April's Real Blog

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mike wrings rungs

Mike has sum more 2 tell U all abt the whole "book" thing:

Formerly little sis. I remember back to February 14, 2007, Valentine’s Day, a day when one spends time with your beloved. I remember it in particularly because I had gone to Toronto to get Josef Weeder to check out the contract for my book deal, when he revealed that he and Carleen were buying Lovey Saltzman’s apartments using a loan from Jo’s dad. Josef and I drove over to see the burnt out apartments where we used to live and Lovey was there. Then Jo described his plans for the apartments which looked like nothing but silhouettes back in 2007. It was a magical time and made especially magical getting to share it with Jo…and Lovey, and listening to him as he described his plans for the future.

Well, my lovely wife Deanna and I went to visit Carleen and Josef in those apartments after all their renovations. Let me tell you April, what a difference a year and 3 months make. They look like apartments again and not like silhouettes of apartments. Also, Josef and Carleen have moved into the downstairs landlord spot previously occupied by Lovey and her husband, the never-seen and practically invisible Morrie. I think someone was taking care of our kids while we went there. Hum! Was that you? I forget.

In any case, since this was shortly after my book had been published, most of the conversation naturally revolved around that, as it was the social event of the Milborough season. Carleen was there, and she looked more like the Carleen I remembered from years gone by, except for that bulge in her pants. At least her face was almost back to normal. She said to me, “You’re gonna be famous, Mike!” This was, of course, another tip-off it was not really Carleen, who almost never says things like “gonna”. However, I did not want this fake Carleen to know I was on to her / it; so I responded the only way a Patterson could respond, which was, “I don’t want to be famous, Carleen…I just want to make a decent living.” I am sure you know the kind about which I am talking, formerly little sis, i.e. just like mom and dad make a decent living.

Josef Weeder pointed out that “If this book sells like the last one, you’ll be sailing!” This is what I love about the man. He can come up with a pun, and it isn’t even the end of the conversation. “sailing” is a reference to the storyline of Blood Cargo, about a young sailor on a sailing boat in 1874. Josef was handing out champagne flutes as he said this and when I realized it was Josef handing out refreshments instead of Carleen, who usually does it, I had another confirmation for my suspicions. I reached for the champage to have one, while saying, “You’re not doing so badly!” It was subtle….probably too subtle… to let him know I was onto this fake Carleen.

By the time Josef handed out champagne flutes to all 4 of us, he responded with “Yeah, we’re paying down 2 mortgages and putting some in the bank!” Deanna said, “Life is good!” because she loves getting to drink alcohol. I think she missed the part of Josef paying down 2 mortgages, which is not exactly a model of life being good. The 2 mortgages are the one on his photography studio and the one on those apartments he bought from Lovey.

Suddenly it went dark. Josef said, “Damn it. I have to go get a ladder and climb up to the attic to fix that.” And he said in yet another spectacular pun / toast, “To climbing the ladder!” Which we repeated back to him. You see, April, Josef had to get a ladder and climb it, but the phrase also means becoming more successful, so it works as a pun with the conversational topic.

Then I raised up my champagne flute and said, “And, here’s to those who helped us onto the first rung!!” Those champagne flutes were awfully skinny and I noticed my hand practically had to mangle itself to hold it. Deanna said, “Mike. Hold it normally, or you are going to spill it all over…Sheesh, Mike. What is it with your family and deformed hands?” Josef said, “What do you mean? Are you saying I should raise a toast to my father, who loaned us money for this property? I pay him interest, man, and he makes a big stink about how flaky photographers are when we are even the least, little bit late.” Carleen said, “Now, Josef. Don’t exaggerate. You and your father are getting along better than you ever have. Now that he’s seen you’re with a nice Jewish girl and not chasing after Shiksa models and you are willing to make investments, I am sure he will put you back in his will.” Deanna said, “I am sure Mike is just talking about me. After I got the job as the pharmacy manager, I started making enough money so that Mike could quit his job at Portrait Magazine and work full-time on his writing.” And of course I pointed out that although those were excellent guesses, I was really making a toast to our mom. Without her help and those fabulous editing skills, I would have never done as well as I have done. Deanna was in a foul mood the rest of the night. It was a mistake to let her drink. She cannot handle her alcohol.

Someday, April, when you are a famous veterinarian, you can look back on that moment when you realized that if it weren’t for mom, you wouldn’t be climbing the ladder of veterinary success.

Michael Patterson
Yes, Mike, it was me watching yr kids. U're welcome. And I think U R so pun-obsessed, U R forcibly C-ing them where they weren't even intended. But NEway, whatev I achieve will B from working super-hard. In spite of Mom.

Anonymous, about Lilliput's. If U weren't reading Mom's monthly letters regularly back when we were still doing those (and I wdn't blame U), U mighta missed where Mom discussed selling books for grown-ups. She lamented that classic literature didn't sell better than it did and mused that it might fare better if she gave the old classics categories like "bodice rippers" and "thrillers." I suggested that they might redecorate the store so that ppl don't assume they don't sell grown-up books, but Mom doesn't listen 2 me.


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  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger howard said…


    I ran into Carleen Stein in Toronto today. I said to her, “Carleen. Is it my imagination, or do you have a little baby bump going there?” Carleen said, “Howard!! Shut up! It’s just your imagination.” That’s what she said; but I am not so sure. Your brother has been going on about how he doesn’t recognize Carleen because she doesn’t look the same and she has been acting differently. I wonder.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 2:11 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i know that upset u, but u shudn’t take it personal. we ran across becky & gerald & they were celebr8in’ sum recordin’ deal becky got. gerald sed, “ur gonna b famous, becky.” then becky sed, “i don’t wanna b famous, gerald… i wanna be a diva.” then gerald sed, “if ur album sells like the last 1, u’ll be divalicious.” then becky sed, “ur not doin’ so badly.” then gerald sed, “yeah, since my band broke up i have tyme 2b tourin’ w/u, doin’ local gigz & puttin’ sum in the bank.” becky sed, “life iz good.” then gerald sed, “2 gettin’ out mboro.” then becky sed, “2 gettin’ outa mboro. & here’s 2 those who sed u cudn’t b famous & still have friendz or go 2 university.” then they both looked @u & i wuz standin’ there 2, but i cud tell u thot they meant u. i mean it’s not rilly u that sed all that. it think it wuz mainly ur dad, so u shudn’t take it personal.

  • At 2:45 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    thanx, jeremy. it just pisses me off when sum1 in my fam sez sumthing dumb and ppl act like they speak 4 every1 in the fam. so not fair!


  • At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Thanks for your clarification on Ms Patterson's comprehensive understanding of the classics, and her desire to increase their market share in our contemporary culture. I did indeed miss those monthly letters, and I suppose the last time I had been there the 'Great Works' shelf might have been hidden behind the Snoopy jigsaw puzzles. Your suggestion, although unheeded, was most wise.

    Unfortunately, I blew my book budget on BLOOD CARGO -- darn, hardcovers are expensive! I guess the Tolstoy can wait until next time. I prefer rum windjammers to vodka railroads anyway.

    Thanks for the information!

  • At 1:11 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Ah the good old days of university. I remember them well. Just the other day, when my lovely wife Deanna and I went to Toronto to our old apartment building to visit with Josef Weeder and his significant other, Carleen Stein; I was sitting in front of a coffee table which held some snacks, and I felt the rush of memories from days gone by. I said to Josef, “We’ve been friends for a long time, Weed.” Weed had his hand in the snack bowl and said, “I’m guessing it’s like 13 years.” Weed is not particularly good with exact dates and times because of all his years when Weed was not just a nickname but a way of life for him. However, 13 years seemed about right to me too.

    I looked down at his hand in the snack bowl, and it brought forth another rush of memories. I said, “Remember? We were so broke!...Living in that dingy apartment…” I was about to mention our old landlady Mrs. Dingle but whenever I do that, I have to call and make sure she hasn’t had another stroke, I mean heart attack, no stroke. Anyway, Weed continued by saying, “Begging for laundry money…eating beans!” instead of eating fine snacks.

    Suddenly it went dark and being in the dark with Josef brought forth another rush of memories of times when Weed and I were in university in the dark. Weed said, “And now we’re doing OK!” and he “WHAK”ed me in the head. I said, “Yeah! We’re doing OK!” and I “BOOT!”ed him in the knee. Then we were wrestling, just the way we had done in university. I grabbed Weed’s right arm while his left arm had me in a headlock. So, I put his left knee between my thighs and oh my…just a moment….I need to step back a little.

    OK, I am back now. Just needed a little rest. Where was I? Yes, Weed and I were wrestling and I grabbed him from behind so his back was resting against my chest. His right arm was reaching back for my head, as he attempted to buck me off him. We were starting to get sweaty, as our bodies writhed against each other and…oh goodness…I need to take another brief rest.

    Well, I feel much better now. I am certainly glad I got that out of my system. Unlike when I was in university rooming with Josef, this wrestling ended with my lovely wife Deanna and Carleen Stein walking into the room as Deanna said, “Isn’t it nice to see guys hug.” It was embarrassing, I must say. One of my biggest nightmares is the idea that my wife would walk in on me and Josef doing the types of things we used to do when we were young and foolish and living together in university. It is certainly not the kind of behavour she would expect out of her husband and the father of her children.

    It just goes to show that when you have a good friend like Josef Weeder is to me, there is always that sense of playfulness about us, no matter how successful we may each become.

    Michael Patterson


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