Running on empty, hang-xiety and downward dogs

Running on empty, hang-xiety and downward dogs

Dear Rachel,

I hate that there’s no good way to know when the propane tank on the grill is about to run out. It burns like a champ for months and months, and then when I finally decide to have guests over for a backyard barbecue, poof! The tank runs dry halfway through cooking some burgers and brats, and one of us has to run to the store, the meat gets chewy and everyone drinks more of my beer to wash down the experience. What’s a life-saving idea to manage the tank?

– Pro Pain

Dear Gaseous,

I’m no grillmeister, just a person doing the best she can to get through the day without eating too many Slim Jims. But the best solution I can think of is… get a backup tank? You’ll have a full one at the ready and can top off the empty at your leisure. Then again, I have been around the Durango rental circuit enough times to know that not every bungalow or backyard garage has enough space for both an extra tank AND four seasons of outdoor gear. Maybe you should stick with charcoal.

– Grilled to perfection, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

Why is coffee such a standard hangover drink? Why is that all I want in my mouth after a night of too much whiskey? Seems like it would compound the headaches and the thirst and the bad breath. And maybe it does. But it also makes me feel like I can face down the world again. Is there some chemical or mystical component at play? Can you explain it?

– Dark As My Memory


Dear Cafe Ow Lait,

Look, I like my coffee as much as the next overworked and underslept schmuck. But there’s also this thread of identity around coffee dependence that I lump in with “hump day humor” – the same people whose wittiest weekly remarks have to do with whether it’s Monday or Friday or any other day of the week, usually also have mass-produced swirly-script signs about their need for French-vanilla-drenched caffeine. You may not have signs, but you need to let go of who you think you are. Because you are still you without your fix.

– Joe mama, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

My dog is doing really well with his training… when I’m home to watch him. Like, stay off the bed. He gets it! But I come home every day to mussed up blankets and a “What? Me?” look. I can’t figure out how the heck I’m supposed to train him when I’m not there. Can you?

– No Cesar Millan

Dear Dog Whisper-Shouter,

Easy: Get another dog. It’s possible they’ll train each other and check each other’s bad behaviors. Alternately, they’ll get twice as unruly, but at least you’ll never know which one to blame. You could decide to foist it all on the new puppy, and voila! Your original dog is now trained. It’s like the backup gas tank method for house pets.

– Good girl, Rachel

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