“You’re So Vain”
Chicago Tribune, 10/3/13
It seems that I just can’t get enough of my own face. Holding my iPhone at arm’s length, I cock my right eyebrow in a rakish pose and hold my chin with my free hand. Click. I check it out. Not quite the thing for my LinkedIn page. Tone down the charisma, I tell myself. This should look professional.
“Keeping the A/C Happy”
Chicago Tribune, 5/20/12
We sit, my wife and I, huddled in a circle about 6 feet in diameter facing our little robot friend, our freestanding, 3-foot-tall air conditioner…
“Lectures and Smartphones Don’t Mix”
Chicago Tribune, 9/2/11
A long, long time ago, in the dark mists of the 1990s, I’d face my college writing class and be met by a sea of eager faces. But these days, it’s not exactly faces that I see. I’m more likely to catch foreheads tilted deskward toward a new enemy of mine: smartphones.
“If You’re Jealous of that Hair”
Chicago Tribune, 3/22/09
As a 60-year-old bald person, I’d likfe to say that my joy at the fall of Gov. Rod Blagojevich was righteous, that it rested solely on moral indignation at his betrayal of the people of Illinois. But pleasure of a much creepier sort filled my heart: the spectacle of Big Hair brought low.
“We’re the Man, Indy”
Chicago Tribune, 5/18/08
After seeing the first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” in 1981, I sat in the dark theater shaken, amazed. How, I wondered, did some Hollywood scriptwriter catch the essential Bob Hughes so well?
Chicago Tribune, 8/5/07
I took a drive the other day through the suburb where I grew up and found myself, disoriented, on Teardown Avenue. Shrek-size edifices had replaced the modest homes of my youth. Venti-size movie sets — you couldn’t really call them “houses” — had changed the landscape not just of the town but of my memory as well.
“If Only Real Life Were Like ‘24’”
Chicago Tribune, 2/4/07
“Chloe, do you think you can locate Jack on the grid?” Bill Buchanan asked tensely and doubtfully. The terrorists were about to nuke Los Angeles, and as every fan of the hit show “24” knows, only Jack Bauer could save the city.
“Road Kings and the Natural Law of Left Lane Occupancy”
Chicago Tribune, 1/6/04
As I was driving north on the Edens Expressway late Saturday morning and saw the usual tight line of vehicles take up permanent 75 m.p.h. residence in the far left lane, I thought how futile the new Illinois law against such lane hogging will prove to be. It collides head-on with the natural Laws of Lane Occupancy, which run deeper and stronger than any mere legislation.
“TV Alter Egos for a Middle-aged Dad”
Chicago Tribune, 3/14/99
Another sweeps period has passed and, I’m ashamed to say, I consider myself swept. I don’t watch much TV, but the TV I do watch has me in couch potato position, cooked and buttered…
“The Delights Of Downsizing”
Chicago Tribune, 2/4/96
When I first read about the lifestyle trend of the ’90s called Voluntary Simplicity, I let out an involuntary chuckle that traveled right through a cackle into an involuntary guffaw.
Parents, May, 1994
I don’t mind admitting that in my gray fedora, I look like Harrison Ford. My wife and my friends are too shy to point this out to me, but give me a square jaw, hair on the top of my head, and look in the eye like I know what I’m doing, and I could be his double…
“Over the River and Out of Our Minds”
Parents, December, 1993
It was the first Christmas when the three kings traversed field and fountain, moor and mountain, wisely, under camel power. They did not hit the interstate, as my wife and I do each year at Christmas, in a subcompact jammed with gifts, 40 percent of our worldly belongings, and two boys…
“Tightening the Plastic Belt”
NEWSWEEK, April 20, 1992
Where does my money go? It’s a question I ask with growing embarrassment and alarm. The moment each month when I open my credit-card statements is a low-comedy catastrophe…