Over the course of August, I've been presenting my list of "25 Thing You Must Do in SoMo Before You Die" in the tradition of such literary classics as 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die. Today, to close out the month, I reveal the final 10 picks:
10. Stock up on household goods at the CAMH.
While the Contemporary Arts Museum offers edgy exhibitions, no sort of enlightenment can trump the consumer appeal of a museum gift shop. For the quintessential SoMo resident, household essentials aren't shelved at the plebian Bed Bath & Beyond and Kuhl Linscomb. Instead, stock up on such basic goods as a zipper pouch ironically disguised as a slice of pizza, or the all-time essential — sticky notes that have the words "Stop This" already inscribed at the top. They'll save you time and accusations of passive-aggressive behavior from your roommate.
9. Resolve an existential crisis at Sedition Books.
After dropping half your paycheck at museum bookstores, it's normal to feel guilty for subscribing to bougie materialism, so head to Sedition to find a book that puts the regret into writing. With free literature that details how to survive exclusively on complimentary packets of fast food ketchup and books like Southeast Asia on Foot, you'll feel spiritually restored and find yourself with a new circle of anarchist best friends.
8. Cruise at the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
The name's no mistake — this is where the boys who like boys who like butterflies go to play. Basically anyone without a toddler is fair game. The toddlers are definitely not up for grabs. Gross.
7. Get towed at Boondocks.
Get your post-PBR hangover started early after the 2:30 a.m. dismissal from Boondocks. Nothing says "class" like waiting in front of the nearby Covenant House or AIDS Center for your cab (or a clingy ex) to come to the rescue.
6. Crash a party at The Joanna.
Not everyone has the wherewithal to launch his own art collective, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't invite yourself to opening parties at those already in existence down the block. If you get bored, empty the keg and then complain that the "Suggested Donation" jar doesn't accept AMEX — you'll soon find yourself on the short walk home.
5. Throw a slumber party.
Celebrate your stunted maturity (read: mooching insurance) and throw a classic little kids' sleepover party. Pitch a Disney-themed tent in the living room, break out the popcorn and Dream Phone (if at least one of your friends doesn't still have the classic dating game, then find new friends) and stream vintage Mariah videos.
Make a point of cherry-picking the most attractive guest and absconding upstairs before somebody officially suggests playing Spin the Bottle and it becomes a full-on swingers' party.
4. Trip in the upstairs restroom at Chapultepec.
Chapultepec is where we went when we were 18 and wanted margaritas and danced to Tony Braxton on the jukebox. The thrill has faded (as has my welcome), but the disturbing memory of the design scheme in the upstairs bathroom will forever remain.
Is it a women's restroom? Yes. Is the visual experience worth potentially scaring the owner's daughter? Indeed.
3. Take up an obscure instrument.
If you were cool in high school, then you already know how to play the guitar (I don't know how to play the guitar). Skip the legitimate instruments, aim for something bizarre and pass off the whole scheme as "indie." Invent a cute, blasé sentence to drop at house parties, like, "Oh yeah, I'm the substitute tambie player for the Young Mammals. I basically made their last show in Portland."
2. Adopt an unusual pet.
It can be hard to pin down an OTL (One True Love) during one's 20s, so fill the void with a non-traditional animal. One neighbor of mine has taken to domesticating raccoons. ("They live twice as long in captivity," she attests.) Other options include chinchillas, illegal reptiles and piglets (squirrels are passé). Bunnies can be problematic, as they are prone to eating the mint out of stray mojitos.
1. Threaten to move to EaDo.
The endless gentrification of the 'trose can become wearisome, so it's tempting to assert one's underground identity by relocating to EaDo. The faux neighborhood's appealing amenities are endless: a Kroger that's even nastier than the Montrose location, close proximity to MFA classes at UH and Sparkles hamburgers.
Resist the temptation and stay put — like noncommittal bisexuality, this is usually just a phase.
Previous columns in this series: