Monday, September 29, 2008

When a Cake Just Isn't a Cake

You know that old saying "you can have your cake and eat it too"? Well, not when I am baking. My Mom and I are addicted to the Cake Wrecks blog and like to laugh at the crazy cakes posted. So the other day when my Mom informed me she was graduating from rehab*, I knew I had to bake her a cake - a wrecktastic cake. Only I did not know how very wrecktastic it was going to be.

My plan was to bake a plain sheet cake and then write something witty on it like "Happy Grad from Rehab MOM". Aren't I clever? Since it had been a while since I baked a cake, I went the bake from box route. B-A-D idea. Did I see bad idea? Because it was. Very bad. In fact, it looked like this:

Look carefully at that picture and tell me what you see. Does it look like cake batter about to be baked? Nope. Does it look like instead I opted to just frost the cake pan with frosting? Yep. That is what I thought too. I assure you that is not what I did. What I did was follow the instructions on the box that went like this:

-Take 2/3 cup water, cake mix, 3 eggs and a stick of butter. (Check)
-Put them all in a bowl and mix the ingredients until just moistened (Check)
-Take your mixer and on medium speed mix the ingredients for 4 minutes (Check)

Guess what? If you mix your ingredients for four minutes you get frosting. Surprise! Happy Graduation Mom - you have a pan full of butter cream frosting. Tasty but not really anything you can bite your teeth into. Next direction:

-Pour BATTER into the pan and bake

HA! Um, I didn't have batter, I had FROSTING! As you can see, I tried to "pour" it into the pan anyway. When I had to get the knife out to spread it, I decided I was acting plum crazy. There is no way I was about to bake FROSTING. So I rinsed the "cake" out of the pan but not before taking the picture.

I then told B how I made a cake of frosting and he responded "how is it possible for you to mess up a cake from a box?" Well, I don't know. But I did. And I messed it up magnificently. Beautifully, if I may. I should have stuck to baking from scratch. B agreed and demanded more "big pancake cookies." But, alas, I used all of my butter on my FROSTING CAKE. Ugh. 

*No, my Mom does not use drugs. She was in breathing rehab (kind of like physical therapy). Yes, we like to celebrate the little things in life. After all, they add up to the big things. Love you Mom - next week you will get big pancake cookies. I promise. I bought more butter!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ramblings of a Riddler...

It has been a long week and I cannot put together one big coherent story, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.  Instead, you get my ramblings. Enjoy.

~People look at you funny if you only wash one hand in the bathroom, even if your other hand is injured and you did not use it.  These same people do not blink twice if someone walks out of the bathroom without washing their hands at all.~

~Your stream of consciousness is supposed to STAY in your consciousness. When I am waiting for the judge to call my case, I do not want to hear the following come from your mouth in between gasps for air "must put my stuff down" and "have to check in with the clerk now."  I do NOT need a play by play of your actions because I can SEE YOU (and you are not that interesting in any event).~

~The doctor has told me I am narcoleptic, among other things.  I prefer to say I love naps. Nice long naps. All day long.  However, even I, in my narcoleptic state, could not fall asleep and immediately start snoring LOUDLY within two minutes of sitting down in a courtroom.  How do you make it through your job buddy?  Oh - and you need to see a few doctors, at a minimum, to help you with your multitude of problems.  But not my doctor. He only misdiagnoses me and then forgets my ailments.  That will not do you any good.~

~My office eats WAY too many Cheezits (not I - I stick to pretzels).  We have gone through 4 cases in a week. That is 12 lbs per case or 48 POUNDS of Cheezits. In a WEEK??? We need an office fast (um, not feast) pronto! Although the person that dropped the Cheezit in the bathroom needs a different kind of help.  Cheezits in the bathroom?  Why would you take FOOD in the bathroom?~

~Speaking of bathrooms and the office, a vagina exploded in the women's office the other day. Yes, you read right. No, I have no explanation. I apologize if the word "vagina" offended you but you cannot nearly be as offended as my nostrils were.  I can only hope that the person was in our office seeking counsel to file a lawsuit against her doctor for malpractice.  If not, she should be.  And I should get pain and suffering.  Five hours worth.  That is how long it took to clear up. Five hours!  I think they actually infused the bathroom with brand new air.  Oh and to the person a couple hours later that thought the bathroom spray would work? It didn't.  It just smelled like a flowery exploded vagina. Nice try though.~

~Speaking of math and the office (see math two paragraphs ago), it is probably a good idea if you are going to send a forwarded email to the entire office about an alternate proposal for the $700 billion bailout, that you make sure the math in the email is correct.  Otherwise, someone in the office, perhaps even your own secretary, will immediately hit "reply to all" and totally destroy the whole point of the email with accurate calculations and everyone else will just pretend they did not witness the whole chain of events.  (No, I did not send out this forward. I also did not do the math but did check it and cackle after the reply to all). (P.S. even snopes did the math right)~

~I say F@ck an awful lot. Even when I am not reinjuring myself.~

~Yesterday afternoon there was a "Breaking News" email sent by the local news indicating a nearby school had been closed due to a "foul odor having been detected."  Boy, that vagina travels.~

~Does anyone know what Pickleball is?  Someone in the office won a gold medal in this event. I am not sure if it is a sport or something dirty. Either way I am scared.  I was also blissfully unaware that some coworkers were involved in local Olympics.  Lost bliss  is a terrible thing.~

~One can only wonder what Google searches will lead people to this post.~

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Memo to...


To: Coworker
From: Me

"Dramatical" is not a word. In fact, I do not even believe it is the combination of two separate words. Thus, I have no idea what you are trying to convey. Your insistence on making up words and utilizing them in a professional setting has resulted in my completely ignoring you.



To: B
From: Me

When I raise my injured hand in the air as you approach me on the couch, that is NOT an invitation to give me a HIGH FIVE! Love the thought, but the execution was quite painful.



To: Me
From: Me

You have an injured hand. The can of corn left you with three stitches. Thus, it is not wise to CLAP YOUR HANDS to emphasize a point. Unless, of course, the point was to show your two partners how loudly you can say F@ck. If so, mission accomplished.



To: Can of Corn
From: Me

I am still bitter about Sunday. So much so that I cannot bear to take you to the recycling box. Admittedly I am a bit scared too. It would look more than a tad bit ridiculous if I were to get another cut and more stitches. People would think I was doing it on purpose. I may ask B to recycle you but I am sure he would make some comment about how I was threatening to sue the corn company on the way to the hospital and how we will need to save the "evidence."



To: Random Guy at Lunch
From: Me

Remember when it was a cool thing to say to people "so, are you working hard or hardly working"? Those days are in the PAST. You look like a fool. A behind-the-times fool and you are not even that old.



To: Searcher of Blogs
From: Me

I know you stumbled upon my blog by searching for "riddle for ant in the carpet" but I am not sure what you were trying to find out. I know you ended up here, but I do not think that satisfied your query. Did you want a riddle to tell an ant in the carpet? Was the riddle that there WAS an ant in the carpet? Inquiring minds want to know. Heck, I think the ant wants to know.

~ Dani~

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Dinner That Almost Wasn't (a/k/a My Battle With a Can of Corn)

After my recent success with crockpot cooking, I decided that Sunday I would have another bout at it.  I also decided to attempt my lifelong dream of baking from scratch.*  Armed with this recipe for Applesauce Chicken from the lovely Crockpot Lady and this recipe for Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies from Picky Palate, I embarked on my Sunday journey of cooking.  Of course, as all of you readers know, nothing is ever that easy for me.

First, the chicken recipe called for chicken, which I guess goes without saying but I said it anyway. Great! I have frozen chicken, I thought, and the recipe said frozen would work.  I mixed together all of the ingredients for the sauce and got out the chicken.  That is when I noticed that being the brilliant chef that I am, I froze the chicken in its original packaging.  Yes - it was frozen to that piece of styrofoam tray.  Grr!  So there I am running it under water, utilizing a knife to free the chicken.  That is when the doorbell rings...

The day prior, Saturday, the campaigners were out in throes.  I just shut my door and they went away.  I figured the same could not happen twice in a row and certainly not on a Sunday!  So I left the front door open.  There I am, hand deep in half frozen chicken with some fool at the door ringing the doorbell incessantly.  I did what any rational person would do...ignored him.  Yes, I totally ignored a ringing doorbell despite the fact that my door was wide open. That is what they get for disturbing me while I am making dinner! We all know that I cannot afford distractions!

I finally get the tray removed, dump the chicken and the sauce into the crockpot and wonder if B will even like this dish.  You see, I generically told him that we were having chicken stuff because I was not sure if he liked applesauce or even apples.  I am such a risk taker!

While dinner was slowly cooking I made the cookies.  The.Best.Cookies.Ever. Seriously! And I was super proud of the fact that I made them from scratch and that I did not burn them since it took my oven almost four times the amount to bake called for in the recipe. Stupid oven!  B said they were good too observing, however, that they were quite large "like cookie pancakes."  (They were not that large).

As dinner was almost done and riding high on my successes so far, I ask B if he wants corn with the chicken and the rice I planned.  B says corn is always good. This is usually true.  Not tonight though.  I pull out the can of corn with the pull top opener and think how great it is that I do not have to use the can opener.  I stand over the sink and pull gently and nothing happens.  I pull harder and slice right into the ring finger on my right hand!  I yell for B.  Blood gushes everywhere.  B is slow to respond. I tell him I need band aids.  He comes in and runs for a towel.  Once he starts applying pressure, it starts to hurt. Bad. I start to cry. B is asking me if I think I need to go to the hospital.  I just cry and say it hurts.  Finally he looks at the cut (after making me turn away) and declares we need to "pack it up" we are headed to the ER.   Despite the pain, I knew that I could not go to the ER in the hoodie I was wearing (a freebie with the name of a40 oz beer on it) and sobbed for him to take it off me.  He asked me if there was any other outfit I wanted to change into.  I looked at him like he was nuts.  And then we were off with B wondering if they would think he somehow did this to me.  Ha! Even the ER people knew this story was so ridiculous no one would make it up!

Luckily we were only there for an hour and I only needed 3 stitches.  However, the slice is right at the knuckle/joint line at the top of my finger so bending will be quite painful and I was told I will have quite the scar.  A battle wound I would like to say.  And do you know how embarrassing it was to look at the ER form and see "can of corn" as mode of injury? I am SO tough.  When the doctor told us she hates when she sees "saw" show up on the screen, I was mortified to think that "can of corn" showed up on there. She assured me it only said laceration.  I am pretty sure she was lying since on her way out the door she said "watch out for those cans of corn."  They are all laughing at me still; I know it.  Just like my Dad who laughed through my entire story and thanked me for sharing it.**  Hey - no problem, nothing like a little blood loss to spice up everyone's day.

So here I am, typing with about 7 fingers and it is driving me crazy.  That and it is a constant reminder of my enemy - the can of corn!  Only frozen from now on said B and I think I will have to agree.  Oh - and the dinner? We ate it when we got home.  Thanks to the crockpot it was still warm.  And it was good! I declared it the "best chicken ever."  B said it was good and tasted like an apple cinnamon bagel.  Um...okay.  He liked it and that is all that mattered.  And the cookies? The 8 big pancake cookies? They did not even make it to today. Obviously a big hit. Almost as big of a hit as my corn story!  Nothing like lunching with clients and having to explain why you cannot shake their hand and your colleague asking if you want him to cut your food up for you.  I am so tres chic.

*My dreams come and go so "lifelong"is absolutely meaningless in this sentence.

**My Dad did express the proper amount of concern as well.  And at least he did not laugh only when I told him I cried like someone else I know!  Glad my pain and tears caused you so much humor. *smooches*

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why Married People Should Not Share Email Addresses

Here is a pet peeve of mine - married people sharing one email address.  Drives me absolutely crazy.  I understand that marriage means two become one, blah, blah, blah, but still not sure how that translates to a shared email address.* The thing is, I prefer to know who exactly it is I am talking to and who is reading my emails.  For example, perhaps I have some extremely personal information to share.  Of course, in reality, after hearing such news, my married friend may immediately go tell their spouse, but at least I can choose to disbelieve that they would do so. When the spouse shares the same email address, however, it becomes very hard to believe that both spouses are  not reading everything.  I mean, really, how could you resist?  Guess it is obvious it bugs me, but beyond that I do not even see the point.  It is not like you have to pay for each email address you have.  You can probably create about five billion free ones.  But I digress...

This post, although about married people, really is not about my pet peeve of sharing an email address, but it does show the lighter side of what can happen. My parents share a computer (not an email address).  Although they do have the ability to each have their own login, and actually do have their own individual logins, they are too lazy to switch between them. Really, it makes no difference because all of their settings are basically the same.  And my Dad, quite often, will just up and leave the computer in mid-action leaving his email open and on the screen. My mom will usually check and sign him out because they both use the same email platform (with different addresses).  Sometimes, though, my mom forgets and hilarity ensues:

The first email I received the other day was from my Dad and was a forwarded joke about women and men to which I responded:

Me: lovely

Dad: LOL I thought it was funny.

[stop - as an aside, this should have been my first clue as my Dad does not do LOLs]

Me: It was hilarious.  At first I thought "my dad is so sweet", then it just turned cynical and I thought "that's us, the [last name]'s"

"Dad": Yep, the swearing cynical [last name]'s LOL

[two LOLs - definitely not Dad!]

Me: Mom, are you answering Dad's emails?

"Dad": I thought I was answering you from a forward in my email?

Me: No. You are in Dad's email.  Look at the top, it says [dad's email address]. He must have left his open and you are responding in his email.

At the same time, a second email was sent from me to my Dad about a raffle. I received a response back from my "real" Dad (not my Mom) to which I responded. I then received this reply:

"Dad": I was going to ask Dad today and forgot...thanks for letting me know.

Me: Who is answering this? Mom? I sent this to Dad's email.

"Dad" a/k/a Mom: It's mom. It came to my email. Oh crap! Am I in Dad's email? ROFL

Me: And here I thought Dad and I were finally having a full on email exchange.

Now, do you see what I mean?  How confusing was THAT and they don't even share an email address.  Can you imagine if they shared one?  I would never know who I was talking to or, heck, even what we were talking about at any given time.  Please, people! For the sake of my sanity, maintain separate email addresses!!

That is all. Carry on.

*This post is not aimed at anyone in particular. I have had friends who shared email addresses with their spouses who saw the error of their ways so they are still my friends.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's Pork Got to Do With It?

Lately (as in once every three or six months) I have been attempting to cook. I will be the first to admit that I am not a good cook...yet. Of course, I do not cook very often either. Practice makes perfect, or at least edible I am sure. Somehow I am more comfortable with baking, although not yet completely from scratch which is a goal. So, the attempts at cooking have been interesting to say the least.

My very first attempt to cook us dinner was years ago when B and I first moved in together. I made some honey mustard chicken something. The first problem is that B does not like mustard. The second problem is that I completely forgot. When I retell the story I like to say that I had made it just for myself, after all he was not home at the time. The truth is, I forgot he didn't like mustard in my excitement to cook something and it sounded good to me. It was not good. Not. Good. It had too much of a mustard taste. I know, ironic?

Fast forward a couple of years (yes, except for a one time taco fiesta, it took me years to get over that awful meal and probably took B that same amount of time to be willing to try anything else I cooked). The next dish was lasagna. How can you mess that up, right? Ha! I did. Looking back at the recipe, I now realize what I had done. Even then I had an idea, but was too scared to stray from the recipe. I am not a cook after all, what do I know? The result - lasagna soup basically. That lasagna had so much liquid in it, it took me forever to figure out where to find the noodles! B's response? "It tastes okay." Yes, he ate it. What a trooper!

Disheartened by the lasagna debacle, it took me a while to try something else. Next up? Some baked chicken with cheese. How hard could THAT be, right? You cannot mess up baked chicken. Here's a fact - you cannot mess up baked chicken, however, you can make it look ugly. That chicken dish was good. B said so. What he also said was, "you sure aren't into aesthetics when you cook, are you?" Listen here bub! This isn't a four star restaurant! As a matter of fact, this is a no star place! I am trying to make edible meals, presentation be damned at this point!

Finally, I decided to branch out, make things a bit easier. How can anything be easier than baked chicken you ask? A crockpot!! And now, my friends, we get to the point of this post. I found a super easy recipe for pork loin which was coincidentally on sale at the grocery store. Eureka! Wait...does B like pork? You know I cannot remember his likes/dislikes at any given time (see above). Let me ask:

Me: Hey! Do you like pork?
B: What do you mean?
B: What kind of pork?
Me: What do you mean what kind of pork? Pork pork.
B: I like ham.
Me: Okay, I am not talking about ham. I am talking about pork. Like pork chops, pork loin...
B: I like ham.

That was the extent of the conversation because I gave up. Instead, I made pot roast which B declared was "good." See? I am getting closer to being a one star cook. So much closer. The pork talk passed. Time passed. But the pork was always on my mind. It was brought up again yesterday while at Chipotle (yum giant burritos - I LOVE you). After I had ordered, I looked back to find B ordering his usual - a CARNITAS burrito. That is right my friends, pork. As I watched them put the pork in his burrito, I remarked how gross it looked (it did look gross) and then it hit me:

Me: Wait! You like pork.
B: What?
Me: Pork! You like pork. Your burrito is pork.
B: And?
Me: Remember I asked you if you liked pork and you did not know?
B: No, I told you I didn't like ham.
Me: I didn't ask you if you liked ham.
B: Well I like spiral ham, like you know honeyed ham?
B: Ham and pork come from the same place.

Yep, and milk and beef come from the same place too, but when I ask you if you like beef, it is not acceptable to answer "I like milk."*

So, it is back to the drawing board for me and dinners. I think I will just avoid the whole pork discussion until I run out of other things to cook in the crockpot. That could take years, or at least 365 days if I follow A Year of Crockpotting. (A great blog, by the way. You should check it out).

*I do realize that comparing milk/beef to pork/ham is like comparing apples to oranges, but I like all fruit.

**Have you ever googled the question "what is the difference between pork and ham"? I just did. About a million results. Who knew everyone pondered this question?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not Entirely Crazy...

I did a little "research" (Thanks Google!) and discovered that our ants are really carpenter ants. In case you did not know, carpenter ants are territorial of each other and BITE. I knew I was bitten!! No clue what being burned with the goo was all about but I was in a panicked state, clearly.  And I hold no grudges toward the biting ants.  After all, I was hunting and killing them. No worries, a few traps later and we haven't seen a single one - knock on wood! (If we have any left, that is).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sometimes You Have to Let it Go

Recently, I decided to run into CVS during my "lunch hour." Of course, I am a salaried professional so, for me, there is no such thing as a lunch hour. However, I try to keep my errands and lunch times to a minimum so that I don't lose any billable time. Ahhhh billable hours...have to love them or cry, whichever comes first.

So, giving up my billable hours for a quick moment to run into CVS to purchase something is not that big of a deal. That is, until I get trapped in there FOREVER because there is the longest line in history and only one cashier. To pass the time, I allow myself to eavesdrop on the conversation of the two girls behind me. I think "God they sound young" - all about who got drunk when, who is sleeping with whom, and so on. Imagine my surprise when I look behind me and one of them is wearing a wedding ring. Here's hoping she is not the one sleeping around.

After about 15 minutes in this line (probably more like 5 but it felt like forever), another cashier opens up and says "next in line." Well, you will be relieved to know that I was next in line. I was sure relieved. As I was about to take a step in that direction, an elderly man four people behind me speeds right over there as if he is, in fact, next in line. So, I take a step back, look at the young girls behind me and nonchalantly remark "I guess I wasn't next in line." Everyone in line looks at this guy like "boy you have some balls." I, however, am not in the mood (at least today) to throw fits or to curse a man that is clearly about 50 years my elder. So I wait patiently because I am next in line after all, regardless of the line.

The cashier, however, wrongly sensing that there is about to be a revolution (I assure you no plans were made) decides that she is going to take it upon herself to be the sheriff of the situation:

Cashier: SIR! I said NEXT in line.
Man: Yes [nodding his head like he was, in fact, next in line]
Cashier: SIR, you were NOT NEXT in line. SHE was next in line [pointing to me].
Man: [still nodding]

And then...the man waves his arm at us, those in the other line, signalling to us that we should all come over. It was actually quite cute. And it was also quite clear that the man had no idea what the cashier was saying to him or that he had done anything wrong. So, as the cashier was winding up to yell at the man one more time (you could see it in her face and in the way she drew in her breath), she looked over at me and I shook my head softly no, saying to her with my head "just let it go." She exhaled and rang him up.

Finally, it was my turn in my line and the cashier was very quick to apologize profusely about the man and how he had, effectively, cut in front of me in line to which I respond "it is really no big deal." And it wasn't.

There was a time, probably in the not so distant past, that things like this would upset me...okay sometimes they still do. But I am learning! I have learned that you cannot change people, your sanity is ultimately more important that pointing you you are right and sometimes...elderly people can be so darn cute!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tag...You're It!

Jenny from Our Family Blog tagged me about 10 days ago (bad blogger I am to wait so long to respond!!).  Here are the tagging rules:

1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you're tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag

Here are 6 random things about me:

1.  I "file" away things in my brain alphabetically, especially names. So even if I cannot come up with the name, I can usually come up with the first letter ("Starts with a...")
2. My favorite guilty pleasure is Devil Wears Prada, both the movie and the book. I have probably seen the movie 20 times and read the book at least 7
3. Back in my WAY younger days, I actually thought that if I wrote a letter to Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains, he would fall in love with me and come find me. (Boy was I naive and did I have a high opinion of my writing, or what?)
4. I have been backstage at quite a few concerts and may have been considered a groupie (minus the sex and drugs - I know, took the fun right out of that statement, right?)
5. I have a serious addiction to Lifetime movies although I have probably seen all, if not most, of them.
6. I am actually on my second career, my first having sustained me through a LONG drawn out trek to a bachelor's degree. 

and a bonus fact because I feel like it:

Bonus: I love all things vampire (yay True Blood). In fact one of the first gifts I received from B was An Encyclopedia of Vampires.  Some thought it was a strange gift. I, however, thought it was one of the most thoughtful gifts I had ever received because it showed that he took the time to learn what I liked.

That is me in 6 sentences plus a bonus one. Now, I am going to tag the following six bloggers but with the caveat that they do NOT need to participate or answer questions.  I just want you to know how cool their blogs are and to check them out for yourselves:

1.  Starting Over at 24 - a tale of a brokenhearted man and his journey back through dating. Well, actually, it is a lot more than that. But you have to go there to check it out and see why I like it.

2.  FB of Fabulously Broke in the City - hers is a personal finance blog but so much more.  She has embarked on a self-employment path and quite often blogs about fashion.  And her weekly link love helps me find all the coolest blogs.

3. Kasmira of What I Wore Today - thanks to this blogger who posts her outfit every day, I have tried to spice up my usual conservative look and have received many compliments. She also turned me back on to thrift stores and vintage - which led me to the best fish necklace which will be the subject of a future post.

4. Annie at The Daily Digress - her posts and stories never cease to crack me up.  How she finds the time to blog with children and a family, I will never know, but I am so glad she does.

5.  Nurse K of Crass-Pollination: An ER Blog - because I find ER tales intriguing and her sense of humor/sarcasm sharp, witty and right up my alley.

6.  Daddy Likey - a fashion blog but so much more (aren't blogs always so much more?).  I especially like her imagined conversations with models posts as well as her Five Men Fashion First Impressions where she asks five men in her family their first thoughts on a ridiculous piece of fashion. Hilarity always ensues.

To end this game of tag I would just like to say that I read about 120 blogs (how sad is that?) and love them all.  I will try to showcase more of them for you in the future, but the above list is a start so get to reading!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Ant Liking This

Ants! Yes, ants are in our house. Big, mean, ugly ants! I am so distraught.  I made this discovery last night on my way to bed.  As I was passing through the dining room I spotted Chester staring intently at something.   As you know, he is the hunter.  After turning on the light I see a big, ugly ant.  I grab a tissue. Chester strolls nonchalantly over to his water bowl to get a drink.  Thanks for your help great hunter. Geesh!  This is when the drama started to unfold...

I take my tissue over to the floor by the wall and decide that I must squish the ant so he doesn't crawl on me.  I apply the tissue to the wall, hear a popping sound, and feel something sharp on my finger.  I shriek, jump back and start yelling about how that ant "bit" me!  I see it running behind our fish tank.  I yell some more about this ant biting me. No response from B from the other room.  I walk down the hall and yell some more, pondering whether it bit me, stung me, or if I was "burned" by its goo (whatever that means - I clearly was not thinking straight). B responds with an unenthusiastic "where did he go?" without even looking up. I go back to my tissue and discover a dead ant on it. There was more than one!   I walk back with my tissue and tell B he must see this big, ugly ant.  He declares that is, in fact, big and ugly.  I flush it, jump and shriek a little (why I don't know) and decide I am done with this whole ant situation and going to bed.

Well, now B has some interest.He wants to know where the other one went.  He also wants to know where they came from. How the heck am I supposed to know that just by seeing one walk across the carpet?  You see, last year, we also had a small ant problem - in that the ants were SMALL not huge.  A couple of ant traps later, no problem.  So, we walk back into the dining room, turn on the light and there is the ant in the middle of the room running across the carpet! Where is Chester you ask? Staring at the fish tank.  Thanks for your help, Chester! Really, we got it.  I declare I am not going to kill it as I don't want to get bit, stung or burned with goo again. So I just stand there, point at it, and warn B to "be careful."  Then I turn toward Chester to lecture him:

Me:  Chester, you are FIRED.
Chester: [looks up at my blankly]
Me:  You saw that ant and did not kill it.
Me:  And what about that other ant, huh?  Are you just going to let the ants walk all over our house literally?

Meanwhile, Chester listened to me intently, but, alas, did not understand a word I said.  So I turned my focus to the big spider in the corner of the ceiling - okay let me pause here - generally I have a problem killing anything, including bugs.  Obviously that does not apply to big, mean, ugly ants, but it does apply to spiders unless they, too, are big, mean and ugly.  However, I think spiders are useful in that they kill other bugs, usually. Which brings us back to my point. I ask B "why didn't that spider up there (pointing to the spider) kill these ants?"  B said he was too far up and didn't care.  "Didn't care? Is that not his food?" I exclaim.  To the spider:

Me:  You are FIRED!
Me:  There is food running all around this carpet and you are up there sleeping in the corner - it's not even winter yet.  Why are you hibernating?

I then proceed to bed. B follows 10 minutes later and informs me that he just killed another ant in our bathroom. They are everywhere. Everywhere!

This morning, I had the pleasure of killing three more of the same ants! In the bathroom - walking along the floor, on the wall, hiding from me. I got them all, but I know there is more. Where ARE they coming from?  We live on the second floor. How do they get up here? Do they sneak in when we open the door and then a day later make it to the top of the staircase? And that does not explain their friends. Unless the one that makes it to the top is pregnant.  Hmmm...this is all too much for me to ponder.  I just want the ants to go away.  Maybe if I could get Chester AND the spider to (a) do something and (b) coordinate their efforts, we could get this problem solved quickly.

Yes, I am crazy. But you already knew that, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Veterinarian and the Ventriloquist

No, I am not about to bust into a joke where these two go to a bar and are accosted by a talking monkey or something of that nature.  This is a serious story about a serious subject that cracked me up. What else is new?

My friend, an absolute sweetheart, had a cat. It had been with her for many, many years - before her kids, before her husband - back when she was single. Now with the kids, and the husband, and the dog, she would often remark that the cat seemed to be left out.  The cat, however, was still very much a part of the family.

One day, the cat got out of the house and met up with two vicious dogs on the front lawn.  My friend heard its cries and ran outside but could not get the two dogs off of the cat.  Sadly, the cat perished.  For days, my friend would come into the office in tears reliving what she could have done, should have done and how very much she missed her cat.  

Right about now I am sure you are thinking "how the heck is any of this funny?" I assure you, I do not think cats or any family pet dying is funny.  We were recently crushed at just the thought of having to put Mooch down.  That is no laughing matter.  However, the lengths that some people will go to in order to protect their children from sadness and death can be quite amusing.

You see, my friend could not figure out how she was going to tell her children that their cat had died. Her daughter was quite young, not yet in school and her son, although older, was quite sensitive.  So she did what any parent would do when conflicted - delay, delay, delay.  She told her kids that the cat was at the veterinarian and hopefully would be home soon.  Every day her son would ask how the cat was doing and every day she would give that same answer. When a week had gone by her son finally demanded that she call the veterinarian and check up on the cat.  And, this, is where I was amused.

Since there was no vet, my friend called her friend and without giving her friend any warning, immediately started this conversation:

Her*:  Hello VETERINARIAN, this is [name] and I am calling to check up on my cat.
Friend:  What???
Her:  DOCTOR, I want to know how my cat is doing?
Friend: Um, okay
Her:  Oh, the cat is sleeping? He seems to be okay?  Any idea when he will come home?
Friend: [laughing]
Her:  Okay, doctor, then we will call back tomorrow.
Friend: [still laughing]

Now, at this point in time my friend's son decides that he wants to talk - to the CAT!  My friend tries to dissuade him telling him the cat is resting and should not be disturbed.  But the son is not deterred and stresses that he wants to talk to the cat. Fearing that her son was about to freak out, my friend says this:

Her:  Doctor, my son would like to speak to the cat.
Friend:  WHAT? Friend, what am I supposed to do? What I am supposed to say. Don't you put him on that phone! Don't you dare.
Her:  Here is my son, doctor.

Son: Cat? Are you there? I miss you cat.
Friend: [panicked silence]
Son: Cat? I wish you were home. Can you say something cat?
Friend:  Meeeoowww.

There you have it - her friend meowed like a cat in response to being asked to "say something." I have to tell you that even when my friend was telling me this story, as sad as she was, she was cracking up at the idea that her friend actually meowed like a cat.  As if the cat had really had the phone up to its ear, it would have meowed in response.  I mean really. When does a cat EVER respond to anything?

Although I think about my friend and her cat still when I look at my cats and I imagine how sad her and her family still are, every time I picture my friend telling me this story and hear the little pitiful "meow" by her friend, the pretend vet, pretending to be a cat, I smile.

*I learned not to use acronyms for people anymore after my brother pointed out how my acronyms for my coworkers (COWS) could be misconstrued.  My coworkers, to my knowledge, are all human.  Likewise, I would not describe any of them as cows.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Pennies from Heaven

If you have read all of my posts on this blog, you will know that I love finding pennies on the ground (dimes and quarters are like nirvana).  If you haven't read all of my posts, what are you waiting for?  Check them out now and then come back to this story.  (psst - you can find them to the right under "past posts of brilliance").  Picking up pennies usually involves a story and this time is no different.

B and I were walking to our car following a sporting event, either baseball or football.  No, I don't know which.  They are both sports involving balls.  The stadiums are right next to each other. My involvement with both is limited to (1) noticing everything that anyone around us is doing that is strange, unusual or funny and reporting it to B (he loves this) and (2) cheering at all of the appropriate times with only a minimal clue as to what is going on (sometimes I even break out with my own version of rules and what should be going on.  B REALLY loves this).  Back to the story.

We are strolling along. Okay, that is a lie. B does not stroll. We are walking at a very high speed (which I love), when B points and says "penny."  B does not pick up pennies.  In fact, I think he finds it humorous that I do.  However, he will point out any penny he sees for me to pick up.  I like to think he is being helpful.  Really, he is trying to amuse himself I am sure.  So after hearing my battle cry "penny," I look down and lo and behold there are SIX pennies. Jackpot!  I was so excited saying "there are six of them" while picking them up (yes little things amuse me greatly).  I may have actually said "these pennies are from heaven." I wouldn't put it past me. When suddenly this voice screams "that's MINE."  Um, okay.  I look up and there is a woman sitting by the parking structure.  This woman looks like she could have been homeless or just having a bad day. Sometimes it is hard to tell. She proceeds to scream a litany that went something like this:

"That's MINE.  I lost my purse (sitting right next to her). Someone stole it. Someone stole my wallet. That's MINEEEEEEEE."


I almost felt like a thief right then.  Once I had finished picking up the pennies, I proceeded over to her, where she was still screaming about how that was hers and leaned over to hand her the pennies as I believed they were ultimately more important to her than to me at this point.  What does she do?

Turns her head away, SCOFFS at me, and says "I don't want that."  Okay, that is hysterical.  Even the potentially homeless, potentially a bit off lady does not want pennies.  Perhaps even she thinks it is amusing that I would bother to pick up pennies from the ground.  Kind of reminds me of this guy.  Regardless, I softly said to her "sure you do" and left the pennies right by her.  When we left the parking garage in our car, the lady was gone as were the pennies.  I guess she wanted them after all.  All the way home, instead of hearing about that "ball" game and the people that were there, B got to listen to the lady that loudly proclaimed me a thief and then snubbed me when I tried to give her the pennies. B REALLY loved that.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Do You Like My Purse?

This is my purse.  Just a normal looking big black purse.  It is not that interesting.  However, what is inside just very well may be.  I decided today I must clean out my purse because it weighs approximately 10 pounds.  This was also prompted by the client that said something to me along the lines of "that's not a purse - that's a suitcase" and my partner who quickly followed with "you're such a girl." Hmmm.

So after taking a brief look inside my purse, I decided it was too crazy not to share.  Men - take note - women carry a whole bunch of shit in their purse for no good reason.  Indeed, here is what I found:

First section (yet it is divided into three sections with an additional inside pocket and two outside pockets - who needs all that? Women! To keep us organized, of course).

Cell phone
Itouch (heavy and only goes to and from the office. Not sure why I don't leave it there locked up. Maybe because that would be smart)
Cell phone charger (don't normally carry that but the phone was low on juice and I needed to charge it while at the office)
Pack of gum (need fresh breath while hobsnobbing)
Makeup bag containing mirror, Carmex, lipgloss, lipstick, another lipgloss, another lip balm, hand sanitizer, three things of floss (I rarely floss), a safety pin and a ponytail holder (yes women also need bags inside of bags - they keep us organized - sensing the theme yet?)
Two Kleenexes (not used, thank you very much)
Business card holder (which I can never pull out easily when a potential client is around, only when I am looking for something else)
Gum wrapper (useless)
Piece of paper with gum in it (nice - I am almost ashamed to admit this but you have put it somewhere when you are in court and there is no trash)
26 cents

Second section (yes we are only on two out of three sections and haven't gone near the inside pocket or outside pockets):

Dunkin Donut coupon
Cheerios coupons
Envelope with expense check stub (yay expense checks!)
Eyeglass cleaner cloth
Samples of feminine products I was supposed to leave at office (oops)
Oral B Brush Up sample
Wallet (with credit cards, driver's license, grocery store cards, etc)
Sample of lens cleaning cloth
2 more hand sanitizers (what the hell?)
2 more samples of floss (ditto)
Crystal Light Immunity sample 
Antibacterial towelette (not used)
Sample of Excedrin extra strength (I like samples and Excedrin)
Splenda Flavor Blends French Vanilla packet
2 stray pieces of trident gum
Safety pin
Lip gloss
Ice Breakers tiny liquid ice things (in a package)
Nail file advertising someone running for judge 
Change purse with no change in it but $25.00 cash (that is a lot of cash on hand for me)
A fortune - oh yes, this one "a tub and a rub will change your day" (apparently my post on that did not have the exact wording)

Whew! On to Section Three (no I am not done - you think I should be done, but I assure you I am not):

Blank Speedi Teller slips to deposit my expense checks (yay)
Copy of deposited speedi teller slip
Speedi Teller envelope
Notebook for important thoughts and plans (mostly blank - no comments on that one!)
A quarter
Three more pieces of gum in paper (I went to court a lot recently)
Gift cards to the mall and to a department store that I need to use
Small wallet/purse with Caribou Coffee gift card, Macy's gift card, and Barnes & Noble gift cards (gosh I have a lot of gift cards - why am I sitting on all of this free money?)

Believe it or not, we are at the end. The inside pocket contains feminine products that I will not go into here or my male readers, all 3 of them, will never return.  The outside pockets are thankfully empty although I believe they contained things at some point in time.

So there it is.  Can you believe it? I cannot. I actually think there is more in my purse than the time my mom and I played this game when I was at her house. You really find out a lot about a person by what they hoard, I mean keep, in their purse.  Yes, Mom, I am talking to you!

Now you might think...what could I possible ever need with all of this stuff? Come on! I am SO prepared for anything.  I can have perfect breath and teeth with my gum and floss; work from anywhere with my cell phone, notebook and calculator; be entertained with my Itouch, buy just about anything with the gift cards if I run out of the cash in my change purse; fix any clothing issues with my safety pins; be ready day or night with my makeup stash; add flavor to any drink; sanitize just about anything at any given time; and even take medicine when this 10 lb purse gives me a back ache.  Is this why I carry all of this stuff? Hell no!  I clean my purse every once in a while (like now) and take out a lot of stuff.  Then, soon, more stuff just finds its way back in. I truly have no control over it.  It is like a giant blackhole.  And these "sections" make it worse because it is deceiving if you only look at it section by section.  That's right - it is not MY fault, it is my purse's fault. Obviously.

Yes, I have a problem.  Do they have a purseaholic anonymous?If so, I may need to attend because I have been eyeing an even bigger purse at Target.*

*I really love designer expensive purses, especially Coach, but I have limited myself to cheaper purses because I grow tired of the styles so quickly and because B said if another Coach purse comes in, one has to leave. Are you kidding me? Who sells their Coach purses? That is almost as dumb as his "one pair in, one pair out" shoes rule.  Please.  That's just crazy talk!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Did You Hear That?

For your viewing pleasure, this is a recent email exchange between my mother and I:

Mom:  this is off the subject, but either my washer or dryer just FARTED...honest, I heard it...well something did and it was loud and NO it was not me.  Going to investigate who is farting in my laundry room or somewhere...spooky!

Me: Please let me know what farted because I smell (no pun intended) a blog post coming from this one...

Mom: I am telling you it happened. I heard it plain as day.  Do you think my house was built on top of a grave and gas is still leaking out from some poor soul's that case, I know what he/she died from Gas-o-ritis.

Me: You are too much. Are you sure YOU didn't fart?

Mom: Believe me, if it were me I would tell you.  Nope it came from the laundry room or somewhere out there.  Could a little bug make a strange sound like that?

Then, ironically enough, a couple of days later I sent my Mom an email about some new high tech washers/dryers:

Me:  A washer and dryer that "speak" to each other. How interesting.

Mom: I wonder if they fart. 

Me: We can only hope.  You know I will have to blog about this since I have a whole category about bizarre appliances?

Mom:  I have a feeling your blog is going to be very interesting.

So, Mom never did find out what farted in her laundry room.  And, no she was not drinking when she wrote that. Shame on you for thinking that! Or did I just put that thought in your head? Moving along...

Has anyone else had their appliances make strange noises or is my Mom living in the house from Poltergeist?

The idea for this post came from the wonderful blog Postcards From Yo Momma where readers send in their favorite wild, wacky and humorous emails from their mothers which are then published on the blog.  I have not turned in any of my mom's writings...yet.  However, I do threaten her with that course of action often!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Assistance on Aisle 10

My mom and I took a quick jaunt to our local big box store this holiday because I decided to try out my new crockpot and needed a pot roast to act as my guinea pig. This trip was anything but quick.

We get into one of about four lanes out of 100 that are open and just wait...and wait. After standing there a while and becoming the middle of the lane, we realize that we each have under 20 items and could actually be in the express lane. We look over to see that there are lot of people in those lines and decide to stay right where we are. That was our mistake. We weren't thinking. Even if there were a lot of people in the express lanes, they would move faster due to the small amount of items unlike the two cart fulls in front of us. The first cart's total came to $222 and some cents. The second cart, that cart was the problem. The total there was $98 and some cents. As a side note, prior to ringing up the $98 cart, the cashier tells a man two people behind us that he is her last customer and after that she is closed. He gives her a blank stare. She repeats herself and asks him if he understands. He nods with a blank stare. I immediately think "that's not good."

Back to the $98 cart. It is all scanned and the lady puts her card through at which time the cashier informs her she owes $8.67. The lady is baffled. Discussions ensure. Apparently she has a bridge card and either (a) she bought some items that were not allowed or (b) she did not have enough of a balance for all of her purchases. She disputes either one insisting that she purchased only allowable food and that she checked her balance before coming in and it was over that amount. Manager girl is called. She repeats what the cashier said. They are scrutinizing the receipt to figure it out. They attempt to subtract items from her order. That does not work.

Meanwhile my mom informs me that the "last" guy in line has not told anyone that the register is closed. I look back and there are 5 people in line behind him!! I wait to catch his eye and then give him my disappointed in him look. He turns his blank stare elsewhere. Moments later the lady behind us turns to the guy and says "Didn't you tell all those people behind you that she was closed?" He gives her the blank stare. She attempts to tell the first lady behind him that the register is closed. The lady says something about being in line when the light was on or some other random reason that she belonged in that line. However, since the line is moving slower than molasses, most of the people left and went to other slow but faster moving lines.

Back to the register - still attempting to remove and still not happening. I turn to my mom and tell her that I am about to offer up $8.67 to this lady so we can just get out of there. Then the manager tells the lady that they can take her to a different register and try to ring it up again when the lady informs them that she wants no part of that. Huh? What? I put my money back in my pocket because now I am mad at this lady who is unwilling to do anything to help them fix this. Apparently she believes it is the store's problem. I am not sure how the store is at fault when your card will not do what you think it can do. The store does not control that. The cashier is just standing there next to the manager with dead eyes. I imagine her thinking she is never going to get her break and she is going to have a lot of angry people to ring up in a minute.

At this time the "last" guy in line decides to yell "Send her to customer service so the rest of us can get out of here!" Really? The guy who cannot even manage to follow one simple request to tell people behind him that the register is closed now wants to bark out orders for other people to follow? You have got to be kidding me! I actually say this out loud. He does not hear me.

Finally, the manager convinces the lady to go to customer service and this whole debacle ends. Not a moment too soon, I might add, for I found myself repeating over and over "really? you want to bark orders when you cannot even follow them" in the direction of the "last" guy and I was getting louder every time. At some point, he was bound to hear me.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tales from the Courthouse Part Deux

Today I was in court, as one colleague said "the place with the huge columns and the judge." Well, there were no columns at this courthouse, but there was a judge and, of course, there was a criminal.  I was there on a civil matter, but those criminal matters always sneak their way in and usually go first what with a person's freedom and liberty at stake and all.

So, as usual, a guy is brought out in shackles and left in the jury box to await his case. Apparently this was a hearing to bind him over on the charges against him - all four or five of them that is. Why stop at one?

This guy was arrested for speeding in his Hummer when the cops spotted him while in the area looking for someone else entirely.  How unlucky is that?  Well this guy knows plenty about being unlucky.  You see - he was speeding in a Hummer which is pretty visible, while on a suspended license, drunk, with a gun and ammo in the car and while there was a warrant for his arrest in a different city.   So, tell me, is this unlucky or just plain stupid?

As the detective in charge read the details, it went a little something like this:

We were looking for a bad guy.  During that search, we spot the defendant driving like a maniac in his huge-ass Hummer and pull him over.  He reeks of "alcohol on his breath" (yes the detective added the "on his breath" part - these other words are mine) so we give about five sobriety tests of which he fails all five.  Breathalyzer is at .24 (at this point the judge looks over at the bailiff with a look and whispers .24 and the bailiff nods back in confirmation like "yes, that IS a lot" while I am thinking "it is but I have heard worse" and I do not nod at anybody). So, we take him out of the car and of course search it.  That is when we find an empty gun in a plastic bag (probably Kroger's) under the seat with two magazines of ammo inside the same bag.  (uh oh - you in TROUBLE - so says the face of almost everyone in the courtroom).  We determine that he has a bench warrant in a different city for another charge and also that his carrying a concealed weapon permit expired 6 years ago.

So the detective didn't say it exactly like that, but it pretty much sums it up. The detective asks for a $10,000 cash bond because he believes the guy is a huge risk. We in the cheap seats are all shocked at the amount, although believe it is probably appropriate. At this time, the bailiff announces that he has a note from the arresting officer that indicates the defendant has ANOTHER gun that is not registered and that they want it relinquished.  This guy is a cowboy!

So the guy decides he would like to take the opportunity to tell the judge that the warrant for his arrest in the other city is for obstruction of view "for a ROSARY your honor" looking all humble and pious.  The judge then shoots him down with a "yeah, your warrant is for employing dancers without a license."  Not so pious anymore.

Just when the audience had thought they had heard it all, the judge announces she is setting a $50,000 bond - all cash!  We were shocked.  That is a huge amount. This judge is tough!  She also told him that should he make bond he cannot drink or do drugs.  Oh, and he must relinquish that other gun immediately (not sure how he is going to do that from jail).

Now, the guy claimed he could pay for his own attorney because he was self-employed (although he gave some other employment besides the employing dancers without a license of course).  Meanwhile, I am thinking if you need to post $50,000 cash just to get out of jail, you might want to rethink the part where you say you can afford your own attorney. Just saying. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What's New Around These Parts?

Well for those of you that have read my blog dating back to 2006, as ever scarce as it was, you will see a lot has changed. There is a new background, of course. I have also added options to subscribe via a reader or email in case you are THAT interested in what I have to say - and why wouldn't you be? 

Other highlights - you can go through the archives to see what else I have posted in the "Past Posts of Brilliance" section. I am now labeling my posts so that you can easily search if you want to read more posts with a certain label - check out "Want to Read More on the Subject." If you would like to see what other blogs I read, check out the "What I am Reading on the Web" section. (if you would like to see an adorable baby that I like to call my nephew* check out Our Family Blog). Finally, I am Twittering. If you do not know what that is, it is basically a short update as to what I am doing at any given moment. Whether anyone really needs to know that is debatable, but you can find it to the right under "Twitter Updates." 

With a revamped blog, must come a revamped title. I thought "My Moments" was a little plain. So now this blog is called "Riddle Me This." Maybe not original, but something that is said and thought quite often by me so pretty apt, if I do say so.

With all of that being said, let me get to posting so you can get to reading. Hope you all will stick around.

*He is actually my nephew. I just don't call him that.

Monday, September 01, 2008

My Cat is a Conehead

Poor Mooch. He had it rough this weekend.  He had been acting strange, for him at least, since at least Tuesday.  This included crying at nothing, not being deterred by the feared water bottle, and lastly standing weird.  Yes, I can tell when the cat is standing strange.  He had adopted this pounce-like stance where it appeared he was stalking something but wasn't.  On Friday, while we were out to dinner,  I mention this to B.  Later that night B declares something in the house must have scared Mooch.  (By the way, B is very fond of this reasoning and I have never really seen the cats scared. He must know more than I do). 

So about 11 pm on Friday night (because nothing can really happen during normal working vet hours of course), Mooch acts super strange and steps into our recycling box and just stands there. It is way too small for him and he has never shown any interest in this box at all. B insists it is perfectly normal. Suddenly, like some cheesy Lifetime movie, all the pieces of the puzzle hit me at once - the crying, the weird stance and the excessive licking of his private parts that day (that I just remembered then).  I immediately announce that Mooch is going to pee in the box.  Much to B's dismay, that is exactly what happened.  A phone call later and B is taking Mooch to the emergency vet where it is discovered he has a urinary tract problem, a lot of kidney stones and may need surgery.

The surgery discussion occurs the next day at which point we then have to determine how much we love Mooch.  Pretty bad, huh? But emergency vets and sex change surgeries are expensive. Mooch, however, is worth it.  And as of today, he does not need the surgery.  The emergency vet kept him all weekend and did some procedures to help him.  Now he has to eat fancy food and distilled water.  Still an expensive cat that one.

Now the funniest part of this story is Mooch's arrival home.  Oh, and maybe the fact that Chester did not miss him one bit.  Not at all!  He walked around and slept like he was the king of the castle (which he was).  B remarked about how animals are supposed to miss their companions. Not Chester though. I guess he was tired of being bullied.  So in walks Mooch with a CONE on his head. Too funny.  He is running up and down the hall and Chester looks genuinely surprised that has even returned. B then informs me that we have to keep them separated.  Uh huh. That will work.  

That left Mooch locked up in the back den looking very pitiful and sad.  When the door opened he shot out of there and straight for the litter box. Of course the cone prevented his entering, but Mooch was determined and just barged in. I informed B that he was not going to be able to come back out, but I was wrong. He barged right back out and immediately ran into the wall (no depth perception without whiskers and all).

I tried to get a picture of Mooch in his cone but he is having none of that.  He looks so pitiful and every time I try to take it he just rubs his cone up against my leg and makes me feel guilty at attempting to find humor in his situation. Mooch tells me that he would rather I post a regal looking pic.  So here you go:

Meanwhile, Chester? Yeah, he is TERRIFIED of Mooch.  After crying all night long to be let in the back room (and being squirted with a water bottle 5 times throughout the night - yeah, I got NO sleep), he is finally let in the room, only to take one look at Mooch in that cone and hiss at him!  Chester NEVER hisses at Mooch. He then backed away and ran down the hall. Now whenever Mooch is let out randomly, Chester hides.  That is how odd that cat looks in the cone. Although I will say Mooch is styling as his cone is gray, just like his coat.  

Since Chester would be jealous that Mooch is getting all of the attention despite the fact that Mooch is the sick one, here is a picture of Chester as King of the Castle and apparently almost as long as I am on the couch:

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