Tag Archives: advice

Even the pig would like more direction.

14 May

Image Source: icanhascheezburger.com

The Recipe:

Perfect No-Mess Bacon: Place bacon slices on cookie sheet. Put cookie sheet in cold oven and set temp to 400. Walk away. Come back in 17-20 minutes to perfectly cooked bacon.

My Comment On This Recipe:

Hey Chef! Is your name Hannibal Lector? Have you seen what a cold oven does with bacon in 17-20 minutes? I’ll tell you: JACK. SHIT. 

That’s right: Nothing. 

Sorry if I seem irrationally upset. That’s probably because when the timer went off, I jumped from my chair – which is not easy because it is a RECLINER – chanting, “Who has no-mess bacon? I do! I do!” as if I were a cheerleader for the Lakers. (A Laker Girl, if you will.)

Imagine my disappointment at opening the oven door to find what looked a pile of cellulite limply staring back at me – puckered, greasy, white and raw. (Actually, now that I write that, it reminds me of my last bike ride. I couldn’t walk for days. And neither, sir, can that bacon. And it hasn’t even SEEN a bike seat.)

I’d hate to see your recipe for french fries: Put lard in the fryer. Drop whole potato in. Turn on skillet. Go take a nap. It will chop itself. 

Seriously. How did this even come up as the TOP result for “oven-cooked bacon?”

You suck more than the suckling pig that is sliced and raw in my oven. That is all.


Because I may or may not be the love-child of Anthony Boudain + Rachel Ray, I ended up extending the cooking time and dialing down the heat until the bacon was cooked properly. Turned out great – no thanks to the recipe.

Second Update:

That “no mess” part? Also needs to be revisited.

Thanks to a small hole in the tin foil lining the cookie sheet, I managed to drizzle a solid stream of bacon grease from my oven to the trash can. Have you ever buffed your floor with bacon grease? I don’t recommend it.

On the plus-side, my floors are now very shiny and my home smells like bacon.

Maybe I should start a cooking show.

Advice for Amy and George: Be on your best behavior.

26 Sep

During our recent trip to Canada, we established (through the wonders of Facebook) that we had friends who planned to visit Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island about a month after us. Midway through our  vacation, I asked Alan, “Any advice for Amy and George based on our experience thus far?”

I thought he’d offer up a highlight, like “They MUST go whale watching with Captain Mark,” or “Dinner at the Red Shoe Pub.”

But after some quiet consideration, he said, “Tell them that this is one place they won’t want to have the attitude that their behavior doesn’t matter because they’ll never see these people again. Because they will.”

So true. Perhaps it’s because Cape Breton has done such a great job creating and marking scenic driving trails that all travelers tend to share the same itinerary?

For example, we drove the full Cabot Trail (primarily scenic, weaving around the highlands national park), the full Ceildih Trail (packed with Celtic heritage and music), and part of the Bras d’Or Trail (along the coast of the huge inland saltwater lake). We didn’t venture to the eastern part of the island, so we missed the Fleur-de-lis Trail, which traces more of the island’s French heritage.

And along those routes? We repeatedly crossed paths with people we’d seen earlier on our trip. The couple from the whisky tour at Glenora? Seated next to us in the restaurant forty kilometers down the road for lunch. The couple who loudly made love (and I’m being generous with that term) in the motel room sharing the wall with our headboard? Sipping coffee across from us at breakfast the next morning – and again outside a restaurant on the other side of the island two days later.

A quick note on that: Cape Breton has limited lodging options. There were no real hotels, so we generally found ourselves choosing between a B&B or a motel that looked like it was plunked from the 1950s – still cute rather than creepy. When we checked into our first motel, Alan looked skeptical. “I’m pretty sure these places rent by the hour,” he commented.

I rolled my eyes. “Did you see any other options? Do you think someone’s going to buy a national park permit so they can drive up here to have motel sex?”

But then, two hours later, we started to hear an odd knock along our wall and our headboard shook. We looked at each other: Seriously?

Of course we muted the television for a minute so we could confirm that a moose wasn’t head-butting the building. If we’d had any question, it was quickly resolved. So we turned the volume back up, trying to ignore our neighbors. But they kept going. And going. If it had been a vibrating bed that took quarters (remember those?), they would’ve needed two rolls.

In the morning, as I stepped out to head to breakfast, their door opened at the same time. I couldn’t help but pause to retie my shoe so I could see what they looked like – I was picturing fake boobs, bleached hair and guy wearing multiple gold necklaces. Out stepped a seemingly conservative couple in their late 50s, looking like they’d just dropped their kids off at college.

All righty then.

So that’s the advice we have for George & Amy when it comes to Nova Scotia: Stalk or be stalked, but always be polite. And also? You can probably save a bunch of money if you negotiate your lodging by the hour. Apparently that’s acceptable.

My unsolicited sales advice finds two audiences.

2 Oct

On my way to Safeway this weekend, I got stopped by a guy with a clipboard who was trying to gain support for an anti-hate crime support. Usually I walk past sidewalk campaigners, but for whatever reason, I allowed him to engage me.

His memorization of statistics was impressive, and his delivery of the message was smooth, but it ran a bit long. I cut him off, saying, “I believe in your cause, but I make a practice of only giving online. Do you have a web address I could go to?”

Instead of answering my question, he pulled out a form for sidewalk donations and started a long pitch for how they’re “only looking for a modest donation of a dollar a day…” Still trying to be polite, I said, “Again, I won’t give money on the street, but if you have a URL I’ll visit it when I get home.”

And again, he didn’t answer my question but instead plowed forward with his pitch, trying to close me  to make an on-the-spot donation. It pissed me off, and although I tend to be a polite person, I realized that if he wasn’t going to listen to me, I wasn’t going to listen to him. So I just raised my hand, said, “You need to learn to listen,” and walked away, muttering “asshole” under my breath.

Apparently I’m not good at turning off my job, because it wasn’t the first piece of sales advice I offered this weekend.

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We may have bonded for the wrong reasons.

8 Jul

A few weeks ago the crew from my office went to my colleague’s home to celebrate the graduation of her daughter. It was sweet of her to invite us, and it was nice to get a glimpse of her life outside of work. It didn’t hurt that she has a friendly family and a beautiful home.

It did, however, remind me, of another time, years ago, when someone dared to blur the line between work and home, with significantly less impressive results.

For almost a decade, I’ve managed people in markets other than where I sit, which means I often fly in for a 3-4 day junket and try to do as much as possible while I’m visiting. Client visits? Shadow interviews? Performance reviews?  Team building? Bring it!

In this case, I was visiting a market with a relatively new team who was struggling to bond. There was a certain amount of back-stabbing drama, and I was hoping to put an end to it while in town. I offered to take everyone out to  dinner, but one of the women countered my proposal, inviting us all to her house instead. Very nice.

While that seems like a good idea on the surface, I probably should have stuck with Plan A since I’d never seen her home. But I didn’t. Noted.

So cut to 6pm, when we walk through her front door. And are immediately greeted by a rotweiler and a black lab. And when I say greeted, I mean: after jumping on us, unable to contain its excitement, the lab lifts his leg and pees on my boots.

Could've been worse! (Image Source: HaHaStop)

Fortunately, they are knee-high boots, so they sort of function like fishing waders and keep my legs dry. But still, I’m standing there in the kitchen, in a puddle of urine with wet boots. That definitely isn’t how I would choose to say, “Welcome to my home!” to a co-worker.

Luckily, I have a change of clothes with me, so I excuse myself to the bathroom to freshen up. (I’ve also been sitting in traffic for upwards of an hour and gulping water on the way to her home, so my run to the bathroom is multi-functional.)

In the bathroom, I close the door, set about washing off my boots, then turn to use the toilet. And am greeted by an open bowl, already hosting a turd the side the size of 50 Cent’s forearm. Just… wow.

My incredulity quickly turns to panic, however, because I realize I’ve been in the bathroom long enough that if I go back out and announce that the toilet is clogged, they are going to think I’m the reason. So suddenly, her turd (or, more likely, her husband/child’s turd) becomes my problem.

I flush and feel a wave of relief when I see it disappear without a struggle. Of course, that then begs the question: what was it doing there in the first place? No matter. I’m just glad to have it gone so I can pee and get out of there.

When I walk back to the kitchen, I’m pretty sure I look shell-shocked, because when one of the women says, “All cleaned up?” it takes me a minute to realize she’s talking about my boots. I nod, thinking, “If only you knew.”

And maybe it’s because I’ve encountered two different forms of excrement within ten minutes of entering the home, but I’m starting to feel a bit queasy about eating dinner there. It doesn’t help that our host’s eight year old daughter is leaning over the salad bowl to toss it, the ends of her hair touching the lettuce.

Remember the scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation, where Chevy Chase’s cousin’s daughter is stirring the KoolAid pitcher with her arm instead of a spoon? Yeah, it’s like that.

To keep from rambling, I’ll ask you to use your imagination to figure out how dirty underwear, wigs and piranhas presented themselves as the evening went on. But let me assure you: they all made an appearance.

The morale of the story? I think McDonald’s said it best when they launched the McDLT: Keep your hot side hot, and your cool side cool. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to mix.

More Tips: How to NOT Get Kicked to the Curb Before You Even Interview

7 Jun

Shockingly (to those of you who ONLY know me through this  blog), I have directly hired (and, sadly, fired) a not insignificant number of people in my day. (By which I mean more than 50, and fewer than 100. Probably. But I’m too lazy to do the math.)

If you are currently looking for a new job, this is your lucky day. Because you’re about to receive valid advice from a REAL PERSON (one who swears, eats at food trucks and mocks people for farting in yoga), as opposed to some SHRM-bot that only gives vanilla tips for getting hired.

For background: I’m currently looking for a salesperson with almost ten years’ strategic sales experience and a strong book of contacts in a specific industry. And yet…

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