November 29, 2003

Holiday Week Cheddar

1. What's the funniest town name you've ever seen?

Flippin, Arkansas.

2. What was the last museum you went to?

The Museum of Natural History in Houston, Texas to see their Vatican exhibit.

3. When was the last time you were grossed out?

That probably would've been when I took our churches' high school youth group to Houston to see the Vatican exhibit. I had forgotten how gross teenagers could be.

4. What is the best blog title you've come across or made up on your own?

The best one I came up with on my own was the title for the post I wrote about an article I'd seen about the election of popes. I titled it, "Would you, could you, With a Pope?"

5. Do you live in your hometown now? What caused you to stay or move away?

No, I don't live in my hometown. I moved away to experience college in another state, and have never made it back.

6. If you were a criminal mastermind, how would you take over the world?

I would buy Wal-Mart and Starbucks. I think that would cover all the bases.

Posted by Kitty at 10:29 PM | Comments (2)

November 25, 2003

This Should Be Interesting

My secretary just brought me my mail, and in it is an invitation. It looks innocent enough, but it isn't. It is THE invitation.

To the firm Christmas party.

You have to understand that the Christmas parties my law firm throws are legendary. No spouses are invited -- employees only. That alone should give you some idea of what is in store.

Being pure as the driven snow myself, I merely go for the food and open bar. Oh, and the video.

Every year, there is a sooper-secret Christmas party video committee (yes, I'm a member) that films a Christmas party video. The video essentially pokes fun at members of the firm. We don't really make fun of staff members or low-level attorneys, just the general partners. We figure that if you own the place, you can take a little ribbing. My first year here two years ago I became known throughout the firm as being the first woman to co-anchor the SNL Weekend Update-style video they had done for several years. It was fun, and helping to make the video ensures that you aren't featured in the video, if you get my drift.

They always show the video during the Christmas party, after the first two hours, once everyone is good and liquored up. The alcohol came in handy on the video two years ago when we had a skit about the firm's Management Committee, using sock puppets as its members. We even dressed up the little puppets to resemble members of the committee. Fortunately, we did not get fired when the Firm Administrator puppet (male) performed a sex act on the Senior partner puppet (also male).

The results of this year's video remain to be seen.

Posted by Kitty at 02:29 PM | Comments (4)

November 24, 2003

I Think I'm Going to Have a Heart Attack

I am currently working on a high profile case involving a plaintiff who has lung cancer, claims he has a brain injury and is suicidal. It is a fairly complex case, and I'm representing one of the companies the plaintiff sued.

We had a meeting recently to discuss the status of discovery and decide who would take the lead working up different aspects of the case. Everyone tends to shirk taking responsibility for the difficult or high-profile tasks, so when they asked who would take the lead on the deposition of a pathologist, I volunteered. His office is in Maryland, so I wouldn't have to fly too far, and the issues are fascintating.

I got a call a few minutes ago telling me the plaintiff has offered their pathologist for deposition. The deposition will be in the middle of December.

In Hawaii.

Posted by Kitty at 03:52 PM | Comments (6)

Sweater Weather

Finally, a little bit of cold has made its way south. Yesterday it was so hot I had the air conditioning on and was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I am happy to report that this morning I'm wearing a cream colored cable-knit turtle neck sweater (a fabulous gift from my dear husband last Christmas, purchased from the Victoria's Secret catalog). I plan to enjoy this weather while it lasts because it is supposed to be warm again by Wednesday.

Posted by Kitty at 09:53 AM | Comments (3)

November 23, 2003

She Likes Me For Me

Tonight I went to dinner at Sid-Mar's in Bucktown with a friend of mine. Neither of us could decide what we wanted to eat for dinner, and when you're indecisive about food, fried seafood and large plastic glasses filled with iced tea works nicely.

At any rate, we got to talking (a far better option than staring blankly at one another throughout our meal), and the conversation turned to different people we both know and their personalities. I was telling him about how one particular individual will forever have a difficult time being a super-successful attorney, not because she doesn't work hard (she does), or because she isn't smart (she isn't splitting atoms, but she gets by), but because she completely lacks self-confidence. I explained that I was the same way when I started practicing law, and my friend was floored. He couldn't believe it, and mentioned how he sees me as a decisive, strong-willed person.

And now, I am. But it wasn't always that way. One of the best side effects of going through all of the turmoil, stress, fun, adventure and life-stuff that I've gone through is gaining confidence in myself. I am finally getting to a point in my life where I am comfortable with who I am, the decisions I make and all the stuff in between.

As he dropped me off at home, my friend said one of the nicest things anyone has said to me lately. He said, "If you were someone else, you would really like yourself. You're a very likeable person." What a sweet thing to say.

Posted by Kitty at 09:21 PM | Comments (1)

November 22, 2003


It is noon on Saturday and I finally got out of bed. For as long as I can remember, I've slept in on Saturdays and Sundays. I always assumed that when I got older I'd grow out of this habit, but I'm staring down 30 and I see no signs of this abating. I'm one of the few people I know who can still sleep for 12 hours a night for several nights in a row.

I know that lack of sleep is cumulative, so if you don't get enough sleep on Monday night, you eventually have to make up for that sleep loss or your body will let you know. Perhaps I'll spend the rest of my life making up for the few nights I stayed out late and never caught up on that sleep.

Posted by Kitty at 12:05 PM | Comments (1)

November 20, 2003

Movie Cheddar

1. What's your favorite/least favorite movie?

Favorite: High Fidelity; Clue; Dead Poets Society
Least Favorite: Ishtar (still unclear on the plot)

2. What's the best movie-adaptation of a book?

Sense and Sensibility

3. What movie makes you cry?

Lots of them do, actually, though I tend not to watch movies that I know will make me cry. The last movie I saw that really made me cry was City of Angels.

4. What movie do you watch to cheer you up?

I usually don't watch movies to cheer myself up, but watching my favorite movies might work.

5. Any amusing stories involving movies or the movie theater?

My very first car date took place at the now-defunct Lakewood Movie Theater in Dallas. We got to the theater (the one I had selected) early, only to be serenaded by the solo organist who was hired to play before movies. Needless to say, a tad strange.

6. Would you rather go to the theater or stay home and watch a movie?

I would definitely rather stay home to watch movies, though if I do that, I always fall asleep before they end unless I start them early (hence our 8:00 rule).

7. Are you more awed by a good plot or special effects?

Plot -- definitely. Except for porn (Kidding people. I'm kidding.)

8. Who is your favorite/least favorite actor/actress?

Favorite actor: Edward Norton (see previous post)
Favorite actress: Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer

Least favorite actor: Keanu Reeves (acting lessons wouldn't kill him)
Least favorite actress: Nicole Kidman

9. What's your favorite cult movie?

Does Airplane! count? That's probably as close as I come to an affinity for cult movies. Speaking of, I do recall watching Strange Brew during my freshman year of high school, and was told it was an absolute must-see cult movie. I'm not so sure.

10. Matrix Revolutions, worth the wait or WTF?

I still haven't seen the first Matrix all the way through, so I'll probably pass.

Posted by Kitty at 02:36 PM | Comments (3)

What is Sexy?

It seems that People magazine has again christened the Sexiest Man Alive. It really doesn't matter who People selects, or even who they nominate, I never seem to agree.

This has naturally gotten me thinking. I never seem to be attracted to the people who everyone else finds attractive. Take Brad Pitt (please) -- he looks like he needs to bathe. Leonardo DiCaprio? Looks like the girls I went to high school with. Ashton Kutcher? Ummmm, no. In fact, one of the only people I am attracted to whom others find conventionally attractive is my husband (something tells me I shouldn't have said that. His ego is big enough.)

So, which t.v./movie starts do I find attractive? Well, there's Edward Norton, who is a fantastic actor, and very hot, in my opinion. For further proof that I am completely attracted to personalities and that body types take a back seat, I also find James Gandolfini very attractive. But these other movie and t.v. stars -- I could take 'em or leave 'em. Does anyone else feel this way?

Posted by Kitty at 11:10 AM | Comments (8)

November 18, 2003

From the Annals of Bad Ideas

This article explains why it is a bad idea to take pictures at work and then post them on your blog.

Posted by Kitty at 08:39 PM | Comments (3)


I just found out from my mentor here at the firm that last night at the partner's meeting I was voted into the firm as a partner! She said the vote was unanimous, and I'm very pleased.

For those of you non-lawyers out there, a bit of an explanation is in order. Most law firms are run by partners, who are attorneys who actually own the business. There are typically two levels of partnership in law firms -- there are general partners (people who own an equity stake in the firm) and limited partners (people who don't have an equity stake). I was voted in as a limited partner, which is a precursor to general partnership. As a limited partner, I have a bigger budget and expense account, I have more authority at the firm, my compensation is structured differently and I have been given the nod from the partnership that I have taken the necessary steps toward becoming a general partner.

When a person becomes a general partner, they need to make a capital contribution to the firm (read: they pay lots of money) and essentially buy a piece of the business. When a general partner retires or leaves the firm, they "cash out" their equity interest, and receive money in return. Therefore, being a general partner is a business investment. Sometimes, being a general partner is a bad investment, because as a general partner, you are personally on the hook for the liabilities of the firm. If the firm doesn't make enough money in a given month, you don't get paid. That's right. As a limited partner, though, I will still get paid regardless of how much money the firm makes, due to the terms of my contract.

At any rate, I don't brag about myself often, but making partner in one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the state of Louisiana before age 30 is very cool.

Posted by Kitty at 11:24 AM | Comments (10)

November 17, 2003

Winter Wonderland?

I know that many, many individuals on planet Earth are on crack, but I have a question:

Isn't it mid-November?

I ask this because all other signs seems to tell me that it is some other time. Any other time, in fact, except mid-November.

For instance, I went to Walgreens on Saturday. My husband would tell you that I single-handedly keep Walgreens in business, but that's another story. At any rate, the aisles of Walgreens are filled with Christmas items. Wrapping paper, stockings, gifts, candy -- you get the idea.

Then, I left Walgreens and got in my car. I turned on the radio and the stations were playing Christmas music. Yes, Christmas music.

My second question is how am I supposed to be expected to deck the halls when it is 70 degrees outside and there is still another week and a half until Thanksgiving? This is insane. I can't think about addressing Christmas cards and buying Christmas trees when I'm wearing shorts and Birkenstocks. It's unnatural.

Posted by Kitty at 05:48 PM | Comments (2)

November 14, 2003


1. What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
My favorite advice is a George Carlin quote: Don't sweat the petty things
and don't pet the sweaty things.

2. What is the best thing you've ever found?

3. What three words describe your blog?
Kitty, daily, true

4. What was the most recent thing you did that seemed like a good idea at the time but later events proved otherwise?
Agreeing to get my annual evaluation at 3:15, when I knew I had a 4:15
deposition to attend and wouldn't make it on time. I didn't.

5. What two celebrities would you most like to see fight to the death?
Anna Nicole Smith and the cat in the hat. I'd put $20 on the cat. $40 if he's
wearing his hat.

6. What do you think is the best thing about the internet? What's the worst?
Best thing: It is a fun way to waste time.
Worst thing: It is a fun way to waste too much time.

Posted by Kitty at 07:25 PM | Comments (1)


If you're wondering where I ran off to, let's just say the past 48 hours have been a tad crazy.

Yesterday and today I attended a seminar here in New Orleans entitled, "Asbestos Litigation in the 21st Century". (Well, it's interesting to me). There were speakers there from all over the country, and, consequently, attendees there from all over. Several of our clients attended, so my boss had the good idea to organize dinner for them last night so we could all hang out and make sure they remember to keep sending us business.

The game plan was that we rented a bus (yes, just like in high school) that took us from the hotel where the conference was held to The Dock, a new restaurant on the lakefront. After dinner, said bus would shuttle us to Mid City Lanes, home of the infamous Rock 'n Bowl. Since I attended the conference, I was asked to be Julie, cruise director for the evening.

Mind you, I'd never met any of these clients until last night when the bus showed up. However, I was game. The bus, and clients, showed up on time, and we headed for The Dock. Folks were pretty quiet on the bus, and dinner at The Dock was fun. Of course, during dinner we were all drinking, so people became more animated.

Once we got to Rock 'n Bowl, everyone was very happy. The clients split up into groups of four, got longneck beers (many said this was necessary to recover their misspent youth) and began bowling. One of the clients got the idea that on the scoresheets, the bowlers should use their "stripper names". For the uninitiated, your stripper name is the name of your first pet plus the name of the first street you lived on (for the curious, my stripper name is Baby Lemans. Nice).

By the time we got them back on the bus at 11, they were louder than all three of my teenage cousins combined, amplified by 10. I felt like the group's mom -- I kept hearing shouts from the back of the bus of, "Jennifer! It's cooolllldddd, can't you turn on the heater?", "Jennifer, I want to go to Bourbon Street. When do we get there?" and, my favorite, "Jennifer, Fluffy keeps hitting me" (they refused to stop using their stripper names at any point in the evening).

When we returned to the hotel, I thanked them all for coming and then promptly threw them off the bus. The point of this evening was for me to get to know our clients so they feel comfortable coming to me with their problems, and will send us even more business. The big problem now is that I don't know their real names. But I do know Fluffy, Muffin and Choo-Choo.

Posted by Kitty at 05:05 PM | Comments (5)

November 11, 2003

Romance Novels

I'm having a crisis of conscience.

Normally, I'll read just about anything that will sit still long enough. If I run out of novels to read, I'll move on to the newspaper. When I finish that, I'll read the backs of my cereal boxes. When those fail to amuse I'll read my dog's i.d. tags. You get the idea.

My book club has selected our November/December book. It is a romance novel.

I've only tried to read a romance novel once before, and it did not go well. I didn't even finish it. I started reading it when I was in law school, and a friend of mine (the guilty shall remain nameless) recommended it. The only books she reads are romance novels, so this should have been a clue.

I finished reading the last (real) book I started, and decided to start this romance novel, and was determined not to be a "book snob", but to give it a chance.

I have some questions:

(1) Why do characters in romance novels have to have such goofy names? You know what I'm talking about. Names like Caitlin Deveraux, Blaine Carrington, etc. etc. My husband wants to name our first born girl Alexis. I refuse, because I've always said that the name Alexis Kilpatrick sounds like a character on Dynasty. It also sounds like a character in a romance novel.

(2) Why do characters in romance novels live in buildings that have names? Again, you know what I mean. I live in a house in New Orleans. I do not live in "Thornberry Manor" or "Crestwood Estates".

(3) Why do characters in romance novels always give each other "knowing looks" and "meaningful glances"? If I've been getting either one of these in my life, I wasn't aware of it (with the exception of my dog, who gives me a "knowing look" when she needs to go outside).

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go and read some more about some guy's throbbing manhood.

Posted by Kitty at 06:42 PM | Comments (13)

November 10, 2003

Even More Healthy Food

Along the lines of a previous post I wrote about how Tex-Mex food is surprisingly, shockingly unhealthy, we now discovery that fried chicken is, as well. I don't know why it surprises anyone that fried chicken is unhealthy, or that advertisers (gasp!) lie, as this article suggests.

On a fried chicken note, those in New Orleans will no doubt be less than impressed with KFC's bold assertions in its ads, since we have Chicken Box here, the king of all chicken places and chicken ad campaigns. I think my favorite ad campaign they did was giving away a free marriage license if you bought 1,000 pieces of chicken.

Posted by Kitty at 11:20 AM | Comments (10)

November 07, 2003

This Week's Cheddar

1. What good did you do in the world today?
It's still early. I'm working on it. But I did walk my dog.

2. What fashion trend are you glad that's gone away? Or what trend are you waiting to go away?
I am glad that jellies shoes from the 1980's are history -- wearing shoes
that are completely made of semi-melted plastic just isn't comfortable.

3. What's your greatest sports moment, your own or one you've witnessed?
Anyone who knows me is laughing right now. I neither watch nor play

4. Who would you nominate for the most annoying person award?
Kathy Lee Gifford.

5. What do you do to get yourself ready to write? Either blogging or other writing?
The hardest part for me is narrowing down what I want to say. After
that, I just let it flow.

6. Mac or PC or Linux? Why?
I use a PC because that's what my law firm bought me. I'd like to buy a
Mac, but since most law firms use PC's, it is much easier to just conform.

Posted by Kitty at 08:57 AM | Comments (6)

November 05, 2003


Do you find yourself getting into ruts? Allow me to elaborate.....

I find that I tend to get "hooked" on things, and choose those things until I get tired of them, and get "hooked" on something else. Still confused?

Take food -- I get into these ruts where every single night I want to eat the same thing. Recently, I've been hooked on Minute Maid Juice Bars (pretty handy that the weather has stayed warm so I'm not sitting on my couch, shivering and trying to eat popsicles). Before, I was hooked on eating grapefruit, and wanted to eat one every night. No, I'm not pregnant (obviously, since Justin isn't here), I think I'm just weird.

This doesn't just apply to food, I get hooked on all sorts of things. Like music. Right now, I have a cd by Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen in my car cd player. I will listen to this on the way to work and back every day until I get sick of it, and will then rotate to something else.

And then there are books and crossword puzzles. I'll get hooked on a book by one author and drag the thing around with me everywhere I go, hoping to get a spare moment to read a few more paragraphs. And when I'm done, I'll pick up another book and do the same thing, but ultimately the urge will fade and I'll only read it at night, like a normal individual. There are times when all I want to do is sit and do crossword puzzles, and times when all I want to do is go out with my friends and have fun.

I'm wondering if these are shades of OCD, or if everyone is like this. Any thoughts?

Posted by Kitty at 05:11 PM | Comments (9)

November 04, 2003

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

I know my schedule says that right now, I should be working. Howver, I had to take a moment to comment on this article I just read.

Let me get this straight....New Orleans has one of the highest per capita MURDER rates in the country, and our police department is spending its time and resources to conduct a two week stakeout of a dope-smoking granny? Okay. Whatever.

Posted by Kitty at 05:12 PM | Comments (7)

Today's Schedule

9:00 a.m. Review pleadings, answer e-mails
9:30 a.m. Head to Civil District Court for hearing
10:00 a.m. Attend hearing on exceptions and motions
11:00 a.m. Attend defense counsel meeting to figure out what happened at
hearing we all just attended
12:00 Lunch
1:30 p.m. Return to office. Read blogs.
2:00 p.m. Work for the man, bill hours, drink ice water
3:20 p.m. Give blood at firm blood drive
4:00 p.m. Work for the man, bill hours, gossip
5:30 p.m. Leave work and go home to Maggie
5:40 p.m. Let Miss Maggie take me for a walk
6:15 p.m. Go to book club meeting at Margaret's house.
6:20 p.m. Get sloppy drunk on wine
6:30 p.m. Listen to stories of single women's sex lives
6:35 p.m. Wonder when husband is coming home.
9:30 p.m. Go home and flop into bed.
9:35 p.m. Pet Maggie.

Posted by Kitty at 08:46 AM | Comments (5)

November 03, 2003

Winning is Everything

The vast majority of the cases I work on are mass tort cases -- the kind where lots and lots of people are (allegedly) injured by one single event or source (i.e. chemical spills, asbestos exposure in plants, etc.) These kinds of cases drag on for years, involve extensive discovery and a lot of negotiation to ultimately resolve. I enjoy them, but it can sometimes be frustrating that it takes so long to ever see resolution to your work.

This morning I got a much-needed break from my usual spate of cases. I went to court and represented a woman pro bono (for free), who is mildly mentally retarded and has some psychiatric issues. She is 25, but has the intelligence level of a seven year old child. She lives with her older sister, who cares for her and wants to continue to do so. Her sister filed a Petition for Interdiction, which would give her sister full control over the young woman, including her financial assets, medical care, etc. The woman loves living with her sister, and this morning she had an opportunity to tell the judge just that. The hearing went beautifully, but mostly I'm so thrilled that this woman now feels secure knowing that she can continue to live where she wants, and that no one will interfere with that relationship.

People often assume that representing corporations would be boring or that it wouldn't be as interesting as representing individuals, but they're wrong. It is interesting, challenging work, but not nearly as rewarding as being able to help one young woman.

Posted by Kitty at 12:44 PM | Comments (2)

November 02, 2003

Bad news and good news

The bad news is that fifteen soldiers were killed when a chinook helicopter was shot down in Fallujah, while some soldiers were trying to leave to take some R&R with their families. The good news is that, while the crash happened where my husband is stationed, neither he nor any soldiers from his unit were killed or injured in the attack.

Posted by Kitty at 11:47 AM | Comments (7)

November 01, 2003

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Hello Kitty! I'm not sure how old she is, though I suppose the p.c. answer would be that she is timeless.

Posted by Kitty at 12:57 PM | Comments (6)