Baxter Bark Twice

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Stuff No One Thinks About Except Me

Posted by AllieB on September 3, 2015

*barked while my Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie bakes

Oh hello. How was your summer?

Mine was uneventful – I took night classes at a depressing Kaplan center in Midtown West to brush up on quadratics and other maths, and I have no tanlines to speak of, but we did hike Machu Picchu in May! Make sure that’s on your bucket list – it’s as amazing as all the pictures suggest. And, while you can do it in one day by taking a train up, it is quickly turning into an overrun tourist madhouse and we actually preferred the hiking part over the site itself – you know what they say about the journey vis a vis the destination. Should you opt for the train you will still get your scenery shots, but your experience will undoubtedly be marred by tourists. People, it turns out, are generally the worst. We did a three night hike to get there, and it was not easy, but it was awesome, and everything about the way REI organized and executed all that goes into taking a group of 9 silly Americans on a treacherous hike through the Inca Trail was amazingly well done. BBT gives it all the stars. If you would like to know more…I wrote a review on the REI website because of course I did – posted here (it’s the first one by “notahiker1”).


Clockwise from top left: dancing with my new non-scary clown friend; Christmas Card 2k15; there she is – notahiker1; dawn’s filtered light over Mt Salcantay; day 5 in a row for those clothes/that hair; MP from the Sun Gate; not from the trip – that is the aforementioned Corn & Zucchini Pie, it’s delicious and there’s no pie crust or mayo so it’s basically kale

Insider Tip: if you’re packing for a camping trip in the Andes when you’ve never been on a camping trip in the Andes, it’s smart to pay special attention to what the packing list suggests. Also, when the forecast calls for freezing temps at night, it’s wise not to assume you’ll “be fine” with whatever you “tossed in” and tell those who warn against this sound reasoning that “it’s never as cold as they say it’s going to be” ALLIE BAXTER DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM LAST WINTER anyway… I was a little chilly.

Stuff No One Thinks About Except Me:

I heart Spotify. I pay $9.99/month for the premium subscription, and it’s by far my favorite music app. I signed up for the three month trial of Apple Music and did not like it one bit – it’s confusing and not user friendly and I need to cancel that before I start getting charged. Sometimes, after I’ve reached the end of the internet, I will check out my Recently Played List – both mine and other people’s; if someone has a list of 10 EDM artists, you know they had a slightly different weekend than the person who’s been tuning into Soothing Study Songs…it’s sort of a Peeping Tom of tunes. And that’s #notcreepyatall. Let’s see what mine says about me, according to me.


I feel like I just invited you to rifle through the drawers of my bedside table…whatever – judge away, GlassHouseDwellingStoneThrowers.

Should I get an Apple Watch?

Decision pending further research.

I’m doing ClassPass

The neat thing about ClassPass is how you can really have some fun with your fitness…did I just say “fun with fitness”? I’ve gone now to two boot camp classes at Evolve Fitness. Evolve Fitness is on the 3rd floor of a pre-school school on 52nd and 3rd, but don’t let the makeshift appearance fool you because Kenny and Norberto are not messing around. You’re there to work, and, in my case, wow people with my brute strength. Last week Kenny had us do a rigorous segment of push-ups, of which I can do zero. I tried to explain this to him, that I wasn’t being lazy but I honestly can’t do full push-ups…

Me: Kenny, I think it’s best if I start with the knees, I can’t do them the real way

Kenny: You’re new here, so I won’t yell at you, but NO. ALL THE WAY DOWN and ALL THE WAY UP

Me: What about injuries?

Kenny: You’re gonna hurt yourself doing a push-up?

Me: Kenny, I really might. I’ll do extra kettle swings!

Kenny: Let me see you try at least one. <He watched in what was first amazed then what I inferred to be disgusted silence> Go do kettle swings.

I think I lost some of his respect, but when I showed up to class a second time this week Kenny gave me a nod of recognition and nicely averted his eyes and left me alone during the push-up segments, so I assume we reached a truce to agree to disagree.

Sidebar: the whole push-up/gym teacher judgment exchange was sounding a little familiar, so I did a little past-post-perusing and….this is embarrassing – I had almost the exact same conversation with Rico, my cardio-sculpt instructor, in February 2013. How sad.

Football is BACK

Nick Chubb for Heisman!!!

This video is amazing; what a beast. How many push-ups do you think Chubbatron can do?

The End.

**Don’t get too excited – it still looks like a hot mess – but I updated my book list. Traveling this weekend? Take a look and find a book!

***I just inadvertently quoted Reading Rainbow…now THAT is sad.

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Forever we love our four-legged friends

Posted by AllieB on August 26, 2015

Every day is National Dog Day, but today is The Official National Dog Day, so I’m dragging BBT out of hibernation to acknowledge and exalt the wonder that are our four-legged friends.

It’s easy to love dogs: few things can make your heart swell like the greeting of a ferociously wagging tail, or watching their ears perk when they hear your voice or footsteps, or spotting a certain silhouette posted up at the front window as you pull in the driveway, having sensed your arrival long before any human could. But I like to take it a step further and consider the idea that dogs aren’t just reacting to your love, they’re communicating their own, singular feelings, and they love you just as much as you love them: unconditionally. Humans can love unconditionally, too, but dogs don’t lie and they don’t say things to hurt you. They will eat your favorite shoes and they will mess up your house, but that’s your fault because you didn’t put your shoes away properly, and if they hadn’t messed up your white couch, I would have (I likely still will).

Even if the human/pup dynamic isn’t that complicated – it’s probably not but I’ve never met a relationship I couldn’t overthink – and even if they can’t understand the actual words we’re saying (they can) or don’t have their own thoughts (they do), what makes dogs so special is the way they become a part of you and your home. They learn the smells and the sounds and can intuit the moods, good and bad. How many times have you been rescued from some awful conversation with a parent or partner by a silly dog moment? Saved by the pup. A dog improves quality of life on every level; the only cons to owning one are none. There are no cons.

I’m thinking about going to business school (!), and one of the pros to this very exciting yet, at times, exhausting endeavor is the thought of moving somewhere that is not NYC and getting a dog. Obviously I would not go to business school for the purpose of getting a dog – obviously – but I think it’s a pretty great perk and, if we’re being honest, the idea of my own lab mix puppy this time next year has helped keep me motivated when I was not. Times such as earlier this month when I went to take the GRE, going so far as to undergo a full body search and even sit down at my computer, then being told, “oh no, the computers are broken, you’ll have to reschedule for 6 weeks from now which will totally mess up your application timeline and cause you great panic.” YOU HAD ONE JOB, EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE – ONE JOB.

Many of you remember our beloved dog, Missy Baxter. She will forever be the gold standard of The Worst and Best Dog there ever was. The breeder let us take her home a week early so we could have her for Christmas, and it turns out the difference of a week, when you’ve only been alive for five, is crucial in terms of learning basic dog instincts. As a result, Missy identified more with people than other canines – she never had any dog friends – and I think this was a significant factor in her lousy behavior (and she was a spoiled brat – but that’s on us). Her innate humanness also granted her an uncanny way of talking to us; she was a far more effective and articulate communicator than many males people I know. Eating food that was not hers to eat was her most common offense – I linked to it above, but see below for an excerpt:

I believe Missy had opposable thumbs that she employed only in our absence. I once interrupted her enjoying a large, Costco-sized container of almonds. Said container had not yet been opened – of this I would swear on my life – but she somehow managed to turn the lid and break thru the aluminum seal. On this occasion she proudly showed off what she’d done: “Bet you’re wondering how I managed this, aren’t ya?!” with a saucy wag of tail and toss of head. I’m still wondering.

when she was a teeny puppy she tried to drag up the newspaper, and she did it every day after that for the rest of her life

she did this every single day.

Her only defeat was the 5lb wheel of Stilton blue cheese relatives send us every year from Willams Sonoma. I stupidly left it out, and Missy helped herself. I came home to a very queasy pup and 3/4 of a ravaged, smelly cheese wheel. She looked at me, not guiltily but almost accusingly: “Why did you leave this out when you knew YOU KNEW I would get into it…I hate you, I hate that cheese, and now I’m gonna puke” and then she puked. Missy loved cheese, but I don’t think it loved her back.

when she was older, Missy underwent various treatments for her joints; this was her day at laser therapy

she’s wearing doggles

RIP Missy. We don’t have a permanent family dog right now, but we’ve had lots of fosters! Through Atlanta Lab Rescue, my parents have fostered almost 20 (??) dogs since Missy passed away two years ago, and all of them have been sent off to happy forever homes. We can’t help but compare every single to one to The Best and Worst Dog we’ve ever known.

I’m not sure what moved me to break a 4 month hiatus with this non-newsworthy post – besides the fact that it actually is National Dog Day, check your Insta – but just as these posts can’t be forced, nor can they be stopped. Give all of your dogs an extra hug for me today, and sorry in advance to anyone I see today accompanied by their pup because I’m coming in for the embrace (with your dog, not you)(and I won’t touch until I ask for permission because you always ask if you can pet someone’s dog)(I learned that the hard way). I’ll try to not be a stranger, I’ve missed this; I’ve missed US!

And now, some of my favorite dog things on the internets:

A video tribute to Denali – this went viral earlier in the summer. If you were all, “No I can’t watch, I’ll cry” watch it anyway, you pansy

Bay Breeze Labradors on Insta – I don’t follow them because my favorite thing is to lie in bed and enjoy a whole backlog of videos and laugh (warning – there are some recent posts with newborn puppies that are not quite as adorable as toddler puppies, but I trust you’ll use your eyesight to determine what you do and don’t watch).

Man finds unlikely soulmate in his new puppy – this is cute and will take some of the edge off that first link

Her left ear was a little floppy. She was perfect in her imperfections.

Her left ear was a little floppy. She was perfect in her imperfections.

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Going Rogue

Posted by AllieB on April 30, 2015

April just flew by, amiright? May is here, and with May comes flowers and, this weekend, sports. I like sports, and there was a time when I would’ve asked you to call me Alex because soccer, kickball, and Adidas were the only things I cared about. Even though I’ve since grown up to be Allie, the epitome of femininity and grace, I still have a vested interest in the athletics which is why today I will discuss my NFL draft picks, Derby projection, and Floyd Mayweather’s $25K mouthguard.

Yeah yeah, read it anyway.

1. Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston
This is pretty much a done deal. We haven’t heard the last of Jameis Winston’s legal troubles, on that I’d bet my lunch money. I like to think that people can change, but history has a real funny way of repeating itself. And he’s not a victim of uncontrollable circumstance like some NFL players, he’s just an idiot who’s never been held accountable for his actions and is also possibly a sociopath. But there’s no denying his skillz, so if he can get and keep his act together he could be everything he says can be.

2. Tennessee* – Marcus Mariota
*We might see some Draft Day-esque maneuvers here, and the rumor mill has Philadelphia’s Chip Kelly, the former Oregon coach who oversaw Mariota’s recruitment, orchestrating some convoluted, multi-team trade to get his former player. Talk about “going rogue” – Coach Kelly been pulling all kinds of stunts this offseason. Draft Day is an excellent film, btw.

(you can goog #’s 3-7)

8. Atlanta – the Falcons need to build their defense like now, Todd, and some people have them trading up with Jacksonville and picking Dante Fowler at #3 – but they could still grab Vic Beasley or Bud Dupree if they stay where they are. Shane Ray will likely be available, and, in spite of his recent arrest for possession of marijuana, Coach Quinn says he’s “absolutely” still on the board. I respect that. Ray did something really stupid, no question, but I’m not sure I can penalize him for an isolated, nonviolent misdemeanor that’s (basically) legal in 27 states/DC when you’ve got Jaboo Winston and all of his oversize baggage going at #1. Just sayin’


14. Miami – Todd Gurley
TGIII is the talk of the town right now after that video of him dominating the treadmill went viral this past weekend, proving he’s made great strides (!) in recovering from his torn ACL, and he’s now a first-round lock. I mean, he could even go in the Top 10. Who’s to say! I’m just so excited to see Todd Gurley play football again – he deserves nothing but the greatest success and I truly hope things work out for him.

A little treat for the ladies (stay with me!) #tbt #Tristan #yas

brad pitt legends of the fall

Kentucky Derby:
I’m taking Dortmund (ranked #2) for the Derby bc think of the ridicule on the playground growing up, plus he drew the #8 gate slot and that is some prime real estate. The #1 seed, American Pharoah, is all the way outside in gate, like, 49.

If I were going rogue and choosing horses as I do my wine – based on name – I’d go with Bolo. These names are crazy. Has there ever been a horse named “Going Rogue”? That’s totes what I’m going to call my next horse.

That fight or whatever:
It would be impossible for me to care less about this, but going with Mayweather because that’s what the internet said. Read here about his $25K mouth guards. He’s a piece of work, and not in a good way.

So, there you go. SPORTS.

Some wise guy added my name to a distribution list from “A Most Curious Wedding Fair” that took place at the Truman Brewery in London last month, and now I get 5 emails/day from wedding-related vendors in the UK. At first I was like, that’s strange and I unsubscribed and marked them as spam, but they kept coming…well, yesterday I sort of lost it and poor Andi Freeman of Andi Freeman Cakes bore the brunt of my agitation:

a most curious pain in my a$$A most curious pain in my a$$, is what this is.

Random acts of randomness observed this week:

~ overheard at Whole Foods on Monday: a very adorable definitely bratty 3 year oldish girl sat in the shopping cart, swinging her legs and singing some silly song. Her father, an older gentleman who I’d guess was an artist of some sort – you know the kind – looked at her for a few moments, then said, “You know, Abigail, if you were a radio I’d change the station.” BURN

~ I watched a man complete 3/4 of the New York Times crossword puzzle in just under 5 minutes in pen on the subway this morning. I timed it. I think there’s a chance he was just writing letters at random because this was some crazy sh*t.

~ update your Instagram so you can get three new filters and hyperlink your hashtagged emojis. Kewl!

~ WHERE is this Royal Babe?! I’m staying on top of it here. Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease let it be a girl.

The End. I’m not wearing tights today and feel over-exposed. TGIT!

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Today is Picture Day!

Posted by AllieB on April 23, 2015

Picture Day at school was my least favorite day. My forced smile looks exactly that – forced – and 9 out of 10 times I would forget and show up with my hair in a veritable rat’s nest, or happen to wear my 1991 Atlanta Braves National League Champs tshirt (Adult Large) with sweatpants. At least you couldn’t see the sweatpants?*

But here on BBT picture day does not suck because the smiles are (hopefully) not forced, and sweatpants are actually in style right now. Besides, sometimes I feel like y’all don’t read my carefully crafted comments, so perhaps this format will be more appealing.

~ Google offered a “what animal are you” quiz yesterday in honor of Earth Day. I must say, I did not see this coming:

what animal are you

 but who am I to argue with the Goog? #dismember



On the Left: last night in my ‘hood, post-storm. There’s something for everyone at Pier 25! #golf #snacks #theapocalypse

And ze Right: I went off-campus for a hike on Saturday w MelBoo & CDMcD – it was a great success in that the weather was lovely and there were lots of “money shot” views, less so in that we got completely lost and actually did 2 hikes instead of one. As we hit mile 7 of our 3 mile hike, I began to wonder who might play me in the movie…

~ Speaking of hikes, the Baxter Fam is hiking Machu Picchu in Peru next month. We were told that some training is advised, so I’ve been doing lots of Flywheel and sometimes I take the stairs to my 9th floor apartment carrying two bottles of wine. I thought I was good to go until the aforementioned hike last Saturday, when I realized – not so much. Always reasonable, I tried to blame the higher altitude for my shortness of breath (1,380 ft) but then I checked and The Inca Trail we trek to Machu Picchu reaches almost 14,000 ft in some places…so. Crap.

machu picchu

I think it’ll be worth it tho – BOLO for 1,348,986 vista pics

*case in point: Picture Day was the worst.

picture day

Second grade: I think my parents did this on purpose, like for their own entertainment. And it occurs to me that is genius and I’m 1000% doing that with my own kids

Third grade: I may have peaked in third grade

Fourth grade: no.

Turns out I already did a Picture Day post – two years ago, same title and everything. +2 points for consistency.

Friendly reminder: only 7 more days to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month. TGIT!!

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Cue the crop tops and denim diapers

Posted by AllieB on April 16, 2015

Yesterday, for the first time since October, it was 70+ degrees in New York. Much as the black bear emerges from its cave after the long winter months, so too do the citizens of NYC.  Everywhere you look, people so pale they’re almost translucent are lighting their puffer jackets on fire and congratulating themselves on surviving another soul-crushing, morale-killing, life-sucking winter season: “so this is why we live here!” Cue the crop tops and denim diapers: HELLO SPRING. Oh yes – now that it’s getting warm I’ve got a whole new arsenal of things to complain about.

It will probably snow next week. Mother Nature has such a great sense of humor!

Bryant Park is trying

Bryant Park is trying… #tryharder

Y’all would tell me if I talked about the weather too much, right?

I’m going to share some thoughts with you now. Having lived in two different cities post-college, I feel like I have the credibility to say that every city has unique traits and hardships that make you love/hate/love/HATE it, and you, as a resident, must adapt accordingly. New York is the best place on earth but it can also be a real sonofabitch – here’s how we get by in the Big Apple:

Indifference: new “hot” restaurants open every day, it seems. Before you know it, all you’re hearing about is that spot in Alphabet City where you MUST go and definitely get burrata and the burger and the kale salad will literally change your life. So you talk about going with your friends – let’s totally go next week to that new place! It doesn’t matter if they don’t take reservations, I hear the broiled oysters are life-changing, so we will wait for 2 hours in the crowded bar where regardless of where you stand you’re totally in the way. Next week comes and suddenly you’re like…let’s go to the bar across the street.

Then, on top of that, you get so sick of people raving about the new place that you ultimately just end up saying you’ve been and those oysters really are life-changing but somehow never actually go and then it closes. I feel like as much as there is to do and see and eat all over the city, there’s also all of that on your block. I am hesitant to use the word “lazy” – geographically averse, perhaps.

Disclaimer: we do venture to different ‘hoods and boroughs, but we’re also very supportive of our respective neighborhoods. And that’s not indifference, that is loyalty, and New Yorkers are nothing if not loyal.

Whine: we get to complain about the weather; you do not.*

*Unless you live in Boston or Chicago, but you chose your choice so I will still complain.

Denial: people will read things like this depressing AF list of 10 Reasons Why You Can’t Afford to Live in New York City that states then proves with hard facts and numbers that the cost of living here is double the national average, but then qualify it by saying, “but who cares – it’s New York!”

Or, another example: “A rat ran across my foot in the subway this morning then I get hit by a bike delivery guy; it started pouring but I didn’t have an umbrella, and there was a fire at the W. 4th Street station, so no downtown trains were running and the Uber surge was 12%. Oh, and the guy who lives above me is auditioning for STOMP. But I wouldn’t live anywhere else because NEW YORK.”

Basically, we’re all in abusive relationships with this city, but at least we’re all in them together…

Ok, I’m done with the thoughts.

I did not post a picture for Sibling Day last week, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my siblings!!

sibling day whatever

 Happy Baptism, Jordan! Or whatever. Everyone look at me.

Do you watch Veep? You really, really should – even if you’re easily offended by crass language or your favorite show is Real Housewives of Injectables, you should still watch it. It’s the best show on tv.

IG account of the week: BowenTheLab. He’s like a puppy but also a grandfather and I LOVE HIM.

Don’t forget to take your Zyrtec. TGIT!

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