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"It just got harder to call the Chicago Reader an 'alternative weekly,'" wrote Robert Feder in his Time Out Chicago blog. "Alternative to what?" Actually, most people I know consider it a welcome alternative to Time Out Chicago. "These days, 'alternative' is all but meaningless,” my boss, Mara Shalhoup, told Feder in the same column. But lost amid all the news about the sale and the usual clucking about the death of the Reader was the fact that, earlier last week, the paper had scored five major nominations in the annual awards of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: best feature story (Steve Bogira), best food writing (Mike Sula), best investigative reporting (Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke), best arts criticism (me), and best special section (the entire staff). Alternative may have lost its meaning at this point, but eat my dust still works pretty well.