Archive | November, 2011

Life Coaching In The Kitchen

30 Nov

Dear Standard Life Coach,

I get that Rachel Ray is trying to be Ms. Efficiency and prepare a 7 course gourmet meal for 16 people in 11 minutes. But can she really believe that the time saved by uttering absurdities like “E.V.O.O.” and “Sammies” is worth the special place in hell she will receive for torturing innocent people with their incessant use?

Worried About Her Immortal Soul

Dear Worried,

Yes, let’s talk about this.

Your favorite Life Coach detests the term “sammies” as much as I love saying “sammich”. I think people of breeding and refinement get the difference. A sammich is something that is generally made on pasty white bread, is packed inside a brown paper lunch bag, and holds meat redolent of snouts, knees, and ears. A sammich is never purchased, it is always made. I have heard of people putting Duke’s on a sammich instead of the proper Miracle Whip or Hellman’s, but I don’t actually know any of these people. A sammie, on the other hand, generally contains ingredients that should not be sitting near each other, let alone stacked on top of each other. Red grapes and hominy with arugula and tripe between two pieces of toasted marble rye would be a sammie.

I also have trouble with EVOO. First, it is a total waste of money to use extra-virgin olive oil if it is to be heated. It turns rancid and makes your food taste like it’s been prepared in the butt of a gassy goat.  Just get the plain, cheap olive oil and save the virgins for your salad dressing. Also, using such a term is fine until it becomes your thing. It has become a problem when you are your catchphrase and people just come up to you at the Dallas airport and yell, “HEY! SAY EEVEEOHOH!! SAMMIES, AMIRITE?!”

I have never tried a recipe of Ms. Ray’s that did not come out tasting like the south end of a north-bound mule, and I don’t mean that in a good way. However! I am in a giving mood. Here are three no-fail plans for Dinner Innahurry:

  1. Call your mother and beg her for that casserole recipe that uses the Ritz crackers and pimentos. Obviously, this is a fancy dish, so you want to serve this on the good china.
  2. Run by The Colonel’s and throw your eight-piece special on a serving tray with–now, pay attention here–some curly parsley for garnish.
  3. Peanut butter sammiches. DUH.

Now, as for her soul? The woman has a recipe for cooking bacon. Obviously her soul’s the least of her issues.


Today’s Mood

29 Nov


Life Coaching For The Holidays

28 Nov

Ah, holidays!

The smell of gingerbread and pine needles. The bustle of shoppers picking out the perfect gifts for the ones they love. The sounds of loud cursing when it is discovered you are out of tape. The wiz of the mouse as it flies across the room after you track the shipment containing your mother-in-law’s house coat and discover it will not get here until December 28.

We at Standard Shed Studios want to help. Nay, we CAN help you with that.

We (this is the royal we, obviously) know that you are powerless in the face of drunken co-workers at your office party, your Uncle Norman who insists on showing everyone his stub during Christmas dinner, and your neighbors with the yard decorations so bright you’ve considered covering your windows with aluminum foil. We are here.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My husband insists on wearing these felt antlers on his head EVERY DAMN DAY. It’s getting ridiculous. What can I do?


Mrs. Rudolph

Dear Mrs. Rudolph,

We would remind you that bow season lasts until January and that discharging a musket within city limits is illegal.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My wife always says it’s the thought that counts, but when I give her something she needs like a new low-flush toilet, I get a speech about how I’ve ruined her Christmas.



Dear Confused,

Ah, yes. We know the species of which you speak. The object of your affection is a Passive/Aggressive Gifter. There’s little you can do here. If you take her to Hawaii, she’d really have wanted to go to Mexico. If you go to Jared’s, she’ll call you a cheap, tacky bastard and her mother was right about you.

We suggest you pick out something YOU want and wrap it. Just because nothing will please her, doesn’t mean that’s true for you, yes? Although, to be fair, unless one specifically asks for a new toilet, you might want to stay away from any gift related to excretion. We’re just sayin’.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

I am not Christian, but everywhere I go people are wishing me a merry Christmas. It really pisses me off. This is a secular country, right? How do I get people to stop with the indoctrination?


Hitch Is My Hero

Dear HIMY,

Shut the hell up.

Do you expect people to tell just by merely being in your presence that you are not affiliated? If you don’t like Christmas, stay the hell inside. When someone of a faith different or contrary to yours expresses a wish for you that reflects his or her faith, it is out of a desire to care for that part of you which cannot be nourished by food. It makes him or her feel good, this practice of faith. He or she would like you to feel good as well.

We hate when someone asks us how we are and we say “Good, and you?” and they make a HUGE production of telling us they’re “WELL.”  We KNOW good and damn well it’s well, and we guarantee that’s a hell of a lot more annoying than the festive shit you’ve got a problem with.

Now, burn some sage and get your head out of your ass.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My wife hates people. We have to go to my company’s holiday party or I’ll get fired. What should I do?


Afraid For My Life And My Job

Dear Chuck,

I told you we’d discuss this later, okay?!



The Grounds, Formerly Occupy Bucksnort

27 Nov


Occupy Bucksnort has reached an agreement with Starbucks to sponsor the Occupy encampment, now known as The Grounds by Starbucks (Occupy Bucksnort). Missing her daily Skinny Peppermint Mochas, protester Kelly March struck a deal with a nearby Nashville Starbucks to distribute festive, seasonal coffee-like drinks to the protesters. Starbucks will also supply branded fleece blankets to protesters at The Grounds.

While initially disregarding Ms. March’s actions as totally contrary to everything the Occupy Movement stands for, the soft brushed fleece of the generously sized lap blankets and the warmth of the environmentally friendly latte cups have made believers out of some protesters.

Said Mark Hawkins, a marketing major at Vanderbilt, “At first? I was like whoa? Um, like isn’t that why we’re here? Like to protest corporate ownership of everything? Then, like once the sun set? I was like, yeah, I’ll have a Cinnamon Dolce Latte to warm the bones. And that fleece? It’s performance fleece.”

Starbucks regional spokesperson Darlene Kent issued this statement:

“We are beyond thrilled to be the sole corporate sponsor of The Grounds by Starbucks (Occupy Bucksnort). Starbucks has a long tradition of community involvement and we’re proud of this developing synergy between Starbucks and Occupy Bucksnort. This really started as a back of the napkin idea of Ms. March’s, and we couldn’t be more excited about our role in future doors of Grounds by Starbucks throughout the country.”

 A twenty-two-year-old occupier who goes by the name Ben and Jerry’s Wavy Gravy as an homage to both the famous hippie activist and his favorite ice cream, is not embracing the new partnership. “You can’t just go slapping corporate logos all over everything without VOTING! We are the 99%! This is a pure democracy, man. We’ve got to put this to a vote. MIC CHECK!”

Ms. March, a speech pathologist from Dixon, believed there are some kind corporate personages out there and wanted to bring them into the Occupy Movement to help defray some of the expenses incurred by the Movement.

“Ultimately, I’d really like to bring Waste Management or BFI in. I mean, that’s dreaming big, I know, but even a small encampment like Occu…I mean, The Grounds by Starbucks (Occupy Bucksnort) has troubles with, um, I don’t want to be rude, my mother might read this. Let’s just say even fifteen people can mess up the facilities at Bucksnort Tote-Sum, and they’ve been so kind to us already by giving us discounts on Fresca and Swedish Fish. And, let’s face it, if we’re going to be drinking more coffee, well, I’d really like to look into our options.”

Ms. March isn’t concerned about detractors. “Listen, I know people are going to look at Bucksnort like we don’t know what we’re doing. But I think they’re wrong. The Occupy Movement is a great time to make new friends. Doing business with such a friendly company like Starbucks has been eye-opening. They really do care. I know people say they put the little guy out of business and they ‘greenwash’, whatever that is, but I say there’s a place for them and their blankets. And that’s here at The Grounds by Starbucks (Occupy Bucksnort).”

Asked if the sharing of the word “buck” in both Starbucks and Bucksnort had anything to do with the sponsorship, Ms. March answered, “Honestly? I’ve never thought of it! It’s like it was meant to be!”

Ms. March added, without a trace of irony, “Maybe I should give up speech pathology for marketing. I could be one of those job creators I keep hearing about. Isn’t that what Occupy is about? Jobs?”

The Occupy Nashville Movement has made pains to distance itself from its country cousin. The General Assembly issued the following statement:

“Occupy Nashville does not condone the actions of our former sister movement in Bucksnort. While we all really, really, really miss our piping hot delicious coffee served to us in the warmth of a neighborhood coffee shop, and could really use a cheese Danish  if truth be known, we must stand united against corporate greed. Even if it does come wrapped in thick, luscious performance fleece.”


We Need To Talk About The Power Ballad

22 Nov

Y’all, we’ve got to talk about the power ballad. Why is this still a thing?

I thought that band that did that one about there being a hole in his heart that can only be filled by me was The Last Of The Power Ballads, but I was gently reminded today that I was about twenty years and five Nickleback albums out of touch. I don’t know if this is a Nickleback song or not, maybe I assume all crap songs are by Nickleback, but there’s one about some dude and he’s either standing with or staring down the barrel of a forty-five. Now, I’m also assuming he’s talking a gun since only those of us who are old enough to have gotten tinnitus from a club and not an iPod know what a 45 record is. Whichever, I heard that crap today and cannot stop my ears from bleeding.

And y’all, this dude is serious. He’s emotive. I don’t have to see him to know he’s gazing soulfully out to his audience, his newly inserted highlights gleaming under the lights, his brand new artfully torn jeans worn just low enough to show off how ripped he is, but not low enough to make you think he’s gay. Hey girl, he sings, you are my spirit animal. You. Are.


I hated that crap when Kenny Loggins did it, I hate it even more now. At least he was authentically doing crappy power ballads. Like Poison. Deliver me from hair bands, especially when they want to dim the lights and get serious, girl. I have just always assumed that bands like Poison and Cinderella were in on the joke. You know what the problem with the Millennials is? All their bands take themselves too damn seriously. Green Day and their saccharine power ballads where they weep for the world would be almost not a half bad if they appeared to have a sense of humor. I know I get a laugh out of them, although I’m told they are not, strictly speaking, a novelty act.

But I digress.

How can I begin my Thanksgiving preparations with that crap lodged in my head? Five words: Massive doses of Warren Zevon.

I’ll probably be out the rest of the week, kids. Everyone be safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Here are some songs I’m thankful for:





A Thing

19 Nov

If you’re not familiar with Like The Dew, go over there now. They’re good people doing good things. Plus, they let me write things for them. Which is fun because The Dew has, with the exception of this blog, the smartest, kindest readers in all the internetz.

Here’s a piece I wrote about embracing my inner Southern eccentric.  Hat tip to Newscoma for the story about assault with a deadly ham which inspired my piece.

Your Assignment For The Weekend

18 Nov

Y’all marinate on these two things over the weekend.

1. I was talking to my friend Jessica and we were saying we both had deviled egg trays, but both HATED deviled eggs. Into what could one’s deviled egg tray be re-purposed?

2. I respond better to assignments, so I’m crowd-sourcing the blog. If you have an idea for a blog post, (I’ve already written about bacon and cupcakes. Those are usually the top two suggestions, so, um, no) let me know. You can tell me in the comments, on my The Facebook page, over at The Twitters, or you can email me at I’m like all Web 2.0 and junk.

3. The person who has the best idea for the egg trays and anyone whose idea for a post I use will get YOUR CHOICE of one of the prints below. I will be happy to mail you a print or email a digital. You may use them however you wish UNLESS you wish to make money off them. It is my gift to you, not my retirement plan to you. Also, these are thumbnails. The pictures are larger and some have more stuff. I will let you see the one you choose full size before I send it, don’t get all huffy.

Okay. GO!