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Valentine’s Day. Ew.

Posted by AllieB on February 12, 2015

Valentine’s Day is Saturday, so I guess I’ll go ahead and talk about it.

One of my strengths, I’ve always thought, is how rational I am – I’m being serious. I think it stems from my Middle Child Syndrome and need to maintain the peace, which evolved into my genuine desire to know and understand both sides of a story. Yet, in spite of this high level of enlightenment and willingness to take on opposing perspectives for the sake of journalism and assessing all the various P.o.V’s, I have a very hard time finding anything positive about this media-driven, basic betch of a “holiday.”

Let’s discuss what sux about the 14th of Feb:

~ gifts. You just wrapped up (!) the Holiday season and what’s this – you have to buy another gift?? If you’re smart you combine Saints Valentine & Nick and call it a day. But always always always no matter what get a card. You are an asshole if you don’t get your person a card on Valentine’s Day.

~ prix fixe. Maybe you’re a pretty chill couple and you’re like, “hey, let’s just do a little card swap and go out to eat somewhere, but nothing fancy, just like that XYZ place with the awesome burger.” You call up XYZ and – too bad! They’re doing a prix fixe menu on Valentine’s Day with 12 courses and wine pairings and amuse bouches and there will be a 4-string quartet playing uncomfortably close to your table and that’ll be $400pp please. Or, even worse, you aren’t in a couple and you and some buddies just want to go to XYZ and enjoy the GD burger – not today you’re not!

~ pressure. I don’t know much about this, but it seems to me that Valentine’s Day is a day where one person (A) in a relationship might have certain expectations for what the other person (B) does/says/gives to celebrate. It also seems that sometimes Person A has not clearly articulated to Person B what these expectations are, and sometimes – sometimes – it turns out that Person A and Person B are actually on very different pages…bummer. Conversely, the exact opposite could happen and Person A might get the best surprise of their entire life, so that’s nice to think about. Here’s hoping you’re in the latter scenario.

And now the good stuff insofar as there is any:

~ candy. Valentine’s Day candy is pretty good. It has nothing on Easter, but it’ll tide me over til April

~ my mom’s Sirloin Steak with Peppercorn Sauce followed by Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. A lot happened in 2012: I went to 100 weddings and moved to NYC, but I will never forget VDAY2k12.

~ flowers. Flowers are always nice to have around.

What we can glean from this breakdown is that, above all, Valentine’s Day is an equal opportunity offender and it doesn’t much care about your relationship status; Valentine’s Day is the holiday terrorist.

Here’s what I think: while the fundamental meaning of ValDizz is nice, everything else it entails is not and it’s silly to play into the hoopla generated almost single-handedly by CVS and Kay Jewelers, and what really bothers me is that the third season of House of Cards doesn’t come out until Feb 27th, not this weekend as I’d originally thought. I’m pretty sure I’d say all this even if I were coupled. Whatevs, why don’t y’all come to my place on Saturday and I’ll cook that crack-laced steak my mom makes and we can play Cards Against Humanity?? Game night!

I leave you with a poem I wrote all by myself, straight from the heart:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Valentine’s Day.

Ew.

…well, we all have our strengths. It’s a good thing I’m so rational. Cheers!

WINE

 (Source)

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You can quote me on that

Posted by AllieB on February 5, 2015

Dryuary is a phenomenon wherein people, after a gluttonous holiday season, choose to abstain from all forms of alcohol for the month of January. I applaud this endeavor though don’t necessarily condone it. Me, I chose to participate in a different yet totally similar practice of not writing BBT for the month of January – I imagine it was equally beneficial to my health. So there was that, then the small issue of having nothing to say, and, of course: winter. Winter is the reason for everything.

garbage

 They never showed the slush and garbage on Sex and the City

I’ve recharged the batts, and I’m trying to get back in the groove – and not just re: ze blog, but life in general. I’m going to Flywheel; pasta and pizza are for Sundays only*; I am finally buying wine by the case instead of by the bottle; and I got a hair cut last night. I hate getting my hair cut and have put it off for months (next time I have ends like that please stage an intervention, or Buff, can you just say: “Allie, go get your hair cut toDAY – it looks awful have some self-respect”), and it occurred to me, as I reveled in the best scalp massage EVER, that if our world leaders had their scalps massaged daily by someone with hands like Irena, we’d all get along a whole lot better. You can quote me on that.

*Unless I feel like having pizza on a Friday, which I can do because I am a grown-up capable of making my own decisions, and I am not lactose intolerant nor do I have a gluten allergy. Pizza for everybody!

What was that about having nothing to say? Here is a selection of things that have struck my fancy lately – and, in keeping with my theme of no theme at all, this list is random AF.

~ WE WON!! To be honest, I was my own house divided watching the Superbowl – Marshawn Lynch is my new favorite person, and Gronk was starting to get on my nerves, but…in the end I stood by TB for the W.

tom and fam

Can I get arrested for this?

El Yucateca hot sauce. Thank you, MC, for introducing me to my new favorite condiment: try it on these nachos (I made them for the Superbowl and they were a hit – Tom’s not the only one who scores touchdowns!), maybe, or on your eggs. Or on your cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole. Win/Win/Win.

~ I’ve done the research; I did the legwork; I have a winner – the best mascara is: They’re Real! by Benefit. CC: ERock.

~ I’m not sure why this guy, Mark Manson, who just turned 30, is an authority on the life-lessons he churns out, but he clearly thinks he is and I guess that’s enough for me. He also doesn’t have the condescending, holier-than-thou tone you find on Elite Daily and those other websites where people basically write essays to justify their own bad decisions, and, in turn, make the reader feel like the one with shortcomings. Don’t send me any crap from Elite Daily. I especially enjoyed this piece from last month: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Tim doesn't give af

I wanna #belikeTim

~ Empire. This show, described as a “red-hot hip-hop soap opera”, is somehow really good, and soon you’re going to be the only person not watching it, so you might as well give it a try. Except you, Mom, you can sit this one out. Also – Blacklist. I’m a little late to this party, but I am HERE and I’m all in.

~ Wrangler, the Today Show puppy, is cuter than your average puppy. He might be the cutest puppy ever.

WRANGLER

COME HERE TO ME. Join Wrangler and me on Insta: @wranglertoday

The End. And if you didn’t like today’s post please refer to the above rendering of Tim. TGIT!

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That Went Well: A Year in Review

Posted by AllieB on December 18, 2014

When it comes to making personal goals, it’s important to be realistic. I reread the post I wrote back in January that listed out what I hoped to achieve in 2014, and, I must say: I did quite well for myself. There’s that quote on Pinterest, “Shoot for Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars” but I prefer a more grounded and less astronomical approach, and I think we can all agree this strategy made for a pretty impressive year-end review:

1. Use my passport: Oui, je suis allé à France! (thank you Mom and Dad)

2. Be physically active for 30 mins each day: maybe not each day…most days though, for sure. The original post also mentioned “leaving apartment every day” as a goal, and overall I am pleased with my performance. Leaving the apartment on Sundays is not as easy as it sounds.

3. I was a non-presence on the Buzzfeed post “The 30 Dumbest Things Drunk Women Have Ever Done” and I’m wondering where my trophy is?

4. Read less. I did not read less. Some might argue that this is not actually a bad thing, so I will still count the loss as a win. And, while I did not publish anything outside of BBT, I DID work up a portfolio of best works and it’s almost ready to send out…almost. Honestly, I’m getting sick of reading people writing articles that I could have done – like this girl who lived according to the Pinterest Popular Page. I think she did a great job – she’s not annoying and it’s actually a font of useful information (an at-home gel mani that really works!) – but…I wanna do stuff like that. Credit: KReav.

5. Sign up for zero marathons. Well….full disclosure: I did sign up for the New York Marathon but at the behest of my sister Charlotte, and she ran it as me. This will also be filed as a W because now when I Goog myself you Goog me it looks like I not only ran a marathon, but that I hauled ass.

6269, Allie Baxter, New York, 03:38:14.

And I’d be remiss to leave this off my list of triumphs:

6. I unlocked the highest, most premium level of membership at Sephora: VIB Rouge. There was a parade and everything

I plan to ride this wave of success right into 2015.

In other BBT related news, my most read post of the year also happens to be one of my personal faves and is full of legitimately useful information: How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. Another one of my favorite things on BBT this year: this visual aid that I made on Excel using a false set of data to generate a line graph and some clip art (I don’t think enough people read the original post on which it was first featured, and I don’t want anyone to miss out):

my-will-to-live-2_Page_1

I can’t wait to see how this year stacks up :|

So, that went well… I hope you all have similarly positive feelings towards your 2014s.

The most newsworthy news of the week, maybe of month, even possibly of  year: Instagram added five new filters…! This is the first filtration addition since 2012, so it’s a big. freaking. deal. Here they are as shown by me:

new instagram filters

Clockwise from left: Slumber; Crema; Ludwig; Aden; Perpetua. Another tweak is that you can arrange your filters in the order of which you like/use them, so adios Hefe. Q of the D: what would you name an Instagram filter? For some reason “Lush” was the first word that popped into my head, and I can’t get past it. Lush as in lush fabric not lush like “have another cocktail, you lush.” Lush.

I’ve had a hard time getting amped up for the holidaze. I haven’t done any of my own Christmas shopping, and we’re not having our Annual Fireball and Pigs in Blankets Gala…Santa who? When I realized I’ll be back in ATL in just a few days, I was like, wait a minute – that’s only a few days to take advantage of NYC at Christmas, and when I get back it will be January…and you know who’s born in January: the devil.^

^This is according to my line graph, shown above. Will you just look at the damn thing already thank you.

So, I got my sh*t together, and now I’m feeling festive AF. On Tuesday, thanks to ole FlemWad’s planning, we wrapped gifts for children for the USPS Operation Santa project. Bringing joy to others is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. I had to run an errand uptown on Wednesday, so I took a detour down Fifth Avenue to take in the windows of Bergdorf’s, the bling on Tiffany & Co., and the tree at 30 Rock – nothing says Merry Christmas like nudging tourists into oncoming traffic. I have holiday-related activities every night up here before I go, and when I get home to ATL I’m going directly to the light display at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (seriously, do y’all just want to pick me up at the Arts Center Marta station and we can go straight there? LMK)…I might be tardy to this party, but I’m coming in h-o-t.

NYC Christmas

 The pic on the top right is a window at Bergdorf’s. Not sure it really gets my or their point across, but I like all the pretty colors. Merry Christmas from the freaky mannequin.

And now for a demonstration of my signature move: the Irish Goodbye. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS!!! xo

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Naughty or Nice?

Posted by AllieB on December 11, 2014

Santa’s super busy around Christmas, so I decided to lend a hand and help him out with those pesky Naughty or Nice lists. Santa, you are so welcome. ‘Tis the season for generosity and selfless good deeds! Also, no need to get a second opinion – pretty sure I nailed it.

Naughty:

~ the news of late…makes you wish for simpler times, like when we all thought we were getting Ebola

Nice!

~ the doorman in my building, Eustace, who knows the name of every single resident (he calls me Ali Baba which still counts and you can all call me that if you want because WWED?) and sells Girl Scout cookies for his granddaughter every spring. Put me down for all the boxes, Eustace – every single one.

~ Sephora. Sephora is on every block in New York, which means I am never too far from dry shampoo and bronzer. Dry shampoo is to me what cake is to those fat kids: you don’t want to be around us if we haven’t had our fix.

But, also a little Naughty:

~ Sephora. The small yet adorably packaged and, duh, therefore expensive items stocked in the checkout line at Sephora are to me what cake is to those fat kids: when it comes to temptation, we have the backbone of a wet noodle.

Back to Nice:

Domesticate-Me. Thanks to Serena and her sharp writing and rather challenging recipes, I have recently achieved Goddess of Kitchen status. I must also give a shout out to my poor budgeting skills, for without my inability to properly manage money, I would absolutely still order Seamless every night.

butternut squash soup

This is the Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Garlic, Goat Cheese, and Pepitas. It took me like 2.5 hours but it was worth it – that stuff is dank city.

~ Grapefruit season! I love grapefruit. You can all come over for Grapefruit-Rosemary Mules! (I swear I wrote about grapefruit before I saw this recipe – I’m even eating one right now at my desk, we just happen to be on the same page. Is this getting weird? We have friends in common….time to pop that chill pill.)

Possibly the worst ever:

~ (Subterranean transportation x the holiday season) + New York City = HOMICIDAL RAGE. Just last night I was meeting ERock and Flem for dinner at Marta (BBT says: 3.5 stars), and I was literally forced onto the wrong train because of the crowd surge. Stuck in this cattle car against my will, I had to ride the express all the way to 14th then double-back up to 28th. I realized, after the fact, that I really should have just walked the 13 blocks from my office….but it was snowing. So, yeah – toss lousy weather into that equation, and get the hell out of my way.

Go ahead and give in to the goodness:

~ Serial. Yeah, it’s a podcast, and yeah, IT IS AWESOME. I haven’t downloaded this week’s epi yet, and it wraps up next week…I have so many feelings I don’t even know where to start. Stop resisting and start listening – especially if you drive a car or go for long runs, this podcast platform is made for you.

It’s a toss-up:

~ The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. While it is hardly a morale booster, the #VSFashionShow does provide endless fodder when it comes to documenting the appallingly awkward moves, behavior, and facial expressions of Taylor Swift…your call, Santa.

Adrianna and Alessandra each have two kids. And I bet Ed Sheehan posted this on his high school reunion page w caption: "YOU CAN KEEP MY LUNCH MONEY SUCKAS"

Adrianna and Alessandra each have two kids. And I bet Ed Sheeran posted this on his high school reunion page w caption: “YOU CAN KEEP ALL THAT LUNCH MONEY SUCKAS”

Ending on a high note:

~ Christmas in New York. I will never tire of Christmas in NYC.

grand central

So now I ask all of you: are you naughty like Ebola or nice like a grapefruit?

It’s possible Santa might need a back-up list….

I honestly, in my heart of hearts, woke up today and thought it was Friday. The only silver lining is that I had time to throw together this haphazard, weak-sauce BBT…which I think we can all agree places me firmly and immovably on the Nice list.

TGIhowisitstillT!

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An Open Letter to the Internet

Posted by AllieB on November 13, 2014

I am mad at the internet. Between Taylor Swift’s new album and Kim Kardashian’s oily photo shoot, I am actually feeling feelings of legit anger. I am  unwittingly in the know about every single moment of Taylor’s life and am somehow now intimately acquainted Kim’s nether regions. I DID NOT WANT TO KNOW OR SEE ANY OF THAT. The over-exposure and inexhaustible self-promotion of these two women and their “art” really bothers me. I don’t follow Taylor Swift or Kim Kardashian on any form of social media, but they are unavoidable – from TIME Magazine to every single pop culture news outlet – and I want out. What’s more: I want the option to opt out. I feel like the internet has taken away my right to choose.

That said, I’m also a little mad at Taylor Swift. Promoting a new album is a musician’s job. You give interviews, you go on tour, you give free shows on morning news programs and appear on magazine covers. You tweet and you post on Instagram and you get your fans excited. Taylor Swift invited fans TO HER HOUSE for cookies. Taylor Swift inked a deal with the CITY OF NEW YORK to be its global ambassador even though she moved here in March. March of 2014. Speaking of, I’d like to note that Taylor Swift’s New York is that of the .0000007% and bless the tweens from Middle America who think their TriBeCa loft and black SUVs are but a Greyhound ride away. And although the entire music industry has imbibed the kool-aid served up at Taylor ‘s house parties, giving her album 5 star reviews across the board, I can’t bring myself to listen to a single song or watch the new music video that’s getting all the hype – I won’t even link you to it, I am standing strong!

And I’m always mad at Kim Kardashian. I think KimK is actually a robot and definitely has butt implants and is dead inside and I’m sure is very nice but only because she was programmed that way and her motherboard can only handle a very limited range of emotion. She is what’s wrong with everything that is going wrong.

While I do take issue with both Taylor and Kim personally – clearly – I am more more frustrated with the bigger picture. The ebola frenzy of recent weeks really annoyed me, too, but even coverage of that has waned significantly. And I’m not some highbrow consumer – believe you me, I’d much rather click thru on an article about 17 tips for getting ready after a sweaty workout-minus the shower over one about Vladimir Putin and something about the Ukraine, but that is my choice. The obsessive and ceaseless nature of documenting and reporting Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian has forcibly burdened me with information I did not want or seek out, and therein lies my main issue. I also recognize that resistance against these two is futile – case in point: I am writing about them right now – and it’s clear to me I have but one option: I must move to Appalachia. The End.

OK I feel much better, and I don’t even feel bad because I know that TSwizz would just Shake It Off saying “Hater’s gonna hate!” while cashing a check for gazillion dollars, and KimK can’t feel anything stronger than “slightly perturbed” so no harm, no foul.

I do realize the irony of a tirade against the internet…on the internet…but no one stopped to listen when I set up my soap box in Bryant Park.

My apologies to MelBoo and KReav for this outcry against Taylor Swift, but you’ve gotta tell your girl to pipe down.

What’s for lunch?

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