Elise Sereni
     Patkotak
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This Saturday, Bird TLC is having its annual Autumn Wings Festival to wave goodbye to all the birds smart enough to get the hell out of Alaska before winter hits.
Join us at our property above Potter’s Marsh off the Old Seward Highway right past the Russian Orthodox Church from 12 to 4. There will be birds, games, food, coffee… all kinds of exciting things to do and see.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:21 AM •
Monday, August 11, 2014

For the first time in 44 years I am not sharing my living room/dining room with one or more parrots. The final three were moved downstairs yesterday to join the other four. And now the top floor is only for people… and, of course, dogs. But it feels so weird and lonely. I spent half the evening downstairs because it felt so empty upstairs. I’ll admit that it was nice to watch tv without any competing sounds like screeches and high pitched whistles but still… It feels as though they are miles away. I imagine I’ll get used to the silence and maybe even eventually like it. But for now, I’ll be spending a lot more time downstairs.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:13 AM •
Sunday, August 10, 2014
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He is the newest addition to our large and extended beyond belief Italian American family. He may look like a frog now… a distinct improvement over those who come out looking like Winston Churchill… but given the overall size of his head, I’d have to guess he will soon look like all other Zeccardi males. His head will be a third as big as the rest of his body.
Welcome to the family, Luca. We may be a bit insane, but we are your family so live with it! We promise to love you more than you can imagine and hug you more than you can ever possibly want in your entire life.
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:32 AM •
Saturday, August 09, 2014

I was wondering why none of those obnoxious political ads were appearing on certain cable channels like Comedy Central. That channel has to be a cheaper buy than some of the others that are drenched with those ads. But I finally understand why they aren’t shown there. It would be impossible to tell the ads from the satire, the real ad from the joke. God this is starting to make me hate democracy.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:13 AM •
Friday, August 08, 2014

Thought I’d try something almost healthy and tasty. Made chili with ground lamb. Waste of good lamb. Once the chili flavoring is mixed in, it could be ground paper and it would all taste the same.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:03 AM •
Thursday, August 07, 2014

If you are one of the ten or so people out there who really understand the issues involved in the Prop 1 oil tax debate feel free to move on to sports or comics. If, however, you are like me and probably most Alaskans who feel they are being bombarded with conflicting numbers, statements, claims and ads… oh lord the ads… then please read on.

I’m not an economist, as anyone who has ever asked me a question about financial issues and seen the deer in a headlight look that comes over my face knows all too well. On the other hand, I have friends who save every receipt, balance their checkbook monthly, and do their own taxes. They too look perplexed when asked about Prop 1. It’s creating jobs. It’s not creating jobs. It will make our economy stronger. It will cost us billions. It’s a financial boon for Alaska. It’s a financial give away.
So how is the average Alaskan supposed to understand and vote with any intelligence on this issue?
All the ads on TV relating to this topic seem to highlight average Alaskans speaking about how much the oil tax reform initiated by the Parnell administration has helped Alaska’s economy. I would find this argument much more compelling were not all those ads paid for by the oil companies. After fifty ads in one evening of TV viewing, it feels like overkill. I find myself perversely wanting to vote yes just because I feel as though they are trying to shove no down my throat. There is a David and Goliath battle happening on the airwaves and I, for one, am starting to feel very bad for David.
I do not view the oil companies in Alaska as some sort of enemy. Yes, I worry about the environment. Given their general history of not actually being able to do anything about oil spills in water despite all those fancy plans on paper, I think this is a reasonable worry in a state with a major fishing industry. But I also know that they can be great neighbors and corporate citizens. The names of oil companies in this state usually are at the top of any fundraising campaign for just about every charity we have. I’m pretty sure, though, when the oil goes dry and they pack up and leave, so will their charitable contributions. So while viewing them as good neighbors, I also view them realistically. And realistically, I can’t imagine them spending as much money as they have on advertising against Prop 1 if they didn’t have one heckuva stake in maintaining the change.
In today’s world of competing realities, it is said that you can have your own opinion but not your own facts. Facts should be facts, information devoid of emotion or political leaning, information that is provable. The problem many of us have with this Prop 1 debate is that both sides are presenting often contradictory facts that are absolutely confusing to the average person. So whose facts are we supposed to believe?
Well, it we can’t muddle through all the confusing numbers being bandied about, let’s try some common sense. Would the oil companies be this passionate about Prop 1 were it not in their very best interest? Do their best interests align with Alaska’s best interests in extracting its non-renewable resources? And does anyone really believe the oil companies will pull up stakes and leave the state if they only get to make a $5 billion profit instead of $7 billion? As long as we have oil and gas, we have an asset someone will want. Are the oil companies really going to walk away from that? If they are primarily responsible to their shareholders to create a distributable profit each year, will they ever put Alaska’s needs first? Is the current exploratory climate really the result of oil tax reform or would those assets be getting explored anyway?
I probably won’t know how I’ll vote until I’m actually in the voting booth. I have a feeling I’ll be hearing the tagline to all those commercials playing in my head like that fragment of song that loops and re-loops through your brain no matter how hard you try to dislodge it. The real question is how that will affect the way I vote.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:28 AM •
Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The minute the first drop of rain hits, my dogs boycott the outdoors completely. This means changing puppy pads in my home about ten times a day. There seems to be no convincing them to just go out anyway and get a little wet. I believe the term I’m looking for here is PRIMA DONNAS!

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:29 AM •
Tuesday, August 05, 2014

It’s August and I still have no ripe raspberries on my bushes. I thought all the sun in May would have encouraged a bumper crop. Clearly I know nothing about raising things… animals, vegetables, fruits or otherwise.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:27 AM •
Monday, August 04, 2014

OK, I’m finally going to do it. Going to move the upstairs birds downstairs so that I have one bird room only. This frees my living room and dining room for screech free dinner parties and tv viewing. You may all thank me by refraining from snide comments about how long it has taken to reach this decision.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:25 AM •
Sunday, August 03, 2014

I am giving away a double bed futon in excellent shape to the first person who shows up at the door with a truck and enough manpower to move it out the door. Totally free. First come, first serve. Contact me through this website if you’re interested.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 12:23 PM •
Saturday, August 02, 2014

The temps are dropping lower at night. There are some stray leaves appearing on my lawn. Fall is approaching and that means it may soon be cold enough for me to venture out of my house again and into the great outdoors. I can’t wait to wave goodby to summer… or, at least, what passes for summer here.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:39 AM •
Friday, August 01, 2014

You know you’re old when your competition with your cousins and siblings center around who had the better quarterly or annual report from whatever specialist is dealing with whatever chronic disease old age has inflicted on them as opposed to debating who got more wasted over the weekend or who picked up the hotter date. The only possible exception to this rule is my cousin Joe, and he knows why.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:36 AM •
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Matthew 19:14 King James Version:  “ But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

For a country that seems to make a lot of noise about following Christian values no matter what the Constitution may say about separation of church and state, we are apparently very particular about which passages of the New Testament we follow. Corporations can claim the religious right of personhood to allow them to not cover medical care for women that offends their sensibilities. Christians can make much ado about a (fairly non-existent except in the minds of Fox News commentators) war on Christmas. Tea Partyers can wave their bibles and shout out those passages most conducive to what they want to do anyway. In those cases, apparently, Christianity works just fine.
So given this pride in proclaiming America a Christian nation, where did those horrible people come from who stood in front of refugee children screaming at them to go back where they came from? Where is Christianity to be found in those states refusing to house these children? Perhaps above all, where are all those Christian leaders, pastors and priests, bishops and lay preachers? Where is their voice denouncing this hate towards children?
I am horrified, embarrassed, chagrined and ashamed of the pictures that have recently been seen around the world of Americans screaming at children seeking safety and hope. The wonder at this point is how bad the situation in their home country must be that parents send their children to face the hateful speech and actions of people who call themselves Americans and Christians.
And again I ask, where are these so called Christian leaders – the preachers who rush to condemn same sex marriage because of what the bible says; the legislators who deny women the right to make the most personal and private of decisions between themselves and their doctors because it doesn’t jibe with their Christian beliefs. Where is the moral outrage that is all too often seen over programs that help the poor? Why are the people who insist, again despite that pesky separation clause in the constitution, that this is a Christian country that has to follow Christian values so silent on this Christian value?
These politicians and church leaders are quick to condemn homosexuality but not people who would defy Christ’s dictum to allow the little children to come to him. Notice that Christ did not say suffer only the children of Nazareth or Bethlehem to come to him. He didn’t confine his words to only the children of the Jewish faith or the offspring of his followers. No, he left it pretty wide open to any child in need of love and comfort. He embraced them all despite the fact that it was probably a strain on his budget given that he had no paying job.
I was raised steeped in Catholicism. One of my earliest memories is of the picture that hung in my first grade classroom of a blond Jesus in blinding white robes with a bright yellow halo over his head sitting on a stone and bending towards the little children running towards him. The picture didn’t need words. It was all there. Jesus was the safe place for children to run towards whenever they needed comfort, safety or just a big hug. And Christianity is supposedly the embodiment of Jesus’ beliefs in today’s world.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that if Jesus returned to this earth today… and I seriously wonder why he would bother at this point… he would be standing with the children and not the ranting adults who seem bent on singlehandedly resurrecting the image of the Ugly American to the world.
There are huge refugee camps all over the mid-east where war has seemingly raged for millennia. Countries poorer than us do everything they can to help those refugees. They don’t send them back to be beaten and killed. They do this, at least in part, because of the dictates of Islam to care for others. Too bad the people who claim Christianity as the cloak to all else they want to do in controlling our country have forgotten that was also part of Christ’s message. Suffer little children indeed.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:42 AM •
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Bird TLC takes donations of all kinds of fish except fish that has been processed in some fashion. We are especially looking for some hooligan to stash away for the winter. Some of our injured eagles come in preferring hooligan to all else. Go figure.
And to any hunters, we also take donations of red meat for our raptors except for any that has been processed into sausage or hot links, etc. Rabbits and squirrels also appreciated.
Our new address is 7800 King Street. That’s north of Dimond on King between Dimond and 76th.
As always, the birds and I all thank you.
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:50 AM •
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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She was part dog, part cow. She stood high to your thigh and could knock you over with her insistence on being close enough to not lose you. She loved nothing more than being with her family. Unless it was when she got to walk Elaine. She’d let Elaine think she was in charge because she was holding the leash. But everyone knew that Angel was really the one in charge. Walking her gave Elaine all the aerobic exercise she needed on any given day. Thanks to a lady named Bessie, who found her abandoned in a parking lot, Angel got to live the life all dogs deserve, full of love and scritches and just the occasionally always bit of table food. And when the kids came along… well, Angel could lick their faces and get another whole meal out of it.
We all still miss her. She was the best.
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:45 AM •

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