Elise Sereni
     Patkotak
Monday, December 31, 2012

We officially go over the fiscal cliff at midnight. Enjoy the ride.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:37 AM •
Sunday, December 30, 2012

The snow starts to melt. The icicles grow. Every year Anchorage seems to go through a mid-winter thaw that exposes… well, exposes everything that you hoped would be hidden until spring when it was pleasant enough to go out and clean it up. Yesterday, my BuddhaBubba came in with a sunflower seed casing sitting on the bridge of her nose. I looked out and what had been white snow with occasional yellow spots has become black seed snow. It’s butt ugly. Please, oh please, let winter return.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:34 AM •
Saturday, December 29, 2012

A wonderful friend gave me an extremely generous card gift to a national pet store chain. In a normal world, that gift card would have lasted for a few months. I went in and managed to not only spend the whole card, but put almost exactly the same amount out of my pocket too. I mean, how can you resist cute collars? Or fun bird toys? Or healthy treats in big bags? And lord knows, you can never have enough squeaky toys…

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:20 AM •
Friday, December 28, 2012
imageimage

He’s got his FDNY shirt and his firetruck. He’s ready to be a hero.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:11 AM •
Thursday, December 27, 2012

I usually create a Hall of Infamy for my last column of the year. This year I realized what an almost impossible task that was unless I had a book length space to fill. Otherwise I would surely do a disservice to some worthy idiot who annoyed us all in 2012.

The Republican nominees for president alone could take up veritable Dickens’ length chapters detailing their idiocy, bumble footedness, ineptness and inability to not say something so horribly insensitive that it left most of America looking dazed and confused.
Of course, the candidates at least were paying their own way to one extent or another. People or corporations…. oops, that’s a redundancy, isn’t it? Corporations are people, god bless their gold plated souls. At any rate, if you were a candidate, the people backing you financially were people who actively made the choice to throw their good money away on your candidacy. At least the money was used to maintain the trappings of democracy in America.
On the other hand, the US Congress is paid through our tax dollars and I, for one, would like us to have an annual evaluation done on its performance with any future paychecks tied to actually getting better than an F minus as a grade. Because this Congress seems to have truly pulled out all the stops in trying to be the most useless and pathetic group of people sucking on the public teat since Reagan’s welfare mom picking up her check in a Cadillac.
But all others paled in comparison to the NRA, which recently announced that the way to protect our children from gun violence in schools is to have armed guards at all schools. Isn’t that how they do it in Afghanistan to protect girls who want an education? I thought we were trying to teach them our way of doing things. Instead, we are being told that the answer to gun violence is more guns. Schools should start looking like armories, guarded forts keeping out crazies with semi automatics.
What a great lesson for our school children. They might as well learn from kindergarten that in America, they are not safe anywhere because guns are everywhere. So their school isn’t safe. Their church isn’t safe. Their grocery store isn’t safe. Their movie theaters aren’t safe. If they’re lucky, that armed guard will get off a warning shot before the killer with body armor and an assault rifle takes him or her out. Because unless we arm these guards as though they are in an active combat zone, they are next to useless against someone dressed for battle.
I recently went to a local cheese store in town to pick up what was to be my contribution to Christmas Eve dinner. I stood there in front of a counter full of cheeses and various salamis and the aroma of it all brought me right back to 6 North Mississippi Avenue in Atlantic City, right back to my father’s grocery store, right back to the aromas of hanging provolone and dried salamis and sliced prosciutto. There were guns in that neighborhood, though I didn’t know it at the time. My mother was very careful to keep all knowledge of street life from us.
I walked into our grade school every morning fearing nothing more than disappointing the nuns who taught us and, by extension, disappointing my mother and father. I never once had a drill in which I practiced hiding from bad men with guns. Ok, I did spend an inordinate amount of time in the hallway with my hands over my head to protect me from nuclear attack, but honestly, I was only vaguely aware of what a nuclear attack even was.
Our kids deserve schools in which they are safe. And if that means that adults have to give up assault weapons and clips that fire hundreds of rounds without reloading, then so be it. No, it’s not a complete solution. But it’s a start. And it beats hell out of armed guards at every door at every school in this nation as though we are a nation under siege from ourselves.
So despite the wealth of nominees available for induction into the Hall of Infamy this year, I think the NRA deserves that honor all by itself. Congratulations.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:11 AM •
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Every time I go in the kitchen to get something to eat, BuddhaBubba comes and sits at my feet and stares up at me with those eyes… oh, those eyes… which are clearly saying that she can’t understand how I can eat something and not share it with a poor starving dog like her. Carm sits under the dining room table and peers out mournfully. Every bite tastes like dust in my mouth if I don’t share it with them. So to keep them from getting chubby, I guess I’ll have to limit my kitchen time… or maybe just sneak in at 3 AM when they are both snoring like gorillas in bed next to me.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:12 AM •
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
image

May all the world’s children enjoy the love, security and happiness that this child does every day of his life.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:31 AM •
Monday, December 24, 2012

Let’s just arm all our teachers with automatic assault rifles and body armor. The kids will eventually get used to be taught by someone who looks like a figure from a video game. And we can always hope that none of the teachers will ever go nuts and turn the assault rifle on their class…
Yep, nothing says Christmas like bullets and guns. It’s what the Baby Jesus would have asked for had those darn Magi not already had those stupid gifts with them.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:37 AM •
Sunday, December 23, 2012

I realize that asking you to bring brains to our US Congress is asking too much but maybe you could at least bring them a modicum of common sense and a little shame at their total inefficiency.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:05 AM •
Saturday, December 22, 2012

Apparently I rolled over in bed last night and in doing so, rolled over on Carm’s Santa toy, also known as his obsession. I know this because I awoke to what I thought was a strange buzzing in my ear. As I came to, I realized it was a soft growling. Carm was standing on me and staring at the spot where Santa had once laid but now my belly was firmly ensconced. Since I couldn’t feel Santa under my belly, I couldn’t figure out why Carm was acting in a way that made me fear he had lost his mind. I turned over to confront him and he leaped to save his Santa before the white whale that is my belly fell down on it again.
Who says you have to sleep with a man to have interesting times in bed?

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:43 AM •
Friday, December 21, 2012

Which leads me to wonder what winter holds since our autumn contained a lot of minus degree temps. Of course, as we used to say in Barrow, once it hits forty below, any lower simply doesn’t really matter. It’s officially cold.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:08 AM •
Thursday, December 20, 2012

I’ve been staring at a blank page for about thirty minutes. It’s supposed to contain a happy holiday column but somehow the happiness eludes me. For starts, I realize that simply using the term “Happy Holidays” is fraught with danger. Despite the fact that for many of us it represents a cheerful greeting to friends of all persuasions, to others it apparently represents some sort of war on their religion.

Given that the radio station my birds listen to all day has been playing nothing but Christmas music since the day after Thanksgiving, I’d suggest that those folks not waste their energy on a war they won a long, long time ago. I suggest that they use a little of that Christian charity so often spoken about during this season to acknowledge the legitimacy of other celebrations happening at the same time. Perhaps they can view the phrase “Happy Holidays” as a way of offering people observing those other celebrations cheerful wishes.
Of course, that massacre of innocents in Newtown last week also casts a long and heavy shadow. It could be viewed as a chance for those children to enter heaven while still young, pure and free of sin. But that’s hardly a comfort to families looking at already wrapped presents under a tree that will never be unwrapped by eager little hands. Although spirituality can help through times like this, nothing really fills the holes left by an assault rifle in the hands of someone lacking all reason, compassion, compunction and humanity.
That, of course, leads to the next most heated debate after the one over Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays. I’m referring to the debate over gun control or, as some might term it, sensible firearm legislation. There are the people who will argue that if the teachers had been armed, they could have protected the children better. Of course, anyone even slightly familiar with guns and body armor know how ludicrous it is to think that a teacher with a handgun could take down a shooter with assault weapons dressed in body armor. Unless, of course, you are talking about arming our teachers like we arm our Special Forces.
On the other hand, the shooter’s mother, an apparently respected middle-aged woman, owned the guns that the shooter used. Under almost any law in which assault rifles could be bought, she would have qualified to buy them. So gun control would not have kept him from those weapons.  On the third hand, if all assault weapons were banned, would only criminals own assault weapons? It’s about here that my brain goes into a painful freeze that can only be undone by holding my two dogs tightly and rubbing my forehead on their soft fur.
The last little bit of holiday cheer I possessed ran screaming from my body when I read that the pope thought this was a good time to mention that same sex marriage is an abomination and threatens all of civilization. Ho! Ho! Ho! There is nothing that keeps the milk of human kindness flowing more during this season than the pope pointing out that as far as he’s concerned, gay people are the cause of the downfall of humanity. I’m sure it’s exactly what Jesus would have said had he ever said anything on the topic.
So yeah, trying to come up with something positive to write this holiday season has been all but impossible, except for one thing.  On Christmas Eve I’ll have dinner with a pretty amazing family. Not my family but amazing nonetheless. And I’ll speak to my sister who will be spending the holiday with a friend who has been her BFF since kindergarten.  And I’ll call my brother who will be with the whole crazy group who are actually my blood relatives back East. And then on Christmas Day, I’ll eat dinner at a family table with two members of the greatest generation, the generation that simply did not know how to give up no matter what the odds.
With all the sadness and pain that this holiday season brings, those of us lucky enough to still be surrounded by love and family should be very grateful for what we have. God knows the recent past has shown us that it can all be lost in an instant.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:26 AM •
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why are there no Hannukah TV specials? Surely, given their 5000 year history, the Jewish tradition must have some decent stories to share. 

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:09 AM •
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The week of tv reruns and old Christmas specials. The week when my tv goes on only for Chelsea Lately and Letterman. The rest of the time, I’d rather be reading.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:06 AM •
Monday, December 17, 2012

In the spirit of the Christmas season, celebrating the birth of a man who proclaimed loving everyone and doing unto them as they would do unto you, the pope has once again declared gay people anathema and their desire to express their love and commitment an abomination. But all you pedophiles out there… the church not only loves you, it will ordain you and hide you from the law. Because pedophilia is apparently a lesser abomination than homosexuality. 
OMG - Alice, we’ve fallen through the looking glass again!

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:47 AM •

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 >

Subscribe to My RSS Feed: RSS 2.0