Sunday, December 16, 2007

at last....

michael graduated today. we attended an all-university graduation ceremony like all the others this morning and then went to a luncheon where the individual law school candidates were hooded (they put a sash around your neck, i had to put my own on before the graduation started, which was hilarious, because it's not an easy piece of apparel to figure out and i had no idea what to do with it...). all in all, it was a very nice day. mostly, i'm glad it's over. it is about a hundred times more difficult to be married to someone in law school than it is to actually attend law school. michael has a job, starting January 3rd, as the third attorney at a workers' compensation defense firm representing insurance companies. so here we are, married for 2+ years, in our house for our first christmas, with 2 very sweet puppies and it finally seems as if everything is coming together.

during the hooding ceremony, the speaker made reference to the following poem. it cracks me up. i insert it now in dedication to my husband, esquire.

The night before Christmas’ in legalese"

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.
A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter. The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.
Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as ("I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.
Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.
At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.
Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co- conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.)
The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at theHouse, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.
Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.
Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)
Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.
However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.

Author unknown

Friday, November 02, 2007

national lampoon's halloween vacation

so a couple of months ago we got this flyer in our mailbox written in some sort of old school english in a weird font. i couldn't quite figure out exactly what i was supposed to do, but i did figure it had something to do with a halloween decorating contest in our neighborhood. with mike in his last semester and me just not caring enough about halloween (i just like the kids dressed up), we decided not to participate. good decision. we would have gotten our butts kicked. turns out halloween is HUGE here on vista ave. i came home from an appointment at about noon and the festivities were in full swing. the guy across the street had one of those blow up jumpy things for kids to play in as they trick or treated and a bar set up with two different types of margaritas. everyone else had full cemetaries. we had a pumpkin. but he was very cute.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Transformers...more than meets the eye

one of our favorite movies of this summer was transformers, so when it came out on DVD, mike had to have it. i found this special edition at target. the actual DVD case is a transformer!! check out the photos (and new photos from Wagfest, our carpet, and our lawn) at

Saturday, September 15, 2007

an evening at home with 1 and 4.5/5ths lawyers

michael and i rented "fracture" tonight. i never get sick of watching anthony hopkins act like a crazy dude.
so in the movie (disclaimer - if you haven't seen it and don't want to know anything, stop reading), anthony hopkins shoots his wife and puts her in a coma, gets acquitted, pulls the plug, and then they go after him for murder. this screams double jeopardy, which pretty much says you can't be tried for the same crime twice. well, of course it's a little more complicated. so, after reliving our criminal law 1L classes, i finally make mike hand me his laptop so i can google whether this is a legitimate legal tactic.
here's the funny part - i found at least 3 writeups on whehter the legal principles used in this exact movie were legally sound. not just quick mentions or yes or no answers, but complex hypotheticals and research. which means, lawyers from around the country watched the movie (making cracks all the way through about how unrealistic everything is), discussed this movie with someone (likely someone less than interested in the conversation), and then jumped on the internet to engage in a legal discussion regarding the movie.
this is how lawyers spend their free time. researching and discussing the legal theory of something that, before law school, would have been considered nothing more than entertainment. other professionals just don't do that.

Monday, September 10, 2007

britney, britney, britney....

i have been a britney fan for a long. time. so long in fact, that i only need to refer to her as britney. i once attended a britney concert (with mike allen of course!). crazy is one of the songs in heaviest rotation on my ipod. it just gets me pumped up.

what does not get me pumped up, however, is ms. spears half-assing her "comeback". seriously. you have been investigated by the authorities twice for being an unfit parent. you shaved your head. you insist you did not need to go to rehab. you utilize gas station bathrooms, and not one of those nice bathrooms where things are clean, but one of those ones you need to get the key from the attendant to use, and should only be used in the case of an extreme emergency, but only if you're up to date on all your vaccines, without shoes on. i don't like to wear shoes, but i'm not that adventuresome. and lastly, your parenting skills have led everyone in the country to think Kevin Federline is the best choice for parenting those poor kids. Kevin Federline. papa zao. yeah.

MTV took a chance and, despite conflict that should have made it clear to them this was the worst idea in history, agreed to not only let you perform, but to be the opening of their ratings challenged VMAs. they're kicking themselves for that one.

i think this Dennis Hensley, writing for said it best -
"Her blasé attitude, though, is inexcusable. Britney was like a jaded stripper a few minutes before closing time who leaves her ciggie burning backstage while she goes out to shake her weary ass for the punters one more time. Simply put, she looked like she didn’t want to be there."

i couldn't have described it better myself. this could have been huge for you britney. instead, your performance looked like you were wandering about aimlessly, occasionally stopping to lip-sync the lyrics to your ever-so-complicated song. you should have tried a little harder.

britney, you've lost a fan.

Monday, September 03, 2007

2 years

well, mike and i have been married for 2 years. and together for 5! that just seems crazy. we celebrated our anniversary by going out for lunch with family and pretty much spent the rest of the day in bed. me watching an america's next top model marathon on MTV and cuddling the pups and mike doing worker's comp homework. pretty symbolic for what the last 2 years have been like, that's for sure! as we look forward into next year, a lot is going to change. we're waiting (somewhat impatiently at this point!) to hear about a promotion for me and mike is set to graduate in december. then we'll both be working folk for the first time in our relationship. it will be interesting to see how things progress, that's for sure!
last weekend we had the pleasure of hanging out with greg. although we haven't seen him in over a year, it was of course like nothing had ever changed. i'll post pictures soon!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

new picture website

you can see pictures from our house remodeling, our wedding, our honeymoon, and dylan matthew on our new photo website at the house remodeling has painstaking details listed in the captions for all 101 pictures! but i think we're finally done for awhile now!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

bus stop chronicles

how is it that the same people that wear denim jumpers are the same people that wear black fanny packs?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

like father like daughter

so mike and i went to the grocery store today. you know those completely oblivious people at the grocery store that wander around in the middle of the aisle while talking on the phone and paying no attention to their children, who are running amuck? well, as we were trying to navigate the very crowded store (we try not to go on weekends) to buy our 2 items, we ended up stuck behind a man and his two children. his two children were playing with cell phones and therefore were unable to watch where they were going and walk at a normal pace. and of course they were in the middle of the aisle. the funny thing was, the cell phones were toys, not even working devices that could possibly be bearing news that is so important that it would warrant holding up a whole line of people. inconsiderate cell phone people are bad enough, now a whole new generation of inconsiderate cell phone toy children to grow up and replace their parents!
didn't mr. T recently have a show where he found people that were being stupid in public and called them out on it? i can't imagine how that show got cancelled. what a brilliant idea.

Friday, July 27, 2007

objectively speaking...

this is one of the best looking baby boys i've ever seen. and i've seen a lot of b aby boys.

i'm pretty sure he's smiling in this one. he's very advanced. they're not supposed to do that for weeks.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

dylan matthew fischer

danielle arrived at mercy hospital at 8am on friday, had her water broken 20 minutes later, had some contractions, got an epidural at about 4, i got to iowa city at about 5, she started pushing at 5:30, and at 7:02, dylan matthew fischer became the newest member of our family! he was 8lbs, 5 oz. and measured 21 inches. he has beautiful dark hair (even if it is a little mullety in the back) and brown eyes. he was supposed to poop 1 time in his first 24 hours, and when i changed his diaper yesterday, i marked his 4th. he's already advanced.
pictures are at
i know i might be a little biased, but seriously, i have cute nephews (and my niece is almost 16, so cute doesn't work for her, she's beautiful).
another fun tidbit - eric's sister was induced thursday morning and had her baby exactly 6 minutes after danielle. she had a baby girl. very cool for them.
i'm so thankful i made it to the hospital in time. my mom and i and danielle's friend kerri were outside the room when dylan was born. i honestly think that hearing him cry for the first time was my favorite moment ever. what an amazing experience.
everyone's healthy and happy. and then there were seven.....

Thursday, July 19, 2007


i just got a phone call from my sister. they're inducing her tomorrow morning!!! so it looks like as of tomorrow (July 20) the count will be 1 niece, 6 nephews! pictures will follow asap!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

kate's travels

i am once again away from home for 3 weeks for training for work. again this time in cincinnati. although being away from home and sitting through 8 hours of class every day is stressful, nothing quite compares to the plane rides to and from cincinnati and one hour timezone changes every friday and sunday. good news though - TSA has been kind enough to introduce just enough ridiculousness to the process to make it interesting.
i do not check any luggage when coming to cincinnati. their airport ground crew is extremely slow and i have no interest in standing around the baggage claim for a half hour by myself waiting for my bag. so, i pack light and carry my suitcase on. just as a means of background, i also carry 2 laptops with me, my personal and my work computers. i always wear a hooded sweatshirt and crocs. i have things down to a science.
on my first trip to cincinnati, i completely forgot about the liquid rules. i had packed everything that i needed. let's be honest, especially when i have no need to look good for anyone, i really don't need much to get ready in the morning. unfortunately, i need just about one bottle more than fits in a one quart ziploc. ok, seriously, i had never SEEN a one quart ziploc until i suddenly needed to unpack my bag and try to fit everything in this bag. good thing i got their early.
so, i stuff my things in the bag, throwing away things that aren't necessary. i manage to make the bag look like it might close and wander my way up to the line. thank god there was no one behind me. i put one laptop in a bin, another laptop in a bin, my shoes (which after repeatedly trying to explain to TSA that they're MADE OF FOAM absolutely must be taken off) and sweatshirt and liquids in a 3rd bin, my backpack went through separately, and my carryon separately. i manage to create a 5 item caravan to get through security.
i walk through the metal detector without incident and overhear someone requesting that they perform a bag search on my bag. oh crap.
so, the TSA guy pulls my bag aside as i try to reassemble everything else and pulls out my bathroom bag. apparently he and i differ in terms of the question "what's a liquid". so he tells me i can't take my shaving cream, that toothpaste is a liquid, and that my contact solution is not a liquid. contact solution is not a liquid? how can that be?! because it is medicinal, which makes it not a liquid for purposes of TSA. he then puts the remainder of my things in the weird sized bag and tries to close it. it barely closes and he tells me that i'm lucky that he'll let me through because the bag must "close easily" in order to be allowed and that the next time i travel i should consider bringing less stuff. whatever dude.
so i go to cincinnati. on the way back, there are no problems.
again i return to the milwaukee airport. this time, i'm prepared. i have everything in the baggy and life is good. i unpack my suitcase, take off most of my clothes, say a prayer, and walk through. again, i overhear someone asking for a bag search for my bag. son of a bologna!
so i ask the TSA guy what the problem seems to be. you see, i drink tropical punch koolaid. i purchase the tub stuff that's mixed with the sugar already and i was bringing some back to cincinnati with me. apparently the koolaid in my suitcase required them to check my bag. the TSA man told me that i should probably send the koolaid through separately the next time. in addition to my 2 laptops, sweatshirt, shoes, and liquid items. so everything but my clothes. yeah, i'll get right on that.
the true hilariousness of this story occurred to me this morning as i was taking a shower and shaving my legs. yes, shaving my legs. with a razor that i brought onto the plane 3 separate times without anyone questioning me.
i can't wear foam shoes through the metal detector.
i can only bring a one quart bag full of less than 3oz of each liquid (which apparently includes pastes...)
i should send koolaid through separately.
i had to throw away my shaving cream because it didn't fit.
a razor though, no problem.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

the chronicles of vista ave

on wednesday, may 16th, michael and i became home owners. owners of a home that is 101 years old. our time since may 16th has been filled with home improvement project after home improvement project. some easier than others. the only constant with this process has been that the project is never as easy as it seems!
when we bought the house, we knew the kitchen was not going to meet our needs. it is limited in cabinet space and even more limited in counter space. the appliances are varying colors, including black, white, and avocado green. the countertops were cream colored laminate. the sink was cream colored. the faucet wasn't too bad, but it hadn't been cleaned in awhile and needed some love.
so our first project when we moved in was to paint. the sunroom was originally a neon yellow/green color, the living room was a very loud red, and the kitchen was a combination of blue and green (to tie in the stove of course!). we changed the sunroom to mist yellow, the living room to sage green, and the kitchen to brown. much better!
our house has a lot of character, which i have taken to mean a pain in the ass. we have a lot of beautiful woodwork in our living room, but unfortunately they didn't tape when they painted the last three times, so there is (currently) a red stripe on the edge of the woodwork. my mom showed us how to strip the wood, but that's going to have to stay on hold for awhile.
next up was hanging things on the wall. our walls are plaster. the drywall mounts they give you with everything DO NOT work. in fact, they cause quite the mess. but after a couple of trips to Lowes we're good to go. now i just have to wait for the spackle to dry before i really hang things!
next we began remodeling the kitchen, which was full of more trials and tribulations than i want to bore you with. let's just say that mike was without a kitchen sink for 7 full days (i, of course, left for training in cincinnati for 3 weeks!). we have one new countertop (without edges, those are to come), a new sink (stainless steel!), a garbage disposal (we didn't have one before!), and a brand new faucet - with a soap dispenser! things are coming along quite nicely. now we just have to finish the other two countertops.
we ordered cabinets to make an island and a pantry, those should be in at the end of june. of course, they don't come installed and we have to do the counter for them also!
we're learning a lot and really enjoying working together to solve the ridiculous amount of problems we've run into so far!
for pictures, go to

Thursday, April 12, 2007

just as i promised...

well, the last "here's my new address" email specifically noted that the next change of address would be from an apartment to an actual, grown up house.
we intended to stay in this apartment for awhile longer, given that mortgage guys (or gals for that matter) don't usually want to give large sums of money to couples with only one income and an insane amount of law school debt. unfortunately, our apartment complex decided to raise our rent a ridiculous 10% for next year, so we very quickly had to rethink our strategy.
after about 3 weeks of house shopping hell, we bought a house! our closing date is may 16 and we are pretty pumped. i can honestly say that this experience has been hands down the most stressful experience of my life. more stressful than almost getting fired. more stressful than having my grandma die in the middle of the bar exam. more stressful than getting married 28 days after my sister, during tax busy season. more stressful than law school.
but now it's all ready to go and as long as i don't think about the monthly payments, i'm super pumped!
you can see the house here:
don't mind the picture of the woman with beady eyes staring at you - she is likely the reason this experience has been so hellish!
don't be concerned, we're painting all the rooms a much more reasonable color and redoing the kitchen. i would like everyone to pay particular attention to the stove. it's green. avocado green. on that principle alone, it's probably older than me. but it's mine and i'm not renting it, so i love it. at least until i get a stainless steel stove!
butler and molly are pumped about having a yard.
there will be a party. this i swear. date and time TBD.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The new munchkin

aren't these the cutest kids you've ever seen?

Friday, March 16, 2007

I never thought i'd see the day....

I was checking the msn news today instead of working and saw an interesting article off the front page. the picture (which is probably the best way of catching my attention) showed 3 postcards for small towns. the title of the article was "10 Low Cost Locales Where Jobs Are Plenty". having spent a great deal of time in iowa city and missing that part of my life every day, i thought i should check out the article. turns out, iowa city is booming according to this article. job advancement is great, unemployment is low, houses are cheap, all the good things. they don't, however, mention the hoards of drunk kids running through downtown on any given night.
the funny part was, however, that none other than my hometown of dubuque, ia was listed right below it as a good place to live. i never thought i'd see the day! they did point out that the town lacks in diversity, but claims they make up for it with other things.
who would have thought that of the 10 low cost locales where jobs are plenty, i would have called 2 home at one time or another? during these times where mike is looking frantically for a job and we're trying to buy a house, the thought of plentiful jobs and lower cost of living is appealing to say the least. taking the bar exam again, however, not so appealing (the irony is that i was planning on taking the iowa bar come july, but missed the deadline and now my scores from wisconsin will have lapsed!).
anyways, just thought it was interesting....

Monday, March 12, 2007


today at about 1:30 i became an aunt again! erin & nate had a baby boy (which was no surprise to me - current count: 1 niece, 5 1/2 nephews). his name is grant everett johnson and he was 6.8 lbs. i can't tell what color his eyes are and as best i can tell he has no hair. but he's damn cute. cole seems to be taking to him quite nicely and even told him he loved him before he left to go home. pictures to come...
now, to explain the 1/2 nephew - word on the street is that danielle is having a boy (i'm not surprised). the person performing the ultrasound saw a "sack". danielle is still holding out that there is some sort of mistake and it will be a girl. there's another ultrasound at 32/34 weeks and she's going to make the lady check a little harder this time...
but for now, 1 niece and 5 nephews, one cuter than the next. life is good.

Monday, February 12, 2007

cruel intentions

this has got to be the funniest thing i have EVER seen.

Monday, January 29, 2007

where in the world is kate?

some of you are probably wondering why my posts have centered around the news as shown on well, i am currently in st. louis attending my third round of IRS training - corporate tax.
my life in a nutshell - fly to st louis on sunday.
sit through 8 hours of class, eat dinner, watch tv and go to bed - monday through thursday.
sit through 8 hours of class, eat dinner, and fly to milwaukee on friday.
lather, rinse repeat.

it's my party and i'll cry if i want to...

apparently, miami is planning a large party at the orange bowl following Fidel Castro's death.
i'm as anti-mean dictatorships as the next guy, but come on, is celebrating someone's death in a party fit for a stadium in good taste? i think not.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

the doctor is in...

apparently grey's anatomy star isaiah washington has begun counseling because of a very inappropriate anti-gay word he called his co-star. i didn't know they offered therapy for being mean and homophobic.
Washington "regard(s) this as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again" and also claims to have entered counseling with the support of his family.
my understanding:
- he did what he did because he was mad and wanted to make his co-star angry. or he doesn't like gay people.
- he could make sure it never happens again by never again saying the inappropriate word. there are plenty of other words you can call people to hurt their feelings without enciting a publicity riot. like butthead. or jerk. or any one of the names washington has inevitably been called since using the not nice word himself.
- you don't need the support of your family to enter counseling, you just go for an hour of so every once in awhile. as long as you have a car and driver's license, a limo, or a bus pass and some health insurance, you don't need anyone's support. and by the way, i'm pretty sure everyone's family would be supportive of him learning not to be a mean homophobe.

counseling concluded. someone owes me some money....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

crying over spilled peanut butter

it has recently been suggested that britney spears is pregnant. again. this rumor stems partially from the fact that it appears as if she had vomitted all over her new boyfriend. both her manager and her boyfriend commented on the situation.
"According to Cohen (that's her boyfriend), the icky, sticky chunks paparazzi caught clinging to his hands and shirt while he and Brit were in his car (warning: skip this next part if you're eating or ever want to crave the creamy goodness of Jif ever again) was merely some spilled peanut butter. "
""It's ridiculous. Because someone didn't lick peanut butter off his finger, she's pregnant," Rudolph (her manager) tells Us of the morning sickness mumblings. "That's how ridiculous it is.""
i find 2 things hilarious about this:
- first, "spill" peanut butter, i dare you. i assert it's impossible. this guy seems really smart.
- second, did this noble prize worthy boyfriend forget to lick the "spilled" peanut butter off his shirt too?
maybe britney did yack all over her boyfriend. that would be a deal breaker in my world. but seriously, perhaps just saying "just because someone vomits does not mean they are drunk or pregnant" would be better. it would certainly make more sense than spilled peanut butter.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I have more good news! And I can finally share it with the world! My little sister and her husband are expecting. She is currently about 12-13 weeks along and will be popping out the little one around July 21st. I specifically put in a request for her to go into labor the weekend of Scott and Jess's wedding, but not to actually get the kid out until after the reception ends!
so, I am going to be auntie kate TWICE in 6 months! I couldn't be more ecstatic!