Archive for 2016

How To Get Your Hatchimal to Work

I’d love to know how toys become popular. Not just popular, but must-haves. Actually, not even just must-haves. I want to know how they rise to the level of “I’ll stand outside for three hours before the store even opens just in case one came in on the delivery truck overnight.” This year’s must-have—in addition... Read more »

I Don't Worry About Being Kidnapped Anymore

I’ve written before about the time my parents thought I was kidnapped. It was around 1985, when I was seven, and it involved a clown. Stephen King’s It wouldn’t come out and transform clowns from friendly, creative characters into menacing murderers for another year. But my friend Sam and I were plenty scared of that... Read more »

Money Can't Buy What We Want the Most

In May of 1998 I was in the middle of an Elvis Presley obsession, so I went to Graceland. Everything about the place seemed awesome to me, from the giant Corinthian columns out front, to the purple and yellow room with three televisions built into the wall, to the big man’s grave out back. But... Read more »

True Horror of Gun Violence in Russian Ambassador Assassination Photos

The picture accosted me without warning from my Facebook feed. It looked like a scene from some idiotic action film. A man in a suit sprawled on the floor, flat on his back. Next to him another man in a suit wielded a gun pointed at the ground. People in the distance scattered for cover.... Read more »

Thinking of the Sandy Hook Victims Four Years Later

Yesterday I read an article about a study in Japan that determined that eating ice cream for breakfast may increase mental sharpness and response time. Regardless of the study’s validity, I thought it would be fun to surprise my kids with ice cream for breakfast. I imagined the stunned look on their faces when they... Read more »

Tips to Make Your Sledding Experience More Fun

I checked the weather forecast for Chicago and saw that the high on Thursday is supposed to be seven degrees. And, oh, by the way, winter doesn’t begin for another six days after that. Mother Nature—cruel, demented lass that she is—graced us this past weekend with a preview of what’s to come: snow. Days and... Read more »

Without Gratitude Do We Have Anything?

We’ve made it to the end of November, but before we closeout the month, I wanted to mention that November is National Gratitude Month. I haven’t written much about gratitude on this blog during November, despite writing everyday. However, a fellow ChicagoNow blogger, You Know Neen, devoted the entire month to gratitude. Every single day... Read more »

The Myth of the American Dream

I try not to be too pessimistic in this blog. No one likes to read a bunch of downer ideas. There’s a reason everyone hated the Debbie Downer character on Saturday Night Live. I’m an optimistic person by nature, so most of the time it’s easy to write optimistically. Even when I’m writing about a... Read more »

A Great Meal Requires More Than Great Food

I like to eat. Some quick math reveals that I’ve eaten just over 42,000 meals in my life. Although that’s assuming three meals a day, and, as I said, I like to eat, so let’s just call it 43,000. That’s a lot of meals. Probably a few tons of food, and literally hundreds of different... Read more »

What if Trump Arrests You for Having a Handgun?

At times lately it has seemed that we have begun living in an alternate universe. A third-rate shyster businessman most famous for reality television is going to be president, polling doesn’t work, and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. None of these things make sense in the universe we’re used to. So, perhaps, we’ve... Read more »