The Culture Quest

So I realize I’ve been MIA for over a week. First off, yes, I’m alive. I haven’t been mugged, blown away by a giant gust of wind, murdered, or whatever other stereotypical thing you might associate with Chicago. I live on the north side, nowhere close to the south/southwest sides where the majority of gang violence occurs. No. I’ve simply been MIA because I’ve had too much going on this week to even think twice about posting. Hence the reason I’m sitting at home on a Saturday evening like a grandpa in my rocking chair boycotting Boystown in favor of unwinding (with a bottle of wine, of course).

So here we go…

I’m on a mission to attempt to become cultured. Call it Mission Impossible if you will. I say bring it on. And of course, my trusty sidekick and temporary roommate/maid/chef/sleeping-partner/whatever – or “winghoe” as she’s also referred to – will be by my side going balls-to-the-wall on this quest right along with me.

From shopping-fueled fundraising benefits to lectures to scotch tastings, we will become cultured one day/night/event at a time. 

In the course of the past week, we have taken full advantage of several opportunities to work on this. For instance, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago event was going on last weekend offering the opportunity to tour a ton of iconic landmark buildings that are normally closed to the public. With this, there were also lectures, presentations, and guided tours with the architects who designed these buildings. Hello designer orgasm. You can bet your fist born child that we hit this up.

SIDE NOTE: The tour I went on of a Frank Lloyd Home was a total bust. After standing in line for over an hour to only tour the first floor of this two-story home since the second floor was being renovated/restored was a huge letdown. Whomp whomp.

But are three building tours, and ONE lecture enough for us? Most definitely not. Good thing it was also the end of Chicago Ideas Week and there was an event going on with SIX speakers who are all doing something to make the world a better place. I mean seriously…you can’t beat a lineup of Elizabeth SmartRonny EdryAmber LyonSasha FisherDan Savage (but wait, it gets better – pun intended), and Kristin Davis (aka Charlotte from Sex & The City!!!).

Part of me hates each and every one of these people for being so influential and doing something awesome for the world. Some of them have started huge foundations, grassroots campaigns, you name it. I mean, could they be any more amazing?

Oh, and throw in a side of hanging with our friend from Scotland and his mom and aunt swapping information on Chicago for the information about scotch (since Not-so-Carrie and I will be connoisseurs soon enough) and you have a solid weekend in the bag. Yes, we roll with people with cool accents.

Let’s call that wrap on the weekend.

Fast forward to Tuesday (because sometimes you need a quiet Monday night to do laundry so you have clean clothes to wear). Where are we? A men’s underwear fashion show and pop-up shop. Well…at least it was billed as such. Sounds awesome, right? What was not advertised was that the models would be about 5’9″ tall with decent bodies, no asses, and too-small-to-be-modeling-underwear packages. Three strikes and you’re kicked off the runway in my book. NEXT!

SIDE NOTE: How did we find out about this? So Not-so-Carrie and I went to a Scotch Master class and art show a week ago and made friends with a real-life Karen Walker (down to the fact that she’s an assistant to an interior designer who’s a total middle-aged, designer-obsessed, scotch-guzzling lush) and her “Social Mistress” friend who constantly has hookups to events like said scotch tasting. You can bet we’ll be hanging with them often. Anyways, they informed us of this “fashion show” thing.

Wednesday: Once in a while it’s important to take a break from personal development and focus on the professional side. Times like these call for continuing education courses. Lighting design? As much as I hate it, sign me up. Perhaps the more I work with it the more I’ll like it – almost like the more you drink of a bottle of shitty wine the better it tastes, right? Maybe not.

Anyways, after listening to the presenter trip over her words and contradict herself on basic statements and chuckling inside after she was continually corrected by another designer, the event was over. Thanks for the free wine and a refresher on what I learned in college, although I feel I knew more than the presenter by the time I left.

Thursday: Let’s not even go there. Let’s just say it’s such a blur that if this Culture Quest were a game of Chutes and Ladders I would have slid down a chute right back to start. This is what happens when drinks flow on the company tab. Whoops. YOLO.

So after three consecutive nights of getting home late, slacking in the sleeping department, and abusing our livers, you’d think we’d take Friday night off, right? WRONG! Who would we be to skip out on a huge art gallery opening on a Friday night? Obviously not cultured individuals. So off we went.

Needless to say this weekend is being spent on the DL recovering and unwinding.

So what have I learned in this first week or so of attempting to become cultured? Let’s see…not a whole lot. I can tell you a little more about some Chicago architecture, some foundations, and lighting. I also can tell you that double Grey Goose and sodas contribute to a hefty bar tab that is probably the reason you pay so much for a cup of coffee these days. I can also tell you art appreciation is highly subjective…as are male underwear models.

But most importantly, I can tell you that I’m going to take full advantage of everything the city of Chicago has to offer. From cultural events to lectures to scotch tastings to art shows, I’ll be going to as many as possible. You never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn, or what you’ll experience until you get out there and do it.

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