December 27, 2003

Cheddar X Fun

1. What's the best porn name you've seen or invented?

I still think that my porn star name, Baby Lemans, is the coolest.

2. What's the most recent thing you've eaten off the ground?

Off the ground? I don't tend to eat off the ground, oddly.

3. What's your favorite meal?

I have lots of favorite meals -- it is difficult to choose. I love a good plate of cheese enchiladas and spanish rice, but I'm probably just thinking of that since I just returned from Texas.

4. What's the lamest blog name you know of?

I honestly can't think of any, and if I thought a blog had a lame name, I probably wouldn't stop to read it, and likely wouldn't recall it later.

5. Which blogger would you most like to meet in person?

I met the bloggers I most wanted to meet -- the Wet Wired crew! However, I'd also love to meet Joshua who writes Strip Mining for Whimsy. He seems like a character.

6. What is the most surprising thing about you?

Ask the Wet Wired crew......

7. What is the best new word you've learned or made up?

Hmmm.....haven't learned too many new words lately (my grade school teachers were right, my brain is starting to rot!) My favorite word? Interstices.

Posted by Kitty at 05:02 PM | Comments (20)

December 22, 2003

A Belated Thanksgiving

I read Pylorns' post this morning where he divulged how he feels about the folks in his life now that 2003 is coming to a close. That got me thinking about how 2003 has been for me.

For a year that started off with my husband getting alerted to go to Iraq, on my birthday, leaving me with only two hours notice to deal with his sudden departure, things aren't so bad. Some of the highlights include: going to Phoenix in March, getting to work on more high-profile cases at work, buying a car, finding out that my mom's biopsy was benign, making limited partner at my firm, starting this blog, making friends with the Wet Wired crew and reading a whole lot of books.

However, I think this year is coming to a fitting end, because next week, as 2003 draws to a close, my year will have come full circle.

My husband is coming home.

Posted by Kitty at 08:53 PM | Comments (5)

December 19, 2003

Holiday Cheddar X

1. What was your most memorable present you received as a child? Good or bad.

Apropos of this blog, the most memorable Christmas present I received as a child was my very first Hello Kitty. I was in kindergarten and my mom and I went Christmas shopping. I saw this stuffed cat with an oversized head and red jumper on and had to have it. I was a well-behaved child for the most part, but when my mother said I couldn't have the Hello Kitty (she had already purchased one for me for Christmas), I sat on the floor and threw a temper tantrum. I think it was something about those big kitty eyes that I just loved.

2. What is your most favorite holiday memory? Tradition?

My favorite holiday memory is of waking up Christmas morning to open presents. I don't have a specific year in mind -- they were all good. My favorite tradition was when I was growing up, we would invite a priest over for Christmas Eve dinner. He was a friend of the family and he was the perfect Christmas Eve guest.

3. Hot cocoa or hot apple cider?

Both! (yeah, I'm a pig)

4. Egg Nog. Yes or yuck?!

I've actually never had it before. A drink made from eggs? No thanks.

5. What's your favorite Christmas song or carol?

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (although I also really like Christmas Wrappings by the Waitresses).

6. What's your favorite Christmas movie and why?

A Muppet Christmas Movie. It's the Muppets, for crying out loud!

7. Do you spend the holidays with your family or with your friends or neither?

I spend the holidays with family, and Christmas night I usually go out with a friend.

8. What is the most thoughtful gift you've ever given to someone?

This wasn't at Christmas time, but it is a gift story. When I was little I used to go to West Texas during the summers to hang out with my grandparents. My grandmother's birthday always occurred while I was visiting. One year, when I was in grade school, I remembered that it was her birthday and I didn't have a gift for her. I had been collecting these small, plastic figurines of cartoon characters (Snoopy, etc.) So, I picked out my favorite cartoon character figurine and gave it to her. I think she still has it.

Posted by Kitty at 10:34 AM | Comments (5)

December 13, 2003

Cheddar X

1. What was your last near death experience?

I have so many when I drive down I-10 it is difficult to pick just one.

2. How often do you pull or edit posts after publishing them?

I never pull posts, and I've only edited posts when I found spelling mistakes in them, which isn't often.

3. How do you decide what to blog about?

For the most part, it is spur of the moment. I blog about whatever I happen to be thinking when I'm surfing other people's blogs. Sometimes when I'm out somewhere I'll think of a good post topic, but I usually forget it by the time I get back to my laptop.

4. What is your favorite work of art?

I am a big fan of Vermeer, a Dutch painter, and there was a painting of his in the textbook we used in my AP European History class in high school. I should recall the name of the painting, but I don't.

5. What was your last brush with the law about?

I have daily brushes with the law given my chosen profession. But to answer the question that I'm supposed to answer (and not be a smart ass), it would have to be getting pulled over for speeding. Yeah, I need to slow down.

6. What's the most clever post title you've come up with?

I've said this before, but me at my most clever was the post title "Would You, Could You, With a Pope?" about the election of popes.

7. What's the best marketing gimmick you've seen lately? Worst?

This is a tough one. In terms of marketing, I'd have to say that I really get hooked on any commercial that uses good music. The Gap has done that to great effect, in my opinion (I still remember the song they used in their Christmas commercials last year). The worst marketing is done by jewelry stores in New Orleans, hands down. Their commercials are so abysmal I refuse to give any of them business.

Posted by Kitty at 05:42 PM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2003

Drunken Revelry

I wish I had exciting stories to post about last night's decadence, but I don't. The Christmas party was held at Latrobe's, a very nice location that appears to be an event hall of sorts. They had a couple of open bars, as well as various stations of food and people walking around with trays of hors d'oeuvres. My friends and I showed up around 5 or 5:30, scoped out the place and immediately started drinking and eating.

At 7:00, they showed the Christmas party video, which was outstanding. I won't go into detail because it obviously consisted entirely of inside jokes, but I was impressed with how professional it looked. It almost made me think I should've gotten my butt out of bed last Saturday morning to go help them film it. Almost.

In fact, the only truly notable (and humorous) anecdote of the evening concerned one of our file clerks, who is actually the son of my paralegal. He is a college student, and is entirely too innocent for his own good (in my opinion). He lives at home and doesn't party as much as your typical college student, and thus hasn't established too much of a tolerance, apparently. I'm told that after copious amounts of alcohol, he tried to "dirty dance" with several people (unsuccessfully), and then threw up the spinach & artichoke dip he had consumed in his mother's car on the ride home. Nice.

Posted by Kitty at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2003

The Huey P.

This morning I attended a deposition at Avondale Shipyards, not too far from my casa (and workplace of a regular reader of this blog). To get there, the quickest way is to take the Huey P. Long Bridge.

For those unfamiliar with said death-trap, it is just that. I don't think the bridge has been updated since construction began and it is none the better for wear. It has the narrowest lanes of any road I've ever seen and has this none-too-soothing rocking motion to it when you have to stop for any reason. I know many people who live in New Orleans who won't drive on the thing, and I'll admit that taking it this morning felt like an adventure.

I'm back in the office briefly before I run to a meeting, and then it is off to the firm Christmas party. Tales of drunken revelry will be posted tomorrow, I'm sure.

Posted by Kitty at 01:17 PM | Comments (1)

December 09, 2003


I am clearly behind the times. It appears that in June 2003, a class action lawsuit was filed against Abercrombie and Fitch for race discrimination in hiring and firing. I can't say I'm terribly surprised at the filing of such a suit. I can't pass on the merits of the claims, but considering the flood of lawsuits we've had over the past several years in this country, there don't seem to be any more unlikely targets.

What I find interesting is the firm that has filed the suit. The website established by the firm indicates that they have been involved in suits to recover assets from the families of Holocaust victims, in major securities fraud litigation and in litigation arising from the Exxon Valdez oil disaster. Now, they've set their sights on representing college kids who were unjustly denied their right to sell overpriced denim.

Dude. Bummer.

Posted by Kitty at 10:33 AM | Comments (10)

December 08, 2003

Lucid Intervals

I just returned from a deposition. I have decided, after only four years of practicing law, that I need to write a book about my deposition experiences. If something weird is going to happen at a deposition, I will be in attendance.

Don't believe me? I have been to a deposition where the plaintiff tried to take his clothes off while I was questioning him (his attorney stopped him, thankfully), a deposition where a man pulled up his pants to show us the duct tape he had applied to his legs (purportedly "to hold the skin together"), several depositions where attorneys have almost gotten into fist fights and a deposition where the plaintiff was too stoned to testify.

And the hits just keep on coming.My deposition this morning was of Mr. X, a plaintiff in a large lawsuit filed in New Orleans. Mr. X filed his case a long time ago, and it went to trial in 1996, where he was awarded $3.3 million for his silicosis and asbestosis. The judge ordered a new trial, and now we're all back for round two, only now the plaintiff has lung cancer, occupational asthma, alleged brain damage (that's what happens when you spend too much time with plaintiffs' lawyers -- did I say that?) and he is allegedly suicidal over his asbestosis and silicosis diagnoses (neither of which are fatal). For regular readers of my blog (yes, both of you), this is the case that has an upcoming deposition in Hawaii.

Mr. X showed up today wearing large, gold sunglasses which wrapped around his head. We had the deposition in the conference room of a law firm, and he refused to remove his sunglasses during the deposition. When asked why he didn't want to remove them, he responded that he doesn't like people staring at his eyes. Oooookay. He told us that his lawyer drove him to the deposition this morning, because he no longer drives. When asked why, he stated that he is afraid to drive because he coughs occasionally, and is afraid he might lose control of the car when he coughs.

We have medical records from the past few years which state that he was hospitalized twice: once when he was attacked and beaten in the head with a lead pipe, and once when he was hit by a truck. He doesn't remember either incident. He does remember possibly spending a couple of nights in jail, but he isn't sure why he did that (although he has a suspicion that it might have been because he was arrested).

My two favorite quotes from the deposition?

1) His attorney sent him to Los Angeles last week to be tested by a doctor out there who runs a rediculously crazy set of tests on people. He flew out there, and stayed in a hotel. When asked which hotel he stayed in, he replied, "Oh you know, some big place. They had a bunch of people running around there who dress like you [pointing at all the lawyers]". This prompted one attorney to say, "Please don't lump us all together. Some of us dress better than others."

2) We asked him about the day that he decided to commit suicide by jumping off the Huey P. Long bridge in New Orleans. He was asked how close he lives to the bridge, and he said it is about two miles from his house. Since he doesn't have a car (he's scared to drive, remember?), he was asked how he got to the bridge. He responded, "I walked. If you want to pitch yourself off a bridge, ain't nobody gonna give you a ride to do it, I'll tell you that much."

Posted by Kitty at 04:03 PM | Comments (4)

December 05, 2003

One Down, None To Go

Good news! I had a trial set to begin Monday morning, and I just settled it! That was my last trial setting for 2003, and I have to say that I'm thrilled to have cleared off my docket.

The only bad news is that, had I been able to settle this earlier, I would've been able to go to Arkansas for the weekend and hang with my in-laws (I like them, it's cool) and go to the Ornament Exchange hosted by my husband's Army company's family support group. It is too late to go now, but I know everyone there understands. This will also free me up to do some Christmas shopping this weekend and get some work done, so it all works out in the end.

Posted by Kitty at 03:25 PM | Comments (10)

December 04, 2003

Twisted Cheddar

Choose one of your favorite bands and answer the questions using song titles by that band. I think it would add some fun to not name the band and see how hard it is for people to guess.

I picked an easy band to guess (and one of my faves!):

Are you male or female? She Said She Said.

Describe yourself: Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey.

How do some people feel about you? Ain't She Sweet

How do you feel about yourself? With a Little Help From My Friends.

Describe your ex: Helter Skelter

Descibe your current significant other (real or imaginary): You Really Got A Hold On Me.

Describe what you want to be: All Together Now

Describe your current mood: Getting Better

Describe your friends: Here, There and Everywhere

Share a few words of wisdom: You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

Posted by Kitty at 02:52 PM | Comments (7)

December 03, 2003

Tree Trimming

I am off to our firm's annual Tree Trimming Party. Every year they put a huge Christmas tree in our lobby, have tables with treats and egg nog, and have the employees "trim" the Christmas tree. This is always a fun event, as people get drunk on the egg nog, and trim the bottom half of the tree (it is too tall for anyone to reach the top). The drunker they get, the faster they throw the ornaments, in an attempt to get them to stick to the top of the tree. Overnight, the building supervisors will come in and redistribute the ornaments so we don't end up with the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

I think one of the best parts about work during December is how little we actually work. We have the tree trimming party, the firm Christmas party, the departmental lunches, the Secret Santa party........

Posted by Kitty at 04:03 PM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2003

Army Wife-Life

I have often thought about blogging about what it is like to be a modern-day Army wife. However, someone has quite ably beat me to the punch. Lily Burana is writing a journal entry every day this week on Slate on msn about her life as the wife of a soldier who is at West Point. This probably violates copyright laws (gasp!), but I'm re-printing today's selection below:

Arty chicks are a peripatetic lot, and I've moved more than a dozen times in my adult life, but I never would have imagined that I'd end up at West Point. My husband, who is an Army officer, and I moved to the military academy in late spring, and it feels very much like living on a chessboard, the rooklike rise of the Cadet Chapel and various halls (Taylor, Thayer) looming near the manicured expanse of the Plain. The place has an almost Tinseltown surrealism—austerity raised to epic level.

I've been married for a little over a year. Understand that we didn't intend to wed so soon, but his deployment to the war in Iraq was imminent, and we didn't have any illusions about what that meant. There are many reasons to marry. "Just in case" is as valid as any. We were cohabitating near Fort Meade, Md., and knew that nuptials were a matter of "when," not "if," so last November we went to the courthouse in downtown Baltimore and said, "I do." The bride wore leopard skin; the groom had his hair cut high and tight.

Our courtship was ardent and, uh, strategic. An Army officer renders the same breathless exhortations as every other lover, but it comes with a little something extra: Cupid's organizational fury. A smitten officer is not hard to spot. First, he'll compliment you on being "squared away." Then maybe he'll declare his intentions in PowerPoint ("I've prepared a 25-slide presentation to show how our relationship will deepen over the next four quarters"). Once he logs your vacation itinerary into Excel, you can safely bet there's a proposal on the horizon.

My husband cheerfully describes himself as "a planner by nature and profession." I, by contrast, am a trendoid curmudge at core and on the job. I moan, pick my cuticles, and write stuff: book criticism, articles, and cultural weather reports like "Bob Seger is the new Pabst Blue Ribbon." But being the Oscar in a joyous Odd Couple has triggered a seismic shift.

The biggest change is the hooah factor. Hooah is an all-purpose Army affirmative, which can mean anything from "right on" to "yes" to "I heard you" to, well, whatever demands energetic response. The only time I'd ever heard it before we met was when Al Pacino mispronounced it in Scent of a Woman as HOO-ahhhh, and I thought he was a Brooklyn guy calling someone a whore. (It's really more a relaxed-jaw monosyllable—huuu with a hybrid "lh" diphthong: huulh.)

As Mrs. Hooah, I find that I am increasingly susceptible to that positive, hard-charge attitude. I'm also incontrovertibly "ma'am" to everyone I meet. I'm rising to the occasion and showing signs of growing up. Even my speech pattern is changing. I can now converse in the Army's rat-a-tat clip of orders and acronyms. Contrast that with my hipster-betty ilk and our Valley Girl-like verbal inflection, and it's obvious I'm on a tightrope walk between cultures. At this point, I'm halfway across.

In other words, I am so totally hooah.

The ultimate "You're at the Academy now" rite of passage is head shaving—Justin Everykid transformed into a shorn Plebe on R-day. There is an equivalent Army wife ritual, where the other wives confiscate your all-black wardrobe and issue the standard pastel sweatsuits and seasonal sweaters. (Sequin candy corn! Yarn Santas!) Then they rip out your spine.


The typical officer's wife is anything but a twittering domestic lark. They're capable, nimble, and friendly. Their social ease is born of necessity—they're the only group of women who've moved more than I have. There's no audition process with them; you're automatically in.

"Hope is not a planning factor" is a ubiquitous Armyism, but in marriage, hope is the ultimate planning factor. It occurs to me, however, that writing about my marriage (to not just a man, but the military, no less!) may be the equivalent of tattooing someone's name on my body—romantic posterity with curse potential. But that's the writer's eternal gamble. When committing something personal to the page, all you can do is strive for humorous balance and CYA (yeah, that's Cover Your Ass).

Should it backfire, I suppose I could join forces with Marine-turned-author Anthony Swofford and hit the literary circuit as an interservice comedy duo:

Burana: Hey, Swoffy, why'd the Army officer's wife skip the orgy?

Swofford: She didn't wanna have to write all those thank-you notes afterward, you hooah! (rimshot)

Oh, the hilarity. Oh, the humanity.

Posted by Kitty at 02:42 PM | Comments (7)

I'm Back

After a brief Thanksgiving-related hiatus from blogging, I have returned. Overall, it was a good break and I feel like I've recharged my battery.

As with all breaks, though, not everything was perfect. On Friday, my mom and I drove (with Miss Maggie) to Houston to see extended family members and go Christmas shopping. While six hours in the car with mom and dog would normally be enough in and of itself to induce hysteria, we made it fine.

Within ten minutes of entering my grandmother's condominium, I sat down to talk with my grandfather. He informed me, "You must be doing well. You look fat." *sigh* This was followed by several jabs he made at me and my mother about how we're fat. Just call us the Slim-Fast girls.

We braved the crowds at the Galleria, but only managed to buy one Christmas gift while there (I had much better luck yesterday at Target). We were going to stay with my grandparents, but seeing as how my mom and I don't care to sleep in a sauna, we declined. Their apartment was oppressively hot -- I mean, I understand that after his heart surgery last summer my grandfather gets cold easily, but this was out of control. When we left their place, my hair was stuck to my face, and I'm used to humidity.

We came back Saturday night (I think the dog would've mutinied if we'd stayed longer) and hung out Sunday. I got up at 5:00 this rmoning to be the good daughter and take my mom to the airport so she could catch her 7:00 a.m. flight. She called me from the airport at 7:15, to tell me that she apparently has a 7:00 p.m. flight. Oops.

Posted by Kitty at 08:28 AM | Comments (5)