Gleaming the Cube

Man in the Box
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
Milestones come and go. Many are more important than others, but few are as epic as turning 30, the new 16, like two of my good friends did this weekend. LaBronn & Red (real names, not aliases - aliasi, aliasuses?) have been celebrating births together for the past 10 years. Ain't no way I was gonna miss this one after having missed so many before, including the talent show.

Both kids live in E-town (Evanston for y'all who don't speak-uh da Engrish) and are relatively respectable, intelligent, coherent, zesty ladies from roughly 9 to 5 during the week. Zesty takes over after hours and results in relatively harmless hijinx consisting of fodder for stories during my upcoming time in a retirement home.

K.L. (not the city, but Red's spouse) and Beth (LaBronn's sister) collaborated to throw quite a shindig in Chicago last night. Both ladies are 80's junkies and frequently make-up excuses to dress up, like going to church or "hey, it's Wednesday!" So, the party theme was 80's and costumes were required.

I first developed the idea of dressing up like a Rubik's Cube after this kid in New York developed it for me. Thanks, Fred. The instructions were clear, and K.L. had a drill.

The real trick was finding the foam core. I called every art supply joint in the Midwest and was fortunate to find the right gear in downtown Chicago, which is only 12 miles from The E. Those of you who live in Houston probably think, "Huh. That's a trip to the bathroom." Those of you who live in Chicago probably think, "Holy shit. That'll take three hours. Are you prepared to get a hotel room?"

K.L., Fugett & I hopped in the Jetta to hit the art store and pick up costumes for other folks. The art store was a stop & grab trip. I bought the last stock of what I needed, which was just the right amount. And, thank God they had a matte board cutter to slice the foam core into strips or else I would have been taking my loot home via the Purple Line and the Loop.

Rag Stock is a killer used clothing / hipster fashion mecca that features reprint Run DMC t-shirts that sell for $30. Fugett got one; I'm jealous. They've got lots of cool stuff and could outfit a small army of groupies for The Strokes or Death Cab or some other tragically hip emo creation.

IMG_2322Hey ladies, I'm calling out to ya to tell you that you should never send three guys to any store to buy you any type of apparel besides the kind that fits in a super small box and is made to be taken off about five minutes after we see it, which is when we're not listening to you explain what might happen and what ain't gonna happen, particularly if you are planning to dress up like a Spice Girl who we've only thought about in naked situations. We finally bought one of the first outfits we spotted after 30 minutes, some picture messages, four phone calls and a pump-fake at the cash register.

The cube came together surprisingly fast thanks to Fred, K.L. and Jewel. Construction took about three hours. ROI was high once the dickhead doorman finally realized that 147 people showing up to a private party at their bar was a good thing and that the birthday girls may kick his chunky ass if he didn't let me in. Who give's a shit if the other CCR (Cross Canadian Ragweed) was playing there that night? Coulda been the Pope (old pope, not new pope) - wouldn't changed a thing.

Getting a cab back to Evanston was only slightly, think frog hair, easier than finding a cab from the Quarter to Mid City. Maybe it was my Saints t-shirt? The Cube was actually hot and pretty good at blocking the wind so I elected to go sans jacket. Like milk, it was a bad choice. K.L., Fugett & I ended the night by tackling a cab in the middle of heavy snow in the windiest, coldestest intersection in the city. Each of us had been carrying a piece of the box, which we sacrificed to the street corner in only .28 seconds after realizing it wouldn't fit in the trunk.

I'd just like to say "Thanks again" to Red & K.L. for hosting me all weekend. I'd also like to say "You're welcome" to the homeless guy who's now living in a custom made condo tiled with construction paper. If it can handle being freaked by four chicks at the same time, it can handle a winter in Chicago. Just be sure you patch-up that hole in the roof.

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