Tie be or not tie be…

…that is more of a statement.

So, I wasn’t much of a tie guy for this short jaunt to Milwaukee, even if it was slated to be day Nos. 98 & 99. I did just about everything totally ass-backwards. My planning was aces, at least whilst packing the evening before. I brought two ties and all the accoutrements—matching shirts, cufflinks, tie clip, etc.–to look my best. But things don’t always go so well when you’re getting out of your comfort zone. Why doth a one-hour train trip make for such comfort exodus? I haven’t a freakin’ clue, but it did.

Golf, anyone?

Yesterday morning, I donned my Tie du Jour, a nice, blue paisley. I don’t remember the label because, I actually changed it and don’t need to remember until when I wear it.. I didn’t like how the background gray was a little too close to my shirt’s tone…looked a bit Regis for me. So, I (sticking with the Blue Tie Week theme of course) switched to a different Tie du Thursday and, thus, probably threw off my tie mojo for the trip.

We hit downtown Milwaukee running at a quarter to eight. The Amtrak to Milwaukee, by the way, is fantastic. I don’t know if I’ll ever drive here. From downtown Chicago, it’s 90 minutes (only 65 from Glenview, where I got on) from smackdabinthemiddletown Milwaukee. The Frontier Airlines Center (formerly known as the Midwest Airlines Center…Frontier bought Midwest. Who knew?) was our destination, and we went straight into convention…stuff. I was pretty overdressed, even though I was not in a suit. Very few ties, because, well, duh, it’s in the middle of the day.

After a couple of seminars and an issues panel (oh, stewardess…I have issues!), during all of which I nodded asleep (getting up at 4am is not a good way to be well-rested) even though they were interesting and helpful, we went to the hotel to check in and get changed for the dinner. Since I had been gussied up, relatively speaking, all day I got casual. When we showed up at the awards presentation, I quickly realized that I went the wrong way: Everyone was rather formally dressed—mainly suits for the guys and little black dresses (give or take color and length) for the women. I, who had been easily the most formally (or close to tied) dressed person in whatever room I was in for the better part of a year, was now—by a landslide—the most casually-dressed schmuck in the room. I smirked at myself for the better part of three hours…some Mr. 100 Days, 100 Ties blahblahblah. As you will see below, I did get a couple of Guys With Ties (and even a couple of SWT), but my social faux pas destroyed my picture-taking mojo, as there was no way I was going to explain why I was taking everybody’s picture for a tie blog when I, Monsieur Schmuque, couldn’t even be bothered to sport one. Luckily, we ate dinner with some other Illinois chambers (Barrington, Highland Park, Bloomington) so it didn’t matter that I was so inadequately festooned.

Which brings me to today. Well, let’s jump back to Thursday evening…my cool, casual shirt came back in handy as we went to Lucille’s, an extraordinarily fun piano bar. Oh, the joy of Dueling Pianos! Well, at least the D.P. was fun last night with conventioneers and three or four bachelorette parties coinciding. Yee. Haa. Anyway, I highly suggest piano bars. And karaoke bars. Singing in general. Good for the soul.

Back to today. I was so flummoxed by my tie-less evening that I decided to swim along with the other salmon and eschew my chosen Tie du Friday, which was to have been Tie No. 99. Donc (French for, basically, “Sooooo, anywayyyyy”), my 100th celebration will officially begin on Tuesday, during Purple Tie Week. I’ll strive to regain my Tie-Pic-Taking mojo, I promise.

So, here are the SWTs…Statues With Ties. First we have a zoot suit sportin’ mannequin. Not exactly sure why he/it is wearing it, but it was supposed to draw attention to one of the booths at the convention’s exhibit hall.

This one is downright freaky. This fella, Syl Sijan, was immortalized in the corner of the lobby of the Frontier Airlines Center, for some reason that I may know in a second as soon as I google him. This statue is extremly lifelike, very nearly to the point of creepy. I seriously had to be 2 feet away to know it was not real…I thought it was performance art of some sort. I mean, come on, if you wish to honor the legacy of someone, bronze is lovely and it makes it obvious to kids that the statue isn’t going to say, “Boo!” So, an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel give some insight. Still freaky-deeky.

And here’s a last-minute entry, thanks to Paul Hletko, my buddy who found someone who wore a tie to Lollapalooza today. Not much else, as it turns out…hey, at least he doesn’t have to match it with a shirt.

I have to go to bed. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your patience…Brooke


One Response to “Tie be or not tie be…”

  1. Sara Wade Says:

    I think I”m going to take that train sometime.
    Ive never been to Milwaukee

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