Monday, November 28, 2005

Ahhh... the holidays....

For those of you out there concerned about such things, I created an wish list this year. I don't use the silly things myself, but I confess they do give me ideas. While I don't suspect anyone will actualy buy me anything off the list, I figure they will be able to glean my clothing sizes from it, as well as the fact that my world revolves around super heroes. Gotta love the holidays, or so my therapist keeps telling me. Feh. I say we go with Festivus this year, whose only gift giving rule is that if you give a gift, it has to be something you're sure the recipient will hate, and you would never buy for yourself.

Some fun holiday picks:
Stacey took this great pick of Me, Drew and Papa Steve drooling over the fruit of our labors, trying valiantly, and in vain to keep ourselves from picking at the bird.
Drew doing the carving with no rhyme or reason at all. Me trying my hardest not to jump in and take over for the sake of the turkey.
Photographic evidence of our delicious experiment to deep fry snickers bars. Don't mock me till you've tried my ways, people.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fryday and Festivus.

Well, the first Fryday went great. We threw two gallons of corn oil into the turkey fryer yesterday and went to town. My buddy Dave, who was without much to do the day after thanksgiving, (as his lovely wife Danielle had decided to brave the Mall on the busiest shopping day of the year) was coaxed into joining us. Interesting conversation:

"Dave! We're Fying! You have to come!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha!"
"Dude. Deep fried snickers"
"Ha ha ha ha ha"
"Come on dude! Bring a movie and something to fry!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha! Rob, I..."
"Come on!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Put Stacey on for directions"

As you can see, it wasn't the hardest sell. I think I had him at "deep fried snickers". So, after he arrived, we got to frying... The Menu:

we made the batter and dipped everything in the oil ourselves, mind you...

Deep fried and battered Snickers Bars
Battered and fried Oreos
Fried apples
Fried pickles
Homemade potato chips
Homemade French fries
Deep fried biscuits

Ah, doesn't it just make your arteries harden thinking about it? Everything came out fry-tacular. The biggest surprise to me was the fried snickers bars, which I had doubts about. Little did I know that they would turn out to be a little piece of fried heaven. The biggest disappointment was the Oreos. After the snickers, they just couldn't measure up, I suppose. The thing I was most proud of were the potato chips.. I sliced them as thin as I could, dropped them in the oil, Stacey hit them with the Tony's, and they were easily as good as anything from Frito-lay. The Fryday celebration I think, may become an annual one.

Speaking of made up holidays, we've entered the Festivus season, and this is brilliant, for all of you scratching your heads wondering what the hell I'm talking about. I think I may just ditch the whole Christmas thing this year, and get me an aluminum pole.

Now if only I had a few supermodels to wrestle me to the ground.

Friday, November 25, 2005

On the day we give thanks.... for fried turkey! 2005

Well, kids... thanksgiving, and with it the holidays, are upon us. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and one of the few I think should be adopted worldwide. I really think that it's important for us all, no matter our background, to step back every so often and just be thankful for what we have, and the bounty of riches, both material and esoteric that have been bestowed upon us in the course of a year.

That's a pretty heavy thought... must be all the turkey I ate. You think fish is brain food? I scoff in your general direction, and pity those who deny the cerebral cortex boosting power of a huge plate of Turkey.

But I digress. I decided to spend the Holiday with Stacey and Drew up in Brandon. Yeah, I was effectively marooned there for a month this year, but holidays are always best spent in the company of your closest friends. This year, Drew deep fried the turkey. I had to promise my Mom, (who reads my blog, and is fully aware of Drew's talent for accidentally shooting at innocent roofs, and attempting to catch chainsaws) that I wouldn't allow him to hurt himself, or more importantly, me in the process. I assured her that despite news reports to the contrary, frying a turkey is a fairly safe thing.

"Have you ever done this before?" Mom asked.
"Well, no." I said.
"Has Drew?"
"No, but there's a first time for everything."
"Is anyone there who has done this before?"
"Mom, plenty of people fry turkeys every year without incident."
"Is that a no? You stay away from that fryer, Robbie."
"Stacey's Stepdad is here. He's fried one before."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Ma. I'll be careful, Ma."
"Promise me you'll be careful. Drew too."
"I promise Ma."

I felt like a ten year old asking permission to go sledding with the neighborhood troublemaker. Sheesh. Anyway, for those of you keeping track of Drew's antics, the frying operation went off without a hitch, only took about a half hour, and produced the finest turkey I have ever eaten. (Note to the Cerio family readers- better than the famous Barbeque Kosher bird of 87!) The operation went so well in fact, that it left me and Stacey wondering what else we could fry. We pondered all kinds of things... from the mudane (potatoes, corndogs) to the downright silly (Oreos, pickles, hard boiled eggs). We finally decided that today, the Friday after thanksgiving, we were gonna experiment. We bought pickles, potatoes, oreos, hot dogs and batter, and of course, snickers bars. It will be glorious. I'll make it a point to post the results tomorrow. I keep thinking we should rename today "Fry-day". Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

So, on a final note... the things I'm thankful for this year:

1)That my Friends and home survived Hurricane Katrina.
2)That the tragedy gave me an opportunity to visit my family.
3)That despite mankinds' best efforts to the contrary, the world continues to spin safely on it's axis for yet another day.
4)That despite another rough year, My blog is still funny enough to keep Y'all coming back.

Happy thanksgiving to you and yours, and may the coming months give you much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

the silly games we play...

Well, I've been tagged twice on this one... so I guess I'll do it...

The gist of this Meme:

1. Go into your archives
2. Find your 23rd post
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing

Well, mine was:

"It turned out to be less than that... (Props to Mrs. Spanky’s Dad for the 411 on the alternate route.) but in any case, there was no way I was gonna miss the opportunity to visit the hometown of my hero, Superman."

From the now infamous Indiana road trip.

Well, lets see... five other people who I would like to see their results of doing the same (and my prediction for the fifth sentence):

1. Anthony Scilia- "Damn, them italians are a surly bunch"
2. George Bush Sr.- "I still can't believe I threw up on the Japanese ambassador."
3. Bill Clinton- "Bought some cigars today while Hill wasn't looking."
4. Jesus- "It irritates me sometimes when here I am ready to spread my fathers word, and all they want is loaves and fishes."
5. Stephen Hawking- "I'll tell you, if I never hear another Helen Keller joke again, I'll be delighted."

"See you, Me and Julio down by the schoolyard."- On the road with Rob day 21 till journeys end.

Well, it's been a while since I got back to New Orleans, and I'm sure there are those of you that have been wondering why I never really finished my Road Trip tale. The reason is that in real life, there are no neat and tidy endings... The story tends to go on.

Pretty heavy thought for a Sunday morning.

But still, there is more that needs be said. I left Massachusetts fairly sure of my desires. I wanted to own an inn, and figure I need to start working toward that goal. Of course, I know exactly zip about the mechanics of owning an inn, which is a problem. As I made my way into upstate New York I realized that while I love the hospitality industry, and the tour company I work for, I am on the wrong end of the business to bring me nearer to my goals.

What I really need, I realized, is a hotel job.

This epiphany washed over me as I made my way to the Lake George area. The company I work for in New Orleans has a sister company there, and I figured it couldn't hurt to check out their operation. So I did, and then wound up following the lake up through the Adirondacks to Ticonderoga. It was a beautiful drive. The fall foliage was in full color around me, and as I passed through all these quaint little lakeside vacation towns, I kept saying to myself that this is something I want to work toward. I want the inn on the water, yet in the mountains. I want an off season where I have a chance to pursue other things. I feel like I could finally be at peace with myself.

Realizing that it should be easy to find a hotel job in New Orleans right now, I turned my rental car south for the first time in a month. I spent the night at my Aunt's house again, and said my goodbyes the next morning.

The drive home was uneventful. I stopped briefly in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to tour the chocolate plant, and headed home from there. Feeling for the first time in months that everything was gonna be all right.


Miles traveled: 4734

Average price for gas: 2.57 a gallon

Lowest price I paid: 2.29 a gallon

Number of hotels I stayed in: 10

Nicest of the bunch: The Comfort suites in Connecticuit.

Having a renewal of spirit: Priceless. :)