Friday, October 31, 2008

See you in Chaaahles-ton, sweetie!

Last weekend I went down to Charleston, South Carolina to visit my friends Jen and Dave with my other friends from College, Mo and Jenna.

Dave, Mo, Jenna (with her beignets) and Jen Hen

When we arrived on Friday, it was Jennifer's birthday. Her lovely husband got her this lovely sheet cake (LOVE sheet cake!) from Publix, the grocery store that is Jen's current South Carolina obsession! (Dave's is the Piggly Wiggly, to which he refers with great affection as simply "The Pig.")

Jen blows out the candles
On Saturday we caught up more (NO shortage of conversation in this crowd!) and then headed downtown.

King Street

The College of Charleston, where Dave teaches

Some wares at The Market .... WOW.

Dave, Aunt Crazy, Mo, Jennifer and Jenna getting recharged at a a local pub downtown (I knitted the hat Jenna is wearing, and she wore it ALL DAY, bless her heart!)

A wedding at a house in the Historic district "South of Broad"

How often can you catch the Horse and buggy tour rounding the corner at the same time as a classic car like this one? And the tires match the house! Love it.

Aunt Crazy: "I'll be right with you... just as soon as I finish this pie."
(Down-home Pecan Pie ala Jen Hen)

Mo, Jen and Jenna - ready for dinner
The See-Wee (which I kept calling "the seesaw")
Love it!

Our host and hostess.... and Sugar Daddies, as it turns out! They treated!
The food was phenomenal! And everything was a platter! That's my kind of dinner.

Outdoor restrooms
Local Color

When we got home, we went casual. This is Jen getting into Facebook.
Sunday brunch at - where else? - The Hominy Grill

Jenna and her Grits

Dave, before his "Big Nasty" arrived. No, I'm not being dirty; that was the name of the dish he ordered.

Dave had to go to work (BUMMER) but we girls headed to the Beach on Sullivan's Island. This picture is for my brother Bill, who believes wholeheartedly that Metal Detector Man is the LOWEST form of man in existance today. (You should get Bill started on this, seriously ... it's hilarious. Also ask him about glutin allergies.)

The sand was so hard, some people were riding bikes. It was a gorgeous day, so we took a long walk and entered into some deep conversation.

We laughed at this ... HARD. Jenna found - count them! - FIVE bags of chips in Jen's pantry! Each one had about 4 chips in the bottom. What happened here???? We had a Potato Chip / Tostito Intervention and made her toss them out. Not before Jenna ate the remains of a couple of bags, which she insisted weren't stale. If you say so!!

On Sunday before Jenna and Mo headed out, we Skyped with Padma, who couldn't come down. Pretty funny how girls weekends can be over the Internet nowadays!

Happy Halloween, everyone!!
Aunt Crazy

Friday, October 24, 2008

Strange Days

I have seen 5 really strange things in the last 48 hours that I'd like to think can only happen in the heat of a US Election year.

1 - I had someone in my office tell me that my purchase of renewable energy is a total waste because global warming is a myth that is perpetuated by politically influenced biologists and geologists, who do not consult with climatologists, who know better.

2 - I saw the US National Debt increase by $700 billion in a single MONTH- the amount of our ENTIRE National Debt in 1977 -, and the Troubled Asset Relieve Program (TARP) has hardly gotten off the ground ...

3 - I have seen a crowd appear to agree that although Barack Obama uniformly doesn't like white people, he's still BFFs with Bill Ayers.

4 - I have seen a blog comment of a formerly undecided woman who will now vote for Obama even though he is "irritated about working with whites" because John McCain left his disfigured first wife for Cindy.

5 - I have watched newspeople and politicians actually ENGAGE in - thus giving credence to - the completely unproductive debate "What is Real/Pro America?", which resulted from a bad sound bite that should have just been left alone.

So ... here's a sincere, selfish offer from Aunt Crazy: I will give up my car (luxurious vehicle that it is!) RIGHT NOW - this minute - to anyone who can make the politicians and press corps stop discussing the following topics that I am personally tired of and do not believe will affect my vote:
1) Race, Gender, Religion or Physical Disabilities of the candidates
2) Plays on candidates' names (e.g. McSame, Obama Bin Ladin)
3) Keating Economics
4) Joe the Plumber
5) Candidate wardrobe budgets
6) Line items for a $3 million projector for a planetarium
7) Terrorists they previously worked with and lived down the street from
8) First marriages, particularly where the first wife fully supports the candidate for president.
9) % time a candidate voted with the majority of his political party
10) % times a candidate voted with George Bush

In the immortal words of Linda Richman, "I'll give you a topic. Discuss." ... except I have 10 topics:
1) Corporate and Individual tax policy
2) National Defense
3) International Development
4) Global and Domestic Economic Policy
5) Energy
6) Suggested individuals to hold cabinet positions
7) Suggested individuals to be nominated to the Supreme Court
8) Healthcare policies
9) Strategy to balance the budget
10) Social Security policy

Whaddya say?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get ready for BIG THINGS, Aunt Crazy!

You probably ALL saw this on Monday night and I'm SURE that for the tenth of a second that it was broadcast, my performance JUMPED out at you ... and you WANTED to call me, but you thought it might be too late, and by the time you remembered Tuesday morning, you just assumed I would be a huge star and that I'd forgotten you, the little people.

Well you're WRONG! I totally remember you! And here it is: my tenth of a second of fame.

Aunt Crazy's arms on One Tree Hill (right behind Nathan's head)

What? What's that you say? You're kicking yourself for missing it? Well good news! It wasn't the actual episode! It was just the PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK!

That's right - you didn't miss ANYTHING! So, Aunt Crazy Fan Club, watch One Tree Hill next Monday night, October 27th, at 9 PM (Eastern Time) on the CW network. When they have the Slamball game, check out the blue tank top behind the glass in the front row. That's me!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Andre and Aliya!

On Saturday I was invited to the 1st birthday party for my friend Sabrina's twins, Andre and Aliya. After another gruesome drive up 95, I arrived very late but with plenty of time to hang out with everyone. I had such a great time! It's hard to believe the difference between my visit 11 months ago and the birthday party this weekend.

Here are a few pictures...

Sabrina with Andre (left) and Aliya (right)

Andre (Dad), Sabrina (Mom) and the birthday twins



Aunt Crazy with Sabrina and Aliya

Everyone awaits the Happy Birthday song ...

After the song and the candles, Andre and Aliya sample the icing...
... which they didn't understand ...
... and, it turns out, they didn't like! It was so cute... they got into the ice cream part, though!
Showing off that post-cake sugar high
Aunt Crazy with two boys who LOVED to pose for the camera (I forgot their names, though!)

Sabrina with friends and family on the couch

Great-grandparents with birthday twins... Aliya only wanted Sabrina that day!!
Guests Charlotte and granddaughter
Kids pose on the bench
Kids pose on the stairs

Dear Mr. Kurtz (don't worry conservative friends, I feel this way about Keating Economics, too)

October 15, 2008

Dear Mr. Kurtz,

Thank you for your article "Wright 101: Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists who shared Rev. Wright's anti-Americanism." ( I found it very helpful for my personal Election research.

I have read and re-read it, but I can't find an example of where Obama participated directly in any of these controversial programs. I may be missing something, but it seems that this is a sort of "six degrees of separation" loop to Barack Obama. These are the major points I gathered (and confirmed with other research) from your article.

William Ayers co-chairs a partner "collaborative" of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. >>
Deborah Leff, Patricia Albjerg Graham, and William Ayers and two others choose the Board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation in 1995), including Barack Obama as Chairman. >>
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge gave $200,000 to the Coalition for Improved Education in [Chicago’s] South Shore (CIESS) in 1996. >>
The Coalition for Improved Education in [Chicago’s] South Shore (CIESS) participates in some sort of a "network" with the South Shore African Village Collaborative. >>
The South Shore African Village Collaborative advocates a curriculum that teaches about African culture, one part of which is some "rites of passage ceremonies", one part of which is "puberty rites" >>
"Rites of passage" is specifically mentioned on the Annenberg proposal. >>
Controversial Jacob Carruthers spoke at a Coalition for Improved Education in [Chicago’s] South Shore teacher conference one time. >>
Carruthers and others in Carruthers’ Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations were invited by Jeremiah Wright to speak at the Trinity United Church of Christ - where Barack Obama attended church - one time. >>
Asa Hilliard - who died on a trip to Kemet Egypt with Jeremiah Wright and others, after which Wright delivered Hilliard’s eulogy - was also invited by the South Shore African Village Collaborative to speak one time.

My conclusion:
It appears that Obama participated in programs which granted money to other programs which partially sponsored Afrocentric activities that appear controversial. He has attended extremely controversial church services, but never preached these controversial topics himself.

Am I supposed to conclude from this connection that Barack Obama, as President of the United States, will infuse the American school system with Afrocentric Rites of Passage curriculum? That he believes that whites are supremacists?

A neighbor of ours who believes that blacks are genetically inferior to whites, citing as evidence their inability to become economically successful over the years, was invited to my father's funeral in 2006 and to our house for a reception afterwards. I knew this about my neighbor and wholeheartedly agreed with my mother to invite him anyway. Am I racist?

Should Jeremiah Wright, Asa Hilliard, Louis Farrakhan, William Ayers, or Jacob Carruthers as President? Clearly not. Is there ANY EVIDENCE that Barack Obama thinks or leads like these folks? I don't think so. I haven't seen any, anyway.

Do you have any example of his direct participation in any of these extremist activities? I just don't understand how this connection makes Ayers and Obama the "radical political brothers" that people claim them to be. I see that Ayers is an unstable character who I would not want involved in my government, but I fail to see any evidence that Obama shares these views.

Thank you,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On Vacation with Sophie!

I had SUCH a fantastic week with Sophie! She arrived the afternoon of October 3rd, and I swept her away to the Hotel Monaco in DC. Not because I'm a rich, generous Yank who loves to spoil her overseas guests, but because Scott already had guests that weekend and instead of saying "buzz off, Kennedy", he called his friend Jorge who got us a free room! It was a super nice hotel, and it gave us a chance to shower before heading out.

Friday night at Central with Mark, Sophie, Chris, Aunt Crazy, Scott and Tripp

We met at Scott's house and headed to his friend John's for a cocktail party in a gorgeous condo that overlooked the park and the National Zoo. Then we went to dinner at Central, on Pennsylvania Ave., right across from where Scott and I used to work.

Sophie laughing at the animal print amenities at the Hotel Monaco

On Saturday morning, we met Liz at Eastern Market in DC for some buckwheat blueberry pancakes and shopping.

To give Soph a true taste of the good ol' USA, I took her to the Virginia State Fair on Saturday. This is Sophie and the blue-ribbon 1,0007 pound pumpkin. Wow.

Pig asleep in feed bowl.

Sophie and our first (and LAST) order of deep-fried Oreos.

Aunt Crazy and Sophie in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Aunt Crazy and Sophie at Gadino Cellars' wine tasting on Sunday afternoon.

Texting Rupert from Gadino before going to dinner at the Inn at Little Washington.

Sophie and Mom in Mom's new house in Cary.

Kyla at Lauren's school

Lauren and Mema

Kyla and Lauren on the porch with pumpkins

Sophie and Kyla in the swing

Playing with the girls on the swingset is becoming a tradition!

On Sunday, I had lunch with my cousins at The Silver Diner - Kim and twins Anna and Chrisopher

After lunch, I headed to Dearne's Bridal shower ... Meredith and Lori

The gang from the bridal shower.

More later!