May 29, 2006


Memorial Day weekend was relaxing. We didn't do much of anything until today when we had our "big" ultrasound. We got to have some face time with the baby and even found out the sex.

We're having a boy.

We're both thrilled about this. Some of our family might be less so, as they were hoping for a girl, as girls are so much fun to accessorize. They'll get over it.

So now, the baby-stuff buying begins in earnest. All we've bought so far is a diaper bag and a baby toy (a soft giraffe that winds up and plays a lullaby). Of course, once we invest a sum equal to the national debt in strollers, car seats, high chairs, play pens, cribs, blankets and all of the accoutrements, we will find out we bought a bunch of blue stuff only to have a girl. This has happened to several people we know. I mentioned it today to the doctor while she was doing the ultrasound, and she pointed at it and said, "You're telling me THAT'S not a boy? C'mon!" We'll see......

Posted by Kitty at 02:37 PM | Comments (7)

May 21, 2006

Readers Block

I'm reading two really good books right now (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and The Poisonwood Bible, the latter of which is much better than I thought it would be). I'm reading two books simultaneously because I have literary ADD and get tired of one after a few hundred pages and want a switch.

Naturally, I can't even read two books at the same time without thinking, "I wonder what I can read next?" Some could make the excellent point that I should just focus on enjoying my current reads, but I'm not that kind of girl.

So, while Archi-Sapper and I were shopping today (we were at Target and not a true bookstore, but bear with me here), I kept wondering about the current popular fiction choices. It seems they all boil down to a story that runs (however loosely) along one of the following story lines:

  • Literary Dei

    This is the book that wants to be The DaVinci Code. The book involves two or more of the following elements: (1) some vaguely creepy secret society, whether religious or not; (2) a big secret that lots of super-smart people have been chasing around for centuries, which has remained secret until one or more intrepid yung'uns appear on the scene and, naturally, figure it all out; (3) a narrative which gives the appearance of being more intellectually stimulating than your average Danielle Steele novel, which leads people to believe that they're reading Literature (with a capital L), and is sorta/kinda/loosely based on something vaguely historical; (4) a movie-worthy scene or two, usually at the end, where the lead characters are incapable of communicating with each other unless they're breathlessly shouting their dialogue as they're running past each other in (a) the old, abandoned cathedral, (b) the spooky old library, (c) the run-down DMV office, etc. You get the idea. The best quote I've ever heard about The DaVinci Code was from a friend of mine who heard it somewhere else -- "The DaVinci Code was the worst book I ever loved." It was a fun summer read, but I read it.

  • Chick-Lit

    I have to admit at the outset that I'm pleased to see that "women's fiction" has progressed beyond the romance novel, because frankly, I just won't read that trash. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'll read trash. I just won't read that trash. That being said, I've had it up to here with books that revolve around: (1) the young, single, smokin' hot, perfectly lip glossed, stiletto heeled pre-professional woman who charmingly mimics any of the characters on Sex and the City by adorably stumbling around town in her Jimmy Choos; (2) the same woman trying like mad to find Mr. Right, only to reject most of them because they're either all arrogant, boorish, stuck-up jerks or because they don't make enough dough to one day finance her Sephora habit; (3) the same woman just scraping out of such "disastrous" predicaments as dealing with her high credit card balances (see Jimmy Choo habit, discussed infra), the rediculous fight she just had with her "best friend", her desperate attempts to make sure her parents still think she's a virgin, even though she's nearing 30, etc. I read Bridget Jones' Diary. That really covered everything in that area I needed to know.

  • Sad Chick-Lit

    This is the Jodi Picoult/Anita Shreve genre, which, although usually much better written than fluffy chick-lit, has its own issues. They are these: (1) These books are presumably written to and marketed for women of a certain age who have been through it, and now wish to read about it. The books usually include a woman, also of a certain age, who seems down-to-earth, regular and downright normal. She's dealing with the stuff of everyday life when suddenly tragedy strikes, her world is ripped apart and she can't get out of bed in the morning. (2) This poor, bedraggled woman drags herself through the motions before she can marshal the resources to lift herself from the fog of depression and be "normal" again. (3) Along the way, she either finds love, bonds with some new girlfriends, or both. Please note, I don't find this book nearly as objectionable as the first two books listed (and I loved Fortune's Favorites by Anita Shreve), but it's formulaic, nonetheless.

    Am I asking too much? Is there really nothing else to write about these days that people will read?

    Posted by Kitty at 04:08 PM | Comments (3)

    May 18, 2006

    Road Food

    How is it that I've driven across this country for years (sometimes intentionally and sometimes in a deserpate attempt to avoid air travel) and I've missed this website? They seem to know what they're talking about. I agree with their recommendations about Nola eateries.

    Posted by Kitty at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

    May 07, 2006

    Katrina Stories

    It looks like NPR is compiling people's Katrina stories. I had read in last weekend's paper that they had set up a mobile listening booth in the Quarter that would record people's stories until the end of May. I'd been wondering when NPR would jump in and do something along these lines. They're really great at oral history through storytelling, especially with programs like This American Life (one of my all-time faves).

    In other news, I completely missed Jazzfest this year, but am thrilled they had such a good turnout (and good weather!) I spent this weekend relaxing and donating my time giving free legal advice at the ABA's Hurricane Katrina community program (volunteer lawyers gathered to give free legal advice regarding insurance issues, landlord/tenant issues and eminent domain questions to whichever local citizens showed up). The program was much better than the community forums the city has held -- this one actually provided real answers! And I even had time to finish the book I was reading when we evacuated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. It was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I'm definitely going to check out Everything Is Illuminated.

    Posted by Kitty at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)