The Boyfriend

Before any of the November surprises surfaced, we had a simple plan for celebrating my birthday: trapeze school and dinner in D.C. Instead, we had trapeze school and 36 hours later, dinner at Jeffrey’s in Austin.

The Baltimore outpost of Trapeze School New York recently moved to the District at the site of the former convention center downtown. Yes, it’s outside. And that made it a little more exciting, thanks to our unseasonably warm (yet wet) weather.

Classes only have 10 spots, so I had to sit at my computer the day November classes were listed and refresh, refresh, refresh. They sell out FAST. There was one girl in our group who was laid off this summer and just started to take trapeze classes to fill her time. Out of our group of 10, 6 were going for their first time and the other 4 were still beginners yet experienced.

You learn some basics on the ground, the instructor demonstrates everything on the swing, then it’s go time.

I unfortunately did not succeed at mastering any of the skills. I had a lot of trouble getting off the platform the first time. Below is my third run, where I announce that I just want to swing a little bit because I didn’t feel comfortable with my grip.

I was able to do the back flip dismount once, but the Boyfriend did NOT have the camera in his hand that time. And believe me, I really didn’t forgive him for that until after I finished my first cocktail at Jeffrey’s the next night.

Tomorrow: my Cirque de Freak boyfriend

The Boyfriend scored the highest score out all 2,000 people who took the Texas State Bar Exam in July. The person who scores the highest speaks on behalf of all Bar inductees at the ceremony in Austin. New attorneys are not obligated to go to the ceremony, and the Boyfriend decided months ago to not go. Once he was notified of his honor, we had a week to prepare for a trip to my favorite city.

Here’s the video I took from what we deemed the “children’s table”, the seats toward the back of the Erwin Center where the Boyfriend’s brother, Angela and I sat. (Listen to the words more than watch the images.) Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court Wallace Jefferson started to introduce the Boyfriend before my camera was ready. The video starts with the Chief Justice explaining how just last year the Boyfriend’s dad passed the bar himself.

This speech is my favorite of his so far. And YOU haven’t seen his valedictorian speech yet.

Wait until I get that on the Internet.

Gather ’round kiddos! It’s time to open the family photo album and choose photos for the 2010 Johnson Family Calendar! Last year, Mrs. Johnson took over the design and production of the calendar. Best.year.ever. Perhaps enhanced, slightly, by my photographic contributions.

This post will focus on solo shots of the first born Johnson:

Finishing the Boston Marathon (in street clothes, in September)

The shores of New Haven

Central Park Carousel

In front of the White House

Outside the Oval Office
Outside the Oval Office

At the National Christmas Tree

For the Boyfriend’s graduation, along with the letterpress print, I gave him a sort of gag-gift. Because something that makes you laugh is always superior to something that causes credit card debt.

Introducing A Coloring Book For Lawyers! A co-worker of mine found this via a friend. He inner-office mailed it to me, thus And I knew immediately that the Boyfriend needed this for his graduation.

I took it to my office services department, and had them bind it with the spirals on the spine.


I also added a front & back cover out of our cheapy cardstock.

Here is the first set of pages, click on them to go to Flickr where I’ve made a note of the text so you can read more easily.

My favorite page in the book:

Here it is in the gift box with a set of markers so he can color the pages! More than one person said “Did you get him markers because you were afraid he would chew the crayons?”

Yes, and D.C. drugstores/convenience stores/Staples do not have an 8 pack of Crayola crayons readily available for purchase. Plus, the marker pack had a gray one, so the lawyer wouldn’t lose his job.

Book and Markers

I posted the pictures of the book on Flickr in hopes someone could claim authorship. This kind of genius needs recognition.

Originally uploaded by prettylittlemess.

This is the picture I captured as the Boyfriend exited the stage after “receiving” his diploma from Yale Law School. He didn’t technically graduate until yesterday, after his grades were in for the final semester.

The ceremony was in the courtyard of the law school. The courtyard was sunny and packed by the time I arrived with the Boyfriend’s parents; people camped out for spots, skipping the university wide commencement that preceded the individual graduations. I felt silly for not having thought of reserving chairs for us with blue and white tulle as one family had done. A beach chair would have been nice also.

This picture was only possible because I maneuvered my way through the outskirts of the crowd and told someone else who was waiting to take an off-stage snapshot that “Mine is next!”. They politely stood aside, and I called out the Boyfriend’s name. He turned and smiled.

He IS mine.

Oh yeah, and some famous Yale Law graduate was there. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her: Hillary Clinton. I would like to state this is the second time I have stood in a large open area with Madam Secretary.

The rest of the pictures of the graduation weekend, including the only one I managed to take on Sunday when Sarah visited, are here.

A follow up to yesterday’s post about Dean Harold Koh’s confirmation process:

You can send an email to Cornyn at this website. Thanks!

As a special treat for all your hard work, I’d like to let you in on a little Yale Law School nerdiness. Below is a video they did for the annual Law Revue, the end of the year variety show. It is a Hitler parody video, a YouTube video genre that I personally love. There are a lot of inside law school/law firm related jokes (i.e. one major law firm has offered $80,000 to its first year associates [and some current associates] to NOT WORK next year). But hopefully you will still see the humor in it even if you don’t read Above the Law.

To all my Texas readers, the Boyfriend has a request:

Dean Harold Koh of Yale Law School has been nominated to be Legal Adviser to the State Department. Unfortunately, his confirmation is being held up by a small group of Senate Republicans, including Texas’s own Sen. John Cornyn. I just called Sen. Cornyn’s office and left a voice message urging him not to block an up-or-down vote on Dean Koh’s confirmation. It would also be great if you all would consider making a call to Sen. Cornyn. A few constituent phone calls urging Sen. Cornyn to back off of a filibuster attempt on Dean Koh’s confirmation really could make a significant difference. You can leave a voice message for Sen. Cornyn at 713-572-3337. Here’s a script of what you may want to say in the message:

I strongly support Harold Koh’s nomination for Legal Adviser to the State Department. The State Department needs a legal adviser right away, and delaying Koh’s nomination is hurting the country and harming our foreign policy. Koh’s nomination should get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor this week, before the current legislative session ends on May 21.

It’s a shame that Dean Koh’s nomination has become politically charged. I can think of no one who would make a better Legal Adviser for the State Department.

Originally uploaded by prettylittlemess.

This past weekend was the only time during the year the White House grounds are opened to visitors. The Boyfriend and I woke up at 5:40 a.m., grabbed a cab to the District, and were the 14th and 15th people waiting in line by 6:30 a.m. for the ticket booth to open at 8. I had read on the Internet that tickets go fast, so get in line. 6:30 a.m. ended up being a bit overzealous, but we secured our spot!

The free tickets were distributed on a first come, first serve basis, but each ticket was for a specific time. We got the first time slot, 11 a.m. Then we had to wait for a restaurant to open up downtown at 8:30 so we could get breakfast. We sat at the table as long as we could, then went back to the White House to get in line again for security purposes.

After all the lines, we were let loose on the White House grounds. We wandered at our own pace through the gardens while the Marine Corps band provided background music. The grounds are much smaller than you would imagine. The biggest attraction was all the trees former Presidents have planted on the property. They had photos of the planting ceremonies beside each tree.

Oh, and I forgot about Malia and Sasha’s swing set. Someone actually asked if I wanted my photo in front of it. I declined that request.

Here are all my pictures.

*Blogger Note* You can also see my new hair color if you click through to the pictures, #51 Light Brown.

Close up
Originally uploaded by prettylittlemess.

The Boyfriend and I got gussied up and headed out on Saturday night to the Yale Law School Prom. We went out to dinner first at my favorite New Haven restaurant, Geronimo. And no, he did not wear the boutonniere. I tried to pin it on three times, but it was too heavy to stay upright. On Monday, the one from Australia arrived, and it was delicate and perfect. Of course.

The Boyfriend had two delicious margaritas that, combined with the stress of his last weeks of law school, made him a bit tired by the end of the night. I, on the other hand, walked all over the campus and two museums earlier in the day. So by the time I stuck my feet into my tiny open-toed Kate Spade heels, I was feeling the burn. This is all evident in my few photos from the night. Also, my three year old camera is kind of decreasing its picture quality. Can I come up with more excuses for why when we asked his roommate to take our picture for the Johnson Family Calendar, he snapped one and said “Eh, oh, we better do that again”?

The dance space was decorated with hanging lights and steamers. This is one pet-peeve I have with Yale: the tablecloths and streamers were red, crimson like Harvard. At UT, we would NEVER have anything maroon like A&M at an event. It was school spirit all the way! The navy colored law school shield was on the cups and napkins. I wish I had taken one for a souvenir!

The night before the dance, I found the Boyfriend’s paperback law school facebook on his bookshelf. As I mocked the guy who is a joint J.D./M.D. candidate, the Boyfriend said, “You know you will see these people tomorrow.” Uh, NO! I didn’t realize that I would be seeing THESE people tomorrow. All I thought was “Boy, his graduation ceremony in a month is going to be nerdy.” Then, a very mild panic set in. But once I got to the dance, where guys were dressed in tux and tails, white dinner jackets, and full on kilt ensembles, one of them told me “Ignore us. Most of us are douchebags.”

Maggie, I’m sorry. They are already self-aware.

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