October 31, 2003


I've done it. I've purchased a device that will ensure I am tethered to my office for life. Last night I bought a T-Mobile Sidekick.

It is so cool! I feel like a kid at Christmas (at some point, I should probably get some work done). This is one device that includes a phone, blackberry (wireless e-mail access), internet access, AOL Instant Messenger, Address Book, To-Do List and games. Now, if I could just get it to feed Maggie......

Posted by Kitty at 02:12 PM | Comments (9)

Halloween Cheddar Questions

1. What's the worst candy you've ever gotten on Halloween?
Any sort of Halloween related Peeps. Peeps are vile.
2. What is your best comfort food?
Pot roast with potatoes and baby carrots.
3. When was the last time you tried a new vegetable or fruit and what was it?
I tried a satsuma -- a citrus fruit that can be found in southeast Louisiana.
4. Is there a dish your mom or dad made for you growing up that you hated and can't even stand to think of now?
Brussel sprouts -- aack (ala Bill the Cat).
5. What's your favorite snacking food?
I am a big snacker, so it is difficult to pick one. I love candy, so I don't keep
much of it in the house, or I'd be obese. I like to snack on Wheat Thins,
raw veggies with ranch dressing, dry cereal and grapefruit (yum!).

Posted by Kitty at 08:44 AM | Comments (6)

October 30, 2003

Reconstructing Iraq

Here is a hilarious piece from The Onion about the difficulties reconstructing Iraq.

Posted by Kitty at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2003


For those of you who haven't been paying attention, I work at a large law firm. Working at large law firms can be good and can be hellacious, depending on your situation. I have been blessed with an excellent situation for the two years I've been here. I've been working with a phenomenal attorney -- she is smart, funny, outspoken, thinks well on her feet and can crush opposing counsel into the ground without much effort. She has really taken me under her wing and acted as a mentor to me, helping me learn how to develop clients, how to maintain the clients you have, how to psych-out plaintiff's attorneys, how to write appellate briefs, and basically how to practice law. She has ensured that I've gotten every raise to which I'm entitled, has patted me on the back when I did something well, and has given me hugs and comforted me when I got so stressed out I started crying in my office.

And now she's leaving.

She came into my office on Friday and closed the door. She told me that, for the past several years she's been "stressed out" (this is like saying Bill Gates is kind of nerdy). While she loves practicing law, she doesn't like the effect that the accumulated stress has had on her. You have to understand that this isn't just a woman who practices law -- she's one of the biggest fish in the national pond of litigation in which I practice. She speaks at seminars all over the country, and has been appointed to several committees to help shape laws, because of her renown in the field. When she isn't working, she's on her cell phone or blackberry adivising someone else on what they should do with their cases, or she's travelling to another speaking engagement.

She can't take the breakneck pace any more. And frankly, I don't blame her. I never could figure out where she got the energy for as long as she had it. I was tearing up when she told me, trying (unsuccessfully) to put on a brave face. She told me not to cry, and all I could think to say was, "But I don't want you to leave. I want you to stay here and practice with me." And she replied, "I know, kiddo, and I appreciate that. But you don't need me any more. You are a different person than you were when you walked in the front door two years ago, and you're a different lawyer. You are an outstanding young lawyer and you don't need anyone standing in the wings telling you what to do. You know what to do."

And I know she's right. But I still can't get out of this funk I'm in. She is a wonderful boss, an outstanding mentor and a dear friend. I'm going to miss her.

Posted by Kitty at 02:59 PM | Comments (3)

October 28, 2003

Just When You Thought It Wasn't Safe to Blog Any More

I am pleased to report that my husband's blog (Archi-Sapper) is back up and running. He wasn't detained by Iraqi insurgents, hell-bent on stopping his blog. He simply lost internet access for a while, but now he's back.

Posted by Kitty at 02:14 PM | Comments (2)

October 27, 2003


Not surprisingly, we settled the trial that was scheduled this morning. I picked up my boss at 7a.m. (that was far too early for my taste) and we drove to Franklinton, Louisiana (read: the middle of nowehere). We met up with the Judge, his law clerk, his court reporter, and the three other defendants who hadn't settled yet. The plaintiffs' attorney strolled in (late) and she asked us to step out in the hall. She asked us if we could get her a little more money. We said we'd try.

My boss went into the hallway and made a call on her cell phone to the lead insurer for our client. He wasn't there, so she left him a message. She told the plaintiffs' lawyer that she couldn't get him, and that she could either wait around until we hear back, or let us out for the money we'd already put on the table. Needless to say, she let us out and is still at the courthouse, putting the screws to someone else.

Posted by Kitty at 11:58 AM | Comments (11)

October 23, 2003

Why I Won't Be Beatified Anytime Soon

In the vein of posts I've previously written about the Catholic Church (see Would You, Could You With a Pope?), I found an article discussing what you have to do to be beatified, and thus, ready to be declared a Saint.

Posted by Kitty at 01:13 PM | Comments (2)

Never Mind

While my previous post about flying does sum up how I feel about it, I need not have worried since I won't be flying today anyway. I have a trial starting Monday and the plaintiff's lawyer and I are miles apart in terms of potential settlement. I'm hoping to close that gap tomorrow, but I'm closer to starting my first trial than I ever thought possible. Scary, but close.

Posted by Kitty at 09:22 AM | Comments (6)

October 22, 2003


I have jumped on the Guestmap bandwagon, albeit somewhat late in the game. So jump on over to it and sign it!

Posted by Kitty at 09:16 AM | Comments (2)

October 21, 2003

Good news!

This just in......

My mom called and said the pathology report came in and her nodules are benign! There were, however, precancerous growths in them, which, had they not been removed, likely would've developed into cancer. Thank goodness she had those removed.

On another happy note, she has now decided that it is a good idea to get regular mammograms (regular being more than once every three years, as was her prior practice) and I think I will too.

Posted by Kitty at 10:15 AM | Comments (5)

Yip, yip, yip, yip, yip, Uh huh, Uh huh, rrrrradio

When I was driving back from Dallas on Sunday, I listened to npr, as I often do. I listened to one of my favorite npr shows This American Life. I love the show, and npr in general, and felt particularly obligated to listen this weekend since they are having their pledge drive and I might just be the only person who is willing to listen to them beg for money.

At any rate, the topic of discussion on This American Life was which super power you would rather have: the ability to fly or be invisible?

It should come as no surprise to those who read my prior post that I would pick invisibility. However, that isn't solely because I am afraid of flying, I'll have you know. It would be so cool to be invisible -- you could listen in on great conversations you'd never hear otherwise, and could pick things up and move them around, really freaking people out. Besides, if you could fly, you'd really need some other super power coupled with it to do anything good with it.

What do you blogging folks think?

Posted by Kitty at 09:08 AM | Comments (3)

October 19, 2003

Travels with Maggie

I have just returned from my trip back to New Orleans with Maggie. As I typically am after eight hour car trips, I'm in a putative mood (sorry for the SAT words, guys, it's that kinda night).

Ever since I started this blog, I knew I would end up blogging about this topic, I just didn't know when it would be.

I think everyone has a sore spot, a touchpoint, a thing beyond which they can't go. My friends and family know mine well. So what is it, you ask? Say it with me now, friends and fam......


I know, I know, Erica Jong beat this into the ground in the 1970's (pun intended). But it's a real fear and this is my blog, so I'm going to write about it. So there.

A few points to start my musings: (1) I started flying when I was very, very young (before age two), and have flown A LOT, mostly alone, ever since. This clearly is not an issue of inexperience. (2) This fear has crept up on me over the course of my life. Sometimes it is an acute fear, and sometimes it is more watered down. It never really goes away. (3) There is no number 3, but this wouldn't be much of a list with only two points.

Whenever I tell people I'm afraid of flying, I get one of five reactions. I have heard all of these reactions so often that I now have pat responses to them. They are as follows:

(1) "Flying is SO safe. More people die every year [insert your favorite death-inducing activity] than in plane crashes."

Ooooohhhhhhhh. So you're saying flying is SAFE? Well, thank goodness
for that. I can rest easy now.

People, I drive every day on Interstate 10. I could give a damn about safety

(2) "When I'm flying, I just close my eyes, and imagine myself in my 'happy

I have a happy place. It is located ON THE GROUND.

(3) "When I'm flying, I just zone out. To me, flying is dead time."

Me, too.

(4) "You must not like flying because you have control issues."

Thank you, Mr(s). Freud. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my
id and go home.

(5) "I just love flying. It's one of my favorite things to do!"

How nice for you. Excuse me while I go fetch you the key to the city.

My therapist says that my fear of flying is just something I've concocted to divert my attention away from my other, more important, fears (and, as usual, he's right, which makes it difficult to argue with him, not that I don't try). I think I've figured out what's really bugging me, though time and space on this blog prevent me from going into all of that now.

So why am I bringing this up now? Because I have to fly to Savannah, Georgia on Thursday. I fly to Atlanta (one hour), have a layover, and fly to Savannah (45 minutes). Naturally, I am checking the Weather Channel every day, mentally picking out the books I'll bring with me (so I can re-read the same sentence 45 times in flight) and trying not to think about it. And it's working. Sort of.

Posted by Kitty at 08:39 PM | Comments (8)

October 18, 2003

Cheddar X Questions

Here are my answers to this week's questions posed by Cheddar X:

1. What was the last person, thing or event that made you cry?
Thinking of possibly losing my mom to cancer.

2. What was your most recent vivid dream about?
I was attending a law conference at a large hotel, and I was chatting with
people in the hotel restaurant at night.

3. What is the best bumper sticker you've seen or thought up?
I saw a bumper sticker on an old Volvo that said, "0 to 60 in 10 minutes."

4. Who was your worst room mate? Why?
Overall, I've had great roommates (thankfully). I have had bad experiences,
though, such as my sophomore year in college when my roomie brought a
guy back to the room and they started to " get friendly". I happened to be in
the top bunk of our bunkbeds at the time. She thought I was asleep. I

5. What do you order most often when you go out to eat?
Whatever I like there. Typically, I pick places to eat because I'm hungry for
some dish that they serve, so I order that.

6. What's your cocktail of choice? Or beverage for the non-drinkers?
Cocktail of choice would be a Tanq and Tonic or a Chambord & Seven.
Beverage of choice would be Diet Coke or Pink Lemonade Snapple.

Posted by Kitty at 05:05 PM | Comments (1)

October 16, 2003

Worry, part 2

I am in Big D now, along with Maggie, my intrepid fellow traveler. We drove to Dallas this morning (and afternoon) and found mom asleep. She came home from the hospital early this afternoon and slept for a while. She was in some pain, but my aunt filled her prescription for painkillers for her, and those have helped quite a bit. I keep telling her not to take them all, and I could easily sell them for her for a tidy profit, but she just looks at me funny. Come to think of it, Maggie looks at me funny, too.

I'll be here until Sunday, nursing the patient back to her previous Diet Pepsi drinking, outlet shopping existence. She should get the results from her biopsy back on Tuesday. The phone has rung off the hook today with friends and relatives calling to check up on her, which has lifted her spirits. I answered the phone when one well-wisher called, and I'm glad I was the one who answered. She is a long-time family friend, and told me she was hopeful that the results from my mom's "autopsy" would come out okay. I'm sure that's just what mom would want to hear right now.

On the bright side, I did get dinner from Whataburger tonight. Mmmmmm........

Posted by Kitty at 09:47 PM | Comments (8)

October 15, 2003

Uh Oh

This guy needs to enter the Witness Protection Program. Soon.

Posted by Kitty at 01:11 PM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2003


I wish I had happier news to post, but I don't. The short version of recent events is that my mom had a mammogram and the doctor thought he spotted something that didn't look quite right. She went in for a sonogram, and lo and behold -- she has six nodules in her left breast. She met with a breast surgeon this morning, and is having a lumpectomy on Thursday morning in Dallas. After the lumpectomy, my aunt will take her home to recuperate, and the tissue will be sent to a pathologist for a biopsy.

Needless to say, I will be spending tomorrow at work getting others to cover my lawyer gigs on Thursday and Friday, as I plan to stick Maggie in the car Thursday morning and drive to Dallas to be with mom through the weekend.

2003 is almost over. Why don't we have a cure for breast cancer?

Posted by Kitty at 08:21 PM | Comments (8)

October 13, 2003

Hallowed Halls

I have returned from Homecoming at Rhodes and I'm no worse for the wear. I drove to Memphis on Friday morning and rolled into town around 5p. I picked up Catherine, my roommate from my junior and senior years of college, at the airport, and we headed out to the Rendezvous for some fabulous dry ribs. We then crashed a party for the class of 1998 (we being the much older, wiser denizens of the class of 1996) at Tommy Trouble's house. We met Mrs. Trouble (it seems Tommy got hitched post-graduation) and swatted mammoth mosquitos in the backyard until it started to approach midnight.

We discovered at the party that we lucked out when I surfed the web and selected our hotel, as we ended up staying at the hotel that was the home base for the class of 1998. It was just like living in a dorm again, only tidier, and with more room to move.

On Saturday we headed to the Blue Plate Cafe in East Memphis for a beige breakfast of eggs, biscuits and pancakes (in an aside, I think I'm the only person who gains weight when they leave New Orleans). We headed to campus for the receptions that are held by the sororities. It was really amazing that we found ourselves somewhat lost, especially considering that the student body is only 1400 and the campus is fairly small. The school has been bulding since we left town, and it shows. They now have apartment style dorms, equipped with ethernet cables and cable t.v. in the rooms. Why is it that schools always become so much cooler after you graduate? In retrospect, however, Catherine and I both came to the conclusion that if they had had ethernet connections and cable t.v. in our dorm rooms when we were in college, we never would have matriculated. We would still be there downloading music.

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Stax Museum on Saturday afternoon, a museum dedicated to the origins of Soul music. It is located on the site of the former studio where Otis Redding recorded "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay", inter alia. Quite groovy.

Saturday night we crashed the official 1998 reunion party, as well as the 1993 reunion party. Both were fun, but all I can think of is how much I need to start exercising to get ready for my ten year reunion.

Sunday we made a trip back to Williford, the dorm where we lived as first years. It was a lot like going back to the house where you grew up -- everything is the same, just smaller. When I walked into one of the tiny, cinder block-walled dorm rooms, I couldn't help but wonder how I ever lived there, and liked it. Catherine and I were reminiscing about how her room was directly above the boiler room for the building, thus making her room inescapably hot all the time. She would open the window to let in some cool air, only to give her and her roommate recurring colds. I recall the heat in my room made the cinder block walls sweat, thus causing the double-sided tape affixing the posters to the walls to peel off and thwack people in the head at random times. Ahh, college.

Posted by Kitty at 08:14 PM | Comments (5)

Movin', Movin', Movin'

It is official: my blog has moved! You can now check it out at: http://kittysays.wetwired.org. See you there!

Posted by Kitty at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

Greetings, kitty cats

First and foremost, many thanks to Pylorns for setting up this new blog for me, and for the fabulous cat pic! As I told him and Agamemnon, everyone loves a cross-dressing cat.

Next, I know, I know. I've been absent. I went to Memphis over the weekend and didn't return until last night. I've been out playing lawyer all day and have returned to a desk with so much mail on it that the mail has collapsed of its own weight. Not good.

I will return to substantive posting this evening.

Posted by Kitty at 03:32 PM | Comments (6)

October 12, 2003

First Post

This is a test post to see if this is working correctly.

Posted by Kitty at 03:39 PM | Comments (5)

October 09, 2003

On the Road Again

My apologies to Willie.

I am about to be on the road in more ways that one. Tomorrow, I am heading to Memphis for my college's homecoming. My college roomie, Catherine, and I will be converging on Elvis' hometown tomorrow and are rooming together again for the weekend, for old times' sake. Should be plenty of BBQ, alcoholic drinks at Silkies and hopefully coffee drinks at Java Cabana.

In more long-term news, my blog will soon be on the road, too! The fabulous folks at Wet Wired have offered to host my blog, and I have accepted. The move won't likely take place until early next week. I will make a formal announcement once I'm set up in my new digs.

Posted by Kitty at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2003

Draft and edit new entry on personal weblog = 0.3

Recently, a friend of mine who works at a law firm but isn't a lawyer asked me, "Why is the practice of law so stressful?" My response, of course, is, "How much time do you have?" Realistically, I can sum up the bane of my professional existence in two words (say it with me, lawyers out there):

Billable hours.

So much has been written on this debate for so long that there's little I can add to the discourse that most lawyers don't already know. For the rest of humanity, billable hours goes a little something like this: imagine breaking down your life into discrete increments and describing them in excruciating detail. Then, assign two different codes for each thing you've done. Do this for a minimum of eight hours per day. Your time must be allotted in six minute increments -- that's right, six minutes. Who does things in six minute blocks? The most annoying thing is that it often takes me longer to record a time entry than it did to complete the task I'm billing!

To be fair, none of this would matter so much if law firms didn't make such a big deal about it. I know, I know, law firms make money by taking the hours I bill, giving them to the client and getting compensated directly as a result of what I do or don't write down. I get that. What frustrates me generally is the value placed on billable hours as opposed to other worthy goals, like taking time to give back to the community, to mentor younger lawyers in the firms and to take marketing trips around the country to develop new clients. Although most law firms will pay for you to go across the country to seminars, meetings, etc. and try to develop business, you still have to meet your montly billable goals regardless of how much business your trip brings in.

And while I'm on my rant, it also bothers me some little bit that some really good friends of mine, who are kick-ass lawyers won't make general partner -- not because they didn't bring in business (they did), and not because they lost cases (they didn't), and not because they're jerks (they rock, actually), but because they didn't bill enough godforsaken hours. I have a friend who didn't get a year-end bonus last year because he missed his billable goal by 20 hours. Give me a break!

Why am I thinking about this right now? Because it is October and I'm up for Limited Partner in December. That's why.

Okay. I've got to get back to billing.

Posted by Kitty at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2003

This One's For the Techies

I seem to have a strange problem with Internet Explorer and my IT department can't figure it out. They keep coming into my office, poking my laptop and speaking gibberish to one another. I feel as though I have some bizarre illness that has stumped all the doctors and they're all prodding me for clues.

At any rate, the problem is with search engines. Yes, search engines. Once I get to msn.com or yahoo.com and type in a search phrase, it can't seem to find the page. Stranger yet, when I type in www.google.com into my browser, it says that website doesn't exist! Does anyone have any clues as to what the problem could be? Otherwise, my IE is working fine.

Posted by Kitty at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

Would you, could you, with a Pope?

As a life-long Catholic and one who is inquisitive by nature, this business of "electing" Popes has always fascinated me. Another likely source of my fascination also stems from the fact that the Church last elected a Pope in 1976 -- when I was merely two years old. Earlier this year, I went to Houston with my church youth group and we saw the Vatican exhibit, where they had some really good information about Papal elections, including television footage from the last one. Given the current recall mess going on today in California, it is interesting to see how much the two processes differ. For an explanation on how a Pope is elected, check this out.

Posted by Kitty at 08:48 AM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2003


There's something about twilight that makes me quiet. Maybe it's the way the sky feels like a dome in a planetarium, and the darkness starts at the top and creeps down through the leaves of the trees, over houses and cars and people until it sinks into the earth. On a clear night, the sky has this medium blue glow that Crayola hasn't been able to copy yet. Everything is so still, and so peaceful and so quiet......it makes me think.

My husband has been gone since March. He's in Iraq, sitting outside his barracks, looking at the same twilight that I see. I wonder if it makes him feel the same as it makes me feel. Living with his absence every day, day in and day out, month after interminable month, I have begun to understand solitude. I have begun to understand the quiet contemplation of autumn twilight. I have begun to understand what it is like to lose a part of yourself.

I struggle with my feelings of loss, and helplessness and frustration and sorrow and search for a way to express them in words.

I cannot.

At this time in my life when I need them most, words fail me.

All I know is that I miss him. And I want him to come home. Soon.

Posted by Kitty at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2003


It has been a pretty subdued weekend, which is just fine with me. I watched the movie Chicago last night on pay-per-view, and really liked it. I dig movies with singing and dancing (I'm a girl, gimme a break). I finished reading Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson and got some housework done. Overall, very productive.

This morning I woke up early (7:30 is far earlier than I usually wake up on the weekends) to go teach Sunday School at my church. I teach seventh graders, and there's another seventh grade teacher, so we switch off weeks. This week was my week, so I met up with the kids at 9:00 at the school behind the church. This week we had a local woman come to talk to the kids. She is a registered falconer, meaning that she is licensed to treat and care for birds of prey. She brought three owls with her, showed them to the kids, and answered their questions. (Aside: if you're wondering what in the heck this has to do with church, Friday was the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assissi in the Catholic Church, and that's when we do a ceremony blessing the animals, so this was in line with that).

At any rate, she started taking questions and taking questions from this group of kids is always tricky, because you never know what they're going to say. I think my favorite question came from a girl in fourth grade who said, "Well, I don't really have a question, and this isn't about birds, but...." and I thought, "Here we go." I think the birds were pretty excited to get back in their cages.

Posted by Kitty at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)


I like cats and all, but I don't think I'd want to come home and see this in my apartment.

Posted by Kitty at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2003

My New Movie

Kittysays, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, is recruited to a high-paying job at a company with a shady background. She then flies to Hawaii to visit Justine (Allyson Hannigan) who was surprised to see her. She has an affair with Justine's assistant Brandon, played by Sylvester Stallone. They then team up to double-cross their evil boss, Randy (Eddie Murphy), and walk away with $100 million.

What's your journal's Hollywood blockbuster?
Created by chickenbarbecue

Enter your LJ username or your first name:

Male Female

Posted by Kitty at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2003


This morning, while getting ready for work, I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup when I noticed my dog Maggie looking at me. She had her head cocked to one side, as if she were trying to figure out what in the world I was doing. She does this every morning. I suddenly felt like she must be wearing a hidden camera and is secretly taping me for a television show for dogs about the rituals of human beings. I can hear the voiceover saying, "Here we have the human female, engaged in her morning ritual of standing in front of a small square, out of which, another female looks back at her. She repeatedly stabs herself near the eyes with a brown stick, dabbing some sort of ink onto her face. This ritual is known to create consternation in the male of the species, and a contest of wills often ensues to see who will claim the coveted space in front of the flat square. Let's watch and see if any male predators challenge this female, while she spreads a clear goo in her wet hair......"

Posted by Kitty at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2003

Occupational Hazards

Lately I just haven't been that motivated at work. I strongly suspect that it has something to do with the absolutely gorgeous weather we've been having, which leads me to gaze out my window instead of at the pleadings stacked on my desk. Be that as it may, I started thinking about what I would do for a living if I weren't practicing law (read: staring out my window). I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather do, or more importantly, anything else I'm qualified to do. And then it hit me.

I could be a cast member on the Real World.

This seemed like a good idea after seeing the first episode of MTV's new show The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet. It seems that this Real World stuff creates a life of its own for the contestant, even after they're done filming the show (once they've "stopped being real", I guess). After you're done with the taping of the show, you can sign up for junkets like this, where you get to live, rent-free, in a large, nicely furnished house, with other attractive people. They feed you. They care for your basic needs. All you have to do is: show up, drink copious amounts of alcohol, have sex with your castmates in the see-through shower and not get kicked off every week. I could do that. The bonus is you don't even have to decide what you want to do every day. They make your schedule for you. I've got to start working on my audition tape.

Posted by Kitty at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

Tex-Mex food is fattening? Since when?

This revealing piece of journalism informs tha Tex-Mex eating public that Tex-Mex food isn't healthy. I am reminded of an episode of Saturday Night Live that I saw in college (my college roommate, Catherine, and I laugh about it to this day) where they had a Weekend Update piece about how Mexican food is bad for you. The announcer intoned, "This message was delivered in an article from the esteemed medical journal, "Duh."

If you want to eat healthy, you have to put down the burrito. Makes sense to me.

Posted by Kitty at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)