This is not necessarily constructive criticism. And random stuff.

From the last batch of homework:

From Assignment 9 -“You write exquisitely! And analyze/observe equally well.”

From four blog entries I turned in – “You write extremely well – even ‘correctly.’ And the writing is most engaging – and the ideas perceptive.”

Well, the professor did a great job at inflating my ego. This is not what I need. Because all I’m doing now is rereading my assignments and the comments and memorizing every single word and red mark. So, that helps. The assignments aren’t pristine. A few comma splices, a few omissions. The red ink is validating. Focus on the red ink, May. Keep the ego at bay. Do you hear what I say? Are you okay? No, you cannot play. Hey. Now, go your own way.

Today is the first day of spring. It was hella windy. It would have been a comfortable 48 degrees if it weren’t for the gale whipping everything about. Including me. And I can’t go around making Wizard of Oz references all the time. I’ve got a job to go to every day. I have a blog to maintain.

I found a compromise. About milk. I can drink cow milk just fine. I mean I’m slightly lactose intolerant, but I stand behind the fact that I weaned from mammal milk before I was two years old. I like soy milk just fine. And I think almond milk is good, but it gets quite pricy. So I was in the store the other day looking at the alternative milk options. And then I saw it: almond soy milk. And it didn’t cost as much as almond milk. I picked up a quart on my way to work. I let it chill in the refrigerator. I had some raisin bran. Almond soy milk is delicious. Try it: you might like it, too.

For those of you visiting in the next couple of weeks, it looks like we’ll see highs in the 50s. Dress however you deal with 50-degree weather. Also, plan on having a legitimate blast. We’re gonna have so much fun. You’re gonna wonder if it’s legal to be having the amount of fun we’ll be having. We’ll be obeying the law though. You don’t have to worry about that.

Corny

Just now I came from the bathroom, and my roommate was awake and standing at her closet, dressed in brilliantly mismatched pajamas. She seemed to be looking for something to wear to work. As I got to her door, she saw me. I put a single finger to my lips and made the universal sign for SHUSH. AS IF SHE WERE STILL ASLEEP. SO AS NOT TO WAKE HER. She nodded understandingly as I left the room and closed the door behind me.

This is the last bowl of kettle corn I made. I made it on Monday, a whole day after I made my very first bowl on Sunday. You see, Sunday’s batch I burned slightly, because I added too much sugar and the fire was on medium high and the beautiful sound of the pop-popping in that blended-steel pan over the gas flames mesmerized me, even while I was stirring the sugar into the corn and the lid wasn’t on and kernels were shooting at me. So it ended up with some overly dark, caramelized sugar. Hard candy stage, but burnt tasting. And I served Sunday’s bowl to people after dinner, because we didn’t have anything on hand to make or serve as “real” dessert. I would not normally watch other people consume something I burned. But I did not burn it all, and the dinner guest said it was good and expressed being impressed that I could make popcorn on the stove. I ate most of the somewhat burnt stuff to leave the good stuff for the others to eat. I had forgotten to add salt, so the whole contrast of salty-sweet didn’t even happen. During the entire post-dinner conversation I obsessed (to myself) about how differently I would make the next batch. At my midterm on Monday, I thought about perfecting the kettle corn. At work, all I could think about was trying to make a great batch of kettle corn. On my commute home, I got so very excited to make some kettle corn. When I got home, I almost didn’t take off my coat. I got out the oil and washed out the pan from the night before. I measured out a quarter-cup of kernels, about a quarter-cup of sugar. I heated the oil over a medium-high heat. I put single kernel in the oil as a tester for when the oil was hot enough. After a few minutes, I heard the “ping!” I added the rest of the kernels, then I immediately added the sugar and stirred everything together. Then I put on the lid and listened to the sweet music that is popping corn. Corn jumping for joy! Corn bouncing off the walls! A mosh pit of corn! I took the pan off the heat sooner than the night before. This batch looked SO much better. I poured it into a bowl and added some salt and tasted it. I knew right then that I had arrived. If I had messed up that batch, you know I would have not stopped popping corn until I got it right. Ladies and gentlemen, behold the wonder of kettle corn.