Relaxed people stress me out

I was standing in line at the rental car place. The line was only about 20 people deep, but each couple took 15 minutes once they got to the front desk. Ashley was outside standing by the suitcases. I was inside on a mission to stay calm. We had been in Italy for nine or... Read more »

Hitting your Happiness Deductible

There are good years. And there are bad years. Years when everything is going right. And years when you can’t catch a break.  Years when you confidently walk down the street playing air guitar belting out Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. And years when you mope along the sidewalk whispering the lyrics to One is the Loneliest Number.   What’s... Read more »

Here or There

Have you ever run into someone right after a vacation who didn’t realize you had ever left?  This happened to me the other day with a colleague I hadn’t seen in over a month. We dived into the standard Midwestern: “Hey, how are you? How have things been going?” but this time around my answer wasn’t the standard, “Good, good.” Instead,... Read more »
ChicagoNow Video

Please, take this idea: Undercover Covers

I don’t think the Kindle has done as well as Amazon would have hoped. Now, to be fair, I base this claim off of no research whatsoever and no knowledge of the year-to-year Kindle sales. My claim doesn’t even qualify as an “educated guess,” it falls several levels below in the “guy with an opinion”... Read more »

Check your font size, bro

I glanced at my older brother’s phone and it looked like he was reading from a large print Reader’s Digest. Everything was zoomed in. The app buttons were bigger. His text messages–let’s say the normal font size is 12 pt–looked like they were 16 going on 20. Which was surprising to see, because my brother is the... Read more »

If you liked The Bachelorette, then you'll really like...

Every time you walk into a bookstore (or head over to Amazon) you are carrying a rose boutonniere in your hand. Millions of authors are lined up anxiously awaiting your decision. The big names are all in the front. Mark Twain. Sheryl Sandberg. Omarosa. I’m standing there in the way back like Joe the Grocer, hoping... Read more »

Please, take this idea: Search Bar

I saw a commercial the other day that featured a family of four dispersed throughout their two-story house. There was a daughter upstairs on her phone. A son playing a video game on a tablet. The dad typing away on a computer. The mom sets the dinner table and–with this subtle, almost mischievous grin–clicks a... Read more »

Embarrassment is the emotional terrorist (part 3/finale)

Six or seven winters ago, sometime before I moved to Chicago, I was walking down the sidewalk and stumbled on a piece of black ice. The snow boots I was wearing were incredibly overrated; they looked tough, they looked like the kind of boots you would wear hiking through the Himalayas but, in reality, the traction was... Read more »

Embarrassment is the emotional terrorist (part 2)

At Hope College, we were required to take a Senior Seminar class in order to graduate. I chose one called “Pondering the Big Questions,” a class that explored topics like does God exist? And, if he does, how involved is he in everyday life? Our teacher was the main math professor and, rumor had it,... Read more »

Embarrassment is the emotional terrorist (part 1)

In second grade, I had my first Spanish class. We sang the alphabet together. There was a song for the names of colors. Everything had a song and I can remember those lyrics better now, 20 years later, than I can remember what I had for lunch yesterday. Unfortunately, that’s where I peaked. I didn’t accomplish much else... Read more »