A writer who loves fantasy, avoids reality, and who knows the value of hanging a death skull outside my door to ward off uninvited visitors.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


I have a confession. I'm officially NOT into eating skin-like things.

See, I wanted to try making spring rolls, which are apparently made with rice paper; I'd never seen them in their pre-edible form before, so I was so excited to try them. I'd also never eaten one in cold form; usually, they're fried up to a heavenly crisp.

Luckily, there's an Asian market near my house, it turns out.

So I got my ingredients together, laid out nicely and in order and broke through the round plastic packaging of these very foreign rice paper wraps, only to find this plastic sheet on top of the contents. And, what do I find upon removing it? Another plastic sheet. It took me a second to realize, "Holy S**T! These ARE the wraps?!" I thought I was buying soft, pliable sheets of hopefully-yummy wraps. After all, I'm used to tortillas, and these are just a different version, right?


So I read the instructions and found that you have to dip them in warm water for a couple of seconds, and then you can stuff and roll them up. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen with regards to something edible. Here's the thing, though: they're so sticky, they're a little hard to work with. But I managed, and once rolled, I tried one.

Mind you, as I write this, I can feel my face twisting into various and clear-as-day reminders of my new experience, my unforgettable, no-it's-still-too-fresh-a-trauma experience.

I gave one to hubby to try first. He's always been the Mikey in this family. And my mother in law tried a bite of hubby's spring roll. She spit that sucker out so fast, claiming she didn't like the stickiness. Then she asked us, with the most expressive disgust you can imagine, if we actually like those things. We both said, "Of course. Absolutely! They're so good!"

And then I tried one, and I swear, I felt like someone had slipped me a Micky. And I'm not taking about some dangerous you-won't-remember-a thing-tomorrow Micky. No, I'm talking about an actual Micky. Or at least part of him. See, the rice paper had this weird, fleshy, skin-like texture that left me feeling like an unwitting participant in some sick prank. After ew-ing and ugh-ing my way past the cannibalistic first bite, I went in for another, thinking it had to have been my imagination.

It wasn't.

So, with my mother in law eyeing me like a cop waiting for the proverbial canary to sing, I Jefferey Dahmer-ed my way through that first roll only because she was sitting in front of me, watching, waiting and watching some more.

Needless to say, when her back was turned, I threw out the spring roll and ran to the computer to find out how to make them in the oven.

So, anyone else try these things cold? Like, love, hate, or move on? Any thoughts?

Oh, and on a final note: the above picture is NOT, I repeat, NOT how my rolls looked. No. No. These are merely a picture I found on google to illustrate my point.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Hostage and The Frog

So here's an embarrassing tale to tell. One that involves something I truly never imagined myself asking a total stranger. But I'll get to that in a few minutes. First, let me start off by stating that I have no idea how one little creature managed to carry out such a calculated plan of attack on yours truly.

Here goes:

Earlier tonight, I decided to head out to my local market to buy a couple of things and drop my Netflix movies in the mailbox there. So about a minute after getting in the car, something caught my eye. A shadow of sorts on my left side. I glanced over and in a split second, my heart nearly jumped right out of my chest at finding myself staring at the underbelly of this two-inch frog; and in my defense, it seemed MUCH larger under my fear-lined microscope. That little bugger was just sticking to the outside of the driver's side window like it was on a mission with its little feet and hands.

Had I been outside my house when I saw it, I'd have called my hubby to come free me from certain ick. Sadly, however, I was well into my drive and wasn't about to turn back. Naturally, I did what any self-respecting anti-frog person would do: I banged on the window, ordering it to go away. It didn't even flinch, I tell you. Not even a little. So, I waved at it, shouting, "Hello?! Get off my window!"

Nothing. All that little amphibious hitchhiker did was start doing that gross throat thing with its throat where the sack swells and falls, like it was calling some friends over to share in what it clearly saw as a human monkey on the other side of the frog's current landing spot of choice.

I knew at that point that I was trapped with no form of escape from the slimy little warden, so I sped up in the hopes that the rushing wind would swipe the frog away. Keeping my eyes on the road, I looked over for a second when the coast was clear of cars and what did I see but the frog plastered against the glass like it was holding on for dear life. Yup, that little sucker was apparently enjoying the ride. Not knowing what else to do, I continued on to the market in the round-two of empty hopes that some good samaritan would free me.

I pulled into the parking lot asking myself over and over what the hell I was going to do. First off, I just couldn't seem to muster up the courage to drive up to a stranger and ask for such a ridiculous form of help as that of rescuing me from a frog. On the flip-side, there was no chance in hell I'd even consider going head-to-head with Kermit; I'd lose in the most shameful way. Weighing my lack of options, I drove around the parking lot for a good five minutes, mumbling to myself, further inviting the possibility of a new and highly unwelcome nickname, "Looney-Bin Cin", into my life. It wasn't until five (could be more) minutes later that I spotted the market's security guard on his golf cart just sitting in front of the store. As I approached, I had to keep reminding myself what was at stake as the battle of yes and no flooded my thoughts. And the yes won.

So I drove up to the guard, rolled down my passenger window and spoke the words I never thought I'd hear myself say to someone out of the blue, and here's what happened.

"Excuse me," I shouted out the window.

He looked over at me like I'd scared the hell out of him. "Hello."

"Hey, hi," I said with a half-smile. "Are you afraid of frogs?"

The guard's face kinda morphed into an am-I-being-punked sorta expression. I knew at the moment that I'd never get passed my hubby's jokes about this, and that the guard would certainly take home one helluva story about the crazy woman at Publix.

"I'm sorry, what?" he answered.

I took a deep breath and repeated, "Are you afraid of frogs," and I said this finally hearing it out loud and trying to imagine what he must think at that moment.

The guard looked left, then right, his mouth hanging open like he didn't have a clue how to answer me. "Am I afraid of what now?"

My head fell for a second, then I looked at him again. "Frogs."

Again his eyes shifted left then right. "Why?" he asked slowly, and I could hear the hesitation in his voice.

"I have a frog situation here," I admitted.


"I have a frog."

"You have a frog?" he asked in an obvious state of confused disbelief.

"Yeah. On my car. Outside my window." I pointed at the driver's side glass. "It's right there."

"A frog? How-how big is it?" he asked, inching back from his own door.

With my fingers, I indicated it was about 2-inches long.

All of a sudden, the guard drove off, heading to the entrance of one of the parking rows. Then he stopped and looked back at me as he pointed towards the cars and mouthed the words, "Is it here?".

Come back! I shouted in my head while wondering why he was over there. I shook my head frantically and pointed at my window.

Finally, he turned back around and drove to my side of the car. I cracked the window open a hair and explained that the frog was on my window, and that I couldn't get out of the car. I swear the guard looked at me like I was on drugs or something, but then he apparently saw the frog and backed away. He grabbed a magazine from his golf cart and cautiously approached King Ribbit and flicked it away.

As my amphibious captor flew off, I breathed a sigh of relief. I thanked the guard, but he just nodded and laughed. Needless to say, when I got home and told hubby about it, he practically fell to the floor with laughter and asked why I hadn't just come back and called him to rescue me from the great and powerful frog warrior.

It goes without saying that the sarcasm in his voice was abundant clear.

"Think of it this way, at least Godzilla wasn't there, too," hubby said through a forced straight-faced grin.

For those of you late to the this-is-what-icks-me-out party, Godzilla is what I call lizards, regardless their size and intent.

So there it is. The woeful and embarrassing tale of my capture and stint as a hostage to the slimy underground king.

Totally true story!