Thursday, March 12, 2009


A week from tomorrow night, Andrew and I will head to Minneapolis for three days. We will spend the long weekend watching NCAA tournament games—a purely coincidental benefit of our trip, as our visit to Minneapolis is built around the first weekend of my Spring Break and not the basketball tournament—and helping Andrew’s older brother with a few things in the new house. He has kitchen work planned for that weekend, what with two additional sets of hands available. There is wainscoting to install, and walls and trim to paint, and wallpaper and border paper to hang. It all sounds rather complicated, but it is hard for me to envision the depth of the job until I see the kitchen for myself.

I don’t believe Andrew and I will be expected to hang wallpaper and border paper, because neither of us has any experience with wall coverings. I believe we will be expected to perform the painting duties, mostly.

In May, my brother will graduate from high school, and Andrew and I will be able to attend his commencement ceremony. My final exam period will be over before my brother graduates, which is good, because I feared that the two events might present a conflict.

I will not take a job this summer. Andrew and I have talked it over, at length, and we have decided that it does not make any sense for me to take a job in Boston for the summer.

If we lived in Minneapolis, I definitely WOULD take a summer job at a firm, because Andrew and I plan to return to the Twin Cities after law school. However, taking a job at a Boston firm for the summer would not be particularly beneficial to me unless I planned to settle in Boston, which I do not plan to do. Further, the summer after the second year of law school, and not the first, is the important summer for developing a resume.

Andrew and I intend to make summer plans while we are in Minneapolis next weekend.

Andrew is contemplating taking a few weeks off this summer—he has already received very tentative approval from his boss—and the purpose of the time off is to get us out of Boston for as much of the summer as possible.

Whatever we decide to do, Andrew MUST be back in his office on Monday morning, August 17, because his boss will be out of the country, on vacation, from Saturday, August 15, through Labor Day. Andrew’s boss and his wife will travel in the South of France during the last two weeks of August, and Andrew will have to be in the office during his boss’s absence.

Among things we must decide this weekend (because it affects everyone else’s work schedule, too) is which week to spend at the lake this year: the week that ends with July 4; or the week after July 4.

July 4 falls on a Saturday this year, and normally Andrew’s family would spend the week that ends with July 4 at the lake.

However, Andrew is lobbying everyone to agree to spend the following week at the lake. Andrew’s thinking is that he may be able to manage to take six weeks off this summer, but he has already been informed that his time off will have to occur in July and August, not in June. As a result, Andrew is thinking of leaving Boston on Friday night, July 3, and not returning until Sunday night, August 16.

If Andrew succeeds in scheduling that time off, we have a lot of tentative plans for the summer—and not just the annual week at the lake.

My parents, as a graduation gift to my brother, want to go on a family vacation this summer. They want to take my sister, my brother, and Andrew and me.

The genesis of their vacation idea has many roots.

First, the two-week baseball road trip my parents undertook two summers ago was not an especial success. My mother was bored, I think, and my sister said that she would have had a better time visiting a Women’s Reformatory.

Second, thanks to the options windfall, my parents are flush with cash, now that they no longer have to worry about writing checks later this year to Vanderbilt and Southern Methodist for tuition and room and board. They want to spend some of that extra cash—no longer earmarked for higher education expenses—on a trip.

Third, my sister loved the trip to Southern England last summer, and my parents—having heard all about what a great time she had—decided that a trip makes a fine graduation gift.

Consequently, my parents asked my brother where he wanted to go, and he said he wanted to go to Switzerland or Austria and see the Alps (there are not many mountains in Oklahoma). My brother and my parents are in the process, right now, of coming up with an itinerary they like, and picking dates. Because of my father’s trial schedule, it looks like the end of July or the beginning of August will be the only available time for the trip.

My parents hope to finalize the trip plans by the end of next weekend, because Andrew and I hope to finalize our summer plans by the end of next weekend, too.

In the back of our minds is another item for Andrew and me: we are thinking of traveling to Paris by ourselves immediately before or immediately after the trip to the Alps with my family. Depending upon what my parents come up with, Andrew and I may or may not be able to squeeze a week in Paris into our summer.

We’ll have to see how things develop next weekend.

Nearer term, Andrew and I have another weekend trip planned in addition to next weekend in Minneapolis.

The following weekend, also coinciding with my Spring Break, Andrew will take me to glamorous and exotic Baltimore. Andrew will be fulfilling a promise he made to me more than three years ago, during our last semester in Washington, when he told me that we would go up to Baltimore and spend a weekend before the term ended. Well, we never made it to Baltimore back in 2006, and I have been teasing Andrew about that broken promise for the last three years (and reminding him that we never made it down to Williamsburg, either—yet ANOTHER broken promise).

As a result, two weeks from tomorrow afternoon, Andrew and I will fly down to Baltimore and stay until Sunday night. We plan to catch a performance of the Baltimore Symphony (under Temirkanov, whom Andrew very much likes), and catch performances at Center Stage (“Tis A Pity She’s A Whore”) and Everyman Theater (“The Cherry Orchard”). We will also visit The Walters Museum, which I have never visited. It is supposed to be one of America’s finest art museums.

Andrew says that two days in Baltimore will be fun. He says that Baltimore is the finest restaurant town in the U.S. and that I will have a wonderful time.

I’ll soon find out.

I’ve never been to Baltimore, except to pass through on Interstate 95.

From the Interstate, it doesn’t look like much.

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