Sarah didn't get the chicken pox. (Exhale . . .) Of course she didn't. She's a genetic freak, thank God. It was a huge relief; I've always been a worrier. Everyone is quick to tell me that I don't know what true worrying is because I've never faced any real adversity, that I'm nothing but a minor leaguer who has never seen a big-league curveball. To which I say, some of the pitchers in Triple-A make it to the majors, too.

OK. No more baseball metaphors.

The morning after our shopping spree in Indiana, lo and behold, Sarah woke up with a belly...

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Sponsored by Chicago magazine, Clearbrook's 3rd Annual Wonderland of Lights -- a drive-thru holiday light show spectacular -- is set to sparkle at Arlington Park Racecourse in Arlington Heights this holiday season. Open every night from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, this illuminated show will feature 1.6 miles of twinkling lights and animated displays, and benefits children and adults with developmental disabilities. For more information please visit (click on Events/Wonderland of Lights) or call 847-577-HOHO. Read more

List Price: $1.299 million

The Property: Perched on a hilltop in St. Charles, this 16-room house was built in the mid-1960s for a psychiatrist who didn’t care for air conditioning. That and the oak woods all around prompted the architect Robert Cantrell to create a series of rooms that jut out from one another, thus maximizing both the natural ventilation and the views. Energetic and angular, the all-white house appears to sprout from its hillside site...

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Window Treatment
“The South Side is hurting for restaurants,” says Dan McGee, a Chicago native who has worked in kitchens from Peru to Switzerland (and Charlie Trotter’s in between). So McGee repurposed his former Whittingham’s Gourmet Market as a 44-seat American restaurant called Dan McGee (330 W. Lincoln Hwy., Frankfort; 815-469-7750). The polished room is by Tom Nahabedian (who designed Naha for his cousin Carrie Nahabedian), and McGee’s menu has some interesting twists, like grilled halibut served on Asiago mashed potatoes with mushroom-shrimp compote. And that window that looks into the kitchen? “I wanted to see what was going on in the dining room, but the kitchen is so bright and the dining room is dark—I’m looking at...

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With a fully functioning bar on the second floor, Strawdog Theatre is something of an actor’s hangout. So when the playwright Hank Boland and his friend, the actress Kate Parker, decided they wanted to start a theatre “talk show,” it made sense that they’d do it at Strawdog.

Their show, The Callback, kicked off last week: it’s an hourlong variety program on Wednesday nights, including Kate’s interviews with guests like T.J. Jagadowski, one half of the improv duo TJ and Dave (who’s the guest tonight at 8 p.m). Also fueling the show are copious amounts of beer...

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Wendy and Jim Abrams are the new owners of a coveted parcel of land on Lake Michigan in Highland Park. Last week, the developer Orren Pickell announced that he had sold the A. G. Becker estate (better known lately as the Mickey Segal estate) to a buyer who intends to keep intact the 17.5-acre parcel—with its Jens Jensen landscaping—rather than subdivide it as Pickell had planned. “[The estate] dodged a bullet and is now out of the hands of developers for at least another generation,” says Daniel Kahn, head of Highland Park’s historic preservation commission.

Pickell would not identify by name the buyer, who bought the property through a land trust. But a source told Deal Estate...

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September 28, 2007- The Signature Room at the 95th hosted Chicago’s James Beard Foundation “Taste America” event to celebrate the Foundation’s 20th anniversary with a tribute to Midwest seasonal dining. Event hosts included Chef Charlie Trotter with Chicago Chefs Alexander Cheswick, Bill Kim, Mike Sheerin, Patrick Sheerin, and Bruce Sherman. Photos courtesy of The Signature Room Read more
September 6-9, 2007- Sponsored by Chicago Magazine, the 2007 Lake Geneva Wine Festival presented the artistry of acclaimed winemakers and chefs, featuring headliner talent from Carnivale, Opera, Le Lan, Room 21 and Spiaggia to over 1,500 participants in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Intimate wine dinners, seminars, a gala event, and a lakeside grand tasting and auction were included. Visit Read more

I had one goal for Sunday: to spend as much time as possible watching football. My plan was to invite Kenn and Drue over and eat cheap pizza in the basement and fart and complain about the Bears offense until we fell asleep. Then we'd rouse ourselves in time for the late game on ESPN. It would be heaven. Instead, I found myself in an outlet mall in Indiana, maternity shopping.

Apparently I had promised a long time ago, and Sarah had it on her calendar for weeks. I don't have a calendar, so I had no recourse. My only plan was make the experience so miserable for both of us that she would never make me do it again...

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