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5/04/2007
Interview 3.0 - Gunfighter
I apologize for the posting drought lately. My kids were home sick half of last week and half of this week. So that of course means I've had tons of free time to blog. Baaaaahaaaaa! Seriously though, regular posting will resume as soon as everyone is healthy again and I've regained my sanity.

In the meantime, Gunfighter of The View From Here recently offered to interview people. I interviewed him awhile back and decided some table turning was in order. Gunfighter's blog is always insightful and thought provoking so I thought he would come up with some good questions. He didn't disappoint:

You live in southeastern Virginia, yet you used to live in the Washington, DC area... why did you leave Washington?, and what made you settle in the Tidewater?


I really did love D.C. I loved the restaurants and the museums and the politics and the sports and the bars and, did I mention the restaurants? But...I was working insane hours for a boutique law firm, T was traveling constantly and we had a baby with some health problems. I think the realization that we needed to move hit us when Hollis was 4 months old and he was hospitalized for a week. I just couldn't keep up the pace at work that I'd been running before I'd had a baby, at least not with T doing the same thing. We decided one of us needed a new job.

Now, the easy answer would have been for me to move to an in-house corporate counsel position or to a government job, but T really wasn't happy in D.C. He's a farm boy. He grew up in SW Nebraska in a very small town with lots of wide open spaces. He felt very penned in in the D.C. area. He probably would have stayed there to make me happy, but we thought moving out of the D.C. area would help us find a little more balance in our lives. T's company was opening an office in Virginia Beach so T began a systematic campaign to woo me to SE Virginia. After a few weekends on the beach and some time looking at the housing prices here, I was sold. We unloaded our house in Falls Church for an insane amount of money and moved.

The Tidewater area was really the only viable option for us, aside from maybe Richmond. I didn't want to take the bar in another state, I didn't want to change my area of specialty, and T didn't want to look for another job. He loves what he does. Basically, T had been following me around for my career for the last 10 years, so it was time for me to make a sacrifice. We do like it here. It's different, but in a good way. And, of course, a beach is always a good thing!

Do your relatives that are in the military share your views concerning the war in Iraq? If so, are any of them considering leaving military service because of it? Are your views at odds with said family members, and has it caused any familial strife?

This is complicated. The short answers are yes and no; yes; yes and no; and yes. I'll have to break this one up into categories of relatives!

B: My brother (who is going to Iraq later this year) does share my views. It's funny, because he was much more conservative when he was in the Army on active duty. After a few years and some distance, he's been becoming increasingly more liberal! B's views on the war don't have much to do with being a Republican or a Democrat though. It's that B has served two tours of duty in Bosnia, he's had friends die, he knows what war really means in a way that many of us simply can't. Sometimes I wonder if the fact that I have loved ones who could very well die in battle colors my views, if I opposed the war from the beginning because of that danger. But that's definitely not the case with B. He's one of the bravest people I know.

Last year, B had actually decided to get out of the National Guard. He knew it was only a matter of time before he ended up in Iraq and his active duty friends who had served in Iraq were telling him to get the hell out (including the wife of a good friend of my brother's who died last year). My brother reads this blog, so I don't want to speculate too much, but I think that he stayed in, knowing he would be sent to Iraq, because he feels guilty about surviving. Maybe I'll get B to do a guest blog on the topic. I know I'd love to see him write about it.

Mom & Dad: I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure what my parents' views are on the subject. My dad has been retired from the Air Force for quite some time and both my parents tend to be pretty conservative. It may seem odd that we don't talk about it, but I don't want to cause any hurt feelings. My mom tends to think that I look down upon her because of her political views. That's not the case, but she takes my disagreement with her views rather personally. That being said, I'm almost positive that she is against the war. And she's freaking out right now. I can't even imagine preparing to send one of my little boys off to war.

T: Some of T's friends and co-workers read this blog, so I'm not sure what he would want me to reveal. I know that he isn't always candid about his views because he works in the defense industry. So, I'll just say that I'm married to a Republican. It is probably *the* most significant source of strife in our marriage, but we don't often argue about Iraq. There's no need. I'll leave it at that. He has considered leaving the Navy reserves. He was activated once after September 11th and it's only a matter of time before it happens again. T would be absolutely devastated if he had to leave the boys for any lengthy period of time, but he'll have been in for 20 years and can retire with benefits next year, so we're playing a numbers game right now.

Other relatives: I have a lot of very conservative relatives who have never been in the military and have no idea what it means but still feel free to espouse their views about what a great thing we're doing in Iraq. I just don't go there with them. When one of them packs a child, a brother, or a parent off to war, then we can discuss it. Until then, I don't consider their views significant or relevant. It may sound harsh, but that's what I truly feel.

What kind of law do you practice? Do you practice privately or in a large (or small) firm? Do you know Denny Crane?

Ooooh! If I were anonymous, I'd have to refrain from answering this because it would then only take about 5 minutes to find me on Google. But since that genie's out of the bottle anyway, I'll answer.

I'm a civil litigator. I do mostly government contracts and construction litigation, with a tiny bit of commercial litigation and maritime law thrown in for good measure. Most of the cases I handle are fairly complex and involve reams and reams of paper. It's exciting stuff. Really. I really do like it. Plus, construction litigation is a male dominated field and I have to admit that I *love* being underestimated by opposing counsel or an opposing expert because I'm a woman. That's part of the thrill!

I practice at one of the largest firms in my area, but it would be considered mid-sized in D.C. I think we have 75-80 lawyers.

One of the partners here has a great William Shatner story!

Your children's names both start with H... what's up with that? Is that a family thing? or do you just like H's?

Happy accident. T actually chose Hollis after he'd shot down every one of the 2000 names that I'd proffered. We weren't planning to do the matchy match thing with the names. Although Holden was on our final list of 10 names or so, T had already shot it down when we were naming Hollis. But when he was born he just looked like a Holden to us and "H&H" was born. (They'll probably hate us for that when they're older.) Holden is a family name (on T's side) and Hollis is not but people always ask us if Hollis is a family name. Or they tell us about the girl they know named Hollis. T hates that.

Oh, and one of our cats is named Hilly. So it's really funny to watch us run through the names when we're trying to yell at someone. "Hill- Hold-Hollis! Stop hitting Hilly-no, I mean Hollis - Oh for God's sake, you know what I mean! STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER!"

If you could, with a wave of your hand, accomplish one thing, no matter how trivial or profound, what would it be?

Organize my life? No, actually I think I would end poverty. I think most of the world's evils can be traced back to poverty and elimination of that would be a good start to a just world. It wouldn't be the end, but it would be a good beginning.
__________________

Of course, if anyone would like to be interviewed by me, send me an email or leave me a comment and I'll get right on it!

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10 Comments:

Blogger Mimi said...

Interesting snapshot of you. I can't imagine what your family must be going through with your brother, though (Canadian) but I can imagine the pace in Virginia being somewhat different than in DC, and in a good way. What a candid interview!

Blogger jen said...

nice (and complex) answers. i love picturing you as a badass lawyer. rocking it in power suits.

when you are ready to end poverty, let me know. we should get started soon. count me in.

Blogger Gunfighter said...

BRAVA!!!!

Blogger Gwen said...

I concur with Jen, about the power suits and you showing the boys how it's done. That whole war thing sounds pretty tough for you.

I am feeling the pinch of blog block, so I am going to impose upon you for some interview questions, but only if you are up for it, since we don't "know" each other very well and since you have little kiddlins and the beach and all. Also, no rush.

And thanks for the gunfighter link. I've been enjoying his blog, and you definitely got me out of my core demographic! :)

Very interesting answers....why am I not surprised about what you do! Somehow, I just can't see you with a boring job...nope...it just wouldn't fit!


As for the interviewing, Paige interviewed me once....but if you can think of anything else there is to know about me..( I'm rather shallow..hee-hee) feel free to ask away! :)

Blogger steph! said...

Very cool interview!!! Especially insightful and interesting since I don't know you that well.

Big difference btwn Chesapeake and DC (I lived in Richmond for 5 yrs, but worked extensively in DC during that time so I'm familiar with the area). Good for you for not being afraid to make a change that seems to have really allowed you to both be happy family and work-wise!

Blogger slouching mom said...

Great answers! And great questions! That gunfighter, he's a thinker.

I'll be interviewed, if and only if you feel like it. I've already been interviewed by binky, so if there are those who haven't yet been interviewed, choose them first.

Blogger CPA Mom said...

I'm so glad T convinced you to move here! I grew up here, moved away and came back. I'm convinced it's utopia, as much as any area can be. At least, it's home.

And I can totally see some of the male asshat lawyers around here (I used to manage a law firm remember) underestimating you. Jerk offs.

Blogger D said...

Interesting interview.

Love the H-H-H. Sort of like us with the M&M and D&D. ;)

Miss seeing you around...

Blogger ExPatSW said...

Great interview! And, let me know when you want to start on the ending-poverty-thing...we'll make it international!

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