December 30, 2005

Year in Review

2005 sucked. I would love to paint a rosy picture of this awful year, but it ain't easy. I've been through a lot of well-publicized grief and can say without hesitation that I'm all too ready to move on. And although I'm not a list-maker (well, that's not entirely true -- I do make to-do lists, I just don't tend to make Top Ten lists ala Rob Gordon in High Fidelity), in the spirit of starting off 2006 on a positive note, I thought I'd try to re-cap the good stuff from '05.

10. We evacuated early for Katrina. This item implicitly includes many subparts, including not being rescued off the roof of our house (which happened to several of our neighbors), we weren't "domed", we didn't hang out at the Convention Center, we weren't interviewed by Anderson Cooper, etc.

9. I requested a payoff statement from our mortgage company. I wouldn't be able to say that if we didn't have the money to pay it off, so score.

8. I hosted one of the most successful, and definitely most fun, marketing events my firm hosted all year. The party (at Pat O's) was so much fun we couldn't get the guests to leave. And I can't think of a better way to spend my firm's money than on free booze.

7. I had an amazing, incredible, fabulous (and every other cliched adjective that Katie Holmes uses to describe her current relationship) weekend in Phoenix in March. And I'm going back in April!

6. Ditto for an extended weekend spent in Chicago for another ABA meeting. Did I mention how much I love the ABA?

5. I read some rockin' books (hey, I know I'm a dork, lay off).

4. I acquired some outstanding electronics equipment, including the iBook I'm typing on right now, as well as an iPod.

3. I lost over 15 pounds due to the combined effects of literally walking my butt off and dieting. I'm here to testify that exercising and eating right really works! Who knew?

2. Archi-Sapper and I still have our jobs and never missed a paycheck post-K. And we both have a place to live.

1. Archi-Sapper and I still have each other. And Miss Maggie. It doesn't get much better than that.

Posted by Kitty at 03:10 PM | Comments (1)

December 23, 2005

Don't Get Stuck on Stupid

I don't know why I'm even thinking about this. But I am.

This issue of Time is something I usually look at every December with mild interest, but not much more. Obviously the results don't really change anything, so I really don't care most of the time. But this issue really bugs me.

I'm trying to figure out why. I think it's because this time around, I feel like I know someone who would've been much better. I shouldn't take this personally, but I am.

Bono? Bill and Melinda Gates? Good people, all, I'm sure. It just feels wrong to me to reward multi-billionaires who decide to spread a little of their wealth (which doesn't require a whole lot of effort), instead of acknowledging the accomplishments of someone who was able to effect dramatic, positive change in a way that doesn't result in a tax write-off.

Yes, I'm biased since I live in New Orleans and every day of my life is Katrina rehash. Yes, I live in a Katrina-centric part of the world, so that skews my vision. I recognize all of that. But I still wish they would've named Lt. General Russel Honore as Person of the Year. Or at least as Someone Who Mattered.

C'mon. You saw the footage -- I won't link to it. You can find it, it's everywhere. You read the news stories. You know how bad it was here in the darkest days. This beleaguered, sunken city was in chaos, with a freaked out mayor who couldn't wrap his brain or arms around the situation, a governor who looked catatonic and a President who was on vacation. All of these people made mistakes (and don't even get me started on Michael Brown, who doesn't deserve a link), but none of them turned this city around. Lt. Gen Honore did that.

This man single-handedly jumped off a chopper into a city that most media outlets were reporting (and I don't blame them for the misinformation) was in complete chaos and was incredibly dangerous, and he led his troops straight into the 'Dome without incident. He immediately established control, got vital supplies to those who desperately needed it, oversaw the evacuation of an entire American city and didn't go running around taking credit for what a fabulous guy he is. In short, he kicked ass.

And don't get me started on his quotes, either. There's almost nothing I love more than I good turn of phrase and this is an eminently quotable man. One of Archi-Sapper's favorite Honore quotes is, "You're looking at your calendar. I'm looking at my watch." Love it.

He showed compassion to the citizenry he was sent to help. According to an article on, he stated, "These were mostly poor people who didn't have much other than their homes," Honore said. "We didn't pull anybody off those rooftops that said, 'Damn, I left my Lexus!' "

Of the poor, he said: "When it's hot, they're hotter. When it's cold, they're colder. When the wind blows, they go over farther. And when a plague hits, they die faster."

I just don't get it. One of the United States' most beloved cities gets hit by the worst natural disaster in our country's history, we send a man into this nightmare as our last desperate hope to turn things around (does anyone remember Mayor Nagin's "desperate SOS" he sent to the rest of the country four days after Katrina? I do.), he takes control and reclaims an entire American city when everyone else stood by helplessly, and he's not Person of the Year?


Posted by Kitty at 03:48 PM | Comments (3)

December 17, 2005

Passion Wagons

I'm really relieved to know that Teri Hatcher doesn't keep a "passion wagon" on her property for her trysts (which, if you know anything about the gossip in legal circles in New Orleans, should immediately remind you of the cookie lady story).

And in other good news, Archi-Sapper and I have received the best Christmas present we could've hoped for. We got two checks this week -- one was for the policy limits on our flood insurance policy which covers our structure, and the other was the policy limits of our flood policy's contents coverage. The coverage on the structure is enough to pay off our mortgage, which is exactly what we plan to do. So, any takers for a lovely home near City Park and the Lake? It boasts easy access to the now famous 30 foot tall trash heap, it only got six feet of water inside and would make a great fixer-upper!

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

December 12, 2005

Happy happy

Life is good. I finally got some new clothes this weekend from my favorite place to buy women's clothing, I just started a fab new book, some of my favorite trash is back on t.v. and Ilyka has posted again. Again, I say, life is good.

In other happy news, I almost got some makeup today. I say almost because it was shipped to me "signature required on delivery", meaning I have to actually be home to sign for it. I can understand sending packages that way when they contain something expensive, but eyeliner? Seriously, folks, I think they can leave it at the door.

Posted by Kitty at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2005

I Don't Want A Lot For Christmas, I Won't Even Wish For a Video

The crazy thing about Katrina is that it makes me feel like my life is in suspended animation -- and we're three months post-landfall. Case in point: Christmas. Yes, the stores are all decorated with Santas and red things. Yes, there's Christmas music playing on the radio (XM has five channels of it). And yes, it's cold outside. (I know New Orleans isn't that cold. Yes, yes, we're all weather weenies down here. I know we southerners would never survive a winter in a location that actually has winter. Just let me pretend we're experiencing winter weather, okay? I mean, this is my blog.) But I just can't get in the spirit.

The closest I've come so far was at the end of last week at work, of all places. I got an e-mail early in the day, sent to a handful of lawyers, saying, "We need some people to help out from 4:00 until 5:00 today with sock puppets. Let us know if you're free." If you work at my office, nothing says Christmas like sock puppets.

Every year (except for last year, and the years we don't feel like it), we have a sooper-secret committee that writes, directs, films and basically creates a video that we reveal at the Christmas party. The purpose of the video is to make fun of those who run the place (we figure that anyone who's in charge is fair game). Much like an episode of Saturday Night Live, we usually piece together a number of unrelated skits. This makes the film easier to make (since we don't have to worry about any continuity or pesky themes) and it allows us to lampoon a number of different topics all in the same project.

We came up with the idea of the sock puppets a couple of years ago when we had some ideas that were great, but too lewd to actually film. To be fair, "we" (meaning the video committee) didn't come up with the sock puppet idea. One guy came up with it, suggested it to us, and we all dismissed him as being mentally ill. After thinking about it, we finally realized the genius of it. Part of the problem with many of our great ideas for skits was that for most of them, you need real live people to play the roles. So, you see the problem. The beauty of the sock puppets is that you can have the puppets do things you could never get real people to do. And there's a much greater chance that you can do a sock puppet skit and not get fired.

So this is how I found myself spending the better part of an hour last week lying on the floor underneath a conference room table, squinched together with two guys, hands (clad in sock puppets) thrust over our heads, saying our lines into the mics on the floor and trying not to laugh. And the best part about it was that even though the time wasn't billable or productive or even professional, it felt like home. And that's about as close to a typical Christmas as I think I'll get this year.

Posted by Kitty at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)