This is one of those rules that is just absolute. It must always be obeyed. Carolyn has told me this repeatedly, and I couldn't agree with her more.
You would think that, if the nuts are not even slightly brown, and the flame is very low, you have plenty of time to go to the front door, get the two newspapers, take the plastic and the rubber band off and then unfold them and glance at the headlines and then trot back to your nuts.
And perhaps you DO have time to do that.
BUT then you see that the Stanford women's basketball team has won the championship for the first time in almost 30 years! And you have to read the article and contemplate the excessive use of the word "heartbroken" for all their previous almost-wins and really feel that's a bit out of proportion to the actual event which is after all just a game. I mean, come on, "heartbreak" should be reserved for something bigger...
You recall the time when YOU were competing in the FINALS of the 1981 Nerd Contest at Marriot's Great America. Not only did you not win, YOU DIDN'T EVENPLACE! How embarrassing! And what was even more embarrassing, you were seriously bummed out about it, weren't you? So bummed out that you could NOT enjoy the Great America rides, even though you knew you were way too cool to care. So who are YOU to feel superior to the HEARTBREAK of others?
And then you wander back into the kitchen and ...
THERE ARE THE NUTS:
Definitely edible, at least to someone who almost always burns her nuts. But still, best practice -- really only GOOD practice -- is...
NEVER ABANDON YOUR TOASTING NUTS.
Wait a minute!
Is it possible that none of the Bloggelinis have heard about the infamous Nerd Contest of 1981??!?
Well. The clothing brand, The Gap, was doing a major promotion around the concept of Gap clothes turning nerds into really hip cool people. So they were having lots of Nerd Contests all over California, where the nerdiest man and woman who showed up at each location would be declared the winners of the local contest and would be sent to the finals at Great America, a big amusement park.
So the San Francisco Nerd Contest was being held at Stonestown Shopping Mall, which is now enclosed but at that time was open air. Alice, my lover at the time, and I and Alice's good friend Fred decided that Fred and I should compete at Stonestown. Fred's character was named Grover Wayne Travolta, and he was a disco dance teacher at Pier 39. My character was Scar Tissue and I cannot remember anything about her except her name, which we all thought was hilarious. I must have had a concept. Fred really DID have a great and hilarious and nerdy name and concept.
So we go to Stonestown and there's a platform set up in the main square and people go up one by one and are interviewed. I thought I did pretty good. Honestly, I can only remember the name. Grover Wayne Travolta was after me. Well, when the M.C. heard Grover's profession, he demanded that Grover dance to the Nerd Song! We didn't know it, but they had an actual song, "Do the Nerd," that had been written for this campaign! It was a comic rock song, like "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Something Something Yellow Bikini."
The M.C. puts on this song and Fred grabs me and we start dancing to it. Now, I have an uncanny ability to follow. I can mirror the movements of someone without any rehearsal or preparation. The first time I went to a tai chi class, I went through the whole 45-minute routine without a glitch. I guess it's kind of a psychic surrendering to the energy of the other person. And it turned out that Fred was a great leader! So we danced absolutely brilliantly together!
Needless to say, Fred won the men's competition and I won the women's. That meant we were going to the finals, where the prize was $1000 in clothing from the Gap!
We had done the whole thing as a lark, of course. But as the time of the final drew near, my lust for $1000 in new clothes grew very intense. I had no money at the time. I wasn't dressed in RAGS but my wardrobe could really use some spiffing up.What fun it would be to go shopping with REAL MONEY! And Fred and I were bound to win! People would be blown away by our dance!
Fred and I each got two free tickets to Great America, so Alice and another friend accompanied us. We got there just before the competition began. We wanted to celebrate our certain victory afterwards on the huge roller coaster and other rides.
When it turned out we couldn't do the dance in the competition, I deflated. I was lame. Boring. It wasn't just that I didn't win that depressed me. It was also that I didn't DESERVE to win. The woman who won totally ignored what they told her she could or couldn't do and started bellowing opera in a really terrible voice and wouldn't stop. I mean, she SEIZED the moment!
Fred, unlike me, was absolutely hilarious even without the opportunity to dance. He didn't place either, but many of the other contestants came up to him after and told him he was robbed.
No new wardrobe for Scar Tissue. I had never been a competitive person and it was at that moment that I realized the fatal flaw in the very concept of competition: Only one person or team wins. Everyone else is bummed out! In fact, the person/team that comes in SECOND is the MOST bummed out! It's worse to almost win, which is why the excellent Stanford team experienced so much heartbreak.
The moral of the Blog is: Always always seize the moment! Then, even if you don't win, you still might enjoy the roller coaster afterwards. Unless you come in second. Then it's almost inevitable that you'll be bummed out -- unless you've done a lot of meditation and have reached enlightenment.
AND if you're a truly enlightened being, you will NEVER burn your nuts!