9 fun ways to reduce stress and (probably) not go to jail

Stress stinks, my babies. It sucks the joy right outta the day, siphoning your mental and physical energy like a chance-meeting with an ex. We become listless, cringing, reactive boobs, addicted to triple-caf macchiatos and To-Do lists, the bottom of which are never reached. Slaves to everything but good sense and self-care, hypertension just waiting... Read more »

Remembering a true Dallas maverick - guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan

  Monday, August 27th, marks the 28th anniversary of the death of guitar-great Stevie Ray Vaughan. If you’re saying, “Who?,” for shame, y’all! I’m speaking of the uber-talented blues/rock guitarist and singer who almost single-handedly breathed life back into the corpse of The Blues in the 1980’s, all the while giving props and resurgence to... Read more »

The supernatural soul of Aretha Franklin

When an artist the stature of Aretha Franklin dies, there are the usual news -outlet obits detailing career milestones, perhaps a heretofore-unknown fact or two, usually a discography. Always there are the heartfelt remembrances of friends and colleagues. Specials air and the artist’s albums sell out. Weeks pass and life returns to normal.  We smile... Read more »
ChicagoNow Video

25 or 6 to 4 - times three!

I love to noodle around on YouTube. And as is well-known, I love the band Chicago.  Well, at least, its first 10 years, when Terry Kath and Peter Cetera and Danny Seraphine still were with them. Just because I love you, my babies, here’s something fun –  three versions of one of Chicago’s greatest songs,... Read more »

Free at last, free at last ..... (gasp!) I've dumped Facebook

Today, I am born-again. I’ve permanently deactivated my Facebook pages. I feel like I jumped the barbed-wire at Tehachapi. It.  Feels.  Freakin’. Great. I’ve wanted to divorce FB for a long time, but stayed mainly because of being part of two writers’ groups – one, in fact, for ChicagoNow.  But last week I did a cost-benefit... Read more »

My favorite place in the world is ….

It’s Blogapalooz Hour once again, my babies, in which we have but one hour to answer a question posed by our editorial powers-that-be. This month, that question is: What is your favorite place in the world? My favorite place in the world is an exclusive retreat; one that affords me reverie in times of strife,... Read more »

Today we're gonna party like it's my 199th post - because it is!

Hello, my dear babies! Behold – it’s the 199th post of Planet Michelle! (I’ll wait while you swoon.) While 199 posts aren’t anything to sneeze at (hey, I pour out my foolish heart and tap into my little monkey brain on these things!), I’m a piker compared to some of my fellow ChicagoNow bloggers. So... Read more »

10 things I just don't understand.

My old man always used to say that the world’s gone mad.  He died 10 years ago, and it’s even more true today.  Dad never would have believed that a smarmy reality-show guy now occupies the Oval Office, for example. Or have understood the ins and outs of Caitlyn Jenner (I’m not at all bothered... Read more »

What I've learned from my mother as she lives with Parkinson's Disease

My mom is 89 and has Parkinson’s Disease. She was diagnosed about eight years ago, and now lives in an assisted living facility near me. I never really understood the terms acceptance and grace until I watched Mom navigate this daunting disease. Funny thing is, my mother never was particulary brave, tolerant or patient. But... Read more »


Here is our ChicagoNow writing challenge this month: What are three pieces of advice you would give to your 16 year old self? Dear 16 year-old Michelle, My first thoughts here were don’t get knocked-up, don’t get addicted to anything and try not to end up in womens’ prison.  While those are pretty good, I... Read more »