10 on Tuesday

One- For those of you who read yesterday's post and are curious, yes, we still have our uninvited attic squatter. After the initial shock of finding him up there wore off, Tony's adrenalin kicked in and he was all ready to go back up and do battle with the raccoon. (I'm not sure what he was thinking, but I know his plan somehow involved a broom and a cat carrier). Never mind that this is a wild animal that has razor sharp teeth and claws and possibly rabies, and that raccoons in general are just mean little suckers. Tony was all set to defend his castle. Luckily, cooler heads (mine) prevailed, and the professional wildlife removal services are coming over this afternoon to set a trap. Meanwhile, judging from the all the thumps and bumps and scrapes going on overhead, the raccoon continues to entertain himself by rearranging heavy furniture. How lucky for us that we got invaded by the Martha Stewart of raccoons.

Two- Speaking of raccoons, did you know that this is also the time of year when baby raccoons are traditionally born? Oh yes. Mommy raccoons find a nice warm spot out of the weather, make a nest in someone's attic insulation, and have lots of baby raccoons. Any day now. Let that thought sink in for a moment. And keep your fingers crossed that we have a boy raccoon.

Three- I'm sure you are all literary geniuses (why else would you be reading this?) so you recognized my veiled reference to Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton from yesterday's post. But just in case the finer points of your English lit class have faded away into the ether, Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote Paul Clifford, which begins with the famous sentence, "It was a dark and stormy night...". Actually, the full sentence is:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

Bulwer-Lytton is known for his overly descriptive run-on sentences; so much so that they even have a contest each year "to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels"...which basically means overly cheesy. I'm only bringing this up so that newcomers to Quirky don't think that I write in horrible run-on sentences with ridiculous descriptions on a day to day basis. (Only every other day).

Four- On another note, I've decided to break down and try some of that gradual tanning lotion stuff. You know, where you put the lotion on and you gradually get darker over the period of about a week? Today is day one. I keep checking in the mirror to see if I can see a difference yet. (No). Anyway, I was hesitant to try it out even though the commercials swear that it won't turn you orange and you won't be streaky. I usually rely on good old-fashioned tanning practices (aka yard work), but I haven't really had a chance to get outside for long yet, and these fluorescent lights that I spend the majority of my day under just aren't cutting it. I'm in a bind though because I just ran out of winter-colored foundation and I really don't want to buy a whole new bottle because I'll be switching over to my summer-colored foundation at any moment now. What's a girl to do? I'm too pale for my foundation and I sit inside all day. Answer: tan in a can! Has anybody else tried this Jergens tan stuff? Did it work? Were you streaky? Do you like it, or have you reverted back to soaking up cancer-causing rays the old fashioned way?

Five- Remember how excited I was about hitting 1000 visitors last month? Well, this month I did the Fashion Fiesta from BigMama, and I hit 1000 people IN ONE DAY. Which tells me that BigMama has some serious traffic over at her site, and I'm still just a little fish in a big bloggy ocean. But that's okay, because I don't write for international acclaim (although it would be nice!). I write because it gives me an outlet to say all the crazy things that I'm thinking in my head but aren't appropriate to say in person.

Six- Antique Mommy will be guest posting this week! I'm not going to tell you on what day because I want you to keep checking back, but I will tell you that it'll be this week! Can you stand the suspense? Me neither!

Seven- On the above, should that be "Me neither!" or "Me either"? I can't remember what the rule is for that one. I remember that neither goes with nor, and either goes with or, but not which one goes with me. Anyone know what it should be? Anyone? Literary Geniuses from earlier? Speak up.

Eight- While you're kicking around the grammar question above, let me tell you about the fabulous kettle corn recipe I found! See, the Dogwood Arts Festival was in K-town last weekend, and I wait all year for it because I. LOVE. KETTLE CORN! Every year the vendor pulls up with his giant kettle and his giant wooden paddle, and makes superb kettle corn! And I wait with unbridled anticipation until he has a nice batch going, and then I run out there and buy the biggest bag he offers. ($5 for a bag about 2' long). It is kettle corn heaven! It's the only time a year I get it, because it's the best. And don't even talk to me about that microwavable kettle corn that you find in grocery stores, because that's like comparing a filet mignon to Kibbles-n-Bits. But after the kettle corn guy packed up and left, and I finished wolfing down my two foot bag of the sugary popcorn sweetness all by myself, I realized that there must be some way of getting half decent kettle corn the other 364 days of the year. So without further ado, I bring you...

Nine- A recipe for Kettle Corn! It's easy, requires few ingredients, and as long as you don't burn the popcorn like I did, actually tastes a little like actual kettle corn.

1 tbsp peanut oil
popcorn kernels
1/6 cup sugar

Use a decent size pot (with a lid) and turn on the heat to high. Pour in peanut oil. Dump in enough popcorn to make a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Roll the popcorn around so it gets covered with the peanut oil. Add a little bit of salt to taste and cover the pot. When you hear the popcorn start to pop, quickly pour in the sugar. Cover and shake continuously back and forth to coat the popcorn (like Jiffy Pop). Remove the pot from heat when the popping slows and you don't hear many kernels shaking around in the pot. Be sure to get the popped popcorn out of the pot as quickly as possible to prevent scorching from the residual heat in the pot.

I made two batches Sunday night, and I must say that it's not too bad. Next time I make it however, I'm going to tweak it to 1/3 cup sugar because I didn't think it was sweet enough. I'm also going to switch out the peanut oil for corn oil since I think it gives the popcorn a bit of a peanut-y taste instead of a salty/sweet taste. Other than that, it's pretty tasty.

Ten- If you don't feel like making your own kettle corn, or you're just in the mood for a good old fashioned Italian street festival, may I remind all you Knoxvillians that the Rossini Festival is coming this weekend! It runs from noon to 9pm on Saturday on Gay Street and Market Square. To quote the Knoxville Tourism webpage, "The Rossini Festival Italian Street Fair is a free event featuring 4 stages of entertainment, an Artisan’s Market offering handmade and designer goods for sale, food vendors specializing in Italian and Mediterranean recipes, activities and games for children, street parades by living history re-enactors, a Rossini raffle prize drawing featuring a trip to Napa wine country and Kroger Stores gift cards, performances by the Knoxville Opera cast of Puccini’s Tosca, and fully staged and costumed presentations of Verdi’s classic opera, La Traviata in the Bijou Theatre, presented by the UT Opera Theatre". It's sure to be a good time!

Kettle corn is an Italian dish, right?


Erin said...

Ooh, ooh, I'm going to see "La Traviata" this weekend and I'm so excited : ) That kettle corn sounds amazing and I'm going to try it once I'm off my cleanse.

Becoming Me said...

Great post. Funny about the furniture moving koon....kinda makes me think nesting female. Uh-oh. Love your blog!

Heidi said...

I have the Jergens 3 day tan stuff. The other one I tried last year and it didn't give me enough color, nor did it work fast enough (I'm a little impatient) so this year I got the one that is supposed to work in 3 days. Tonight will be day one. :) But I did not wind up streaky last year.

CortneyTree said...

I used the Jergens stuff with good results last year (be warned, it is subtle), but I'm skipping it this year because I HATE the way it makes me smell. I'm sure it's just a weird sensitive nose thing, but by the end of the day I can't stand myself. The only remedy I could come up with was to apply it before I went to bed, and sleep-n-tan overnight. That way, I woke up stinky, but was bound for a shower anyway ;)

Elaine A. said...

I totally heart kettle corn - we always get it at this pumpkin patch that we go to in the fall. Oh, it's so good!

Hope your racoon is a male...

LA Blogger Gal said...

1 - hope it's a male racoon you've got there.

2 - I tried the Jergen's last year and it is subtle (and not so streaky), but boy howdy is it a bit stinky. I think I recall that the L'oreal stuff smells better.

3 - kettle corn rocks!

Mrs. Brownstone said...

It will by no means bring you 1000 visitors...but I do a "Ten Things Tuesday" carnival at my blog. Hope you'll come join sometime! It's different from "Ten on Tuesday". :)