Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day

About once a year we get one good blast of winter weather. Not quite as good as the North Western Ohio winter blasts, but hey... throw in some hills and a bunch of idiots and a 1/2" of snow can shut down most of the city.

Last night, today, and probably a good chunk of tomorrow has us experiencing a pretty hefty winter storm. To look at the national map is pretty uninspiring. This thing stretches from Texas up to northern Maine.

Nonetheless, there is something pretty nifty about a snow day. Maybe there is still a little bit of my childhood left that loves a good old fashioned snow day. Waiting in anticipation while watching the news and double checking the website to see if I can sleep in gives me a little jolt of the "feel-goods". Plus it's always a bonus if work is called off BEFORE I leave the house.

And today was a good day. I slept in just past 9:00am, made a great pancake breakfast, knocked out some amazing Roasted Chicken Soup with White Truffle Oil, and of course... I made cupcakes.

Now, the only thing that remains is whether or not I'll have to battle the elements in the morning on Wednesday. I'm hoping not, because it's freezing rain of top of snow with more snow on the way. A couple of snifters of brandy oughta take care of that though...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

That's right, Mr. Green. Tell Mr. Doyle all about yourself, will you?

Recently, Kerrie made the point that I don't make enough cheesecakes.

Although baking a cheesecake is my specialty, my A#1-Duke-of-New-York, ass kicker... I just haven't made as many as I used to.

They have become, unfortunately, something of a special-occasion treat. Something I make only upon request. Look, folks, that's gotta change.

After being prompted by Kerrie last week,to make a cheesecake, I complied, and I was overwhelmed by my own laziness. There really has been no good excuse for not banging out one of these at least once a month. The fluffy rich texture followed by the perfect tangy sweet flavor has always been one of my favorite food experiences, and when you throw in a healthy portion of balsamic roasted strawberries and a nice Late Vintage Port, there really are few things that are much -if at all- better.

Fun Fact: When someone won't stop talking to me, I turn up the mental-media-player in my head and blast the theme from "The Taking of Pelham 123".

(Facebook users go to Stickam or FBF to see the video.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hell's half acre...

So we started our Saturday with a basic task of finding a Wii Fit, a task thinly veiled as a list of necessary chores we routinely do every week.

It started with breakfast at Panera. For being a chain, the do have a kick-ass cinnamon crunch bagel and every once in a great while, I must have one. A cinnamon crunch bagel with a shload of cream cheese and a hazelnut coffee, that's what I had been craving for several days. Kerrie had a hot cocoa and a chocolate chip bagel, and to make things just about perfect, we scored a table next to the fireplace. The day had officially begun...

We made our way to Target, and guess what? No Wii Fits.

Out next stop was Jungle Jims for the weekly ritual of shopping for groceries. Kerrie and I have it down to a science, so even in the worst of crowds we can tear right through without breaking a sweat.

After stopping at home to drop off groceries and squeeze in a few rounds of Tetris, we made out way to Bridgewater Falls. We stopped at La Pinata for lunch, which has quickly become a new favorite for weekend lunches. I particularly like their chips and salsa. More specifically, I love their salsa. I love the fact that there are huge leaves of cilantro floating around in the salsa but that it has an amazingly balanced flavor. I almost forgot that I had Fajitas coming... And at $7.50 for a spectacularly large portion, their lunch menu is a steal.

We left La Pinata and headed over to Best Buy. No Wii Fits, but a copy of Bender's Game left with us so it wasn't a total loss. Our final stop was the "other" Target. The Target with a Starbucks and a lot more space to cover. No Wii Fits at that moment, but I was told to come back on Sunday morning when there would be 36 of 'em.

Kerrie and I left unsure, but we formulated a basic plan. One that wouldn't leave us disappointed if walked away empty handed. Clearly viewing this as a maybe/maybe-not/off-to-church scenario, we shook hands and headed home.

After an afternoon of lounging and being lazy, I knocked dinner out: Herb Fried Chicken with Buttered Corn and Guinness Biscuits. I love meals like this because they are so simple. Prep the biscuits, set aside. Fry the chicken in the fryer for about 5 minutes, them put both the Chicken and the Biscuits in the oven and walk away for about a half hour. The corn is just corn, so that gets done in the last five minutes before we sit down to eat. I wish all meals came together this easily...

We woke up Sunday morning at 7:15am. Not a particularly good time to be up, but hey... We were on a mission. It was a dreary morning too. It was still mostly dark out and there was a thin sheet of ice covering everything. The idea of being out for any reason was becoming less and less appealing.

Kerrie and I stopped at BK for coffee and breakfast, then went over to Target. When we got there, there were already people mingling out in front of the store. Thankfully it was 7:50am and there were only about 12-15 people waiting. Kerrie and I sat in the warm car, eating and waiting. I had the nagging feeling like I should be in line, but I just waited, sipping my coffee and trying to shovel in my sammich before the store opened. Suddenly, the group of people pushed through the front door to the store. I quickly got out of the car and ran for the entrance. I made my way to the back of the store and got in line, only to realize that my wallet was still in the car. After muttering several obscenities, not necessarily under my breath, I ran back to the car. My wet shoes squeaked mercilessly on the floor as I ran back and forth, echoing through out the mostly empty store. Again, I made it to the back of the store and I got in line. I then realized there were only a few people waiting and that I was going to get one.

Moments later, I walked out with a Wii Fit. It was simple. Too simple if you want my honest opinion... Nonetheless, after weeks of looking, our first real attempt to acquire one of these bad boys was a success. I don't know what the hell everyone else has been whining about. This was easy.

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And to celebrate our success, I made some fantabulous meatball subs with provolone for lunch. I quickly realized the irony of eating something like that after spending the day trying out the yoga positions and doing ski jumps, but hey... It's like they say: The fit is go!

Wait, shit! That's not right...

George Harrison - What is Life
Bif Naked - We're Not Gonna Take It
Andrew WK - She is Beautiful
Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealin'
Badfinger - No Matter What
Propellerheads - Crash!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


You would think my co-worker (The Sackhead) and I would have to be drunk, high, or both for this kind of conversation but no... totally lucid. Go figure.

Sackhead: What's the difference between wings and drums?
Scarecrow: I dunno. What's the difference between your arms and legs?
Sackhead: They're still attached to my body?
Scarecrow: Yeah, plus we're probably not going to deep fry them...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I am the Cosmos...

I miss Cosmos. There, I said it. Happy?

Despite everything that happened, everything we built, everything we took down... I still miss Cosmos.

I miss the Bees and the Robots. I miss the sac-cookie, and the midnight kitchen raids, and the Top Shelf. There was the residuals and the bagel golf, and exploratory adventures into the abandoned old hotel. How about the night we went swimming through maple syrup? How about the day we realized that customers preferred us over the owner?

Of course, this only makes sense to a privileged few and that's just fine - trust me... And we've all moved on to bigger, and possibly even better, places in or lives. But every so often, it all comes flooding back. Over the Christmas break I had one of those mental "floods".

While in Ashtabula, Kerrie and I, her sister, brother-in-law, and niece, all stopped at a place we all love to go every time we visit: Harbor Perk.

Harbor Perk, which I have commented on before, is a classic coffehouse in the Cosmic style. Even looking at the front of the building is downright eerie in it's familiarity. After taking those first few steps inside, the wafting aroma of coffee hits you. The style overwhelms a little... It's like looking back and seeing what should have been. Or what was.

The coffee is flat out amazing. The largely attractive aspect of their coffee drinks is the consistency, very UN-Cosmic, and the knowledge that you will get what you want, the way you remember it from the last time you got it, every time.

As we walked out, I finally got what Henry Hill was talking about. What it was like to be removed from "that thing of ours". And that's that...