Elise Sereni
     Patkotak
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

...when the bug hits, I do major damage. Which is my excuse and defense for driving into the Subaru dealership last week to get my car its sixty thousand mile checkup and driving out in a new used car.  Impulse buying is not a good thing when you are standing in a car dealership.  On the other hand, you literally have to shove a Subaru off a cliff or shoot it to kill it so I justify this on the basis of the fact that I won’t need to buy another one for twenty years. I also won’t be able to afford another one for twenty years but that’s a whole other story.

Elise Patkotak • 03:51 AM •
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I made my grandmother’s Easter sweet bread last week. My friend getting chemo is eating it and not having a problem keeping it down. Just proves what I’ve always said, Italian food has curative powers.  It’s as fattening as hell but oh so curative.

Elise Patkotak • 03:48 AM •
Monday, March 24, 2008

Thanks to the heroic efforts of my technical team, the site is back in business and better than ever. AND.....we beat the Russians once again. Americans 1...Russian Bot computers 0.

Elise Patkotak • 09:45 AM •
Thursday, March 20, 2008

I think I will spit up if I have to see the picture one more time - a seemingly contrite politician who has been caught with his pants down apologizing for his betrayal of the public and his family’s trust. And behind him, circles under her eyes, grim expression on her face, stands his wife.  Why, if she isn’t an accomplice, does she have to do the perp walk with him? Why, when he has already embarrassed and humiliated her in the worse way possible, is she now expected to publicly stand by her man and become a victim twice violated?

Just once I’d like to see the scumbag who betrayed her NOT ask her to be by his side. Just once I’d like to see her spared the public humiliation following the private devastation.
Barring that, then just once I’d like to see her reach her hands up to his throat as he makes his pathetic announcement of shame and disappointment in his behavior and have her throttle him until he wets himself in public. Then it would seem at least a little fairer.
I don’t have any doubt as to why the men in these situations ask their wives to stand by them. I think it’s clear that they have an extremely inflated opinion of themselves as somehow being above and outside the laws that govern us mere mortals.  When you have that kind of bloated ego, there is no question that you would assume that your wife will stand beside you no matter what. These men figure that in America there is always a second act and theirs will be easier if they can convince their wives to be loyal to them.
But my real question is what are these women thinking? Or are they thinking at all? If you look at the pictures of Mrs. Spitzer, she looks like someone in such shock that she doesn’t yet realize where she is or what she’s doing. Maybe someone pushed her onstage and she just went where they pointed...the good little wife of a powerful politician. Otherwise, why would she be out there on that podium being publicly shamed by the fact that her husband doesn’t feel she’s enough woman for him.
Check out pictures of Hillary Clinton during Bill’s public mea culpa. She has a look in her eye that should have caused Bill to sleep with the door securely locked and as many secret service people as possible surrounding him. Hillary doesn’t look abashed or humiliated. She looks very, very mad. If a woman chooses to go public with her husband during this kind of bad time, that’s at least a better look.
There was a time when men indulged in this behavior with impunity because of an unwritten agreement with the media to close their eyes to what was going on. This is probably the only thing that kept Jackie Kennedy from the humiliation of the same sad fate. But ever since Gary Hart, the gloves have been off and any politician worth his salt knows that his peccadilloes are fair game for press coverage. And the press has figured out they should most closely scrutinize those who protest the loudest about the sad level of morals in this country. It seems that the louder the politicians’ scream against homosexuality, promiscuity and drugs, the more likely they are to be indulging in all three.
Last week I wrote a column about a powerful woman in this state. There is probably not a snowball’s chance in hell that we will ever see the First Dude standing beside her as she admits to illegal acts of infidelity.  (Well, honestly, where would she find the time?) But the fact is I don’t know of any instance in which we have had a female politician doing the moral turpitude perp walk with her husband by her side. It’s an area in which I hope women never catch up with men.
My dream is that no woman is ever again asked to stand by her husband’s side while her humiliation becomes the subject of late night comics. But if the inevitable occurs, I hope the men can find enough honor to leave their wives out of it. And women, if you feel obligated to stand by their side, at least take a page from Hillary’s book and give him a look that makes it clear his public penance is nothing compared to what he’s about to pay privately.

Elise Patkotak • 06:23 AM •
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My friend handed me his cell phone as I sat down to have lunch with him. A mutual friend was on the line who wanted to say hello. After a very few brief minutes of uncomfortable conversation, I told her i had to go. And I realized then why I will never be able to do what others do so easily...carry on a cell phone conversation in public. It’s because I feel positively open, exposed and vulnerable in a way I don’t when speaking to someone right there. And that’s because I can’t lower my voice or keep the conversation private. I have to speak loudly and I feel as though I am imposing my conversation on all around me and all around me are hearing my private conversation. And I hate that. So I guess I never will see the need to own or carry a cell phone. Thank god.

Elise Patkotak • 06:14 AM •
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It occurs to me that I should mention the problem that took the site down for a few days so that you are all assured it probably won’t happen again. I would explain it if I understood it fully. It had something to do with track backs and spammers trying to get a free viewing on my website. Lucky for me I have the best person in the whole world taking care of my website. She has put a stop to those evil people trying to misuse my track back...whatever the hell that actually is.  Mostly, you should all know that no one’s security was compromised in that no one got your e-mail address because you stopped by for a visit.
So all should be ok from now on. Everyone is safe. Track backs are under control and constant scrutiny. And the sun will come out tomorrow.  Bet your bottom dollar.
Take that, you evil mis-users of track backs!

Elise Patkotak • 06:54 AM •
Monday, March 17, 2008

Will the pope consign me to hell if I wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s day during holy week? What if I do it with great sadness?  Great reverence?  Not the hint of joy? Only yellow, not green, beer?

Elise Patkotak • 06:12 AM •
Sunday, March 16, 2008

Because every morning when I get the birds out of their sleep room, Captain (my Amazon parrot) and CB (a bare eyed cockatoo who is the love of his life) have sex down on their main perch for all to see.  Since they are different species, this will amount to nothing more than sterile eggs laid by CB. But oh the look of bliss on their faces as they have their morning delight.  It’s nice to know that someone or something in this house is having sex, I guess.

Elise Patkotak • 06:00 AM •
Saturday, March 15, 2008

Always put hair product in your hair BEFORE you cream your hands. Trust me on this.

Elise Patkotak • 06:33 AM •
Friday, March 14, 2008

How was popcorn discovered? I mean, who thought to through some corn into a fire, watch it explode and then taste it?  Ancient man was daring indeed.

Elise Patkotak • 06:04 AM •
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Excuse me, but I just have to say this. Darn that Sarah Palin!  And believe me, when that phrase first popped into my head, darn was not necessarily the euphemism that came with it.  I know life is not necessarily fair, but this is ridiculous.  I look more pregnant when I’m constipated than Palin looks two months before delivery.  Where is the fairness in that? I have friends who swear they looked more pregnant seven minutes after conception than she does now.

This woman was doing shoots for Vogue magazine when she was at least four or five months pregnant, and they weren’t pictures of women who look good pregnant. They were pictures of powerful women who just look good period. If she is trying to lose the vote of every woman who has ever run through the grocery store with a hoodie pulled up over her head because she was having a bad hair week, she’s done it.
Then, just when I thought she had finally pushed me to the limit, what with being beautiful and having a seemingly great husband and nice kids and a good job and all that stuff, I read this quote from her in the newspaper story that broke her pregnancy secret. “To any critics who say a woman can’t think and work and carry a baby at the same time, I’d just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave.” And I fell for her all over again.
Young women entering the workforce today may not completely understand what this means to those of us who entered the workforce at a very different time and under very different circumstances.  Let me illustrate.
When this story first broke, a professional organization I belong to was in the process of lining up its May luncheon speaker.  Palin had been at the top of the list of people being considered. Needless to say, the idea that she might go into labor while addressing the group gave us some pause to discuss alternatives. And so a flurry of e-mails ensued about whether it was a good idea to invite someone so potentially close to her due date to be our featured speaker.
One of the people engaged in the discussion described how, when she was pregnant with her first child, her employer made her stop working a full month before her due date despite the fact that she was having a healthy pregnancy that was not in any way affecting her job performance. She suggested that perhaps that employer had the ulterior motive of forcing her off the payroll before the paid Christmas and New Year’s holidays happened.  This same woman then went on to write that when her daughter had her first child, she worked up to the day before she delivered and no one really saw anything strange, odd or scary about that.
Today’s young women in the workforce didn’t even blink when they read that Palin went back to work as Wasilla’s mayor the day after her last child was born; it was business as usual. But to those of us of a certain age, it signified a victory. Those young women who today shy away from being called feminists or libbers have the freedom to do so because us old ladies wore those names proudly and refused to be held back due to prejudices and misconceptions about how gender affects workplace performance.
I’ve actually heard men defend the male monopoly on positions of power because of their fear that if a woman was having a baby when a crisis occurred, she wouldn’t be there to do her job. And all I could think was that George Bush was probably more sedated when he had his colonoscopy than most women are while delivering.  And no one worried that because Bush had a colon, he couldn’t be president.  There were lots of other reasons some of us didn’t think he could do the job, but his colon wasn’t one of them.
I will eventually get over the desire to stand up and scream at Sarah Palin, “Are you kidding me here? You’ve seven months pregnant? Where are you carrying this baby?  In your pocket?” Once that impulse has passed, I’ll be left with a quiet feeling of satisfaction that I was of the generation that led to all the Sarah Palins who dot the American landscape today. Happy baby, Governor!  Way to show’em how it’s done!

Elise Patkotak • 06:21 AM •
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The politician’s faithful wife by his side, her face pulled into an unreadable expression, as he admits to indiscretions, to cheating on their marriage. As he publicly humiliates her yet again, there she stands, by his side in the same picture we have of so many wives.  Now it’s Mrs.Spitzer’s turn. And I wonder why one of these wives doesn’t just look their husband in the eye and say, “Screw you. Go out there and face the music yourself. It’s your music. Not mine.”

Elise Patkotak • 06:47 AM •
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

For all you who are awaiting my reaction to the fact that our governor is seven months pregnant and had to tell us because she still wasn’t showing, be patient. This week’s column should answer all your questions. Meanwhile, all you ladies should feel free to eat ALL the leftover Valentine candy in your house and any Christmas candies you find between the couch pillows. It is simply the healthiest first response to this announcement.

Elise Patkotak • 06:25 AM •
Monday, March 10, 2008

Am I the only one who finds it funny that even OPEC won’t listen to George Bush? In case you missed it, they refused to up their output despite his request based on the theory that he screwed up the American economy and there was no reason for them to rescue him. Yep, you know your reputation in America really sucks when even OPEC is dissing you and no one defends you from them.

Elise Patkotak • 06:41 AM •
Sunday, March 09, 2008

When it comes to George Clooney I am absolutely a limp noodle. It must be the Italian in him. God I hate being part of the crowd.

Elise Patkotak • 06:12 AM •

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