Saturday, October 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

The title of the photo and basically the theme for today.

Or the weekend, anyway.

I'm still coming to grips with the fact that Mike at Bridgeport Coffee House now knows my name, thanks to this. After I'm done here I'm heading to my old childhood stomping grounds of Logan Square, Avondale, and Hermosa on the northwest side to scope out some Cuban restaurants for a piece I'm working on for the Sun-Times on Cuban comfort food, and the relative lack of such in the city, that'll be published in a couple weeks (another hint: you may want to check out the cover story of the Sun-Times food section Wednesday, anyway). Then I'll probably hit some thrift stores on the way home shopping for the items I need for my Halloween costume. Here he comes...

I don't go as balls-out on Halloween like I used to. I don't have the patience for painting my entire body green, like the year Peg and I dressed as the Hulk and She-Hulk, then froze our tits off hopping from party to party in Wicker Park on a Saturday night. Then there was the year that I dressed as Ace Frehley from the cover of Kiss' "Dressed to Kill" album and applied the makeup from memory, ruining my favorite cheesy sharkskin suit in the process. Then there was the year I dressed as Charlie Chaplin for a private bartending gig, but at a whopping 265 at the time I looked more like Oliver Hardy than the Little Tramp.

I've been Michael Allred's Madman, Hugh Hefner, Big Boy, Baby New Year, an Indonesian hooker, the Invisible Man, a horny, surly Cat in the Hat on a drug binge (complete with some impressive Method acting, thanks to a pint of Brass Monkey and some mushrooms), a luchador, a Kung Fu Master and, last year, The Dude.

Most of these costumes have required that I shave off my beard in the process. I've worn one off and on most of my post-Navy adult life, but the past two years have been the most consistent time I've worn one. It's always interesting to see how my face looks underneath it all, and that I have a face underneath all this. A large reason I grow out a beard is to hide a prominent double chin, still there even after slimming down to under 230. Then I can't wait for the beard to grow back in.

But if I can pull off this, it'll all be worth it.

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