Friday, October 29, 2010

Margherita Pizza: The Cure for Thursday Night Dinner Blues

Last night, I had a friend over for dinner. It was a casual night and I wasn't really in the mood for my usual all-hands-on-deck full out dinner involving multiple pots and pans and a couple of hours to prepare. I just wanted something simple.

Looking through my frig, I realized I had all the ingredients for Margherita Pizza (tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese). I've made this before and it was so good that I declared it The World's Best Pizza, but even for a casual dinner, I love trying new recipes and attempting to top my previous best. Thanks to the World Wide Web, I was able to do that in about 15 minutes.

Because this pizza was so good, I thought I'd share it with you. It's quick and easy, vegetarian, and everyone will love it. Keep in mind that I don't measure anything; I cook to taste. My notes are in italics. Note that this pizza does not have a traditional sauce, so it's important that the toppings really stand out. I'm just sorry I don't have a picture because it was gorgeous.

Margherita Pizza

2 T olive oil (This will depend on how many tomato slices you are using. I covered them and then added more.)
Sliced Roma Tomatoes (I used 1 large Beefsteak Tomato, sliced into 12 or so slices I think)
1 clove Garlic (We like garlic, so I used 3 or 4 medium-sized cloves)
1/2 t Salt (I don't like salt, so I used a very quick dash)
2-3 shakes Balsamic Vinegar (I added this ingredient because I thought it would be good. It was)
1 store bought pizza crust (I used the large Boboli crust)
Fresh sliced Mozzarella Cheese
Basil leaves (5-6, cut into julienne strips) (I left them whole and used probably 18, enough to cover the pizza, but not touching or overlapping)
1/4 c fresh shredded Parmesan Cheese

1. Combine Olive Oil, Tomatoes, Garlic, Salt, and Balsamic Vinegar into a bowl and let it marinade for 20 minutes (mine sat for an hour at room temp).
2. Brush the pizza dough with olive oil (I was quite generous with this). Top with a layer of Mozzarella Cheese (lightly). Add the Tomato slices on top of the cheese. Drizzle with olive oil (I used my left over marinade).
3. Bake in a pre-heated 500F oven for 8-10 minutes (I cooked it for 4 minutes, then added my basil slices and put it back in the oven for another 4 minutes) on a pizza stone or pizza pan (stone is better, but I didn't have either so I used a large cookie sheet). Cook until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
4. Remove from oven, top with Parmesan Cheese and Basil. Let cool on wire rack for 2-3 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Be Still My Heart: President Obama on The Daily Show

My wisest friend once said to me, "Jess, politics is your porn." He's never been more right about anything. I also think Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are two of the funniest and smartest guys on television. What makes them funny is that they speak the truth, because they're comedians they get away with saying things most journalists can't, and in order to fully appreciate them you need to be familiar with what's going on in the world. So their shows are funny and smart; the perfect aphrodisiac.

So imagine how thrilling it was to watch Jon Stewart interview President Obama last night. I'd been waiting for those 30 minutes all day.

In case you missed it, sit tight for 22 minutes (you don't have to suffer through commercials) and be prepared to laugh and see the President grilled harder than most of the MSM grills him.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 2
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 3
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Let's Keep the President Waiting
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Favorites: Favorite Concerts

I love music. I listen to music in the shower in the morning. I am addicted to Pandora and my iPod. I listen to music in the car. And I sing LOUDLY, when I'm alone. Music truly speaks to my soul.

One of my favorite things to do is hear live music, so for today's Friday Favorites, I'm sharing my favorite concerts.

1. Prince's "Musicology Tour" in the summer of 2004. I remember walking in with my friend, just as Prince took the stage, arriving at our seats, and turning to my friend saying "I dated the guy sitting next to us in college. I'm SURE that's him and his wife. I haven't seen him since college." She spent the whole night staring at them, while I tried not to look again. A few years later, I learned it wasn't him. But I digress. What made this concert such a memorable one was the 18 song acoustic guitar set that Prince did alone on stage, just him and his guitar. It started with Little Red Corvette and ended with Purple Rain. Wow.

2. Bon Jovi in 1987 and then again in 2008. In 1987, they played the Rosemont Horizon and we had 12th row. In 2008, I sat in the nosebleed seats at the United Center. Both amazing nights with no hint that Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora had aged at all during those 21 years.

3. Rick Springfield in the fall of 1984 at Poplar Creek. This was the first concert I attended without my parents and I remember singing and dancing to him all night. As I've said before, I learned about lust from Rick Springfield in 1984 and then gave me refresher courses in 2007 and 2008.

4. Brooks & Dunn's Neon Circus Tour in 2001 and 2002. If you want a Southern Rockin' good time, you must see Brooks and Dunn's Neon Circus Tour. Unfortunately, they just broke up, but I got lucky enough to see this tour twice. Both nights, I went home with a very sore throat from singing at the top of my lungs. Boot scootin' fun at its finest.

5. Jimmy Buffett. I've seen Jimmy Buffett so many times I've lost count. I started seeing him as a kid with my mom and kept seeing him well into adulthood on my own with friends. I've celebrated quite a few birthdays at Buffett concerts and consider myself a Parrothead through to my core.

6. Handel's Messiah in the National Cathedral in 1993 and 1994. The first two years I lived in Washington, D.C., I made it my business to get tickets to Handel's Messiah at the National Cathedral. You have not heard it done until you've heard it done there.

What are your favorite concerts?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Open Letter to Ginni Thomas

Dear Ginni,

May I call you Ginni? I feel like we're girlfriends and we need to chat the way girlfriends chat.

I heard about that unfortunate voice mail you left for Anita Hill at 7:30 on Saturday morning, asking that she apologize to your hubby, Clarence Thomas, for what she did to him almost 20 years ago, and it left me scratching my head. Did Clarence pour your Appletini's a little too strong on Friday nite? Was it a drunk dial by chance?

Look, I get it. Really I do. Women like us, we don't like some woman humiliating our man in public. That's our job, right? And Ms. Hill let the entire world know about your hubby's little sexual proclivities. Whether she was into his fetishes or not, she should have followed the Woman Code and just kept her yap shut, right? I mean, if you want to publicly demean and degrade him, well, that's your right, but for some other woman to come out of the woodwork and air his dirty laundry, well, that's just wrong. Wrong. So, I get it. And I get why you're still walking around with this grudge 20 years later.

Ya, except no, I don't. I don't get it. In fact, I don't get it at all. I think you just sold out all of your women sisters.

When I heard your pathetic message to Ms. Hill, all I could think was "here we go again, blaming the victim." Ms. Hill, whether you believe her testimony or not, was a victim of sexual harassment. Your husband made unwanted sexual comments and innuendos to her in the workplace. He told vile jokes. He made lewd gestures and suggestions. And you just wanted her to swallow hard and keep it all to herself, because at the end of the day, she wanted it all, right?

Have you stopped to think about young women who watched those hearings in 1991, having been victims of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment themselves, and saw a woman of great strength muster all the courage in the world to face her fears and speak her truth? For a few minutes, they may have been inspired to come out of the closet and tell someone what they had been a victim of. And then just seconds later, they saw Anita Hill being raked over the coals by Senators during questioning and in the media as everyone searched for ways to blame her for your husband's infantile behavior. Surely, Ms. Hill must have encouraged him or been a willing participant, right? What woman doesn't love it when a man hands her a can of soda with pubic hair on it?

I can only imagine that watching what Ms. Hill went through almost 20 years ago in the press, many young women learned the lesson that they would be forever better off swallowing their pain and keeping their mouths shut, lest they too get assaulted again by the "blame the victim" mentality in our society.

Your voice mail message probably opened many old wounds for women who've gone through twenty years of self-loathing and blaming themselves in an effort to avoid the pain of public scrutiny. And quite probably, your message, and the press it's gotten in the last 48 hours, has taught a new generation of women that they must keep their mouths shut because at the end of the day, everyone will think they did something to deserve it and by stepping forward, they are ruining the lives of the men who hurt them.

That's some pretty messed up thinking that women need to protect men who hurt them, but from my listening of the message you left for Anita Hill, I gather that's what you believe.

Ginni, I believe you owe women everywhere an apology. October in National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and rather than encouraging women to hide in the shadows and carry the secrets of men who abuse them by harassing them in the workplace, assaulting them in the dorm, or beating them behind closed doors and "blaming the victim," you owe it to your gender to stand up and encourage all women to speak their truth.

So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. Okay. Have a good day.

Little Merry Sunshine

Monday, October 18, 2010

Science is Fun!

I love this story I read on the Huffington Post yesterday. I love that the ingenuity of this dad. I love that rather than just taking his son to a science museum or watching science shows (both of which are really good things), this dad made science real AND fun for his son through their joint experiential learning. In turning an iPhone into a space craft, the dad taught his son how to think outside the box and find answers to questions himself rather than just relying on someone else's answer.

Make sure to watch the video. It's pretty incredible and you probably haven't seen the Earth from this perspective before.

Father and Son Send iPhone Into Space And Record Incredible Video
Hunter Stuart, The Huffington Post, October 16, 2010

A father and son from Brooklyn, New York sent an iPhone into the stratosphere a few weeks ago to record a video of the earth's curvature.

The two spent eight months researching and testing their homemade craft, which was made of a weather balloon and a styrofoam case for the iPhone, before launching in Newburgh, NY.

The phone apparently braved winds of 100 miles-per-hour and temperatures as cold as 60 below zero (the iPhone was smartly packed with hand warmers).

The recorded video shows the phone reaching a height of 100,000 feet before the balloon burst, plummeting the contraption back to earth, where it landed 30 miles from the launch point, in a tree, where the father and son found it in the dark because of the iPhone's LED light.

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

National Character Counts Week

My friend Debbie recently reminded me and all the members of the Random Acts of Kindness Club that this week is National Character Counts Week and will be capped off by Make A Difference Day this Saturday, October 23rd.

Debbie encouraged everyone to focus on the traits that make up character by thinking about what each of these traits means not only to us, but the entire world as well, and also demonstrating them.
Monday: Responsibility - "Responsibility finds a way. Irresponsibility makes excuses!" - Educator Gene Bedley

Tuesday: Citizenship - "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Anthropologist Margaret Mead

Wednesday: Respect - "Let everyone be respected as an individual." - Nobel Prize Winner Albert Einstein

Thursday: Caring - "Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Author Leo Buscalia

Friday: Fairness - "Live so that when your children think of fairness, they think of you." - H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Saturday: Trustworthiness - "Whatever you are, be a good one." - Honest Abe
Debbie continues:
Do something kind for another person, an animal or our planet on National Make A Difference Day on Saturday, October 23. You may want to donate to the food and pet food drive at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library ... you could help a person you know who is sick or in need of help or could otherwise use some cheering up ... pick up liter at the park ... or extend a random act of kindess to a stranger ... the possibilities are endless.

The point is, please take the time to celebrate kindness, character and making a difference in our world. For more information, visit and (really cool stuff like e-cards to forward on or make-your-own billboards!) -- two organizations that inspired the founding of this club by kids at Patton Elementary School.

If you have children or grandchildren, this is my editorial soapbox message: please make a special point this week to talk with the kids about what character is and what it means to you and your family. This is not something they generally learn in school. Rather than through osmosis, the best place kids can learn about character is from their family, explaining each trait -- and of course leading by example!
I challenge each of my readers to do what you can this week to celebrate character. What will you do to make the world just a little better this week? Please leave a comment sharing your ideas.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lake Forest College Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2010

Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2010 is now just a memory. Frankly, after many months of planning and working with all the wonderful reunion committees, it's a little hard to believe it's over. There's a part of me that thinks last weekend flew by and wishes it could have been just one more day, but the sane part of me knows I may not have lived through a third day. I had more fun at Homecoming than I can remember having in ages and only got about 4 hours of sleep each Friday and Saturday night. I'm not saying I'm too old to get 8 hours of sleep in 48 hours, but I'm just saying.

The weekend was full of so many incredible memories. Friendships rekindled as though there had been no separation in time. New friendships made. The opportunity to thank professors who changed my life. The chance to set the record straight on how I ended up at LFC. Although the final numbers aren't in, I can share that across the board, the weekend was record breaking. And by filling the weekend with perfect fall days full of sunshine, warm temperatures, and rustling leaves, Mother Nature reminded everyone why we called it The Enchanted Forest. A perfect weekend.

I can't begin to give you all the details of the weekend. Partly because I don't remember them all, but also because I think that what happens in the Enchanted Forest, really ought to stay in the Enchanted Forest.

But thanks to Twitter, I can give you the weekend in 140 characters or less from many of the major players. We all tagged our tweets "#lfhc2010," which stood for "Lake Forest Homecoming 2010." Anyone on Twitter could have followed the fun live by doing a search for that hashtag. I've included the pictures I took, but to see the rest, click on the hyperlinks.
Tuesday & Wednesday, October 5th & 6th
Follow @ and use hash tag #LFhc2010 for Homecoming and Reunion updates. We are only days away. Oct. 5th
TimState: The forecast for Saturday now has a daytime high of 74 degrees. Perfect Homecoming weather. #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
LFCollege: For Homecoming weekend tweets, use the hashtag #LFhc2010 and tag your Flickr photos, too! Oct. 6th
TimState: Students must remove their vehicles from the South Campus parking lot by 7 a.m. Friday to make way for Homecoming. #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
CarolynGolz: Homecoming window painting! #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
TimState: Homecoming Pass production has begun. #LFhc2010 . Oct. 6th
Jessica_Gardner: Forester Friends: There's still time to register for Homecoming! Weather will be perfect! #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
TimState: Nothing says welcome quite like a banner. #LFhc2010 . Oct. 6th
CarolynGolz: RT @: Nothing says welcome quite like a banner.#LFhc2010 -> Great picture! Oct. 6th
RileyHutchinson: The best week of the year at @ is here and I could not be more excited! Join us at 8:30pm for fireworks on South Campus! #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
CarolynGolz: RT @: The bst wk of year at @ is here & I couldnt B more excited! Join us @ 8:30p 4 firewrks on S. Campus! #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
Jessica_Gardner: I just realized that my dance card is so full this weekend I may not sleep. Sleep is overrated, but you can't have too much fun! #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
TimState: Working on the script for Marsha Anderson '68 for Saturday's nearly-sold-out reunion dinner and dance. #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
TimState: Just got off the phone with an alum asking for fashion advice. #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
TimState: Forecast high for Friday and Saturday is now 77 degrees. We are ready with bottled water. #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th
TimState: Just sent an e-peptalk to our Alumni Board Homecoming Volunteers. Homecoming would not happen without our volunteers. Seriously. #LFhc2010 Oct. 6th

Thursday, October 7th
TimState: Homecoming forecast keeps getting better. Friday's high is now 78 and Saturday's is 80! #LFhc2010
TheCaf: The fireworks last night were great, well done to Pat Dogett. Preparing for the tailgate on Saturday! #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Just bought a pair of Dr. Scholl's Fast Flats. I hope they really do save my feet on Sat nite when I decide to kick off my heels. #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: I love that our 2010 Reunions Committees are so committed to LFC & that their classmates are so generous! #lfhc2010
TimState: Many Class Reunions have created giving efforts. #LFhc2010
TimState: Alumni are already arriving on campus and looking around. Haven't felt this kind of buzz since the Sesquicentennial. #LFhc2010
LFCollege: Yay! @ Alumni are already arriving on campus & looking around. Haven't felt this kind of buzz since the Sesquicentennial. #LFhc2010
GracieSchlaf: Soo excited for this weekend #LFhc2010 followed by Chicago Marathon... we'll just see how this goes!
TimState: Getting things in place for Boomer's Bash. #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: So excited to see many Forester friends this weekend and meet the awesome Reunion Volunteers in person! #LFhc2010
JaredMFox: On my way to Chicago for Lake Forest Homecoming. So excited. #LFhc2010
TheCaf: Saw @ today she embraced the homecoming excitement #lfhc2010
Louise_Barclay: super bummed about missing #lfhc2010! Wish I could be there with everyone to celebrate. @, make sure you have a beverage for me!
CarolynGolz: @ It looked like the auto show was off 2 a good start when I left campus tonight! Great job on #lfhc2010 so far! Bonfire tmw!
CarolynGolz: @ Thanks for following! Will I see you on campus this weekend at #lfhc2010?!
CarolynGolz: RT @: . The fireworks last night were great, well done to Pat Dogett. Preparing for tailgate on Sat! #lfhc2010 - Yay! New tradition?!
JaredMFox: Bumped into Olivia Olson '10 in the airport. Now I know there are three alums in New Orleans. Let the festivities begin. #lfhc2010
JaredMFox: Correction! Virginia Olson '10! #LFhc2010
RileyHutchinson: @ Thank you! The auto show went wonderfully tonight! Loving #lfhc2010 so much. See you this weekend :)

Friday, October 8th
TimState: Homecoming fun for alumni and parents starts at 9:30 with the Bob Amaden Golf Classic in Lake Bluff. Perfect day for golf! #LFhc2010
TerynJRobinson: Happy Homecoming, Lake Forest College! #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: It's HERE! Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2010 is HERE! Can't wait to see all my Forester friends! #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Special #lfhc2010 : @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @
CarolynGolz: More #lfhc2010 : @ @ @ @
Jessica_Gardner: Special #lfhc2010 : @ @ @ @ @ @
Jessica_Gardner: En route to Lake Forest. Hope I remembered everything I need. If not they've got Marshall Field's in Market Square. Oh crap. No they don't.
JaredMFox: En route to Lake Forest. So excited. I, somehow, missed this ride to and from my 4 year home. #LFhc2010
RileyHutchinson: IT'S HERE. #lfhc2010
JaredMFox: @ is it #lfhc2010 or lfchc2010. I have seen two conflicting hash tags.
TimState: Dean Speros:"Mother Nature heard all of your prayers.Perfect weather, without reaching the much-too-hot 87 degrees for HC in '07." #lfhc2010
TimState: Lake Forest Twitterers... the hash tag for HC 2010 is #LFhc2010, short for "Lake Forest Homecoming 2010."
TimState: Don't miss the Taste of Chicago Lunch in Hart Dinning Hall beginning at 10:45 a.m. #LFhc2010
TimState: Fascinating topics this afternoon at the Forester Symposium! Check out the schedule. #LFhc2010
LFCollege: @ it's #lfhc2010 Thanks for following along!
TheHallDirector: I'm excited about the tasty Taste of Chicago lunch today on campus as well as some exciting symposium presentations! #lfhc2010
TimState: Daniel hangs the Welcome banner. #lfhc2010
LFCResLife: Hey residential Foresters! Do you know about all the fun Homecoming events this weekend? Check the schedule: #lfhc2010
TimState: Boomer's Bubbles are ready for the kids tomorrow. #LFhc2010
TheHallDirector: @ yummm yummm. Boomer goes Raaawwwrrr nom nom nom! #lfhc2010
CarolynGolz: RT @: Hey Foresters! Do you know about the fun Homecoming events this wknd? Check the schedule: #lfhc2010
CarolynGolz: Heading out to grab lunch and a seat at Soup and Stories. #LFhc2010
TimState: Overheard at the Taste of Chicago lunch: "This is the best lunch so far!" #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: LFC alum & member of BoT, Tamara Smith tells her story at Soup & Stories. #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: RT @CarolynGolz LFC alum & member of BoT, Tamara Smith tells her story at Soup & Stories. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: "When one door closes, another one usu opens. Are you prepared for life's challenges?" T Smith. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: "We all make choices, the question is what's your attitude abt that choice? Are u motivated 2 make it work?" T Smith #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: "Life is about relationships." Tamara Smith, Soup and Stories. #lfhc2010
CarolynGolz: Life is about creating opportunities for the future. Focus on continually learning. T Smith. Soup & Stories #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Lessons abt creating opportunity: step outside your comfort zone, build relationships, work your network. T Smith #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: When job searching: research, first impressions, hard work are all important. T Smith. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: T Smith left Corp America to become CEO of YWCA to leave this Earth in a better place, and live her purpose & values. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Happiness comes in little moments. Take the time to appreciate those moments. T Smith #LFhc2010
TimState: Homecoming Scene: relaxing under a tree. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: doesn't matter whether u winORlose, it's how you play the game. Even when u lose, you learn something. -quick pregame talk to WBB. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: The glass ceiling is there the barriers are there. Attitude can make a HUGE difference. Learned to play golf 2 B included. T Smith #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Mentors & relationships can help navigate challenges. -TS #LFhc2010
LFCollege: @ Sounds like the Soup & Stories with Tamera Smith '80 has got everyone bursting with words of wisdom to share! #lfhc2010
WPittinos: Biodiversity and agriculture symposium presentation: who knew this course has no assigned classroom? Liberal arts at its best. #lfhc2010
CarolynGolz: @ Soup & Stories was a great session! The room was packed. #LFhc2010
TimState: The campus looks gorgeous today. #LFhc2010
TimState: Installing the ice sculpture for tonight's Boomer's Bash. Students are invited, too! #LFhc2010
TheHallDirector: Great presentation on the last decade of development at LFC by Art Miller #lfhc2010
CarolynGolz: @ Hopefully you'll find time to step away from hmwk and enjoy some HC celebrations. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: RT @: Installing ice sculpture for tonight's Boomer's Bash. Students are invited, too! #LFhc2010 -> C u there!
AlexReplied: @ will alumni be turned away from tailgating tomorrow if they haven't registered? #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: 2 alums debate 2 students: "Sarah Palin is good for feminism". #LFhc2010
WPittinos: @ making people laugh and cry during her presentation about Wrigley bleachers and community - remembering Ken and Les. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: The women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are good for feminism. Sarah Palin is NOT good for feminism. -alum debater #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Sarah Palin acknow. that her view of fem doesn't fit in the small box that most fem put themselves in. -Student debater in favor #LFhc2010
WPittinos: @ says it's an unwritten rule in the bleachers that talk about work is forbidden. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Boomers Bash set up - amazing how nice the gym looks! Round bar for all campus Happy Hour. #LFhc2010
WPittinos: "The bleachers are like your dog park." @ #LFhc2010
TimState: Alumni tailgate spots are full and any vehicle without a tailgate pass will be redirected; alumni are welcome to walk in. #LFhc2010
TimState: The cinnamon bear waits his fate as the Forestini is prepared. #LFhc2010
TimState: Cheryl and Laura are ready to greet donors #LFhc2010
TimState: In case there was any question at all, Class of 1968 is on campus. #LFhc2010
esLakeForest: Glenn and Liz gave a presentation about the garden at the homecoming symposium today. Thanks to all who attended! #LFhc2010
TimState: Overheard at Boomer's Bash: "This is stunning!" #LFhc2010
TimState: Carolyn and Colin wrist-banding students for Boomer's Bash. #LFhc2010
Mariob847: Happy hour! Starting #lfhc2010 off right
TheCaf: Wild lunch at the caf today...homecoming spirit is in the air!!! #lfhc2010
Louise_Barclay: Love it. Take one "driving a car" RT @: My goal for #lfhc2010 is to post risqué pictures that gets @ to block me. Can I do it?
TimState: For a brief moment, the champagne was missing. #LFhc2010
TheHallDirector: I love how nice everything looks! I'd like this for my office! #lfhc2010
TimState: About to transition to the Recreation & Sports Center Donor Dinner. #LFhc2010
JaredMFox: Saw so many amazing people today. Thanks to Public Safety Officer Cohen for the ride to the train. #LFhc2010
JaredMFox: They put my picture in the new sports center! #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Setting up for Ellis & Katie Todd to perform at the bonfire. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Ellis doing sound check. #LFhc2010 cc: @
CarolynGolz: Katie Todd doing sound check. Her dad is an alum of @! #LFhc2010 cc: @
Mariob847: Touring alumni reunions with the senior 25. Just hit 1960, now we're at 1968-70. #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: On to party #2 of 6 for the nite.
WPittinos: Class of 1990 reminiscing about living in pre-remodeled Deerpath Hall - awesome stories. #lfhc2010
CarolynGolz: @ What? No pic? ;) #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: @ It sounds like you just need ID to get into tailgating. You can also register on site tomorrow. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: LFFD lighting the bonfire! #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: Burn baby burn! #LFhc2010
WPittinos: Spike's catching up with friends at the 1985 reunion in Durand Art Institute. #lfhc2010
Mariob847: #LFhc2010 I spy President Schutt at the Class of 1980 reunion!
TheHallDirector: Homecoming bonfire! #lfhc2010
TheHallDirector: We totally just talked to @ about how the weather was like the chocolate crunchy on ice cream! Yum! #lfhc2010
TheHallDirector: .@ performing at LFC! #lfhc2010
TerynJ: Tim finally takes a seat after a long day at work. #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Best part of 1990 reunion? Tuna salad croissants from Aramark! If you were here in 1990, you recall the Tuna Croissant Incident. #lfhc2010
TimState: The Donor Dinner was a smash hit! #LFhc2010
TimState: Boomer's Fruit spread. #LFhc2010
TimState: The students threw an awesome bonfire. #LFhc2010
Mariob847: #LFhc2010 this poor parking lot... Good luck tomorrow mr. Lot
TimState: 1968 rocks on into the night. #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Ending the night at The Full Moon. Is there a better way? Jessica_Gardner: At The Full Moon with Christopher. So many memories: late nite study sessions, @'s graduation party and more! #lfhc2010

Saturday, October 9th

TimState: @ You should have told me you were headed to the Full Moon!
TimState: @ @ Alumni can walk into tailgating today. Those without a Tailgate Pass can not enter with vehicles. #LFhc2010
TimState: Sunrise from Glen Rowan House. Perfect day for Homecoming. #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Funniest Friday moment: Alum I saw at Boomer's Bash says to me, "I heard your hubby & baby are here! I want to meet them." Me too. Me too.
TheCaf: Already received 6 text message saying "merry Christmas" #lfhc2010
RileyHutchinson: It's a great day to be a Forester. Happy happy Homecoming! #lfhc2010
Louise_Barclay: Wish I was going to be at #lfhc2010 today. Hope you all have lots of fun :) #misscollege
TimState: Setting out the spread for the Breakfast of Champions. #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: I thought about doing the stairs at the beach. #lfhc2010
TimState: Getting the chips ready for the Forester Fare picnic lunch. #LFhc2010
TimState: The kitchen is preparing for tonight's Reunion Dinner and Dance. #LFhc2010
TimState: Making the magic happen. #LFhc2010
TimState: Ta-Da! Tonight's Centerpieces... #LFhc2010
TimState: Caitlyn Golz, the marshal of parade line-up. #LFhc2010
What's a trip to LFC without a trip to the beach???? #lfhc2010
TimState: Students are getting ready for the Parade. #LFhc2010
TimState: Grease is the WORD! #LFhc2010
TimState: Parade makeup. #LFhc2010
TimState: It's going to be close to 80 for today's Homecoming festivities. #LFhc2010
esLakeForest: Walking through the town square--yes!-- you can find homecoming spirit there. #LFhc2010
WPittinos: Football team just paraded through Middle Campus with bagpipes. #LFhc2010
Mariob847: #LFhc2010 parade marshal and just-retired hockey coach Tony Fritz chats it up with a few of his boys b4 the parade
Mariob847: #LFhc2010 Alpha Phi is almost too into their 101 Dalmations theme
Mariob847: #LFhc2010 look! The mail room float!
Jessica_Gardner: Look who's sporting some sexy red Chuck Taylor's! @! #lfhc2010
LFCollege: Homecoming parade is well on its way during this beautiful morning. #lfhc2010
TheHallDirector: Folks getting ready for the Homecoming parade in Middle Campus #lfhc2010
Mariob847: #LFhc2010 el desfile!
TimState: You try to organize a parade route and who knows which way it's going to go. #LFhc2010 #lostparadeagain
TheHallDirector: The parade emerges onto Middle Campus! #lfhc2010
TimState: Incredibles Parade! #LFhc2010
Fiolopez10: pup-phis :D :D :D #lfhc2010
LFCollege: Picnic Lunch begins in Middle Campus at the student center. #lfhc2010
TheHallDirector: Family carnival on Middle Campus #lfhc2010
TimState: Reunion dinner and Dance is sold out. #lfhc2010
JaredMFox: Vegetarians beware. The homecoming potato salad has bacon snuck in. :-( #lfhc2010
CarolynGolz: Who knew kid wrangling at the Family Carnival would be so difficult?! ;) #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Ladies of Class of 1980 reminiscing over Save the Date pics! #lfhc2010
JaredMFox: Tragic. #lfhc2010
TimState: And we're out of Jim Forester's fried chicken. #LFhc2010
TimState: The cheddar cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped hot dogs went in a flash! #LFhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: 2005 knows how to tailgate! #lfhc2010
TheHallDirector: The petting zoo is up! #lfhc2010
LFCollege: Couldn't have asked for a better day for Forester Football! #lfhc2010
LFCollege: Photo opps with Boomer. #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Retired President Eugene Hotchkiss and his famous bike! #lfhc2010
TimState: Score! Foresters get their first touchdown. #LFhc2010
CarolynGolz: RT @: Retired President Eugene Hotchkiss & his famous bike! #lfhc2010 - a man after my own heart.
LFCollege: Show us your Boomer tattoo! #lfhc2010
KayKayCrook: Sun is shining in the sky, there ain't a cloud in sight. Beautiful day for #lfhc2010. Sad I'm missing out! Have fun, foresters!
TimState: #lfhc2010 will football go into overtime?
CarolynGolz: @ So close! Sounds like it was a great game. #LFhc2010
CarolnGolz: RT “@ForesterScores: Forester football falls 33-27 to Beloit College in overtime.” -> So close! Great job, guys! #LFhc2010
JaredMFox: A real princess. #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Can you believe THIS is Szabo????? #lfhc2010
Jessica_Gardner: Best LFC Homecoming & Reunion Weekend EVER. Thanks @, Suzanne Nyren, Dolores Lotysz, and ALL Reunion Volunteers! #lfhc2010
TimState: The lead singer for the band at the reunion dance has Sonny Bono hair and a porn-stache. HOT! #LFhc2010
TheHallDirector: Popped collar and black frame glasses all the way back to the future at the Homcoming Dance! #lfhc2010

Sunday, October 10th
TheHallDirector: Rick Cohen takes the drums! #lfhc2010
TimState: Homecoming Weekend comes to a rocking close! #LFhc2010
Mariob847: #lfhc2010 and my homecoming ends in proper fashion.
Jessica_Gardner: The bags under my eyes today need their own zipcode, but they are so worth it given all the fun I had at Homecoming! #lfhc2010
So that was the weekend. I hope you enjoyed the recap!

For the official Lake Forest College Homecoming pictures on Flickr, click here. The Class of 1980 also has pictures on Flickr.

Thanks to everyone who made the weekend spectacular - faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents! You each made it perfect!

And remember, Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2011 is right around the corner on September 30th & October 1st, 2011!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Little Merry Sunshine Will Return Shortly

You may have noticed that things have been awfully quiet on Little Merry Sunshine since last Tuesday. Honestly, this wasn't on purpose. Let's suffice it to say that it was a crazy week. I have a lot to tell you about all that's happened and I will. Just as soon as I'm legally allowed to share it and once I recover from the craziness of Lake Forest College Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2010. Probably later today or tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, go read the talentless hacks (it's how they describe themselves or at least how Milo describes them) at The Third City. They actually quoted me accurately this morning. I'm surprised. And I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard before 8am.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Dave!

Today is my brother Dave's birthday. I would tell you how old he is, but then you'd have a clue about my real age and I'm happy to have you believe I'm 29.

I'm so incredibly grateful that Dave is my brother and although I was, at one point, inclined to trade him in for a better model (cut me some slack, I was 4 when I attempted this), I've decided he's a keeper.

When I was in college, Dave built me a loft that was not only strong enough to survive an earthquake, but was one that I would not roll out of because it was considerably wider than the mattress so if I started to roll out (it happened), I would hit the platform first.

For my twenty-first birthday, Dave made me a silver pendant of two people connected and standing next to each other. At first, I thought it was a lovely pendant and was touched that he'd given me a piece of his artwork, but then I discovered that he specifically made this piece for me and wrote a paper about it for his English class. According to his paper, the two people represented us and the bond we share; the way we always took care of each other and the role played in each others lives. I sobbed like a baby when I read these words that, as a 17 year old high school kid, he could not say out loud.

To this day, Dave always carves out a couple of days in the fall to help me get the house ready for winter and whenever he's in town, he generously offers to fix anything I need done. He even gave me a new water heater for my birthday this year. Really. No one else should think that's a good gift to give me, but from Dave, it's perfect. When my neighbor's tree fell on my backyard fence and shed a few years ago in an awful storm, Dave put aside his own plans to move to Michigan and spent an entire day taking down the tree when they refused to do it. He did it so carefully that nothing was damaged and it saved me a ton of money.

Dave motivates me to be better by challenging me to hike Baldy and keep going when I think I won't make it, kayak, and swim to BooHoo. Rather than ever berating me for being slow or needing a break, he shows the patience of Job and always makes me feel great about my accomplishments. No one believes in me and pushes me to step outside my comfort zone the way Dave does.

So go over to Facebook and wish David W. Gardner a very happy birthday. No one deserves a great day like Dave!

What I Want for Christmas . . .

Ya, I know that Christmas is more than two months away, but these are gonna be some red hot items thanks to Stephen Colbert last night. I'm certain the Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids, the "Christine O'Donnell Rainy Day Book of Masturbation Alternatives" (She's not a witch, by the way. On a tangent, does her statement "I'm not a witch" remind anyone else of another famous "I am not" statement - maybe "I am not a crook" by Richard Nixon? I'm just saying.), and "Down on the Farm with Carl Paladino" will sell out quickly and definitely be the hottest kids toys this year. Every child needs to learn that story about the woman and the horse. Educational AND fun!

In case you missed it, watch Stephen's Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger segment below and see for yourself (watch the first 1:50 of the video and you'll see what I mean).

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tip/Wag - Tea Party Coloring Book & CALM Legislation
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's the End of An Era

1995 Honda Civic EX. That's not mine, but looks like what mine used to look like. Oh, and mine isn't black. It's teal.

If you know me, you know I'm not so into stuff. I'm not into designer fashions; I like clothes, but don't care who made them. I don't have to have the latest techie gadget; my iPod is probably 6 years old and my cell phone doesn't have all the bells and whistles most of my friends' phones have.

And I have never cared that the car I drive is 15 years old. Actually, it's 16 years old, based on the fact that it hit the road in October 1994. I love my 1995 Honda Civic EX. I don't care that it looks like it's falling apart and hasn't aged gracefully. Many wonderful things in life age less gracefully than we'd want. If you look under the hood, you'll see that it's beautiful, runs like a dream and gets 30 mpg or more.

I've loved this car since the moment I bought it used in February 1997. It's a 5-speed and has been a blast to drive. Whether I was driving through the Shenandoah Valley outside Washington DC, the gridlock of Chicago, or M-22 in Northern Michigan, my Honda Civic hugged curves and had the power to easily traverse the hills and mountains. For the most part, my Honda has been pretty inexpensive to maintain. I figured out that between car payments and maintenance, the car has cost me about $1700 annually. Considering it's got 133,000 miles on it, I think that's pretty reasonable.

My Honda took me back and forth between DC and Chicago a few times. In fact, the 5-speed may be partly responsible for keeping me awake when I drove moved to Chicago in May 2000 while in the midst of having mono. We journeyed to Florida once, Watervale many times, and a gazillion trips around the DC Beltway and throughout the Chicago region. It's even still got my 2000 Alexandria City sticker in the center of the front windshield. I just couldn't ever take it off. Until today.

But now it's time to say good bye to my Honda. Tomorrow at 10am I'm getting a new car. I'm superstitious and won't give you any details about my new car yet. I'll just say that I'm very excited about it. Among other things today I'll take my Honda out for one more drive, clean it out and then send it with good energy to its new owner.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Courage Does Not Always Roar

I received the poem below, written by Paula Fox, for the book Courage Does Not Always Roar, in my inbox this morning from Simple Truths. It was my dose of daily inspiration. What I love about my daily inspiration emails is that they are always exactly on the topic I need at that moment. I'm not sure how that happens, but it does.

It got me to thinking about courage and all the courageous women I know. It's not easy being courageous. In fact, some days, the most courageous action is just agreeing to try again tomorrow, even in the face of overwhelming odds, fear and complete despair.

Little Merry Sunshine is dedicated to women of courage today.

When life gets you down and the problems you face
are certainly more than your share...
When you run out of strength and you want to give up
because it's just too much to bear...

I want to remind you, my precious friend,
that you have what it takes inside...
extraordinary courage that may not ROAR
but it doesn't cower and hide

It's the quiet voice inside you that says,
"Tomorrow I'll try again."
It's the courage to keep on going...
to see things through to the end

You are not defined by this moment in time.
You are not what has happened to you
It's the way you choose to respond that matters
and what you decide to do

Courage is not the absence of fear,
but a powerful choice we make...
the choice to move forward with PURPOSE
...regardless of what it takes

It's the courage that's found in ordinary women
who are HEROES in their own way,
exhibiting strength and fortitude
in life's challenges every day...

Valiant woman of exceptional courage
with enduring power to cope...
taking each problem one day at a time
and never giving up HOPE.

We're encouraged by the faith of others
to survive and overcome,
with the courage to say, "I may be down...
but the battle is not done!"

For the WOMAN of COURAGE is a winner...
regardless of what she loses
She displays amazing beauty and strength
with the attitude she chooses

She gives herself the permission she needs...
to feel disappointed or sad.
But then she empowers herself with faith...
to focus on good things...not bad

Her story is one of gentle strength
reminding us all once more...
Steel is sometimes covered in velvet
COURAGE doesn't always roar

By Paula Fox for Courage Does Not Always Roar by Bobi Seredich