To Some, Blog is still a four letter word

For this week’s “This Blogger Life” our ChicagoNow leader, Jimmy Greenfield, asked us to write about our writing processes. “Write about your process, your worries, the joy you feel when you write something wonderful, the pain you feel when you publish something that you know isn’t very good.Write about where you write, when you write,... Read more »

7 awful cliches and what they really mean

<strong>1) You have to pay your dues</strong>
This stereotype has been around since the dawn of time. The iconic trope being someone fetching coffee and picking up the boss's dry cleaning. This term comes from literally  "paying one's dues" such as union or trade memberships but is now used in the more figurative sense. It means that you have put in the work necessary to deserve a reward or promotion. For example, a beat cop might make Detective after 10 years of patrol duty. In this case, the officer <em>paid his dues</em> to become detective.
<strong><em>What it really means:</em></strong>
You are going to do a lot of <a href="" target="_blank">meaningless, mind-numbingly boring</a> and perhaps even pointless things for a long time. You should expect to have to pay your dues. You shouldn't have to expect to jump through pointless hoops for no reason other than your higher-ups had to, then yeah it’s not always exactly laser precise advice.  If you're not learning anything or advancing, it's time to look at yourself and figure out what actually sucks: the job or you. If after a reasonable amount of time -- your first review or one year, whichever comes first -- you have not been given any "substantive assignments" it's time to re-evaluate the situation.
There are a lot of cliches out there that are meant to provide short nuggets of wisdom. Platitudes and hackneyed phrases like Things Are Not Always as They Seem or It’s Not Always About You. Well Chester it is always about you and I’m here to tell you exactly why things are always like they... Read more »

Fixing a broken fence gate on the cheap

This gate was starting to rot and would not open or close easily
The back gate that leads to the alley was in need of some repair. While the wood itself was still serviceable, the gate had somehow shifted and it was hard to open and close.  There was also some wood rot and structural disintegration that prevented me from simply patching it with a few new boards.... Read more »

I want to break up with the gym

This is an experience I had trying to quit my gym a few years ago before I had a blog, which meant I  “blogged” by sending my “posts” through e-mail to friends or posted in the Notes Section of Facebook.   I’m sure most people just deleted the e-mails without reading them.  Rather than re-work the... Read more »

STOP saying you are busy!

In Corporate America there is an animal called the IMSOBUSY. The IMSOBUSY is too busy to stop in the hallway and say hello or make friendly banter, but always has time to tell you how busy she is. What to grab some lunch? Lunch is for losers. How was your weekend? Cannot talk now, I... Read more »

Dibs in Chicago, it's that time of year again

With Winter here and snowfall coming any day now, it’s never too early to start thinking about winter parking and that wonderful Chicago Tradition called “Dibs.” Dibs, in case you didn’t know, is that time-honored or hated tradition of reserving a parking space during the winter snow.  It’s kind of like pornography, everyone knows what... Read more »

Early Christmas present from the Bears: We get our Sundays back

Thumbnail image for 'Early Christmas present from the Bears: We get our Sundays back'
I know most Bears fans are still pissed off about the latest Bears loss. This one, a Thursday Night prime time game against Dallas gave us a glimmer of what could have been when the Bears rallied to within two scores.Unfortunately, even if Jay Cutler throw a touchdown pass instead of an interception into the... Read more »

How not to suck at gift giving

Welcome to “This Blogger Life,” where each week ChicagoNow bloggers are given a broad theme from which they can write a blog post interpreting the topic in any way they want. This Week’s topic: The best/worst gifts you’ve received or given. This time of year, I always think back to my former life as a... Read more »

The 12 Days of Christmas...for ChicagoNow Bloggers

<strong> Twelve Dozen Post Ideas</strong> -- Many of us have draft folders full of half started posts or lists of topic ideas that may never see the light of day thanks to writer's block or our Creativity Muse taking a smoke break.
Happy Holidays ChicagoNow Readers! I know this blog has been a little slacking in the content department lately and I totally blame the confluence of Busy at Day Job and new responsibility of being a parent of 11 week old twins. My goal for 2015 is to do better with the writing and the posting.... Read more »

Introducing National Closure Day

our assignment is to publish a post in one hour. Here is tonight’s challenge: “Create a new holiday, or holidays, that you believe should exist.” This can be about anything and take place anywhere, it can be another traditional holiday, a food holiday, Congressional gridlock holiday, metaphysical holiday, Bieber holiday, world holiday, whatever you can... Read more »