144367204I made rice the old-fashioned way – in a pan, on the stove.  I did it this way for donkey’s ears.  Admittedly, I ended up with unpredictable consistency, but I had fresh-cooked rice.

I also had the cleanest stove in town.  I cleaned my stove every time I made rice because it boiled over onto the stove.  To say I hated cooking rice would be an understatement.  Actually, I hated the clean up.


I knew there were rice cookers.  I live in an Asian neighborhood near Los Angeles so my favorite stores all sell rice cookers.  Even Wal-Mart sells rice cookers at a reasonable price.  Would I buy one?  Nope.  Why buy a technologically advanced appliance when a pan of water on the stove does the same thing?

104221028After cleaning up a particularly nasty batch of rice starch from my stove top, I began to imagine what it would be like to never do this again.

As I scrubbed a blackened burner cap, I imagined popping rice into a self-contained electrical appliance that only required me to specify “White” or “Brown,” add water, hit the ON button, and walk away.  What would it be like to return later to a batch of perfectly cooked brown rice – no muss, no fuss?

Curiosity got the better of me.  I used my Internet connection appropriately to research rice cookers: manufacturers, pricing, features, retailers.  Wow!  Information was so compelling that I wanted a rice cooker and I wanted it now.  I ran out, paid retail, brought that baby home, unpacked it, and made my first batch of rice.

OMG!  What was I thinking all of these years?!

bowls-rice-abstract-variety-grains-colorful-ceramic-against-woven-water-hyacinth-mat-41588460 No, I did not have an Epiphany, I had a cellular level experience that could only be described as “love at first batch.”  It was magical.  I had only seen rice like that in vegetarian or Chinese restaurants.  Even more amazing, when I stored it in the fridge, it stayed beautiful and fluffy…only colder.


Cleanup?  Trust me, it was another dimension of easy.  There are even websites devoted to other things you can make using, say it with me, “Your rice cooker!”  Been there, done it, love it!  I made amazing frittatas, and a luscious pineapple upside down cake.  They were so good there were no leftovers!  Check out these ideas:

It turns out the rice cooker is a sort of one-stop appliance.  Who knew?  I like it better than my slow cooker because it seems to cook faster, which translates into using less energy.  I haven’t done the research on utility usage so don’t quote me.

My advice to everyone – buy a rice cooker.  Get one for yourself because you deserve it.  Buy one for a friend or family member because if they have a rice cooker, they can spend more time with you when they have perfect rice every time. 126993461 Of course, every bride needs a rice cooker because that first year of marriage has enough stresses and messy rice should not be one of them.

I admit it, I was insane for not buying one sooner.  I’m better now, and you can be, too.

Run out and buy a rice cooker.

120398809                                                                                                                                                   You can thank me later.


NO JUST CAUSE: Childhood Abandonment and Murder

In a world gone insane trying to justify sin, Jason Bohn’s attorneys use his childhood as defense for the brutal murder of girlfriend Danielle Thomas in their New York apartment.  Her body was on ice in the bathtub four days before police found it.  Thanks to CBS and the Freedom of Information Act, we can hear the eight minute cell phone recording of Bohn strangling Thomas to death.

Poor little Jason Bohn was abandoned by a career-obsessed mum who went off to have a highly successful life in publishing, without child in tow.  Bohn’s abusive dad turned him on to cocaine.  His grandmother cared for him until she was placed in a nursing home.  Bohn went into foster care where he was documented as a very angry, violent young man.  The good news: Bohn grew up to be an attorney.  Instead of ‘Young Man Triumphs Over Childhood Adversity,’ the plot twisted.

A psychiatrist/consultant for ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,’ testified Bohn suffers from ‘Intermittent Explosive Disorder.’  Bohn apparently did not know what he was doing as he stomped, bludgeoned and strangled Thomas.  Add Bohn’s well placed notes, and call to an ex-girlfriend stating he was completely drunk and blacked out, and a gullible jury could float this boat.

Frankly, my dear… no matter what psycho-babble defense you spin, Bohn intentionally chose to kill.  He warned Thomas that he would kill her and her little dog, too.  At what point does someone not realize they have another person’s body in their hands and they are harming that person?  At what point do the words, ‘You’re killing me!’ lose their meaning?

I weary of people abdicating responsibility for their actions because they had a hard life, their parents didn’t love them, they were bullied, and my personal favorite, they were too rich to know the difference between right and wrong.  What dollar amount is attached to that level of irresponsibility?

Man always knows what he is doing, no matter how heinous the crime.  Man always seeks to avoid the consequences of his actions.  A young child commits a transgression of innocence.  Parents and society train the child in the way he should go.  That older child knows how life works, is without excuse, and the penalty phase kicks in.  It has been that way since Cain killed Able.

When society buys into perversions of justice and common sense, we are lost.  When anything can be used to justify anything, we are lost.  Reading this story, I fear we are lost.

Dog Tired And Running With The Pack

NEWS FLASH: To friends and family everywhere.

You may have noticed that I have not been able to make any of the highly amusing and personally insightful posts that I had promised when I started this blog.  Heck, I haven’t been able to post even a line or two just to keep you updated.  I’ve been really busy getting an education, honest.  As I near the end of my first semester at Cerritos College, I am exhausted, but committed to staying the course to acquire my degree.  I also take great comfort in knowing that the 17-21 year olds next to me who are sharing the experience are just as tired as I am.

Entering the academic world again has been much like childbirth – a woman suffers like crazy during the process, but is ready to do it over again because the joy outweighs the pain.  Frankly, I have a vague memory of what it was like in high school to have back-to-back, coincidental assignments due.  Nevertheless, I notice that even after all these years, teachers/professors have still not gotten together ahead of time and chosen different due dates for their projects.  It’s probably prohibited by their contract.  Either that or they had chips, salsa, and hearty margaritas one night, threw a burrito at a calender, and selected their project due dates with the help of the cosmos.

My sleep schedule this semester is quite deja vu – a four hour maximum, just like my rock ‘n’ roll days.  However, the emotional thrill is not quite the same.  Getting up at an ungodly hour of the night, flipping on the lights and computer to work on Photoshop assignments or dredge the nooks and crannies of the web for a research paper does not carry that unique adrenalin rush of flipping on the lights in a recording studio and prepping for the day’s session.  Thankfully, my office does not smell like those recording studios, permeated with the aroma of cigarettes, Heineken, and ganga.  Instead, I deeply inhale the warm fragrance of fresh espresso and cinnamon.  Then as I knock back another Five-hour Energy drink, I muse that if only these had been around when I was in rock ‘n’ roll, we would have never gone home!

Surveying the sea of student faces on campus, I see the same sparkle in their eyes as I do in mine – the sparkle of desire to achieve the goal set before us of getting the necessary credits to move on to university.  Although… I could be mistaken.  That gleam could be the glaze of total exhaustion that heralds a 24-hour sleep cycle as soon as we walk out of our last class on the last day of school.  Till that moment, we’re all dog tired and running with the pack!

I will refrain from posting a selfie on my blog with a glowing, yet fatigued, grin…just so you will know it’s me.