Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

Archive for the ‘Arbitrary’ Category

10 Things About Fall & Other Stuff

Posted by AllieB on October 9, 2014

It’s fall, y’all! Fall, according to the Goog, is the most popular of all the seasons, so here are 10 things about fall and other stuff, then I added two more items at the end so I guess 12 things total. I try to mix it up; BBT is NOT some basic fall-loving betch who only talks about new sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes.

1. This is me not talking about pumpkin spice lattes – never had one; I don’t care; you do you but maybe consider the sugar content

2. TV is not only back, but there are a lot of new shows to check out: How to Get Away with Murder premiered two weeks ago, and, besides its annoying name (HTGAWM henceforth), BBT highly recommends. Marry Me has such potential (Penny from Happy Endings! Ron from Party Down!) and, I’m embarrassed to say this, Selfie might not suck… Homeland wrapped up some very tired story lines (smell ya later Brody) and the season premiere shows much promise for good TV – just so long as Carrie never touches her child, or anyone else’s, ever again. Lastly, I watched the first episode of The Affair last night – I am IN. It caught my eye earlier this year when I heard about the cast (Pacey Witter! Maura Tierney! Jimmy McNulty from the Wire!) and, based on the first epi, it is everything I hoped it would be.

3. I got stung – stung bad – by a bee in Idaho last weekend. I hope it died.

sun valley

Idaho – who knew? (I know other people knew, but I didn’t) CONGRATS Nandi & Duncan!

4. 31 Dog Reactions for Everyday Situations – this is perfect, please click thru (#’s 1, 2, 9, 12, 14, 16 – 25, 31)

5. I’m not implying that all kids raised in NYC are brats, but I have observed a heightened level of the ridiculous when it comes to parenting up here. Case in point: I was recently at my local Whole Foods doing my daily shopping of only things I needed right that moment (nothing if not practical!), and I noticed a father and his two children, a boy and a girl both under age of 4, in the midst of truly epic meltdown. The girl, the younger of the two, had collapsed on the ground and was crying that especially aggressive silent cry where her mouth was open and her body was heaving but no sound was coming out. Not to be overlooked, the boy had wrapped himself around his father’s leg while he cried a more subdued whimper but with double the snot and tears. Dad, to his credit, wasn’t freaking out but I think this is likely because he’d checked out entirely to his mental happy place. “Woof” I thought, as I skirted by them to get in line, “I wonder how much longer he’s going to let this go on..” I also may have thought things like, “get your sh*t together little girl” and “can someone please wipe this kid’s nose”

Finally, something yanked Dad back to reality – maybe it was that his daughter hadn’t taken a proper breath in like a minute – and suddenly he was totally, 100% over it. His eyes darkened as he inhaled deeply….”PENELOPE! ALVIN! THAT. IS. IT! When we get home….NO soy dream for you.”

Aaaaand you lost me. Hey, buddy, FYI: the moment you named your kids Pompous and Arrogant you gave them license to behave like jerks. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that one or both had some sort of dairy allergy, explaining why soy dream was the most glorious treat in which they’re allowed to indulge thus the absolute worst thing he could take away…but with names like that, it’s hard. My advice? Sign the girl up for soccer, the boy up for football, and cancel all lessons involving wind and string instruments. There’s still hope.

*Note: when I have kids one day and name them Philomena and Astrid and they go mental at the grocery store you can remind me of this post.

**Y’all know I’d never name my kids that.

***Confession: I played the Alto Sax in third grade. It was a risky move but I pulled it off. Penelope – not so much.

****I don’t know anyone named Penelope or Alvin, do I?

6. Jimmy Fallon + EW! = watch this.

7. My Father, The Hero (?)

Just kidding. Dude, that's too much...and when this pot calls you black, you better recognize

Dude, that’s too much…and when this pot calls you black, you better recognize

8. All the hilar Insta accounts you need to follow, give or take a couple – there’s really something for everyone. You should check out that blog regardless, @AshHess is doing good stuff over there. Thank you, Witty & Pretty!

9. Brush up on history with a healthy side of scandal and intrigue with After Camelot, a sweeping biography of the whole Kennedy family – there are lot of them, so it’s long, but you can breeze right through it.

10. This week in That Is Brand New Information: Todd Gurley is a Badass

Georgia running back Todd Gurley completes 50-yard pass (GIF)

I could watch these all day.

Here's the GIF of Georgia's Todd Gurley running like Marshawn Lynch against Clemson.  -- (Via @SBNation)

***UPDATE 10/10: I posted this yesterday before the TRAGIC news that TGII had been suspended. Why God. Why. I am 100% #teamtodd and still think he’s one of the good ones – he’ll get thru this and go on to have an amazing career and keep a clean record all the while, of that I am sure, and in the meantime us Georgia fans will have to hunker down and deal with the hard knocks that we should by now be used to/expect. TEAM TODD!!!

Bonus #11: I needed a crisp white button down to go with my outfit yesterday, but I couldn’t find the iron because we don’t own one, so I used my straightener instead – it totally worked! A tip from me to you: best to remove the shirt then iron as opposed to keeping on shirt whilst wielding a piping hot wand of heat near your skin.

Super Bonus #12: I think we already knew as much, but I asked Siri the other night who’s the fairest of them all, and…well:

fairest one of all

And there you are – a BBT for your Thursday. Boom.

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Back to School

Posted by AllieB on September 4, 2014

It happened; it’s over. Summer’s done, and Fall is here. Fall means football – yay! #Gurley4Heisman; Fashion Week – booooo #neveragain; and, at least in NYC, the hottest weather we’ve had all year. Mother Nature, you’re doing it wrong. I was thinking the other day how much I used to love going back to school: finding out your teachers, what boys were in your classes, shopping for school supplies…I wish there was a working world equivalent; I bought a new Moleskine diary yesterday in an effort to reclaim some of the thrill, but Five Star 5-section spiral notebook it is not. Adulthood is the worst.

However, BBT was total weak sauce over the summer, so I can pretend like now I’m back in “school” and my “homework” is to post consistently. Preemptive disclaimer: I was not a straight-A student.

And now watch me exhaust this already tired metaphor:

Home Ec: I had a hunch that Chef Allie existed, and the proof is in the pudding: I’m legit. I finally learned how to chop opinions without going blind (pro tip (or tip I would’ve learned in Home Ec if it had been an option – silly feminists): put them in the fridge til cold, THEN cut – the cold counteracts the tear-causing enzyme or something I don’t know but it works) and now I can properly adhere to recipes because onions, it turns out, are in everything and skipping them can definitely affect the integrity of your final product. And god forbid you affect the integrity of your final product.

In the past week I’ve made Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers (thanks, Pinterest) and Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken with Strawberry-Jalapeno Salsa (DomesticateMe is one of my favorites – even before I started cooking her recipes). See links + pics below…you almost can’t tell which is professional and which is mine, except for you totally can – sorry I don’t shoot my meals with a CanonMegaHugeProfesh Camera:

Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

spicy black bean stuffed peppers

I took the liberty of replacing corn with some avocado and adding more cheese (duh)

Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken with Strawberry-Jalapeno Salsa

cilantro-lime chicken with strawberry-jalapeno salsa

I grilled the chicken in my iron grill pan, and thanks to the marinade it was juicy and moist and all of those words that are good re: grilled meats but horrible in every other sense.

English: I am writing every day. I bought a paperback copy of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King which has anecdotes and exercises and all sorts of things that will poof! make me a published author.

Free Period: I finally installed our Amazon Fire TV this week (credit: CharBaxMaines). The talking remote works incredibly well and now we are ready for the Polar Vortex which will be here from September – April. Joy.

hilary as abominable snowman

PSA: this is Hilary on a good day the abominable snowman, mascot of the Polar Vortex. Beware of the Beast.

I know things are going south when I start throwing the abominable snowman Hilary under the bus – we’re done! And I promise not to post anymore pictures of food I’ve cooked for a full month. But if you want to like message me about what’s coming up next in BBT’s Kitchen, by all means – feel free.

TGIT!

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What Not To Do (Part Deux)

Posted by AllieB on August 27, 2014

From the beginning, BBT has been a platform for sharing my own experiences so you can see what not to do. I spell it out very clearly in the site tagline: do as I say, never as I do and then reiterate it over and over again, from questionable grocery store practices (wrote this in August 2010…so interesting to see how habits don’t change) to sitting on a stranger’s lap in the subway. Another truth about BBT: I like to travel. Today these facts go hand in hand: I will relay some things I’ve learned from my adventures, and I expect all of you, in turn, will learn to take a hard pass should I ask you to go on a trip.

Packing: those Girl Scouts are on to something

Always be prepared! Check the weather and bring the right shoes. Captain Obvious gets very frustrated when people do not do these things. Also, know yourself. For instance: packing eight hardcover books for a trip to France might sound dumb, but I know that when I don’t have an activity I can be a less than ideal companion, so I did what I had to do. Was carrying around 12 lbs of books fun? No. Did the blissful sound of my silence enhance the quality of everyone else’s trip? Yes. Whatever it is – maybe you like a specific food item for breakfast, or you literally die without your straightener – for the L of G just pack it.

Airplanes: ugh

WHERE DO I BEGIN.

When I was 23 I lived in Thailand for a few months, “volunteering” in Bangkok and traveling around on the weekends. I went by myself, and when I look back I can’t quite recall the whole decision-making process that led me to Southeast Asia for 3 months solo, but it was awesome – save for getting there…

I found myself in row 77 (this is not in the front of the plane), seat E (middle seat in the middle section of 5 chairs), for the 18 hour flight to Seoul, Korea. If you are ever assigned seat 77E GET OFF THE PLANE. I was between two males that’s what she said: the gentleman to my left took a handful of horse tranquilizers before takeoff and slept on my shoulder for 12 hours, and the young man on my right lip-read his pocket Bible with such ferocity and intensity he ripped out pages. Another fun fact about row 77: it was up against a wall, which, on this particular aircraft, meant our seats could not recline.

I was in a middle seat in the full upright and locked position for 18 HOURS while one guy drooled on me and the other underwent what may have been an exorcism…it’s weird, I know it happened and that I was there, but I have definitely blocked out the firsthand feelings and sensations of the entire flight. I assume this is how memories of childbirth are also handled.

tuk tuk in BKK - um ok - sunset at Railay Beach - vino on Phi Phi Island (not pictured: my new friend  whose name I can't remember so I cut her out)

from top left: tuk tuk in BKK – um ok? – sunset at Railay Beach – vino on Phi Phi Island (not pictured: my new friend whose name I can’t remember so I cut her out)

In 2010 a woman died on my airplane in the aisle next to me. You know this story. It sucked.

My luggage and I took different flights to Africa last summer. It took 7 days to find me. I had to borrow my mother’s underroos.

I could go on, but I won’t.

Wallets: necessary

I left mine on the airplane (stupid airplanes!) in June when I flew to ATL – it was a full 12 hours before I realized it, and by that time we were already en route to the beach…and it was my 31st birthday. Nothing says “I have my sh*t together” like leaving a wallet on the airplane because you got it out to buy wine and couldn’t be bothered to put it back in your bag correctly. Who doesn’t love a birthday brat with no financial resources?? Happy Birthday :|

And I swear I didn’t do it on purpose…

In summary: bring a rain coat; don’t fly on the same plane as me; download Venmo so idiots who “lost their wallet” can ante up right away. You’re welcome.

Moving along…there’s a lot going on the world today that’s messed up and scary, but I fear some things are going unnoticed because of, you know, ISIS. Not to trivialize ISIS, for they are terrifying, but I am nevertheless very concerned about the following:

1. AlliCleveWolf brought this to my attention.

scary creeper

No. A million times – no. And several more “no’s” for the description. Plus one more NO for good measure. I’m not linking to it, so if you’re a sicko like the guy who wrote about the “lifelike, sparkling eyes” and want to purchase Scary Peeper – you’re on your own with the Goog. And you’ll probably end up on your own in general if you put this in your house.

2. You can buy a “knee-defender” which prevents the person in front of you on an airplane from putting their seat back. I learned about this in the Skimm. (Speaking of – do you get the Skimm? You should: it is a daily email that provides a succinct, readable round-up of current events. Go here to sign up.) They had to land the plane (airplanes are the root of all evil!) because two people got in a huge fight when a woman discovered the man behind her had deployed his knee-defender and she couldn’t recline her chair. Listen, I would go batsh*t bonkers if someone put a knee-defender on my seat. After that 18 hour flight stuck in the upright position…….no. The knee-defender should be illegal – I won’t be linking to that product, either.

3. Last and most upsetting of all: I really like Taylor Swift’s new song and video. I fear the end is nigh.

Alright – peace; have a wonderful long weekend (today is my Thursday suckas); GOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <– you better watch this.

@Hilary @SisEWard @Norah

@Hilary @SisEWard @Norah

 

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In a perfect world…

Posted by AllieB on July 31, 2014

In a perfect world…

- pizza = kale

– Instagram automatically blocks all uploads with the caption “not bad for a Monday” and people who – in my opinion – post too much are limited to one photo per week. May I suggest Snapchat? Snapchat is a nice, disposable way to overshare. Also, you don’t have to use hashtags… #mostofyoushouldnot

– my Seamless order always comes in 15 minutes, even when the estimated time of arrival says 45-60 minutes

– the cute guy on the subway would not be married/5’4″/have halitosis.

– I would pay $475/month for rent, which is what the students at the University of Georgia (and surrounding community colleges, let’s be honest) moving into this ‘Jersey Shore Goes to Athens’ development are paying. Is this for real?? A LAZY RIVER?!

athens ridge apartments pool

in addition to the lazy river, there is also a 20 ft outdoor tv and 25 person hot-tub. they should prob go ahead and add an on-site physician to treat all those “rashes” and have people sign release forms for the inevitable reality show

– Crimes Against Humanity would be punishable by law. No longer would we have to wait for karma to be the bitch – we could instantly dictate some sort of penalty befitting the nature of the crime. For example, when that jerk stole my cab on 18th and 8th the other night I could sentence him to a month-long inability to flag down any cabs and blackball him from Uber. That’d teach him. In a perfect world you can’t treat people like sh*t and get away with it, and your Crime Against Humanity would be promptly and properly handled. Perhaps one of those rashes going around that cesspool in Athens would make you think twice…

– dishwashers unload themselves

– much like the Red Sea parted for Moses so do the tourists on 42nd Street for me

– the girl in the Wendy’s commercial doesn’t exist. Neither do the Kardashians, Real Housewives, or LeAnn Rimes. Blake Lively isn’t allowed to speak and Channing Tatum is my boyfriend. I really don’t know what is up with my Channing Tatum crush, but it’s proving to stand the test of time/judgement of my peers.

guys, c'mon - how cute is this

guys, c’mon – how cute is this

– four-day work weeks – this could happen, y’all

– I can teleport anywhere I care to go. I could just suddenly appear in your living room or at the bday party or next to you on the beach. I would never miss anyone or anything again. SURPRISE IT’S ME ALLIE!

– happy hour on a boat has the same benefits as a Flywheel class – they are equidistant from my apartment, surely their physical impact should be equal as well?

– I WOULD HAVE SO MANY PUPPIES

PUPPIES

 Summering in Montauk with all of my puppies

Dang…reality bites.

For those of you who read books, I have the following titles teed up on my Kindle – I am too lazy to add summaries, but I did add genre you are welcome:

Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty (chick lit)

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (chick lit)

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (memoir – Reese Witherspoon stars in movie coming out in Oct)

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (fiction)

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian (fiction)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (historical fiction – WWII)

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis (nonfiction)

I Like You Just the Way I Am by Jenny Mollen (memoir – chick lit)

The Heist by Daniel Silva (mystery)

Lastly, I implore you to take a minute and watch this vid – it’s overwhelming to think about all that’s wrong with the world, but it’s also pretty neat to see what a difference you can make on a very small, local level. In a perfect world we would all be so considerate. I really love this – thanks, A.

The End. This weather is redonk – you should all have drinks outside on patios/rooftops this evening, as I intend to. TGIT!

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GET A GRIP

Posted by AllieB on July 24, 2014

Hi and hello.

BBT is not a place for agenda pushing or controversial talk – I’m not here to stir the pot. I’m also not here to air all my dirty laundry (ew) or document every trivial moment: “Dear Diary, I just made my bed and watered the ficus”…but why not mix things up a little? Today I am heading into some uncharted territory: this post is as much for me as it is for anyone with internet access – which means to say: I’m getting personal. Yep, we’re diving headfirst into the deep end, so…hold onto your swimmies.

It’s real pretty to think that by the age of 31 I could be immune to how others perceive me, but I’ve realized that before I can wholly disregard the opinion of others there’s a more basic and fundamental idea that must first be considered: being comfortable in my own skin. Tantamount to achieving complete contentedness – which, to me, is the ultimate goal – being comfortable in your own skin is the holy grail of life accomplishments, one that I’m not entirely sure can be done in your 30’s, or your 60’s, or maybe ever.

I do think that with age comes thicker skin, as well as a zero tolerance policy for bullshit, the ability to see things how they really are, and I’ve finally accepted that I am the only person whose actions I can control and to worry about or obsess over other people’s choices/behavior is a spectacular waste of time and energy. But to be 100% a-ok with me, inside and out…that’d be neat.

Here’s how things work in my domepiece:

Scenario 1: Sometimes I feel like that others might judge – or on a bad day, pity – me because I am not married or even close, I’ve bounced around jobs and have only recently hit my stride in the corporate world, my apartment is not magazine-ready, and I often go 8 months between hair cuts…I’m not and may not ever be a person you’d describe as “put together”…I’ve been known to commit the not-so-occasional social blunder and when people come to stay with me my idea of cleaning is jamming things in drawers and hurling clothes in closets and hoping they don’t notice… (I DO provide clean sheets and towels and plenty of wine – I’m not disgusting.)

Scenario 2: I am killing it! I moved to New York and it was the best decision I’ve ever made; I make awesome steak tacos and a Garden & Gun worthy Tomato Pie; I’m very handy around the house and live just as easily with others as I do by myself…I’ve been lucky to travel all over the world, and I can wake up at 7:15 and be out the door at 7:25…I have an amazing family and friendships that I’m so sure of, I count them as family, too…I drove a minivan for 8 years and people still hung out with me – like I said: killing it!

When I review the two mindsets in tandem like that, it is easy for me to tell Whiny Allie (#1) to chill out because Cool Allie (#2) is doing juuuuust fine. Sorry I’m not sorry that I don’t have two bedside tables and Oscar Blandi dry shampoo is my most prized possession. This is me – take it or leave it. I hope that marriage and a family and a gazillion dogs are in my future, but these things – they cannot be forced.

One important thing to remember is that people really don’t care about what other people are doing. We are a universally selfish population, and for that I am thankful. We have too much going on in our lives to really think about what so-and-so is doing on a judgmental level – right?? I’m worried people are pitying me – but when have I spent even a second pitying someone for their life choices. I am laughing right now thinking about it. Isn’t it the darndest thing – that I can be such a champion of others yet so hard on myself. We should all just do ourselves a favor and GET A GRIP.

I’ve noticed that you can pretty much blame social media for anything these days, and I’d like to jump on that bandwagon. It seems to me that Pinterest is not so much about “collecting ideas for projects and interests” (per Wiki) as it is an aesthetically pleasing exhibit of all the things other people are doing better than you. I don’t think of it that way on a day to day basis – I’m in there pinning all kinds of stuff without wailing WOE IS ME – but when you take a step back and really mull it over…it’s actually quite rude.

Ok, I think that’s as deep as this well goes. The Man Repeller, an aptly named blog I wrote about in 2k11 that has since blown up into a full-fledged business, posted this week about confidence, and I’d like to share her flow-chart with you. I love a good flow-chart. Bottom line: we’re all a work in progress.

confidence-flow-chart-1

I’m trying not to overthink the oversharing that just went down…vulnerability is not my strong-suit.

Luckily I have a story that will get us back on track – speaking of social blunders….

Last night I did some yogging and some yeights in my office gym (I quit Equinox – F that noise) and was heading out around 8pm. I got in the elevator and saw a woman I used to work with. Sidebar: since I’ve been working out in the office gym more than one person has commented that I am “unrecognizable” during and post-workout because of my “ponytail” – and by ponytail they all mean the freakish red-face affliction from which I suffer after 20 minutes of physical activity. In this particular elevator situation, I figured my ponytail + red face saved me from interaction so I kept my head down and put my headphones in….and as I stepped out the woman I knew yelled, “Allie! Allie! I know that’s you!” Dammit.

“Yes, hi” I turned around to say hey

“Allie,” she said, grabbing my sweaty arm, “I’d like to introduce you to Sarah (aka Fergie), the Duchess of York.”

Of course you would. “Oh hi!” I managed, shaking her hand (of all times to NOT curtsy…)

“Oh my  – look at you! Please, please, go on ahead and – look at you! But yes, lovely meeting you….” Clearly the Duchess paid attention in her etiquette courses – Lesson 5: How to Handle Awkward Social Encounters with Awkwardly Sweaty People.

I just hope she doesn’t tell the OTHER Duchess, Duchess Kate, about our interaction…

so sweaty

yep

The End.

TGIT!!! BTW – BBT turned 4 on Monday…happy birthday and whoa. BBT is a kindergartner.

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