December 30, 2004

Cheddar X

1. What do you do with your spare change?
It sits in my wallet until Archi-Sapper shames me into using it. I collect so much spare change he calls me the Franklin Mint.

2. What prompted you to give some money to a stranger recently?
I usually give money to strangers if they appear to really need it or if they look particularly menacing and I'm worried about what will happen if I don't give them money.

3. What charities do you support and why?
I don't support as many as I used to since we've purchased the house. I'm a big fan of Doctors Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity.

4. What's the kindest thing a stranger has done for you?
I've had other lawyers step up and (quite helpfully) say things in depositions and in court which helped my clients when I was a young pup and didn't know any better. They're no longer strangers -- we're now friends.

5. Do you wish people a "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Seasons Greetings" or something else? Why did you choose it?
I usually say Merry Christmas without even thinking about it, unless I know the person doesn't celebrate Christmas. It's just a knee-jerk reaction.

6. What's your most memorable moment of 2004 online? Offline?
I don't have a lot of memorable online moments. My most memorable offline moment was greeting Archi-Sapper when he returned from Iraq.

7. What is your hope for 2005?
Happiness. Just happiness.

Posted by Kitty at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2004


Well, you go away for less than a week, and everything falls apart. Worlds are in turmoil! Families ripped apart! Dogs and cats are living together! (my apologies to Bill Murray) And yes, blawgers are being unmasked.

One blawg I occasionally read, Anonymous Lawyer, was purportedly about the life of a lawyer at a large law firm on the west coast. As it turns out, it was really written by veteran blawger Jeremy Blachman, a 3L at Harvard Law School (you'll need to sign up for a free pass to read the New York Times in order to access the article. But you should have one of those passes, anyway. You know. To make you feel smart.)

I never believed Anonymous Lawyer was who he said he was, and judging by the comments, most of his readers didn't think so, either. However, I feel the same way about this situation as I did about the unmasking of Plain Layne -- I don't really care if the blogger is who they say they are as long as they can write well. For the sake of privacy (and sanity), I expect that bloggers fudge some facts about themselves so they don't end up with a million stalkers chasing them around creation.

The craziest part about this saga, in my opinion, is the level of press it received. Bloggers often attempt to out one another, but to be outed by The New York Times? Wow.

Posted by Kitty at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004

Birthday Wishes

Happy birthday, Archi-Sapper!

Tomorrow we'll be off to the land of snow, otherwise known as Little Rock.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

Posted by Kitty at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2004


Now that is one fabulous cat! The dog is lame, but the cat? Fabulous!

Hello Kitty With Lame Dog

Posted by Kitty at 04:02 PM | Comments (1)

December 19, 2004

High School Cheddar

Within the time period of High School:

5 People you wish you were still close to
Actually, I am still close with the people I knew in high school who I wanted to stay close to. That's not a long list of people, but you don't need a lot of close friends if you choose wisely.

4 Places you used to frequent
Snuffers (particularly the back room), Half Price Bookstore (the original location which no longer exists), the band hall at Jesuit and my mom's office.

3 Classes you loathed
P.E. (that wasn't just in high school -- I always hated it), Health (good teacher, stupid class) and Algebra 2. Had I been any good at math I would've gone to medical school.

2 Teachers who made a difference
The Health teacher really helped me through some difficult stuff my freshman year, and a math teacher (who never even taught me but strangely ended up giving me advice) was particularly memorable.

1 Moment to relive or erase.
Only one? My favorite moments were quiet ones -- rainy days when I had a free period and would sit in the student lounge and watch the rain pelting the sliding glass doors, lit up by the glow from the lanterns that lined the hallway.

Posted by Kitty at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2004

Getting the Business

I've been crazy busy these days, running around doing holiday shopping and trying to get work done, particularly for a trial I have set to begin in late January. So I almost deleted the e-mail when I saw it. I was scanning through my e-mails on my hotmail account last week when I saw an e-mail about a Business Week article. Not being a big Business Week reader, I figured it was likely spam, but for some reason I opened it on the off chance it wasn't.

Turns out, it was an e-mail from an editor at the magazine. She said she had read one of my previous blog posts and wanted to include it in an article she was writing about gadgets (blackberries, Treos, etc.) She asked for my name and whether I'm still a practicing attorney in Louisiana and she mentioned that she was on deadline. She sent the message around 1:00 p.m. and I didn't get it until 6:00 p.m. (something about the craziness of practicing law kept me from attending to personal e-mails that day), but I wrote her back with my name and told her she was welcome to use it, but that if she did I would appreciate it if she'd e-mail me and let me know so I could look for it.

I never heard from her, so I presumed I hadn't responded quickly enough for her to meet her deadline and she'd passed on it. This morning, out of nothing more than morbid curiosity, I went to Business Week's web site. I searched for her name and the first article was about gadgets -- success! I scanned the article and found that she had indeed used some of the exact words from my post but didn't say where she got the story from. This irks me. My post was hardly the focus of the article -- it was just a tangential illustration -- but the article reads as though she made up the illustration on her own, which wasn't the case. Further, she could've at least e-mailed me to tell me she was using it, although I guess I wouldn't want to e-mail someone either if I was using their idea and not giving them credit.

*sigh* I'm going back to work.

Posted by Kitty at 09:22 AM | Comments (2)

December 10, 2004

Deck the Halls

I am trying to listen intently to this telephone deposition, but the pounding in my head isn't helping. I wish I could say that the headache is a product of being overserved at last night's Christmas party, but the truth is far from it. The party was sadly lame. It used to be that our firm's Christmas parties were legendary with all kinds of wild behavior resulting in an overactive rumor mill spreading stories for weeks afterward.

In fact, there were only three noteworthy events that came out of last night's party: (1) I got to see the guy who works in the mailroom who has a closed head injury (no, I'm not joking) dance like John Travolta to the song "Stayin' Alive" (it's a Christmas party tradition at the firm, but it isn't the same since he no longer wears his white suit, for reasons that aren't entirely clear to me); (2) I got to see the guy who works in the mailroom who's autistic sing a love song to the human resources director who he adores (another firm tradition); and (3) a homeless guy outside the party asked me to marry him. After I turned him down and related the story to my co-workers who were inside the party venue, they told me I had made a grave error in turning him down. They explained that homeless guys don't have any baggage (I assume they mean physical baggage, but that wasn't entirely clear to me, either), don't have debts (that they pay, anyway), don't make big demands and are pretty much happy with whatever you have to offer since they have so little to start with. I'm starting to think I need to reconsider my options here......

Posted by Kitty at 04:08 PM | Comments (5)

December 09, 2004

Cheddar X-Mas

1. What do you like most about Christmas?
These days, I like having time off work, getting to sleep in, overeat and read all the books that have been piling up on my bookshelf.

2. How have your Christmas perceptions changed over time?
I have gradually lowered my expectations, so now if I can catch up on sleep and see family members I'm happy. I no longer expect gifts of clothing to fit, etc.

3. Is it truly better to give than to receive?
That depends on whether you think you've found the "perfect gift" for someone, but it's definitely true if they really like what you gave them.

4. What's your all time favorite Christmas present?
Last year, I got a wonderful belated Christmas present -- Archi-Sapper came home from Iraq for 15 days of R&R.

5. What gift are you most proud of giving to someone else?
The Playmobil castle I bought Archi-Sapper last year was pretty cool -- I can't really think of any grand gifts I've bestowed.

Posted by Kitty at 02:42 PM | Comments (2)

December 04, 2004

Hand to Hand Combat

After I returned to my office on Friday afternoon, having spent the entire morning in court, I slumped in my paralegal's exta chair and said, "You know, the only thing I learned from my hearing this morning is that when you go to CDC, you never know what you're going to get."

I got to Court around 9:15 Friday morning. We had received a phone call from the judge's law clerk the day before, telling us that our motion would be last on the docket, so we didn't need to show up until 10:00, even though our motion had been set for 9:00. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm obsessively early, and I'd never appeared before that judge before, so I wanted to get a feel for how she would rule on other motions before I got up there and opened my mouth.

The judge finally got around to listening to our motion at 11:45. We all scooted through the little gate in the wooden divider (I know these fixtures of courtrooms have names, I just don't know what they are) and crowded around the small counsel tables. After we made our appearances, we sat down and I settled into my seat, confident that the defendants were going to lose this motion. I thought we would not only lose, but go down in a fiery ball of flames.

The hearing was underway when plaintiff's counsel --a very nice, fairly calm guy --was in the middle of his brilliant argument, and went to make his big pitch to the judge. With a flourish, he pulled a piece of paper from his large stack of papers, waved it around and said, "Your honor, to illustrate my point, I have a copy of an e-mail I sent to Dr. R, defendants' expert witness, just yesterday, as well as his response." At that point, he could've said that he was selling his body for parts for all anyone cared. There was a collective gasp among the defense lawyers, and we all said, almost in unison, "You e-mailed our expert and didn't tell us?!"

The poor man looked stricken. He looked like a poor little dog looks when you step on its tail -- that sad, "How could you do this to me?" look. He stammered and stumbled over a vague explanation until the judge said, "Mr. X, let me caution you not to contact any of defendants' experts without at least having the courtesy to let them know you're doing so." He (bravely or stupidly, depending on how you look at it), said, "Judge, if you'll point me to the rule that says I can't, then I won't, but...." and the judge responded, "Mr. X, let me suggest that you shut up." He weakly responded, "Okay."

I was still reeling from this piece of information, stunned that this seasoned litigator was trying to argue with a judge who had just admonished him in open court, when things got really weird.

The judge announced that she was finding in our favor -- really! I was so shocked, had I been the only defense lawyer there, I would've said, "Thank you!" and run away before she changed her mind. Naturally, others don't see things the way I do. The other defense lawyers, and the previously scolded plaintiff's lawyer, started bringing up things to the judge which had nothing to do with anything. Why are people so stupid? Why do they keep arguing after they've won? Why do they keep arguing after they've lost? The judge isn't going to change her mind. *sigh* Well, the judge wanted none of that, and finally got so sick of it she kicked us out of her courtroom. She yelled, "Next case! Get out, folks! Call the next case!" Don't be fooled -- the judge is very nice. She had to yell to be heard over the din of these idiots.

We all put our tails between our legs and scurried into the hallway where it got ugly. Two defense lawyers in particular were giving the plaintiff's lawyer a really hard time about the e-mail revelation. "Don't EVER contact my experts without my permission!" "That is soooooo unethical!" "What is WRONG with you?" It was very mature.

This continued, in loud, threatening tones, until we reached the elevator. At that point, it completely disintegrated. One particularly feisty defense lawyer said, "Mr. X, if you EVER contact one of my experts again without my permission, I'm filing a motion for sanctions." He walked up to her, got one inch from her face and said, "Oh really?", to which she responded, "Oh yes. Really." They dramatically stared at each other for a minute or two, and I was thinking, "What is this, Bring it On?"

We all got into the tiny elevator together and the shouting continued. It was more of the same: "Well, Mr. X, I was hoping we could work together on things, but apparently NOT." "I would work with you defense lawyers if I hadn't been lied to." "We didn't lie to you! You snuck around behind our backs!" etc, etc. This reached such a fever pitch that one poor soul who was stuck in the elevator with us -- who has nothing to do with our case -- turned around and told them to shut up.

Once out of the elevator, the lawyers took their bickering outside, and followed each other back to their law firms, fighting the entire way. I need to change professions and do something that's less stressful. Maybe I could take a series seven exam.....

Posted by Kitty at 07:53 PM | Comments (4)

December 02, 2004

EA Games

Salon has an interesting article about EA Games and its disgruntled workers.

*Note: you may need to watch a brief advertisement to be able to read the article for free.

Posted by Kitty at 01:45 PM | Comments (1)