we were talking abt university. I was like, "U're kidding!"

He silently went 2 his locker, opened it, took his backpack off of his shoulder, and then sed, "Becky's asked me 2 tour w/her band this summer. It's an opportunity I don't wanna miss!" I went, "But... yr marks R so gd!" Ger sed, "It's not all abt school, April. It's abt following yr dreams--an' I'm gonna follow my dreams! ...An U?" 4 sum reason, the way he posed his question 2 me gave me the irresistible urge 2 do one of those Patterson over-the-shoulder parting shots that Patterson women R genetically predisposed 2. As Gerald literally shrank from being quite a bit taller than me 2 being like my height, I closed my eyes smugly while walking away, and over my shoulder, I spat, "I don't want 2 follow, Gerald... I want 2 LEAD!"

Then, since I wasn't looking where I was going, I bumped rite in2 Mrs. DeLong, who teaches Canadian history, and since she's a whole lot heftier and sturdier than I M, I fell flat on my back. When I came 2 in the nurse's office, I realized that I'd 4gotten 2 ask Ger Y touring w/Becky over the summer wd prevent him from going 2 university when we gradu8. Next year. As in, we finish grade 12 in June of 2009 and begin uni in the fall of 2009. Is sum1 trying 2 retcon us in2 being grade 12-ers now?


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Friday, April 18, 2008

Mom gets huggy

After Mom clomped off and told Dad she'd quit motherhood, Dad trotted in2 my room w/his casserole gut and sed, "April? --Go and apologize 2 yr mother." Which is so wrong. Y did he not get MOM 2 apologize 2 ME 4 being pestery and yelling that mean stuff abt quitting? I'll tell U Y. The Martian-Princess Teenangster is alwayz presumed WRONG in my house. I was typing my homework, even tho I'd gone eyeless. Good thing I touch-type. I sed, "I will in a minute." Dad came over 2 my left side and yanked my chair back so hard and fast that there were motion lines from my monitor 2 my chest. The force of that caused my eyes 2 return and bug out. 2 B xxtra-threatening, he pted down @ the motion lines and sed, "I strongly suggest that U do it NOW."

I went 2 Mom, who was in the kitchen scowling, holding a dish and a glass, and sporting a squiggly line o' anger above her hed. I went, "Mom? I'm sorry that I shouted @ U. It's just that I've gotta study an' practice my music an' get 3 essays written an' there R totally not enuf hrs in the day! MayB when I'm in university, an' away from the distractions of home, it'll B easier." Mom got a gobsmacked look on her face. Then she put down her glass and plate and threw her arms around me. I was, like, "WHAT?!!"

I know that ppl who have coffee w/Mom @ Lilliput's will hear abt this story and assume that Mom was getting sentimental abt me leaving home, thinking she'll B sad an' miss me. Knowing Mom the way I do, I think it's more like, she was so HAPPY 2 B reminded I'll B leaving 4 uni next year, she just hadta hug the nearest person. But I guess I've gotten really cynical, eh?


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

They're gonna call me "Martian" Rn't they?

U know when U're working on sumthing and U just need 2 concentr8 on it till U finish? Mike, I know U do, LOL. I was writing an essay 4 school, and I was working on my concluding paragraph, when Mom was standing in my doorway, all, "April? Dinner's ready!" I sed, "I'll B there in a minute!" Insteada just taking my word 4 that and moving along, she went on w/"Rn't U hungry?" I sed, "Yes, but I'm in the middle of sumthing. I'll B there in a minute." Mom invaded my space by coming in2 my room, putting one hand on the back of my chair and sed, "What if I bring U little plate of..." I don't let Mom bring me a little plate of NETHING cuz she's still always trying 2 get me 2 eat meat. I yelled, "MOM!" Cuz that's the only way 2 stop her from talking when she's like that. Then I stood up and went, "MOM! I am coming! I wll B there! I will EAT!!!" Then Mom left the room, and I cd hear her in the kitchen telling Dad, "I've had it w/motherhood! ...I QUIT!" And I was thinking, "Girl pls, U quit motherhood ages ago, Y pretend that I drove U 2 that NOW?"

Ugh, I just know that Mom's "fans," the ones who sit w/her @ Lilliput's having coffee and saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you" every day, R gonna B all over what a thankless Martian BRAT I supposedly am. Just cuz I wanted 2 B left alone 2 finish up sum h'work B4 lining up @ Mom's dinner trough. I hope there will B @ least one person there sticking up 4 me.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Connie got around 2 remembering she's got stepdaughters

More on Mom an' Connie's doggie walk I've been telling U abt 4 the past coupla days. Here's some more. Mom & Connie had let Edgar and Sera off-leash, and they were running ahead. I still hung behind w/Dixie, which wasn't EZ cuz she wanted 2 play w/the other dogz, but Mom's been treating her like a 2nd-class dogizen, so we hadta hang back. I was like, "I feel ya, Dixie, I totally know what that's like."

NEway, as U mighta guessed, Mom and Connie kept w/the yammering. Connie was all, "U'll B mother-of-the bride someday, El." As if that hadn't been established that other time they got 2gether and talked, B4 the last round of flashbacks, when Connie made that effed-up comment abt herself not getting 2 B MOB. But I'm doing one of those digressy things, Rn't I? So, Connie also sed, "...And Anthony's little girl will B yr step-granddaughter! I have 3 step-grandchildren now, and I luv them every bit as if they were my own. What am I saying?!!-- They R my own! When I married Greg, his girls b-came MY girls!.... So, I don't even THINK abt being a step-grandmother." W8, I hafta digress again. If she feels this way, Y on Earth was she going on abt how she'd NEVER get 2 B MOB? If she truly thot of Molly and Gayle as HER girls, she'd think of herself as having been MOB 2x. And clearly she doesn't. So she's a liar!

NEway, Connie continued w/"So, 4get abt all the formality and just call yrselves "family." And Mom sed "I guess that's the 1st step!!" Mom was obviously spending the entire time that Connie was talking desperately trying 2 come up w/sum way 2 play w/the word "step." Which means she wasn't really listening 2 what Connie was saying, just kinda monitoring it. That's what happens w/ppl who compulsively pun.

And Connie is such a liar that her pants R on fire.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Connie thinx rocks and stones R punny

So, I told U abt how Mom and Connie were walking Edgar and Dixie, congratul8ing themselves 4 how tuff, responsible, reliable, practical, determined, loving, and 4giving they supposedly R, while I was walking Dixie rite behind them, so poor Dix wdn't hafta miss out on having a walk.

NEway, Connie went, "Our kids always got along so well, Elly... Lawrence, Michael and Elizabeth were such gd friends!" And Mom sed, "Still R!" What? Mike and Lawrence were always gd friends, but Liz didn't b-come friendly w/Lawrence until she got a job w/him @ Lakeshore Landscaping when she was on summer break from uni, and even then, they never got super-close. And let's not 4get abt the time when Lawrence hit baby-Liz and she called 4 Mom, and he sed sumthing abt how he didn't know she cd talk 2 rat him out. Yeah "always gd friends." And while they were growing up, Mike and Liz were never friends w/ea other.

But it turned out, Connie had set up all this "friend" talk 2 segue in2 talking abt Liz being engaged: "Now 'little Lizzie' is officially engaged 2 Anthony! ...And U like him, don't U." Naturally, Connie st8ed this as a st8ment rather than a question. For yrs and yrs there's been NO question abt Mom liking Anthony, and Connie had a discussion w/Mom on just how much way back when Anthony had just gotten engaged w/Thérèse, Liz was living w/Eric, and Anthony took Liz 2 his father's NYE party. Mom's favourite phrase 4 @ least 8 yrs has been "I've always liked Anthony." So I dunno Y Connie was even bothering 2 say that.

But NEway, Mom affirmed, "I do!" Just like Liz and Anthony will when they get married. And Connie was all, "When is the big day?" Mom went, "That's the frustr8ing thing, Connie. They haven't decided. --It's not even being discussed!" Connie sed, "Hmmm... In our day, a rock on yr finger meant a d8 set in stone!" Oh, har-dee-har. "Rock" and "set in stone." Yeah, whatevs. But newsflash 2 Connie: This isn't a generational thing. It's a Liz/Anthony thing.


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Monday, April 14, 2008

Connie and Mom sum up

L8ly, when we've had a bunch of talk abt the past, we've kind of had sum1 lead in2 it, by mentioning sumthing abt the past, but then no concluding abt it when we return 2 present-tense talk. The week and a half we had of reminiscing we just had started after Connie brot up how, when they were young mothers, they had to "do it all." And this time, afterwards, Connie came over again to do sum kind of "summing up" w/Mom while walking the dogs.

When Mom was zipping up her jacket, Connie sed, "We were both hard-working young Moms, weren't we." She sed this like a st8ment, not a question. Mom sed, "I didn't have a full-time job like U did, Connie." As they walked outside, going in2 silhouette as Edgar and Sera went into white silhouette, Connie replied, "Yes, but U had 2 kids--and then, 3!" Mom added, "U were single. U did the work of BOTH parents!" Yeah, but only 4 a little while. Lawrence was pretty young when Connie married Greg. BTW, Mom left poor Dixie out of this walk. Again. Just cuz walking w/Sera is like sum kinda family reunion 4 Edgar (Sera is his mom) doesn't mean Dixie doesn't need a walk! So I put Dixie's leash on her and followed behind Connie and Mom.

NEway, Connie went, "I often wonder how we managed 2 do all of the things we did!" Heh, I'd like 2 sic Luis and Eva on them. "You're spoiled! At least U always had a house and an income and didn't live in a war zone or become a refugee and U never got amnesia or lost yr faculties!" Sorry guyz, but U know it's true! But Mom didn't say NEthing like that. Instead, she was like, "We're tuff, that's how.... Responsible, reliable, practical, determined and tuff." Yeah. Sure. And Connie added, "Don't 4get loving and 4giving!" Mom responded, "Rite! Sometimes, that was the tuffest part of all." Yeah, it was sooooo tuff, Mom simply "4got" abt it most of the time. That's Y she needed Connie 2 "remind" her.

I musta let out a lil snort or sumthing, and Connie looked over her shoulder @ me. I almost fell over, cuz 4 a sec, I thot it was Grandpa Jim looking @ me. She's really looking old l8ly. I hope leaving Mboro and not coming back will help keep me from ever looking like a man.


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

When umbrellas fail

So Mom came up 2 me this morning and sed that sum of the ppl who drink coffee w/her @ Lilliput's have been saying they miss hearing stories abt me. So she decided that she'd tell them abt "that cute thing that happened last wk when it was rainy." It took me a lil bit 2 think what she was talking abt, since I'm still pretty tired from my trip 2 UGuelph.

Then I realized she meant the day when there was a torrential downpour forecast 4 the afternoon, and she thot it wd B a brilly time 2 lend Mike my car cuz he had errands 2 run and Dee was using their car 4 work (Dad's been working @ the dental clinic less and less, so they don't carpool as much). I pted out the forecast and suggested that mayB it wd B better 2 w8 4 a day when it was going 2 B clear, but she was like,"Pshaw, Martian teenangster princess, That is why UMBRELLAS were invented!" I sed, "But there R gonna B gale force winds," but she sed, "I don't know who this Gail is, but stop making xxcuses!" Aargh! I tried 2 xxplain, but she was already off, driving my car out 2 Mike's place even tho it's like a one-minute walk from here.

So, of course, when I got off the bus in the afternoon, the sky was so dark, it looked like it was the middle of the nite, the rain was pouring buckets-worth, and the wind was swooping in visible swirlies, and kept yanking my umbrella around, and when it went inside out, I gave up and folded it up, put it in my ugly yellow tote bag, and walked the last bit umbrellaless. Cuz it was just that kind of rain/wind combo where yr brelly is totally useless.

I trudged up the stairs (which have steepened since last yr), opened the door, and Mom asked me, "4 heaven's sake April!-- Y don't U use an umbrella?!!" I told her what happens when heavy rain mixes w/strong, strong wind, and she actually sed, "Y didn't U say sumthing this morning?! I wd have suggested Mike do his errands on a day when the weather is better!" I thot abt asking Y Mike cdn't have used Mom's or Dad's car, both of which had been sitting undriven all day, but the last time I went in2 all that, I got smacked down. Again. ::sigh::

NEway, I M meeting Jeremy @ Horny T's this afternoon. I already can't w8 2 get outta this house again!


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

More Mike Memories

Hey, peeps, I just wanted 2 let U all know that I only have a sec 2 post this morning. I will upd8 2nite w/another Mike memory.


Upd8: I'm back! Man, am I beat. This thing @ UGuelph 4 prospective pre-vet students, they tried 2 cram so much in2 the time we were there, yesterday they had activities starting @ 7:30 AM and not ending until midnite! I learned a lot abt their program and vet schools and stuff, and it was v. interesting, but I M exhausted. 2day we got started @ 7:30 AM again, and finally we wrapped everything up @ around 3:30 this afternoon. And then I still hadta get home.

Oh, and while I was in one of their meetings, my fone started 2 ring. I dashed out in2 the hall and then saw it was Mike's number. I was tempted 2 just silence it, but then I knew he'd leave me a pissy voicemail and then complain 2 Mom if I did that, so I answered. Our convo went sumthing like this:

Mike: Hello, formerly little Sis!

Me: Hi, Mike, what's up?

Mike: The sky! The sky is up!

Me: I'm gonna hang up now.

Mike: No, no! April this is important. The reason I didn't post any memories last nite or the nite B4 is that my son tried 2 flush my laptop down the "po." Apparently, my daughter dared him that he couldn't. Fortunately, it wouldn't go down, but I had 2 take it in 4 repairs.

Me: So what's the big deal? No1 cares abt our stories from the past NEway.

Mike: Stuff and nonsense, April! Ppl from all over pore over these stories 2 help solve the mysteries of how events of the past have shaped the present-day Pattersons! And the story I'm abt 2 tell U is no different!

Me: Mike, I really wanna get back 2 this meeting....

Mike: That can w8, April! This is Patterson history!

Me: Can U make it quick?

Mike: I'm a writer, April. My eloquence cannot B rushed.

Me: ::sigh::

Mike: OK, so here's what happened. I was a young lad of kindergarten age. Mom was sipping from a cup of tea held in her left misshapen hand while switching radio channels with her right misshapen hand. I remember this like it was YESTERDAY, April! A news report came on with "Housing costs and soaring fuel prices are crushing the hopes of many young couples who ::click::" The "click" was actually Mom switching away to another station, where another newscaster was saying, "...A group of students R picketing the university to protest the lack of opportunity in the" and I came up 2 the table looking quite similar 2 our dear friend Linus Van Pelt, and the next word the radiocaster sed I couldn't hear b-cuz Mom's head was in the way. W8, that can't B rite.

Me: I trust that if U have a pt U plan on getting 2 it?

Mike: Patience, formerly little sis. That news caster continued, "They claim they are overqualified for jobs available." Or @ least I think that's what the announcer was saying. Mom's head was obscuring the "Y" in "they," the "fied" in "overqualified," and the "lable" in "available." Oh, w8, that doesn't make sense. NEway, she was eating a sandwich in the classic "Patterson" eating style.

Me: Mike, I really want 2 get back 2 this meeting.

Mike: Then the radio announcer proclaimed,"Scientists warn that irreparable damage has already been done 2 the atmospher thru the indiscriminant use of pollutants." But Mom's head partially obscured the end of "indiscriminant" and the "tants" in "pollutants." W8, that doesn't make sense. Y do I keep remembering her head as making some of the words difficult 2 hear?

Me: B-cuz things didn't make much sense back then?

Mike: Normally, I'd reject an answer like that as flippant, but un4tunately, that is quite true. but no matter, finally I looked at Mom with my brows lifted quite high and my receding hairline quite receding and asked, "Mom?.... Will there B NEthing left 4 me?" She did not reply, but she did react with what is 4 me one of my earliest memories of Mom looking, as you like 2 call it, "gobsmacked."

Me: This is what U made me miss a bunch of meeting time 4?

Mike: But don't U C, April? This story I just told U is a prime xxample of how sensitive and inquisitive I was in my tender youth!

Me: Whatevs.

Then I hung up my fone and turned it off. NEway, that's the past-story 4 2day. Sorry if U were hoping 4 NEthing good or interesting. 2morrow mayB I will have sumthing new and non-annoying 2 share. Tho it cd B new and annoying. Or old and annoying. W8 an' C.


P.S. Jeremy, I've missed U 2! I cannot believe Mike roped U in2 babysitting while I was away. NEhoodles, I M on my way over. I'll B @ yr house by around 7:30 2nite (15 mins. fr now).

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Liz Guest Blogs

Liz here. Even though I am very busy planning the wedding I will have with Anthony whenever it is we decide to do it, I am posting to you from April's account because she ran off to UGuelph for that "teenagers who think they might they might want to be animal doctors" thing. And she called me to say she can't post this morning. Well, all I can think to tell you about is a strange memory I had of being a baby and Dad holding me out to Mom, while she was at the washing machine, and asking her, "Should we put her in the hot wash cycle, pre-soak, or permanent press." I was very dirty from digging in the back yard, you see. I think I've had nightmares about this for years.

Liz Patterson

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Thursday, April 10, 2008


Mike is ready 2 share w/U a little TMI abt Dad (past & present):

Formerly little sis. As the Patterson ladies have been spending more and more time over at your house, the old George Stibbs’ place, to do their planning for Elizabeth’s wedding; Dad has been spending more and more time over at my house on Sharon Park Drive. I knew it had gone pretty far when I was busy writing my second novel Breaking the Windjammer and saw Dad walking through the house completely naked. This was naturally, a horrifying sight. Aside from not wanting to see Dad naked ever, there is that tattoo he has you can only see when he is. It has been one of my sincerest and fondest wishes to never see it again.

I said, “Dad! Put some clothes on!” He replied to me, “It’s all right, Michael. The girls and the kids are all over at my house. Besides I like taking showers over here. Nothing is ever missing from the washroom, like it is at my house.” As you might expect, this statement brought forth a flood of unbidden memories from 1979.

I remembered one of my first occasions to see Dad naked. Dad had been in the shower and he pulled back the curtain with a mighty “MMF GRUMBLE”. Shower curtains are not that difficult to pull back, but Dad has very poor upper body strength. Then he stuck his head out of the washroom door and said, “OK, who the heck took the *@* soap?” As I think back on it now, I realize that it was an unusual combination of words, with both “heck” and “*@*” taking the place of stronger language. Usually Dad would use one or the other method of covering up his obscenities, but this time he used both. This was not something he repeated very often in the years that I have known him since; but on this occasion he did. While I was standing there, marveling at his choice of words and being horrified by his tattoo, Dad gave me a glare that reminded me very much of our friend Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy when he is being a vulture.

Even to my young brain, it was clear that Dad was looking for someone to accuse of taking the soap. When I think back on it, there were really only two choices. I certainly wouldn’t take soap and Lizzie was too little to take soap. So either Mom took the soap, or Dad did and forgot about it. I suppose there was the possibility that we had a soap thief in our house; but the occurrence of those is so rare, it seems unlikely.

It was also on this occasion I learned that the use of catch phrases to answer questions can sometimes work against you. For example, I was very fond of the catchphrase, “Don’t ask me—I never use the stuff.” I believe I picked it up from the comedian W.C. Fields who said something like, “Don’t ask me about water –I never drink the stuff.” This phrase worked wonderfully well on many occasions. If anything was ever broken in the house, I could say, “Don’t ask me about the broken lamp, I never use the stuff.” So, I used the phrase with Dad, and although it kept him from continuing to accuse me of being a soap thief; once the soap was finally acquired, I found myself on the business end of a bar of soap with Mom checking me after every bath.

After my brain returned from telling my story from 29 years ago, Dad said, “OK, Michael. You don’t need to be mean about it. I’ll put on some clothes. Just don’t tell me anymore stories from 1979.” So, one positive aspect of this perpetual reminiscing is I don’t have to look at my Dad naked and I don’t have to see that frightening tattoo.

Michael Patterson
OMG! Naked Dad? Tattoos? I need brain bleach!

OK, so I M going 2 UGuelph 2day 4 a special program they've got there 4 prospective pre-vet students. I won't get home until sumtyme Saturday evening. I will prolly B able 2 check in & post each morning, but UGuelph is gonna keep me hella bizzy most of the rest of the time I M there, so I M gonna B a bit scarce here.


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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dad shares strategies w/Mike

Yep, more stories from the Patterpast coming yr way, via Mike. Here goes the l8est:

Formerly little sis. There was a moment when Elizabeth was modeling Grandma Marian’s old wedding dress in front of Dad where he was looking at it carefully and saying, “I’ve seen this dress before. It’s…” and then both mom and Deanna gave Dad such a glare it could have peeled paint off the walls. Actually it did a little, so I need to buy some touch up paint. Dad followed up with “It’s absolutely and definitely Grandma Marian’s dress. There is no doubt in my mind it is Grandma Marian’s. Yessir. Grandma Marian’s.”

After the ladies left, I said to Dad, “That was a close one Dad. You almost revealed where the dress really came from.” Dad said, “Michael. That was not close. That was an easy one. When your wife gives you a look like that, you know you are headed in the wrong direction. The most difficult ones are the ones where your wife doesn’t give any direction.” I said, “Like what?”

Dad said, “For example, back in 1979, your mom would lie in bed at night and say, ‘Considering I’m over 30, John, I’ve decided to be very objective about my looks.’” I laughed when he said that. I said, “Mom? When has she ever been objective about her looks?” Dad said, “Exactly. So she would continue on and say, ‘So---on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say I’m 7…What do you think?...or am I 6?...(There are odd days I’m 8)….)’” I interrupted saying, “Then you must have said, ‘Oh, I think you act older than all those ages.’?” Dad said, “No, Michael. When a woman is talking about her appearance, a husband must never make jokes, at least not jokes that make any sense. You can say something like, ‘I’ll always be able to read between them (lines)…’ which makes no sense at all; but never tell a joke. The best thing to do when you are lying in bed and your wife starts talking about her appearance is to close your eyes and pretend to be asleep.” I said, “Does that work?” Dad said, “Not very often, but it is worth it when it does.”

I said, “What do you do when it doesn’t work?” Dad said, “Well. When she insists on getting an answer, which she usually does with a single word question like, "WELL?", then what I do is say, ‘If you think I’m falling into that trap, you’re crazy!’” I said, “Does that work?” Dad said, “Boy does it ever. Instead of talking about her looks, which is a very dangerous topic, you are instead talking about her sanity, which is much safer. She will almost always say, ‘Well, if I’m crazy, it’s you and the kids who drove me there.’ Then, if you are lucky, she will be in a huff, roll over and go to sleep after muttering to herself for an hour. If you are not lucky, she may go back to her original subject.” I said, “What happens then?” Dad said, “If you have to give her a number, 7 is a pretty safe number. It’s higher than average, but low enough so she will believe you are giving her an honest answer.”

It was another valuable lesson from Dad. He is wise in the ways of the womenfolk.

Michael Patterson
Hm, it seems sad that Mom was trippin' over being "over 30." No1 seems 2 consider "over 30" 2 B "ZOMG teh old" these days, eh?

Howard, that was an interesting theory U had abt Mom's nose being surgically altered to gather up skin that wd otherwise wrinkle, but if it has been, I don't know NEthing abt it. MayB Mike wd know.


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Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Still with the flashbacks. Who knows how long? Here's what Mike sez:

Formerly little sis. Since my wife, the lovely Deanna, and mom have been helping Elizabeth plan out that wedding of hers; occasionally Deanna comes home with an interesting story of how the day's planning has gone. The common story Deanna tells frequently involves someone, like a florist for example, who asks Elizabeth to recount her story of romance and love with Anthony Caine. After Elizabeth tells the story of her proposal, oftentimes people react with a "Well, that's different." or "I am sure he meant to say he loved you."

What these people do not realize is that deep, down inside, Elizabeth wants a man just like Dad. And, to be honest, these ideas about Dad's romantic side were formed at a very early age, like in 1979. I remember one time, when Mom started shrieking, "OH NO! I've got a WRINKLE!" This went on for quite some time, until Dad finally got up from reading his newspaper and said, "Well, kids. It looks like I have to go in. If I don't come back, remember me well." Well, so Lizzie and I followed to see what he was talking about. He looked pretty nervous approaching the washroom, where mom was. He peaked his head around the side of the door and said, "So...What's one wrinkle?" As near as I could tell, mom was standing in front of the mirror with a reflection that looked somewhat like she was staring a ghost of herself, because she had no chin and her hair looked a sheet.

She turned around very quickly to Dad and said, "This is the beginning! This is it! Some day I'll be covered with LINES!!!" Dad looked startled. I thought she was coming at him with a knife, until I realized it was just mom's hand with razor-sharp claws on it. That was a relief.

Then Dad turned on the old Patterson charm and calmed Mom down. In one simple phrase, Dad let Mom know that no matter how wrinkled and ugly she got, he would be able to still understand her. Lizzie sighed when she heard him say it, and I could tell, even then, her idea of romantic love was being formed. Dad said, "I'll always be able to read between them..." and he turned and walked away from Mom with a smile on his face. Problem solved.

I know some people might think that "read between the lines" means "to understand the unexpressed but implied meaning of something said or written" and that lines on someone's face are not said or written. To those people I would say, "Stop taking things so literally!!" Some people.

Michael Patterson
Wow, ppl did U C what just happened there? Mike telling folks NOT 2 take things literally? Mike, who usually goes out of his way 2 take things overly literally? I think I'm in shock.


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Monday, April 07, 2008

Mom shares a devous secret w/Mike

Ugh, we R back 2 the past, ppl! Mike has this 2 share:

Formerly little sis. It was not until I was quite old before I realized just how it was that Mom was so effective in getting all those household chores done. She was telling me the story about how she was vacuuming the house in her usual vaccuming posture which made it appear as though she was able to lean completely over with no apparent support from her legs, and the sounds which wafted through the air were, "VACUUM VACUUM DUST "WIPE". I had to stop mom and say, "You know I just realized when I was growing up, I was probably so amazed by your vacuuming posture's ability to defy most of the physical laws of nature; I didn't notice that the "DUST" and "WIPE" noises did not make much sense coming from a person who was vacuuming." Mom said, "Well, Michael. You finally caught on. I don't think your father ever has; so don't tell him. He used to be so engrossed in his paper, I could be holding little Lizzie in one arm and pouring water into a bowl with the other arm, all the while the sounds, 'COOK STIR CHOP POUR' were going on. He never noticed that the only sound which was appropriate for the situation was 'POUR'. I could pour a little water and he would think I had made a whole meal." I said to mom, "That's amazing. Please don't teach Deanna how to do that." Mom said, "I won't tell Deanna; if you don't tell your father." And so the bargain was made and kept to this day.

Mom's favourite story though involves one time when Dad looked up from his paper and said, "Look at this, Elly...They've developed a robot that can perform most household chores!" To which mom replied with a perfectly satisfied smirk on her face, "What's new? We've had one at our house for 7 years." How was Dad to deny it, with all those sound effects? Mom is a marvel, and I think, frankly, a lot more clever than the robot which took her place for 7 years. Would a robot come up with the idea to fool dad with onomatopoeia? I should say not.

Michael Patterson
Mike, U goof! Mom never had a robot 2 take her place. Her "joke" was supposta B that SHE was the robot in the house doing household chores. That was obvsly meant 2 make Dad feel guilty 4 not helping out v. much.


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Sunday, April 06, 2008

How NOT to cut hair

Mike has sumthing 2 share w/U all. The good news is that it's from the present. The bad news is that it's this:

Formerly little sis. Although it seems like my wife, the lovely Deanna, never has any hair grow on her and her perpetual bowl hair cut, the same cannot be said of my son. I know I had hoped that growing up, he would be like I used to be, with the receding hairline that caused me to bear more than a casual resemblance to that of my good friend Linus van Pelt. However, my son’s hair did not meet that expectation. It grew, and it grew enough so that my wife finally took him to a hair cutter.

I know that some people might say that over 3 years old, my son should have been going to haircutters regularly for some time; but those people do not understand the peculiarities of Patterson hair. When you think about it, April, how long has it been in your very own blog where you mentioned going to the hair salon for a hair cut or a change in your hair style? I am sure it has been months and months. Patterson hair just doesn’t grow that often or that quickly.

Deanna took my son to the Studio Salon next to the Video Store in the Milborough Mall. She had been forewarned that she might need to take a toy to distract him, while the haircutter did her business; but unfortunately no one told her that it was a good idea to give the toy to our son to distract him. As she told the story to me about her waving this toy around, while my son flailed about, it was pretty obvious what the flaw was. However, I restrained myself from mentioning it as Deanna recounted how a little storm cloud appeared above her head. Shortly thereafter, Deanna and my son left the salon doing the standard Patterson “wave goodbye while you are a few steps away from the doorway”. The haircutter stood at the store entrance and waved, which Deanna attributed to being “nice” and I attributed it to being the least busy haircutter (thus explaining her incompetence with my son).

Later that night, as my son lay sleeping, a mysterious creature approached my son in his slumbers. A creature armed with a pair of scissors. Yes, it was my lovely wife, Deanna, determined to give my son a haircut without him knowing. She had decided to rely on her knowledge that my son is not very light sleeper. She “CUT CUT CLIP CUT cut CUT” away at his hair on his left side with tiny two-fingered scissors. As my son briefly, “SNORK!”ed, she pulled away with caution, fear, and what appeared to me to be a deformed right hand. I have often noticed that of all the body parts of the Pattersons, which frequently appear to be deformed, the hands and fingers are usually the first to go.

Then as my son rolled over to his right side with a “MMFFF SNORK MMM SMACK SMACK, ZZZZ” sound, my lovely wife Deanna hid behind the protective gate on his bed; so that he wouldn’t see…I mean hear…That doesn’t work either. Could it be that she was trying to use the gate to block the air flow between her and my son, so that he wouldn’t catch her scent in the air?

She approached him again and “SNIP cut clip CUT CUT cut cut” on his right side. Deanna finished just before she went into a silhouette, which would have made seeing a little more difficult. My son reacted with a “SNORT UMPH SNZ”, and my wife hid behind the gate once again.

This next time, my son had moved so he was lying on his back with his face directly forward. I approached from behind in silhouette, as I heard the sound “CLIP, SNIP, CUT, CUT CLIP, CUT” and assumed from the sound and the fact I saw my wife with the scissors in her hand, these sounds came from her haircutting. However, looking more closely, I noticed Deanna was bent over. I began to suspect those sounds had come from some other source than haircutting. In other words, Deanna had been cutting something other than hair. Also, I noticed that Deanna was pointing her left hand fingers to my son as if she had him in some kind of magic spell.

She told me that at this point she thought “DONE!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she had completely missed the back of my son’s head. However, my son, the sound sleeper, had slept through it all, including when Deanna said out loud, “READY!” to me. That was my signal to pick up my son so that Deanna could collect all the hair cuttings in his bedsheets and replace the bedsheets with new clean ones.

Even as I lay him back into his bed, all he managed was a “SNRK” to indicate he knew anything had happened to him. This bolstered my wife’s confidence, and she said to me, “Tomorrow night I’ll cut his toe-nails.” This left me with a gobsmacked look on my face. After all, she had not tried taking my son to a nail salon before suggesting this.

He’s only a few months older than 3 years. I am beginning to wonder if it’s too early to think about toenail-cutting for my son. He may be too young. After all, April, when is the last time you can remember having to cut your toenails?

Michael Patterson
Mike, it is v. cruel of U 2 ask abt when was the last time I changed my hairstyle. U know v. well abt my hair curse, which has been demostr8ed 2 U so even U had 2 admit it was true. No matter what I do w/my hair, it goes in2 the stupid bun I almost always have. Every once in a while, I get a v. brief reprieve, like when I got 2 wear my hair down 4 Gym Jam, or when I got 2 wear it down with just the front strands pulled back, on the day Liz called me "picky face." As 4 my toenails, I have 2 trim them all the time. I just down blog abt that, cuz it's a v. boring topic.

Dee needs 2 get Robin used 2 having his hair cut and toenails trimmed when he's awake. I remember from babysitting Paul and Rosemary Mayes that they resisted this stuff @ 1st but they got used 2 it. Cuz Tracey didn't resort 2 handling it all when they were sleeping!


Edit: Mom just informed me that, for some reason, we have an alternate story to discuss 2day. She sez ppl haven't seen or heard abt the pets in so long they R starting 2 spread rumours that she tossed them in2 the basement 4 the entire winter. NEway, yesterday, Eddie went outside 2 dig up bones and composted garbage. When Mom was "SCRAPE, SCRAPE, GLOPP, SPLTT-ing" dog food in2 Eddie's bowl, I joked that she needn't feed him cuz he'd decided 2 eat out. Get it? "Out?" Yeah, I know, that was totally unfunny and I need 2 get out more. Plus I was having a "fugly" day, w/my hair titely bunned in that propeller 'do and me wearing a pink top and purple pants Mom picked up @ the mall on clearance and insisted I "try" cuz otherwise she wasted $5.99.

Second Edit: Mom sez she goofed and we R prolly gonna B discussing this doggie story again two wks from now. Sorry abt that. Mom may or may not have stopped feeding Dixie.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Deliver us from flashbacks!

Mike's got sum more flashbacky stuff 2 share w/all of U:

Formerly little sis. This has been such a strange week of reminiscing. When the week started out, I was sure it was going to be mom and Connie Poirier thinking back to the wonderful world of 1979. But as the week progressed, and there were moments when neither mom nor Connie Poirier appeared in my memories, I realized that it was I who would be thinking back to those great old days.

One of the greatest, I think, was the time when Dad gave me one of the best lessons I ever learned about married life. I was eating a sandwich in the usual Patterson style, which you know so well, and Dad was reading the paper, his customary position in the house. Something had been going on with the kettle. I am not sure what. It occasionally made a loud whistling noise, which I associated with coffee, which I also associated with mom being in a much better mood. Growing up, usually the kettle whistle was a happy sound.

On this particular morning, it was not. Mom came into the kitchen, picked up the kettle, turned it on its end so the set of 4 reflective squares and the spout were upward, and then she said, “You can see I’m busy, John…the least you could do is un-plug the kettle!” I adored and worshipped my mom, so naturally I followed suit and said, “Yeah, dad…you sure are lazy!” I remember dad had a startled look on his face when I said that, but I wasn’t sure if it was because of my criticism, or because he noticed that the bite marks on my sandwich kept moving around.

Now there are those people who might tell me that a parent shouldn’t criticize another parent in front of the children and that those kinds of disputes should be settled when the children aren’t around. They might say that it sets up a cycle of abuse where the child feels the criticized parent is fair game. Well, to those people I say, you could learn from my Dad.

Right after I told dad he was lazy, mom turned around and with Lizzie right there to see her, she said to me, “…And, Michael, it is NOT your place to criticize your father!” The lesson there should have been obvious to me. Dad didn’t correct me, but mom did. If you notice carefully, only one person is running around criticizing people and that was mom. However, Dad did not want to take any chance that I might have missed this crucial lesson and he said to me in a whisper with his hand oddly blocking the projection of his voice to my ear, “…You’re infringing on your mother’s territory.” At that age, I didn’t know what “infringing” or “territory” meant; but years later I looked up those words, and Dad’s lesson to me that day came beaming through. I learned that it is mom’s job, right and privilege to criticize everyone around her; and that no matter how strongly we may feel about an issue, mom has the first chance to tear into someone and rip them to shreds with criticism.

Once I opened that dictionary and realized what Dad was saying, I cannot tell how many times I avoided making that same mistake again. It was a life-saver, and I can honestly say it is probably the single best advice that a married man can get.

Michael Patterson
Aw, Mike. Mom and Dad really screwed U up! Of course, they raised me, 2, which makes me think that as soon as I get 2 uni I'll sign up 4 counseling so I can find out if/how much they screwed me up. And do sum fixing.

Duncan's silhouette, last nite U asked, "Speaking of mysteries, what did Trickie Beldan mean when she said, 'You better not invite Gerald to your sister’s wedding as your date, if you know what’s good for you'? That was kind of whacked. Like you would even do that." I will def. not ask Ger 2 Liz's wedding as my d8. But Liz has a terrible habit of not listening 2 NEthing I say 2 her, and she mite go ahead and invite him as my d8 w/out my permission. Especially since she, like Mike, thinx childhood sweethearts are destiny 4 all us Patterson kids. Jeremy and I R gonna hafta come up w/our own counter-plan.


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Friday, April 04, 2008

Dishes in the past

Yeah, still flashing back here. Mike sez this:

Formerly little sis. One of the things I miss from the days when Lizzie and I were both at home with mom was the way mom would occasionally bow into pressure and let us help. I remember very well, the first time mom let us help her do the dishes. She said to me, “Michael. I am going to run the water in the sink and when the water gets high enough, you turn off the water.” Of course, I didn’t know what “high enough” meant, but I soon found out. Mom had to let a little of that water out, but there was still plenty left. In fact, I discovered if you drop a dirty dish into the dishwater, the soap suds can achieve a pretty good velocity and distance. After mom noticed how good a job I was doing putting the dirty dishes into the soapy water, she asked me to stop and help Lizzie find something to do.

I opened up two of the cabinet doors by the sink. In one cabinet there were big stainless steel pots and pans and in the other cabinet were containers of cleaners. Well, the choice was obvious. The cleaning containers were much more colourful and attractive to someone Lizzie’s age. Stainless steel can be so dull and gray. I pulled out a nice yellow cleaner and said to Lizzie, “What colour is this Lizzie? It’s yellow. Can you say, ‘yellow’?” Lizzie was too little to notice the colours, but mom wasn’t.

She told Lizzie to play with the stainless steel pots and pans. Then she said to me, “Why don’t you help me by drying the dishes? That way I can keep a closer eye on you.” Mom would wash the dish, rinse the dish, and put it in the dish drainer to the left of the sink. I would stand on a stool and dry the dishes and put the dry ones to the left side of the dish drainer. I dried until I got one towel completely wet. Then I dried until I got another towel completely wet. Then I was out of towels, so I decided to use my shirt and pants instead. I was doing great until mom noticed me using my shirt and pants to dry the dishes. She started shrieking about it, and just about that time Lizzie discovered that if she were to slam together 2 lids of 2 stainless steel pans, it would make a pretty loud noise. Mom jumped at the sound of this, lost her footing on the wet floor, and then crashed her head into a cabinet. It was great fun. Lizzie shrieked and I said, “Again!”

However, mom just laid there with her eyes wide open. It wasn't until later that I learned that this is called “shock”, even though there was no electricity involved. I was having such a good time I said, “Can we do the dishes together again sometime, Ma?”

It was a long time before I ever did dishes again. That’s another of those things that made that first time with mom doing dishes so special.

Michael Patterson
At least it's Friday, foax. MayB we'll have only one more day of flashbackery. But it's hard 2 say. Tho I can say I M glad I wasn't around in those moldy, old days Mike has been telling us abt, eh?


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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Settle in 4 the awful reminiscing

We're in for @ least a wk of this, I h8 2 say. And it cd B more, since we went such a long stretch w/out the reminiscing. Here's the l8est bit from Mike:

Formerly little sis. As mom, my lovely wife Deanna and Elizabeth sequester themselves together to discuss wedding plans; I was reminded of an occasion in my youth when mom went off by herself back in 1979 or 1980. Whenever that happened dad was responsible for all of us and he had to get his man chores done too. For example, he would strap Lizzie onto his back while he mowed the yard and Lizzie would hold onto his neck for dear life. Lawn mowers can be pretty loud and frightening things for little girls, but dad knew better than to leave me alone with Lizzie back in those days. I knew how much dad hated doing that, so I usually gave him a good excuse to stop. For example, I might yell, “Hey, Dad! When’s lunch? Can we go someplace? DAD!” That almost always worked.

I remember another time, when I was sitting on the counter right beside the stove as Dad was breaking eggs into a pan to get ready to make eggs. He was pretty awful at it, and would get egg juice all over the stove top and stove front. I knew how much dad hated cooking, so I usually gave him a good excuse to stop. For example, I might say, “How come ma went off by herself, dad? Why’d she go without us!” That almost always worked and I would get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead.

I remember another time, when I was munching on my PB&J, eating in our usual Patterson style, and dad was changing Lizzie’s diaper, when dad actually answered that question. He said, “Your mother gets the urge, now & then, to get away from the house. She says she needs to be herself. To be free, I guess…” There was something called “Free to Be You and Me”, which I guess mom would quote whenever it was that she needed to get away.

These things were confusing to me. After all, if a man is going to have a proper home, then he needs to have his wife at home taking care of things. But I had heard of something from distant lands which could be the source of mom’s unmomlikeness. I said to dad, “Is that what they call women’s lip?” I remember very clearly, dad had Lizzie in one arm and his other arm held her bottle as he answered that question with a snort and a chuckle.

Of course I was young when I asked that question. I did not know about women’s liberation with a B. But in the intervening time I have come to realize that my youthful self was full of childlike wisdom. After all, in Milborough, a woman’s lip is a much more dangerous thing than any organization for Women’s liberation.

Michael Patterson
C how ptless that story was? I guess it's supposta sumhow tie in w/what Connie was saying last wk abt when she and Mom were in their 30s and xxpected, according 2 Connie, 2 do it all (working*, kids, housework). Xxcept thoze times when Dad gave Mom "time off." Just like Mike sumtymez does w/Dee. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.


*And Mom wasn't working outside the house @ the time. And Connie was single.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Crud, the Flashbacks are Back

Oh, no. Here we go again. We're in2 flashbacks again. And 4 how long. Prepare 4 despair. There's this from Mike:

Formerly little sis. Did you know that a long time ago, mom used to take me, Lizzie and 5 other children from other families to the movies for my birthday? I remember one time in particular. I had decided I wanted to see the movie Godzilla Meets the 3 Bionic Bears. You may be too young to remember Godzilla, but he was a mutant, fire-breathing dinosaur and I was a huge fan. However, if you are a true Godzilla fan, you will recognize that Godzilla Meets the 3 Bionic Bears was not a real Godzilla movie, but a knockoff picture. Back in 1980, it was a few years after the Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman were no longer on television; but for middle-aged housewives in 1980, the word “bionic” was considered to be funny for many years to come. One of these housewives created the Bionic Bears, and also this knock-off movie. Godzilla, as it turned out, was not a giant, fire-breathing, mutant dinosaur; but a character who looked about as menacing as Cookie Monster, and whose nose appeared or disappeared in the movie without any reason to it. In fact, there was one section where the 3 Bionic Bears and Godzilla had a musical number, which I remember this day called, “Bears with Bionics will Break Your Bicuspids”.

I remember the movie especially from the time we stood in line to see it. The lady selling the movie tickets was actually peeling them off a roll of tickets, and she was very slow about it. Mom described her ticket order as “Seven children…and one demented adult…..” which confused the lady completely, and she spent a long time looking for the roll of tickets for demented adults. In the meantime, I was desperate for mom’s protection, because one of my birthday guest invitees decided he was going to punch me out for bringing him to such a lame movie. He was also upset that mom forced us to wear pointy birthday hats in the line, so she could tell which kids were which. Needless to say, only about 4 of us abided by that rule.

It was pretty much chaos in the line otherwise. There was a boy blowing a bubble. One boy stuck out his tongue at a girl in my birthday party, while she was yelling at him to stop it. (I think she ended up pulling some of his hair out. I forget exactly.) Then behind a nerdy boy and his very blonde girlfriend was a young boy in a sweater, who kept trying to poke out his eye with his finger. Most everyone else was fairly well-behaved, until they realized mom kept on making jokes about her situation. Demented adult, maniacal mother, psychopathic parent, etc.; until the people behind her told her to stop with the jokes and get a ticket already.

For some reason, mom mentioned that she remembered this story thanks to someone having a birthday yesterday, but she couldn’t remember who it was. If she ever remembers, don’t let her take you to see Godzilla Meets the 3 Bionic Bears. It was awful.

Michael Patterson
Yuck. That story is icky. One thing that hasn't changed abt Mom over the years? She still thinx she's way funny when she's just NOT.


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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mom laments her butt yet again

So, yesterday, I told you about Mom and Connie having one of their lil coffee chitchats. Well, it was time 4 the ritualistic washing of the coffee mugs, so Mom hauled her Patterbutt 2 the sink and Connie followed. I peeked in the kitchen and saw that Mom and Connie were both having really bad arse days. And the camera Mike has been referring 2 l8ly? I cd swear if we had one, it wd B strategically placed @ worm's-eye view 2 maximize these gluteii. I was thinking, "Uh-oh. This is going 2 B a set-up 4 a joke abt how expansive these tushes R." I kinda settled in, leaning against a wall where I wasn't in their line of site but cd catch their convo. Naturally, I M sorry I did.

Connie was all, "I think it wd B gr8 2 B in our 30s rite now, El. Ppl R so much more open-minded. Nowadays, the guyz seem 2 pitch in more. They'll carry the kids, get the groceries, do the laundry--and it's perfectly OK! When we were young, we were expected 2 hold down a job and do all the housework. The whole thing was on OUR shoulders!" Seriously? In the 80s? Does Connie know how old she is? NEway, Mom was all, "Hmmm." Then she put aside the mug she had just dried, put a hand next 2 each giant hip, as if she was checking on the guns in her invisible holster, and sed, "MayB that's Y we're shaped like this." Connie laffed, even tho it wasn't funny.

Here's a clue, Mom. Regular exercise and sensible eating. Consistently. Look in2 it.


Edit: And yeah, it's my birthday. I'm 17, yo! 'Course that means I have more than a yr B4 I M outta here 4 uni.

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