Harry, a Prince of a Man

Just when I think that Prince Harry can’t possibly become any hotter or more endearing to me than he is, he proves me wrong. I have written before about my embarrassing but unapologetic fangirling over the British royal family, the queen in particular. After the queen, Harry is my favorite royal. I’ve always found him... Read more »

I’m with United: Leggings Have Got to Go

You may have caught a news item of monumental world importance this week:  United Air Lines allegedly refused to allow several girls wearing leggings to board a plane. The media, in typical fashion, fell all over themselves to breathlessly announce it to the world (Airline Passengers Turned Away for Wearing Leggings!!!) before it was revealed... Read more »

Goodbye Ravinia: You've Priced Me Out

The 2017 Ravinia lineup was announced the other day and as has been the case for the last several years, I opened the schedule with anticipation and then my heart sank. My heart sinks because to see any act I even recognize, a spot on the lawn starts at $50 and goes up to $70-plus including... Read more »

No Green in These Genes: When your family tree reveals you’re not Irish after all

This is based on a St. Patrick’s Day-themed essay I originally had published in the New York Times quite a few years ago. Reworked and updated a bit, here it is: Growing up, I was told I was Scottish, French Canadian, and one-quarter Irish on my father’s side. My dad’s mother, Thelma O’Dell, came from... Read more »

Oscar of Yesteryear: Who Won, and Who Should Have Won

1998 Best Picture Winner: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE.

Does anybody even remember this comedy starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes? If they do it’s most likely for Judi Dench’s Oscar-winning but too-brief appearance as Queen Elizabeth I.  Or for Paltrow in drag as a boy.
Every time the Academy Awards roll around, I can’t help thinking about all the films, actors, and actresses who were more deserving of taking home the Oscar–in my humble opinion–than the ones who actually did. It seems the winners are often not chosen on merit, but on popularity and trendiness. A lot like the cool... Read more »

Senate resolution would permit horrific hunting practices on Alaskan refuges

For reasons I will explain, this post is directed more toward readers who live outside of Illinois, but if you have friends or family who live out of state who care about animals and wildlife, please read on and share this with them! There is a resolution working its way through the Senate, that could... Read more »

Prerecorded CTA Voice: Please Shut the "L" Up

Warning:  This post is especially curmudgeonly. On the curmudgeon-o-meter, it’s about a nine. I have ridden commuter subways in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., London, and for one day, Paris. I feel like I could write a book about it. By far, the one I have ridden most is Chicago’s, and I can’t... Read more »

How 'Secret Life of Pets' Helped Me Understand My Cat's Distress

It’s funny how the most seemingly insignificant things like animated movies can give you an “A-ha” moment. I recently saw “The Secret Life of Pets,” a cute movie about urban pets of all kinds and the adventures they get themselves into when their owners are at work. It centers around a contented little terrier named... Read more »

Ivanka Trump boycott is petty and pointless

I make a point not to venture into Trump World on this blog, but the latest development concerning the Trumps has me thinking: Anti-Trump activists, I just don’t get you. I have always liked Ivanka Trump. She seems smart, classy, and well-brought up. She could have become another Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, a trashy-dressing... Read more »

Queen Elizabeth Reigns for 65: An American Royalist Salutes You

Britain’s 90-year-old Queen Elizabeth II marked 65 years on the throne this week, her Sapphire Jubilee. It’s not as big a deal as her 50th or 60th jubilees, but it gives me an excuse to write a blog post about her. You see, I am completely nuts about QE2. To the point that some of... Read more »