Tag: Chicago

Support your local businesses: Wear a mask

            In the pro-mask versus anti-mask war, I stand somewhere in the middle. In late March, when almost no one was wearing a mask in public, I went out a couple times wearing one and got funny looks from other shoppers, who assumed I must be sick. Now you’re likely... Read more »

An open letter to hoarding shoppers

This isn’t funny anymore. At first it was mildly amusing, in the beginning when it spawned toilet-paper shortage jokes. But this is more than a month in now, and it needs to stop. I’m pissed, and I’m going to use curse words in this column—apologies to the sensitive. This behavior is getting serious and dangerous.... Read more »

Pier 1 closing stores, and my world just became a little less pretty

Say it isn’t so. News broke earlier this week that made me sadder than the announcement of Harry & Meghan’s break from the royal family. Home decor retailer Pier 1 Imports announced it is closing 450 of its stores, including it turns out, the two locations nearest to me. Those ominous, giant “Storewide Sale” signs... Read more »
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Don’t like the price Zillow puts on your home? Don’t bother suing—you’ll lose

It seems that people either love Zillow or hate it. Home buyers tend to be in the first group, and home sellers in the latter. While it can empower consumers with knowledge, it can frustrate homeowners when the “Zestimate” falls considerably below their asking price or what they believe their property is worth. Zestimates are... Read more »

To understand why things go down in Chicago like they do, read "The Jungle" & "Boss"

The past several weeks have witnessed a powerful, longtime alderman arrested on federal corruption charges; the acquittal of four Chicago cops in a conspiracy trial; and most recently, the lenient sentence handed down by a judge to the officer who shot and killed Laquan Macdonald. It’s funny but even before Patti Blagojevich chimed in, I was... Read more »

Why I don't miss working as 'holiday help'

By all reports, the roaring economy has made retail stores desperate for seasonal workers, or what used to be called “Christmas help.” This brings back memories of my own adventures working in retail during the holiday season. The first was in the 1980s, when I was an 18-year-old college freshman. I took a job at... Read more »
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Ringling Retired Its Elephants, But Big Cats Still Suffer Under Its Big Tent

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is back at the United Center for another Thanksgiving season in Chicago, with “Out of this World.” You may remember that early last year, Ringling announced that after more than a century, it was ending its live elephant act and retiring the long-suffering beasts to sanctuaries beginning in... Read more »

11/9 I Await You: I've Got Political Ad Fatigue

November 9th can’t get here fast enough for me. I feel this way every election year. It’s because I can finally take my TV off mute when the commercials come on. It’s safe to turn the TV on without a relentless onslaught of back-to-back slimy political attack ads, each more brainless than the last. Is it... Read more »

Time is Running Out for the African Elephant

      At the rate that African elephants and rhinos are being slaughtered, they will become extinct within our lifetimes. Within a decade. The facts are chilling: Every 15 minutes, an elephant in Africa loses its life to poachers, at the rate of 96 a day, up to 50,000 a year. These sophisticated, well-funded, well-organized... Read more »
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This Blog-o Says No Blago

He’s baack. Rod Blagojevich will appear in Judge James Zagel’s courtroom via closed-circuit TV today for his resentencing. Supposedly, Blago has a very good chance of getting his original 14-year sentence dramatically reduced. If that’s the case, having already served four years in federal prison he could soon be a free man. No. No, no,... Read more »