31 October 2009

Bond, James Bond

Memminger Auditorium, Beaufain St., Charleston, S.C.

He’s suave. He’s well-dressed. He’s a ladykiller and the CSO tackles all the best-known Bond songs and their massive arrangements. Ever popular conductor Stuart Malina will stir and shake the program featuring our ‘Bond Girl’ Hillary Kole, guest vocalist. Expect Bond favorites From Russia With Love, For Your Eyes Only, Goldfinger, License To Kill and many more.

I've been dying to get inside the Memminger Auditorium since it was renovated and when I was offered some tickets to the James Bond themed performance of the Charleston Symphony tonight and I went with a couple of girlfriends. What fun!

These songs are all so familiar to me. When my kids were little we saw every new movie when it came out as well as sitting through every holiday weekend James Bond tv marathon. Neighboring kids joined in elaborate plays involving Jame Bond scenarios. My daughter made herself business cards with a hand gun graphic that said "Amber Bond. Sister of James".

Naturally every play ended with a nuclear explosion.

It was a grand performance!

30 October 2009

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Clearly a hospital pumpkin decorating contest! The surgical scene was titled a "P" Section rather than a C Section. Don't you love Octo-Mum Pumpkin?!

Saint Joan......heheh

Charleston, S.C.

Not bad, eh! Every year at this time I would say to myself, "hmmmm, I should be Joan of Arc," but it would be too late to do anything about it. Now I can check this off my list. Joan of Arc couldn't have gray hair of course so I got a cheapo little wig. As soon as I cover my hair no one knows who I am.

That is George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" in my pocket.

The chain mail weighed at least four pounds. I couldn't take it off without my hair looking like it was painted on my scalp so kept it on all day trying to do business and then just left a tad early and made it to an afternoon matinee at the Terrace after making candy rounds with the volunteers.

Back in a few minutes with pumpkin contest winners....

29 October 2009


Christophe Artisan Chocolatier, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

On the way to a recent wedding reception on the Isle of Palms I was abruptly chocolatenapped. I was kidnapped and fed artisan chocolates. Christophe Artisan Chocolatier was the perfect break for that awkward time between a wedding and a reception. So perfect they should make that part of their ad. "On the way to a reception? Stop here for emergency chocolate during the bridal party photo shoot!"

The scene looks very European doesn't it? They were speed talking in French but it didn't bother me at all since I was busy with a cuppa steaming tea and nibbling my tiny pumpkins.

I am off to my bed. I stopped in the wacky wonder that is Tuesday Morning when I was picking up Halloween candy at the new Harris Teeter on Savannah Highway and found a good deal on a set of 1,000 thread count sheets. I took a shower and am ready to slide into them. Heaven will have high thread count sheets. If I had a piece of chocolate left all would be perfect.

Doing The Charleston

Meeting St., Charleston, S.C.

Wonder about "The Charleston"?

This was the song of the 1920's it was a dance, a song, an idea, and also for many in the 1920's a way of life. The song seems to move us to the days of speakeasy's and the wild ride that became the roaring 20's.

28 October 2009

Off to bed smiling....

Charleston, S.C.

The news that Boeing chose North Charleston for its new Dreamliner assembly plant and will be bringing up to 4,000 new jobs here would have been good any day but in these economic times its pure gleeful. Happy days, kids! Jobs for everyone! I love it when there is hope for people who really want to work. Thanks to everyone involved for pulling this off.

Charleston Regional Business Journal Report

The Hardest Working Outdoor Caterer in Charleston

Charleston Outdoor Catering, Charleston, S.C.

Hold your hand up if you live in the Lowcountry and have never been at an event catered by the hardest working man in outdoor catering - Jamie Westendorf.

No one, right?

He does have a recent Facebook fan site but I can't tell that he even has a web site of his own. Probably doesn't need one. He is everywhere, at every oyster roast, lowcountry boil and pig picking working in background in the steam and heat under the oak trees.

They aren't exactly vegetarian events. He lays out the whole delicious pig, head and all. A few gals at the recent BBQ celebration he catered for our hospital had to turn their heads and let someone fill their plate for them.

Jamie won a Jefferson Award earlier this year and I snitched this piece from the Post & Courier's report:
Westendorff, owner of Charleston Outdoor Catering in West Ashley, has been giving to those in need for two decades. His business turns a small profit, he drives a broken-down truck and wears raggedy jeans. He jokes about being overdrawn at the bank. "All I do is donate, donate, donate. I find it's easier to bite the bullet than turn people down," he said.

He's known as the guy who cooks for the Lowcountry. Sometimes the food that Westendorff cooks is donated or discounted; he pays for it out of his pocket in many cases. He serves his popular Frogmore stew and tasty coleslaw at just as many charitable events as he does for profit.

His munificence sometimes strains his bank account, but that doesn't slow down his charity work. He has fed the multitudes at the American Lung Association's Camp Puff 'n Stuff to the tune of thousands of dollars out of his pocket.

Cooking for merely a couple of hundred people at weddings and social events pays the bills, but when he voluntarily feeds sometimes thousands at a time, be it kids with cancer or hurricane victims — that's what excites him. After Hurricane Hugo tore through the state in 1989, Westendorff set up his grills in Marion Square and fed about 20,000 to 30,000 people.

Might as well be a facebook fan. He is going to cook for you sooner or later.

Unofficial Neighborhood Doggie Park

Rutledge & Calhoun St., Charleston, S.C.

I just waddling back happily full from a reception at the Governor Thomas Bennett House (just one glass of wine, thank you) and snapped this picture of our neighborhood dog park.

Speaking of pets....here is a crazy story from Book of Joe:

Norwegian tries to smuggle 14 pythons

A man has been arrested in Norway trying to smuggle two dozen snakes and geckos into the country by taping them to his body.

Customs agents said the Norwegian citizen, 22, was arrested in Kristiansand after getting off a ferry from Denmark. He had 14 royal pythons and ten albino leopard geckos hidden under his clothes.

The non-venomous snakes were stowed in stockings duct-taped to the man's abdomen, and the geckos were in boxes taped to his thighs.

Yikes! You have to look at the pictures. Really.

27 October 2009

The Spy Who Loved Him

Charleston, S.C.

I walked the Battery loop on the weekend and was nagged by a vague memory of a story of JFK having an affair with a spy in the Fort Sumter Hotel. I googled around to see if there was any truth to it and found this piece by Mike Sigalis:

JFK And The Spy Who....Loved Him
FBI files released in 1998 revealed that in 1942, when John F. Kennedy was a 24 year old naval lieutenant working in the Atlantic fleets intelligence office at 29 east Battery, Charleston, he enjoyed two visits from tall, blonde Arvad Fejos, a former Miss Denmark. But Fejos was also a Nazi sympathizer with ties to Hitler, Goebels and Goering. Kennedy was of interest to the Nazis because of his father, Joseph Kennedy was the former ambassador to England.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's attorney general knew of Fejo's background and had sent the FBI on her case. When she rented a room at the Fort Sumter Hotel, the FBI promptly bugged it. Apparently, the lovers set the bug wires aglow with their passionate carryings on. In between, Kennedy was recorded spilling the beans to Fejos about his future military assignments.

Not that there was anything unusual about JFK having an affair. It seems he had as many affairs as George Washington ate lunches although the locations of the later are perhaps better recorded.

I had a nice dinner with my son for his birthday this evening at Basil. I'm on a Thai streak. Happy birthday kid! I love ya.

Some of my best friends are pot heads...

It's good to have friends when you are a pot head. Harhar.

Who knew that people would buy pots and pans at work? I let a vendor set up in one of the hospital classrooms today and sold over $8,000 of pots and pans to employees. I earn a percentage of the profits to support the volunteer department's good deeds and everyone is happy, even my vendor friends Terrence and Terrell. Thanks for a fun day gentlemen!

Blog Hopping

King St., Charleston, S.C.

I came across a blog with a great entry on Thirteen reasons I love Charleston. What a yummy blog.

It is late and I am nodding at my lap top. That's all you get tonight kids. Turn the lights out.

25 October 2009

Care for a Friendly Chat Over the Fence?

Miles Brewton House, King St., Charleston, S.C.

Care for a friendly chat over the fence? Perhaps not this one on lower King St. Ouchie. No one is going to be climbing over this fence without doing some serious damage. Here is the full view.

Miles Brewton House:
A block away from the Nathaniel Russell House but much less viewed by tourists, the nearly perfect, circa-1769 Miles Brewton House (27 King St.), now a private residence, is maybe the best example of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the world.

The almost medieval wrought-iron fencing, or cheveaux de frise, was added in 1822 after rumors of a slave uprising spread through town.

This imposing double house was the site of not one but two headquarters of occupying armies, British General Clinton in the Revolution and the federal garrison after the end of the Civil War.

The great Susan Pringle Frost, principal founder of the Charleston Preservation Society and a Brewton descendant, grew up here.

It's time for another week, kids. Buckle up. Thanks for all your kind comments and emails. They make it all fun.

All aboard the Disney Express

Ansonborough Field, Charleston, S.C.

The Disney train is on it's way up the coast and made a weekend stop in Charleston. They actually set up an inflatable 3D Theater in Ansonborough Field.

They claimed the event was for all ages but when I saw the stroller line up I walked on by. Looked like the kiddies were having a good time and it was a sight to see. The train tour will end in New York's Grand Central Station next weekend. Wish they'd offer me a ride to New York. I'd love to go in style.

24 October 2009

No Papparazi Please.......

Tradd & Meeting St., Charleston, S.C.

No Papparazi please....we don't have clothes on!

The sign in the window explains that it is an installation by John Dunnan for the Gibbes Museum of Art. The Museum is bringing world renowned artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Charleston in April 2010.

If this is a sample it looks like April will be interesting. These folks put some effort into their creativity! More here.

Walk this Way - Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, S.C.
How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky? Anyone knows they are. How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute? No, you cannot explain. So you walk. Author unknown, from New York Times editorial, "The Walk," 25 October 1967

As often as I promote Magnolia Plantation I should be granted a lifetime pass, don't you think? It is indeed one of my favorite stomping grounds.

Enjoy your weekend, kids!

23 October 2009

Zombie Complaints

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S.C.

The Zombie Complaints list on Shoebox cracked me up:

Zombie Complaints
* Beer tastes like rotting tongue
* Finger flies off when giving finger
* Escalators often just shred legs to stumps
* Menthol lip balm stings
* What “goes with” exposed internal organs and ribs?
* Waaaay better dancers than depicted in “Thriller” video.
* Every time you find shoes that fit, one of your feet falls off
* People try to get rid of you with garlic and you’re like “What?”
* When something brings out your eyes it…brings out your eyes
* Brain juice runs all over plate, ruins garlic toast
* Christopher Walken thinks he can hang with us
* Zombie cats bitchy as ever
* Killer headache

In case you missed it, here is the link to the Zombie Make Up tutorial that Don Lewis shot starring me with my natural Zombie hair. Heheh.

22 October 2009

Swanky Flu Masks

King St., Charleston, S.C.

Unrelated to the photo as usual....

Concerned about the flu? The Presurfer led me to a web site with the most creative masks. These are cool enough to wear whether you need them or not! I've got a box of masks. Now I want to get a black marker and draw mustaches on them all.

21 October 2009

Car Free King St. Day

King St., Charleston, S.C.

Check out Charleston Moves blog for the scoop on the upcoming Car Free King St. Day on November 22. Coolness! I took a couple of pictures of King St. after an event and people were hanging out, walking, visiting and enjoying it so much.
Coming on November 22, the stretch of King Street between Calhoun and Broad is to be closed to auto traffic, creating a streetscape reminiscent of earlier days on the City's "Main Street." It's a plan promoted by a coalition of local groups and individuals, with the blessing of Mayor Joseph Riley, according to Charleston Bicycle Chic's Kristin Walker, one of the organizers.
Let's do it. Walk on!

20 October 2009

Warmer Days

Isle of Palms, S.C.

Yipee! It warmed up again! This is more like it. In honor of our recent chilly days here is a cold weather joke snitched from Miss Cellania:
On a bitterly cold winter's day several years ago in northern British Columbia, an RCMP constable on patrol came across a motorcyclist, who was swathed in protective clothing and helmet, stalled by the roadside.

"What's the matter?" asked the Mountie.

"Carburetor's frozen," was the terse reply.

"Pee on it. That'll thaw it out."


"OK, I will."

The constable lubricated the carburetor, as promised. The bike started and the rider drove off, waving.

A few days later, the RCMP detachment office received a note of thanks from the father of the motorbike rider.

It began: "On behalf of my daughter, who recently was stranded ....."
I'm settling in to my corner of the couch. You kids turn the lights out.

We See You, See Wee

SeeWee Restaurant, Awendaw, S.C.

We aren't supposed to be eating fried food these days. Sigh. But, if you do, you want to make it worthwhile. Everyone boasts about the fried seafood at the See Wee Restaurant but I go for the fried eggplant chunks. Yum. Whenever I drive by I consider calling ahead to see if they would stand on the side of the highway and toss me a bowl. They are nutty, melt in your mouth hunks of eggplant. Almost makes me want to drive to Awendaw.

Psssst: You may order the seafood platter, she crab soup or See Wee style flounder as well if you like.

The restaurant used to be a general store and they kept the shelves and look of a shop. I tried to buy a handy loaf of bread the last time I was there and they looked at me like I was nuts. The groceries are part of the decor. Ooops.

I've had a good day. I attended the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program annual recognition luncheon today at the Charleston Rifle Club and my nominee, the sweetest lady you could ever know, won the volunteer of the year award. I am proud as punch.

19 October 2009

Monday Hodge Podge

Queen St., Charleston, S.C.

It's been chilly in Charleston and we are cranky and whiny about it. It isn't right to go directly from non stop air-conditioning to turning on heaters. We feel owed a month or two of beautiful days with doors and windows flung open and no humidity to make up for the long hot summer. It's only fair. Whine. Pout. I had to dig deep to find socks yesterday and they felt like foreign things on my feet.

Dinner with a gaggle of women friends this evening at the Taste of Thai on Orleans Rd. They had an empty side room they gave us so we could safely talk about everyone we knew. Yes. You.

I continued my campaign to eat green curry in every Thai Restaurant in South Carolina and this was good! They went light on the chicken and loaded me up with eggplant. I made everyone taste my scrumptious coconut sauce. Yummers.

Drat. Inserting the link I find a 10% off coupon. Must go back.

The location for Pecha Kucha Night has been announced to be at the Music Farm on Wednesday. Check their web site for the presenters. They haven't posted that the $5 tickets are sold out yet so you can still go. I wouldn't complain if I wasn't the very oldest person there.

Did everyone else know that Leonard Cohen was going to be in Asheville on November 1st but me? Gasp. So close and he didn't call to let me know.

Finally an Edward Monkton qoute I snitched from Ample Sanity who always finds the best goodies:
"Let us be lovely and let us be kind. Let us be silly and free. It won't make us famous, it won't make us rich, but damnit how happy we'll be." Edward Monkton.

G'night kids. Don't stay up too late.

18 October 2009

You've Got Chain Mail!

Philadelphia Alley, Charleston, S.C.

I decided that I should be Joan of Arc for Halloween. Yes? Makes sense. I stopped at the Footlight Players Costume Sale in Philadelphia Alley on Saturday morning on the off chance that they would have any bits and pieces of costume that might work. They didn't.

Googling around I discovered that the easiest way to make chain mail is to knit it on giant needles with gray yarn. Some people even knit it in a rust color and then spray paint it silver so it looks like rusty silver. Lord. I haven't done much knitting lately and got rid of all that stuff.

I bought the biggest needles I could find and I've been laughing at my pathetic attempts. It doesn't look anything like chain mail. Maybe I can skip the armor and just wear the hood.

Have no fear! The realarmorofgod.com site has a chain mail coif on deep, deep discount. Who knew of the great wide world of armor available online? Not me.

Do we really have to go back to work tomorrow? It seems unreasonable.

Project Runway - Charleston Conntection

Goga, King St., Charleston, S.C.

This is Gordana's boutique on King St. in case any of you are Project Runway fans.

It makes the show so much more interesting to have a Charleston connection and this season features Gordana Gehlhausen and Carol Hannah who lives on Sullivan's Island. Check the City Paper for a live blog of the show on Thursday evenings.

Good luck ladies!

17 October 2009

Wedding Bells

Summerall Chapel, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.

I accompanied a friend to a wedding this evening and the setting was so beautiful I have to share it. The groom was a Citadel graduate so the wedding was held at the Summerall Chapel at the Citadel and the reception at their beach house on the Isle of Palms. Wow.

Congratulations to Paula Marie Borgesen and Robert Michael Wilson, Jr.

Pictured below with fellow Citadel graduates.

A handsome gentleman kept filling my wine glass so my wisest move is to stop typing for the evening. Whooopsie. G'night folks.

Be Kind

Be Kind, Rutledge Ave., Charleston, S.C.

Short, sweet and to the point. It's a message worth paying to have inscribed on a brick. Wonder who did it? It is in the walk way between Rutledge and Ashley Ave. that connects to the MUSC parking building.

What a nice day I've had. The air is cool and crisp. The shops on King St. have their doors flung open. I circled the peninsula doing errands, mail, dry cleaners, Farmer's Market etc. and now waiting to keep a friend company at a wedding. I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Be Kind.

16 October 2009

Field Trip Friday

Tybee Island Lighthouse, Tybee Island, GA

I am allowed to leave Charleston once and a while. I was in Savannah a couple of weeks ago and took this picture of the lighthouse on Tybee Island. It's almost too perfect isn't it? Sometimes when I take a picture of a landmark I google images to see what kind of shots everyone else took of the same scene.

Celebrate for us tonight! My hospital passed our Joint Commission survey with flying colors. We've ended each of the last three days of scrutiny with manager's meeting to learn the surveyor's findings and everyone made us proud. Whew! We know we do a good job but it's great news to impress hospital inspectors. Made me very proud of my co-workers. I work with some very smart and caring people. No doubt.

15 October 2009

The house that was eaten by the vine

Coming & Duncan St., Charleston, S.C.

A couple of years ago on my previous blog, I did a series on this house on the corner of Coming & Duncan St. I stood in the parking lot of the YWCA and took a picture every week or so, logging the progress of the vine that takes it over each year and compiled them into a slide show. We are almost at peak vine growth right now and even have blossoms. The owner has to cut clear space around the windows to get any light in.

Ya gotta love wacky people.

14 October 2009

Mepkin Monks Mushrooming

Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, S.C.

When the industrious Monks of Mepkin Abbey were harassed by PETA into giving up their egg business I hoped they would consider the benefits (to me) of dedicating their lives to making fudge. It has such a happy ring to it. The Fudge Making Monks of Mepkin. I could apply for a job as a third generation fudge taste tester just like the Tea Plantation boasts. I am however, quite happy with their compromise of growing mushrooms. Meet the Mushroom Monks of Mepkin:

Mushrooms & More
It is the way of life as outlined in the Rule of St. Benedict that brings about the atmosphere of attentiveness and care that makes such quality possible over time. We are grateful to announce that our production is now high enough to meet the demands of our local market, from over a dozen restaurants in the Lowcountry to your local Piggly Wiggly.

As we continue to increase the output of our greenhouses, we also aim to increase your expectations of healthful and quality food.

With thanks,

Abbot Stan and the Brothers of Mepkin

I do love mushrooms.

Denim Days

Bishopville, S.C.

I've featured Bottle Trees before and wonder if that makes this a Pot Tree.

What an odd day. I was up bright and early for off site meetings at Trident Technical College. We do fundraisers at these management meetings by offering the option to dress down and wear jeans if employees pay $5 to support a charity. It works well, everyone is happy and it's an easy way to collect a nice pot of cash for a worthy cause. It was gray and drizzling out and I arrived to the word that our long awaited hospital inspectors had arrived at the hospital at 7:30 am.

Quick surprise turn around. Almost every manager in the system was at the meeting in casual jeans and sneakers and now they had to quickly back track to the hospital for one of our most critical credentialing days. Whooopsie! We have these Joint Commission surveys every three years but are never told exactly when the team of surveyors will show up. The idea is that we should always be prepared.

Today was the first of three days of scrutiny and from what I hear everything went very well but I'll never forget the look of all of our senior staff in their jeans and sneakers on survey day. It reminded me of kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Wish us luck for the rest of the week and hope that my own caste of volunteer characters makes us proud.

13 October 2009

The Economy is so bad that......

Hwy 17, S.C.

They were out of gas the day I stopped by.

The Economy Is So Bad That:
* I got a pre-declined credit card offer in the mail.
* Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.
* Parents in Bevery Hills are considering raising their own children.
* I saw the CEO of Wal-Mart shopping at Wal-Mart.
* Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.
* A van full of legal immigrants illegally was spotted crossing the border into Mexico.
* I saw four CEOs playing miniature golf.
* Even people who aren’t cabinet members aren’t paying taxes.

That’s only 8 of them...darn recession is scaling down everything.

Bed time kids. I have another day full of meetings tomorrow. Don't stay up to late.

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston

Charleston, S.C.

This is one of the teeny tiny houses of Charleston. There are a few of these miniature darlings sprinkled across the peninsula. It made me look for the link to the tiny house blog for you. Ain't they just cute, cute, cute?!

I've been good today and sat in meetings all day long at Trident Technical College. If I go to one more Leadership Meeting I expect I'll be awarded a Nobel Prize. Or more likely a Bobble Head Prize for nodding at appropriate times. Did you know you can bobble head yourself?

It's a lovely night for a walk and people are outside sitting on porches, skateboarding, visiting and hauling crates of beer into the student apartments. Lights are on at dusk and I can see pretty colors inside the houses. Walking past the projects I realize that I am indeed the only person left without a wide screen tv. It's nice to be able to open the windows and let the breeze blow through.

Enough. I've got chores to do before bed.

12 October 2009

It Figures

Hollywood, S.C.

Caroline in the City did a post that featured one of my hard headed sweethearts. I used to visit the giant ship's figurehead behind the Charleston Marina years ago. He vanished. Not easy for someone of that size. I was delighted to spot him at the Antique store across from the Hollywood Town Hall and paid a visit a few years ago. I am happy to see he is still there holding court.

I jokingly offered to buy him when I was there and the owner said he cost $20,000 that day. I had a feeling the price changed according to the mood since he knew full well it would take a crane to move him.

Meanwhile, Caroline in the City is taking votes on her Halloween costume. Pirate! Pirate!

11 October 2009

Edgar Allen Poe Finally Gets Proper Burial

Poe's Tavern, Sullivan's Island, S.C.

It seems Charleston isn't the only place that likes reenacting old funerals.

Edgar Allen Poe Gets Proper Burial After 160 Years
Just 160 years after he died, Edgar Allan Poe is finally getting a funeral befitting one of America's greatest writers. Already, a pine casket has been visited by hundreds, and visitors have peered inside to see a surprisingly dead-looking replica of Poe.

Fans recreate funeral honoring the master of macabre who died 160 years ago.

And today the master of macabre, known for his poem "The Raven," will get not one, but two funeral services.

"This is our chance to make amends for what wasn't done in 1849," says Jeff Jerome, the curator of Baltimore's Poe House and Museum.

Poe's death was as mysterious as some of his works. He was found outside a bar, delirious, unable to tell anyone what was wrong with him. He was 40 years old and was dead within a few days. A cousin didn't announce the death and had Poe buried with only about 10 people in attendance.

Wildlife on Broad

People's Building, Broad St., Charleston, S.C.

This fella and his twin guard the People's Building on Broad St. which is on my regular walking route so it only seems polite to say hello when I go by. He doesn't look like much of a threat up close, does he?

The eight story high rise was the highest building on the Charleston peninsula when it was built in 1911. It's all condos now. Googling around I found this article with pictures of the top floor. Wow. 72 windows. Quite incredible.

Good weekend I hope. I worked too hard today catching up with chores and yard work. Blah.