Elise Sereni
     Patkotak
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Do you think if we paid them enough money the Palin clan would simply go away and leave us all alone? Surely they could migrate somewhere - like wherever the hell Paris Hilton moved to - and give the rest of us a much needed break.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:02 AM •
Monday, July 30, 2012

Because they beat hell out of most of the men with whom I once slept. Trust me on this. My choice in men vacillated between terrible and “oh my god he’s violently psychotic”.
There’s a reason I gave up dating a long time ago and it involved recognizing that the only men I found attractive were psychopathically damaged, thereby triggering my need to save them.
Quite frankly, I’m glad I switched to saving dogs.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:42 AM •
Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bristol Palin is returning to Dancing with the Stars. My world is now complete.
I think I may just have to go to bed, pull the covers over my head, and sob softly.
Civilization as we know it is crumbling before us.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:40 AM •
Saturday, July 28, 2012

Please come on up to the Bird TLC property off the Old Seward above Potter Marsh for our annual fund raising rummage sale (see previous entry for details). Not only are there wonderful education birds to be seen, but there is more stuff than you can possibly imagine for sale. Wonderful things. Marvelous things. Things none of us want to have to haul back to our building or to the dum… I mean, land fill.
So hurry while the bargains last. You can do all your Christmas shopping in one stop AND help our wonderful feathered friends of Alaska.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:28 AM •
Friday, July 27, 2012
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:32 AM •
Thursday, July 26, 2012

The recent massacre in Colorado will inevitably re-ignite the debate over guns in America. While few dispute the right to own guns, the argument over what kind of guns, how many and whether anyone really needs 10,000 rounds of ammunition for a semi-automatic will continue for years.

Guns, as the NRA so often intones, do not kill people. People kill people. And they will do it with anything handy. If you take their guns, they will use knives. If you take their knives, they will use bricks or sticks or fists or bombs. If someone wants to kill, they will find a way to do so.
This explanation, of course, is of little comfort to the families of those killed last week. Their loved ones went to see a movie and became part of an all too real shoot’em up in which actual blood was shed and people died. Unlike video games, these people didn’t get back up, shake off the hits and return to the game.
One argument of gun advocates is that guns are inherently morally neutral – it’s the choice of people in how they use them that can make them evil or good. Rifle takes down bear charging your child – gun good.  Sick bastard dresses up like some fantasy character and uses guns to spray a theater full of innocent people – gun bad. It’s all relative.
I would argue that those who insist guns do not kill people, but rather people kill people, should also be strong advocates of the legalization of drugs. Because drugs don’t kill people – people kill people and themselves by misusing the drugs. As with guns, drugs can be viewed as morally neutral until used by a person in a specific manner that then renders them, for that moment, as good or bad.
The war on drugs is, by anyone’s standard, a total, complete, unmitigated and at this point morally indefensible disaster. We have been at it for over forty years and have precious little to show in the way of victories. For every battle we win, we seem to lose the war even more. Crack down on pot – hello cocaine. Crack down on cocaine – hello angel dust. Crack down on angel dust – welcome back heroin.
Thousands of people have died. Thousands more sit in jail for nothing more than possession of pot. DEA personnel put their lives on the line every day to try and hold back a flood that will not be denied. Clean up the drugs in some of South America’s worse strongholds and watch the traffic migrate north to Central America. Want poppies for heroin? Destroy the field to the left and the farmer working the field to the right will have a bumper year with his crop’s value rising exponentially. 
The only “drug wars” we’ve ever come close to winning are the ones on cigarettes in general and alcohol during pregnancy. Both those wars were fought with information and public pressure, not armed agents against even more heavily armed drug lords. But for some reason, American politicians find it hard to locate their courage in not only speaking this truth, but doing something about it.
Ask them their stance on guns and, even as we still reel from the recent shooting in Colorado, most will defend the right to own as many as you want with as much fire power as you can muster because they are either that committed to guns or that afraid of the power of the NRA. Ask these same politicians about the total failure of the war on drugs and the reality that drugs do not kill but that people kill with their use of them, and those same politicians will pontificate from some sanctimonious platform about the evils of drugs – as though our most prevalent and deadly drug, alcohol, wasn’t already legal.
I would really like to see the NRA grab hold of their testosterone and stand in solidarity with those who believe that drugs do not kill people, people kill people. I want to see them demand an end to the persecution of people who merely prefer to smoke rather than drink their drug of choice, much the same way they would defend the right of gun owners to possess weapons barely this side of mass destruction.
It’s all of one continuum.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:48 AM •
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I met Carl Cassell this week. I win.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:42 AM •
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I went out for about ten minutes. When I returned Carm acted as though I’d been gone for hours. I hugged him and told him that I’d always return for as long as god allowed me to and then added that was assuming she (god) really gave a crap whether I got back or not. But I didn’t say crap. I said shit. Only when I started writing this, I realized that the Catholic schoolgirl in me was still uncomfortable saying shit for fear that Sister Gaetana would see what I’d written and be very angry. I realize she died eons ago but that doesn’t matter. I still fear her wrath.
Anyone who doesn’t think that the grade school years are extremely important formative years that you can never quite shake, pay attention. They follow you into your sixties.
Damn!

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:16 AM •
Monday, July 23, 2012

I had some family over to dinner. They included a 7 year old who told his grandmom afterwards, “"We should have gone there in the morning.” He didn’t mean because he wanted to get it over with but rather that they would then have had all day to be here.
A hostess can hope for no finer compliment.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:10 AM •
Sunday, July 22, 2012

BuddhaBubba was trying to carry a stuffed elephant that is almost as big as she is up the stairs.  She’d get up about four stairs, step on a leg or the trunk and tumble backwards to the landing. The elephant invariably landed on top of her. She would stand up and stare at it for a moment as if wondering why the elephant had attacked her. Then she would pick it back up - no small feat in and of itself given their relative sizes - and start up the stairs again, only to tumble backwards around stair five.
I watched this while laughing hysterically for about five minutes before I felt bad that I wasn’t being a good dog person and carried it up the stairs for her.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:02 AM •
Saturday, July 21, 2012

A very big dog decided to come up and say hi to my two very little dogs. He stuck his snout right were dogs like to stick their snouts. My BuddhaBubba is built so close to the ground that to get his nose under her for a good sniff, he literally lifted her butt in the air with his nose. And there she stood, two front paws on the ground, butt sticking up in the air, two back paws dangling in the wind, with a dog’s nose making a very thorough inspection. And at no point at all did she look the least bit discombobulated. Now that’s a lady who knows how to maintain her dignity. 

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:25 AM •
Friday, July 20, 2012

On the one hand, I like cold weather. On the other hand, I could do without the rain. Why do they always have to come together for an Anchorage summer?

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:26 AM •
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Here’s what I don’t understand about the health care debate. I don’t understand the expressed claims of conservatives that this law was passed quickly, with practically no debate or study of its effects on either our economy, our national debt or health care costs. If this really surprised them, then I have to wonder where they’ve been for the past forty years as this issue was being debated from every possible angle. I further have to wonder if conservatives aren’t getting just a little bit forgetful since the part of the bill they seem to find most objectionable, the individual mandate, was an idea first put forth by… you guessed it, Republicans.

The idea of universal health care did not come suddenly out of left field, blindsiding a Congress that had never heard about it before. And the idea of Congress passing bills that would add billions upon billions to our national debt is also not terribly surprising. If you really want to talk about an unfunded mandate that came out of nowhere and got passed with no follow up plan to pay for it, think Iraq war or Medicare prescription benefits. Yet I did not hear one Republican gripe, bitch or even slightly question the wisdom of what has turned out to be a disastrously expensive war with what can most politely be expressed as a questionable outcome or a health care benefit that is draining federal coffers.
Opponents to the health care law keep saying we have to repeal it and put in place a better one. In fact, some senators, with a totally straight face, have been known to opine that we need to debate and discuss this issue so we can come up with a solution that works. And I have to wonder why, if they have a better idea, they’ve been sitting on it for so long?
In the interests of full disclosure, let me say that I’m one of the lucky ones. I have retirement insurance from municipal employment and I have Medicare coverage. So there is a part of me that probably doesn’t have to give that much of a darn about whether you have yours because I have mine. The problem is that’s not the way I was raised.
I was raised to believe we are all in this together and we will sink or swim as one. When one class of society has the coverage needed to pay for their child’s asthma treatment and another group in society has to depend on frantic trips to an emergency room with no follow up care available, eventually society will pay a price in class unrest and, potentially, warfare. So it just makes sense to try and provide some basic necessities in life to everyone so that everyone has a chance to contribute to our society. Health is about as basic to that happening as food and water.
What I find most puzzling is that if you break down pieces of this law and ask people about it, they mostly approve of the components. I don’t know of any family opposed to being able to keep their children on their insurance longer while the kids get established. Given that it takes a lot longer for kids to get independent nowadays, being able to keep them longer on your insurance – assuming you are lucky enough to have it – is a blessing.
Then there’s the provision that forbids insurance companies from refusing coverage for a pre-existing condition. Who could possibly object to that humane, common sense mandate? Or how about the requirement that insurance companies remove the lifetime benefits ceiling which, in today’s world of high tech medicine, can be reached and exceeded with one serious illness? Or the one where the insurance companies can’t kick you off their plan for actually getting sick? Anyone out there objecting to that needs help.
Finally, if you want to discuss death panels, let’s discuss for profit insurance companies that win when you are denied coverage or it is delayed until you die. I think their board members can be considered death panels since they make their bonuses based on your death.
The currently health care law may not be perfect. It could use tweaking. But throwing the baby out with the bath water is not the solution.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:28 AM •
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As of today, I am effectively retroactively retiring from my youth. Any youthful indiscretions, misdemeanors or felonies I may have committed are no longer my responsibility.
Thank you. Have a great reality.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:36 AM •
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:15 AM •

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