Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

What Not To Do – Just In General, Vol XVII

Posted by AllieB on February 20, 2014

Hi! It’s still winter.

Few things are ever as they seem – especially thru the veil of social media. This is good to remember on, say, Valentine’s Day when Susie McSucksALot posts 10000 pictures of the sweet things her “main man” (CAN WE NOT) did for her. What Sus is not telling us is that last week her “Prince Charming” went to happy hour with his bros and somehow wound up in Vegas where he gambled away their life savings and was found in a compromising position with a burlesque showperson of an undetermined gender. Perhaps SusieQ needs to quit posting things on social media and focus on her relationship with this “dreamboat” – ya heard?

Besides, anyone can put things online and act like they’re real.

BBT and TomB

Some things, however, are exactly as they seem and allow for no alternative interpretations. Case in point: subway etiquette. There are no grey areas when it comes to protocol on the subterranean railway, and adherence to these rules is a very important part of living here. The rules are as follows: 1. avoid unnecessary contact, 2. don’t eat foods that require a utensil, and 3. silence is golden. I hope y’all know I would never eat a cup of yogurt on the subway or play the Les Mis soundtrack on full blast, but the first…well, I think you can guess where I’m going with this.

Re my daily commute: I take the 1 or the 2/3 trains home – they run on parallel tracks, the 1 is local, the 2/3 are express. If I am in the midst of a good book and feel like sitting, I take the local;  if I want full body contact with 5 strangers at a time and wish to get home in 8 minutes, I take the express.

Last night, I opted for the former. I stepped in the empty-ish car and honed in on the most prized seat: the one at the end of the row with empty seats beside it. There was a man sitting a few feet down, but he seemed fine where he was – headphones in, bobbing along to the song – I don’t think he even realized the train had stopped. I claimed the spot with a pointed look and made my way to what was now, as far as I was concerned, my seat.

As one does when sitting, I turned around and I sat. I’ll admit, it was more of a “plop” than a “perch,” so when I came down not on the orange plastic seat, but in the lap of the man who, seconds previous, had been sitting several seats away, there was no denying contact: I, Allie, was on top of him, Male Stranger on Subway. Evidently, said “Male Stranger” was actually a Seat Ninja.

subway fail

I’ve never been known for my cat-like reflexes (true story: I used to intentionally move my leg when the doctor tapped my knee because it never seemed to do anything on its own…forget “cat-like” I’ll settle for just “reflexes”), but I bolted up so quickly I was able to get off the subway right as the doors closed and it pulled away, taking with it the stranger in whose lap I’d just sat. I didn’t even get a chance to hear or see how the guy reacted, which I think is an undeniable indication that miracles are real and they happen every day.

This whole spectacle lasted no more than four seconds, but I can’t stop replaying it in slo-mo in my head. You know how when you remember horrible, embarrassing things you’ve done and you involuntarily blush and cringe reliving them? That’s happened like 10 times since last night.

To the Male Stranger on Subway: I am sorry I sat in your lap. Should I put this on the Craigslist “Missed Connections” page?

I know. Between that and the standing stranger embrace last week, it almost seems as though I’m intentionally doing this… I’m not, but I could see how you might think so. What’s next – an inadvertent elevator kiss?? Jesus. Stay tuned.

In other news….

J Simps looks great! You go, gurl.

– If you are sick of reading thought-provoking literature like I am, indulge in this: Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. Three sisters – triplets, actually – deal with life at age 33 in Sydney. It’s a step up from totally trashy chick lit, and it’s a nice break from War and Peace.

– This:

bob costas fnl

Ok, the end. If you’ve learned anything today, I hope it’s that I’m really good at photoshop and drawing.

*Volumes I – XVI of “what not to do” can be found in any number of previous posts. In fact, I was thinking I might rename BBT “What Not To Do, Just In General.”

Posted in Arbitrary | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I have a new hobby!

Posted by AllieB on February 13, 2014

If there is one thing I know to be true it is that idle hands and minds are the devil’s playground. Are they ever. The solution is simple: stay busy – duh. Here’s how I am keeping the devil at bay…and then just some other stuff, because there’s always other stuff.

-I have a new hobby: gambling! I bought upwards of 10 squares for the Superbowl ($50 out, $0 in – that went well), and I’m filling out my ballot now for the Oscars . Perhaps I’ll even look into that billion dollar bracket that Warren Buffet is doing…but probably not because I can’t even pretend I care about college basketball, and I can pretend to care about most things.

-I am watching the Olympics. Well, sort of – sometimes I get bored – but I’ve observed the following:

First: mogul skiing should be illegal.

mogul ski NO

Second: Bob Costas is my hero

-I am in love with Jimmy Fallon. I watched the 1.5 hour Jimmy Fallon Goodbye Special (it’s OnDemand), and I loved it. I haven’t had that much fun watching a television program in a long time. If I was a celeb, I’d tell my agent, “GET me on Jimmy Fallon and tell him I want to play Beer Pong and Catch Phrase and also do some sort of dance.” You can tell everyone is having an awesome time – Jimmy is the most genuinely entertaining and easily entertained person I have ever seen; he loves people and they love him. Will Ferrell is a frequent guest, and this is my new favorite thing: Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon Fight Over Tight Pants. (PLEASE WATCH!) My second favorite thing is this tumblr of all his Thank You Notes – sometimes the internet comes thru in amazing ways. I have very high hopes for our Jimmy.

thank you oatmeal

Thank you, Oatmeal, for looking like I already ate you before I eat you.

-Ah yes, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day…kewl…better get to Duane Reade and stock up on the holiday candy. If you’re in a bad place re: your Valentine’s sitchy, I encourage you to check out the post I did last year – your morale will skyrocket; my VDay’s of yore leave much to be desired. I think it also single-handedly fulfills BBT’s “personal sharing” quota for the next decade.

-I am accepting of Fashion Week this season, minus the huge stain it is on my Instagram. Also, the below was chosen as a “Best Look of the Day” by NYMag. Have they no eyes that can see?

The Row fuzzy sweater and slouchy pants

If this were shown with a bowl of popcorn and a remote instead of patent Oxfords and a briefcase, I could possibly reconsider.

-I am very much looking forward to a return trip to France in August. Is that annoying? You’re annoying. Our 2010 stay at the chateau was delightful, and I can’t wait for Round 2. I am already planning some activities, and, amongst other things, I would love to visit a vineyard, see Mont-St-Michel, and have zero women die on my airplane. (Hey, E Rock – have I told you that story?)

BBT + chateau; #wine; Mont-St-Michel; death

BBT + chateau; #wine; Mont-St-Michel; death

-Speaking of death, I am plotting the very slow and painful demise of Old Man Winter.

-I have been going to spin class on the reg,* and I like it. Well, I don’t like it – obviously I hate it – but it seems like a very efficient way to exercise if one must exercise. The downside is that, upon completing a single, 45 minute class, I say to myself, “Done!” and feel as though I have achieved my apex of physical fitness, an ass that won’t quit, and will never have to exercise again. That’s not right.

*Because BBT is not a fitness blog (say what?!) and because I am not lame, I will leave this open to interpretation. But I’m kind of proud of myself so if you’ll allow me a little humby brag, I will say that I have gone to more spin classes in the 44 days of 2014 than I did in all of 2013 and 2012 combined. And you should know that still doesn’t say much.

-Happy late/early BIRTHDAYS to Sis & A & Mims. Mucho love. Mucho.

favorite people

I just love this pic in general. Hazy pic….hazy night. xoxo

Happy Thursday, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy…whatever! Except you southerners – y’all are really starting to piss me off with all these snow days, so I wish you no happiness. Read the previous sentence as: Thursday, Valentine’s Day, …whatever. If you don’t have power I am sorry.

P.S. I know most people reading this are dealing with crappy weather right now, but this happened on my way to work today: living near the water means more wind, it’s just science, and I was literally blinded by horizontal snow coming at me in gale force gusts on my way to the subway. As I turned the corner onto Hudson I ran smack into a woman, also blinded, and it was like something out of a movie except not. We both involuntarily reached out and grabbed one another to keep our balance, and we wound up locked in a sort of standing embrace – she was about a foot shorter than me, so I basically had her nestled in my bosom – and then, once we gained our footing, continued on in our respective directions without exchanging words besides a muffled SORRY. Now that I am safely ensconced in my office, I can kind of laugh about it…but at the time: only tears.

do you see?? real human tears.

do you see?? real human tears.

Posted in Arbitrary, Celebs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Woe Is Me

Posted by AllieB on February 6, 2014

<updated Thursday afternoon 2/6>

So, I have my health, the sun is shining, nearly all of the black ice has melted on the sidewalks, and I just read a most amazing masterpiece entitled: THIS IS THE APPROPRIATE THING TO DO WHEN A STRANGER TEXTS YOU. Like, Allie, what was all that nonsense earlier? I apologize for writing such a depressing post – one of BBT’s founding principles is “no depressing posts” and today…I got all up in my head and forgot about the fundamentals; I forgot who I am. #neveragain #neverforget

L8er dudes

<original post Thursday morning>

Hi.

These are the reasons why my life, as I know it, is in shambles:

1. I was the victim of subway grossness. There was a man, me, a crowded rush hour car, and….do I have to spell it out? I took my gym bag and sandwiched it between me and…him, jabbing him with my elbow as I did so, and he definitely backed off, but it was awful. People are disgusting. F you dude, seriously.

2. Between The Subway Incident and The Sludge, I’m sorry to say that the honeymoon is over: I am currently in the latter state of my love/hate relationship with NYC. We had a great run, but things have gone south. The Sludge has taken away a piece of my soul I may never get back. I cried real tears making my way to the subway yesterday morning. The wind + horizontal rain + foot-deep “puddles” of mud/snow/ice/pee/poop (that is what Sludge consists of) made me really unhappy. I didn’t know I was allowed to bitch about winter and have been a great sport about it, but if everyone else in the city is, so can I, and now I’ve unleashed a beast I cannot contain. More weather is coming this weekend. I quit.

3. I am very displeased with the outcome of the Top Chef season finale.

how to get up

help.

WOE IS ME IS RIGHT

But I suppose morale could be lower: I could be in Sochi. The journalists have arrived to cover the Games, and, per their tweets and pics, things are not quite ready. This is horrible. I am actually very concerned about the Winter Olympics, from infrastructure issues to something really bad happening, and the more I read (and I’ve been reading a lot), the more worrisome things seem. One reporter for the Chicago Tribune tweeted:

My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, “do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.” #Sochi2014

Then, a little while later:

Stacy St. Clair ‏@StacyStClair  Feb 3 

Water restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like. #Sochi #unfiltered

View image on Twitter

I really thought that was urine. Sick.

Seriously, things are not in good shape over there, and it sounds like they could get worse, with the U.S. Adding Toothpaste Bombs to the List of Sochi Worries. A writer for Grantland mentioned “toxic sludge filling washbasins” – huh? – and a “hotel maintenance crew kicking down someone’s locked door to install a cable box” which seems altogether unnecessary. Russia says they’re ready and have security measures in place akin to a “ring of steel” – I hope they are right. U-S-A!!!

This is a pretty bleak BBT. I wrote most of it yesterday, when I was in a very bleak place, and I figured that today – Thursday! TGIT! – I would wake up with the usual spring in my step and tweak it armed with a decidedly sunnier disposition. I woke up springless. I’ve gotta get it together, let’s cheer me up…

-Jon Stewart had a hard time with what went down in ATL last week, and this is hilarious. Humor at the expense of others is the best medicine

-as far as I’m concerned, David Beckham won the Super Bowl. My goodness.

david beckham super bowl H&M 2014

-a baby elephant faceplant

elephant face plant

-a picture of the city, sans Sludge. Ok, NY, I still love you. We’ll get thru this…there are better days ahead.

bryant park

Bryant Park as seen during a mid-afternoon stroll last spring. I’ll be having lunch al fresco before I know it…ish

-and, of course, this:

hashtag wine

Ok, I feel much better. Enjoy your days.

Posted in Arbitrary | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Just like Nancy Drew, I solved a mystery

Posted by AllieB on January 30, 2014

Hello. Today I will solve a mystery so mysterious it makes the Bermuda Triangle look like an above-ground backyard pool in Ohio where the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot hang out, grill steaks, and play touch football with their kids, Loch Ness and Big Foot, Jrs.

It’s a total game changer: here’s how to see time stamps on your iMessages. Credit: JVBJordan…eh, so I guess it’s her we should call Nancy Drew. Fine.

how to see time stamps on iphone imessages

I had to black out the sender’s name, obvi, given the mention of pre-meditated murder and a clearly stated lack of remorse; BBT is no snitch. If this is not brand new information then up yours for not telling me sooner. I mean, it didn’t even occur to me to goog it, that’s how futile the situation seemed. This might be the best brand new information I’ve received since I learned about Let Me Google That For You – I love LMGTFY.

While we’re talking game changers, I have a couple requests for the big guys:

Dear Mr. Snapchat,

Will you please figure out a way for me to send my screenshots via Snap? Super.

P.S. What 23 year-old says “pass” to $3 billion?! Pretty ballsy…

P.P.S. Might you consider dating a slightly older woman?

Dear Apple (cc: Emoji),

Could someone please find out how to assign unique keyboards to specific contacts? Or, at the very least, put the hashtag thingy on the main typing screen? Yes.

hashtag wine

I need this on my keyboard, please and thank you

I think that’s it; I’m not unreasonable.

Another helpful tip I generously share with you today: do you find that your ear buds fall out during exercise? I do. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me – the right ear bud barely stays in while I’m just walking. I have those hook-over-the-ear headphones but they look stupid. SOLUTION! Credit: CKBMaines

sprng

Meet Sprng, the $10 plastic clips that will greatly improve your quality of life – they just snap right onto your ear buds and fit neatly into the groove of your ear (ew). They slide in easily, stay put, and are much more comfortable than the ones that hook – you don’t even notice they’re there, you just notice that you’re not having to shove your right bud in every 20 seconds. I’ve run with them twice this week, and I’m very impressed. Also, I opted for a subtle light grey color that blends right in – ya can’t even see them. BBT highly recommends.

Sooo…how’s it going, ATL? The pictures I’ve seen online from Tuesday & Wednesday are insane, and I still can’t quite comprehend the gravity of the situation on the roads. It sucks that it was handled poorly on so many fronts, but – and more importantly, I think – my overall takeaway is this: I am in awe of the innate goodness of the peeps Atlanta. I read so many stories on the SnowedOut Atlanta page that gave me the warm and fuzzies – it was pretty great. (Unfortunately there are also haters posting on that page, but haters are always going to hate.) They’ll be embarrassed I shared this, but on Tuesday night my mom saw a post on FB about woman stranded near our house, and my dad went to pick her up and wound up with a second woman as well. The two of them stayed the night at our house and finally were able to start their trek home yesterday afternoon. I know my parents’ gesture was just one of thousands made throughout the city. There’s going to be a lot of political conversations and pointing of fingers and I imagine it’s going to get pretty ugly – it already has – but, as is the BBT way, I like to find the silver lining. It’s amazing how the worst times can truly bring out the best in people.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to Zirk3 and her harrowing commute home Tuesday day -> evening -> night…you’re very brave, and I commend you for finding the silver lining via Insta posts (I also commend you for having a car charger). It takes a special breed of person to keep their sense of humor in the face of such hardship. Next time we meet, the goldschlager’s on me.

Not to take away from what’s going on down there, but we’re cold, too…..

hudson river frozen

The Hudson was frozen halfway to Jersey last Friday. Thass bunk.

Here’s fun activity: take this 100%  entirely accurate quiz that will determine your mental age in 6 short and easy multiple choice questions.

Your mental age is

19

Well, that settles it: I most definitely belong with a 23 year old! I’m going to make a wonderful Mrs. Allie Snapchat.

If you haven’t already, watch this. Even if you have, watch it again – I’m in double digits. Hint: there are puppies. Puppies and Clydesdales and Budweiser.

TGIT and Happy Super Bowl Weekend! Go Peyton!! Go Sherman!! If you live in NYC, don’t even think about going near Times Square, but do read this article What Super Bowl Week Is All About by my man Jason Gay at the WSJ. And, believe it or not…it hardly seems possible…tomorrow is the last day of January. VICTORY!

Posted in Arbitrary | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Posted by AllieB on January 23, 2014

I write today about choosing the company you keep. At this point in my life, I know exactly who I like, who I don’t like, and who I wish to send here, and it’s time to make some changes. I’ve outlined some methods that focus on the implementation of passive-aggressive behavior – as everyone knows, such conduct is a highly effective and emotionally prudent way to drop the zeros and get with only heroes.  See below.

#1: Trim the Fat. Cut the B-Team. You know – the people who are a third, maybe fourth resort when you’re looking to make plans. Wouldn’t you rather stay home than force awkward conversation while pretending to not look over their shoulder to see if there’s anyone better to talk to? I would. Done. It’s hard enough to keep your inner circle at arms length – these peeps gotta go.

#2: Just Say No. “Allie, want to get lunch today?” Nope. “Does anyone want to meet for happy hour?” Sure don’t. “Want to go shopping in Brooklyn?” Absolutely not. “So-and-so’s playing at Bowery tonight – wanna go?” What do you think?

#3: Flat Face. I talk about “flat face” all the time: it is the ultimate unimpressed expression that reeks of judgement and disdain. Cut to a Thursday evening at your favorite bar/restaurant –  you’re sitting at a table with a few friends, having a really fun conversation, oblivious to all around you. Then you sense it: the lurking presence of some stain primed to ruin everything. He interjects, “Well, hey there ladies…” Say nothing, just turn slowly to him with your flattest face and maintain eye contact for a couple seconds – trust me, he’ll pick up what you’re putting down…he might even cry a little. Be advised: this sometimes goes awry if you’re with people who do not employ FF and instead entertain strangers as though they might bring something of value to the evening. When this happens, you will look like a total bitch. Me, I say: Mission Accomplished!

flat faced

:|

#4: Radio Silence. Stop responding altogether.

#5: Salt-n-Pepa. Conversely, let’s say someone has decided to ignore you – who knows why, probably because of something you did – and they’re trying to utilize the approach described in #4. Under no circumstances will you take this lying down: instead you assault (“salt”) them with texts and pepper (“pepa”) them with questions. This strategy is actually empowering because you are knowingly foiling their Radio Silence plan, and knowledge is power. The Mess-er, as they say, becomes the Mess-ee. See below for a “salting” in the literal sense.

salt the snail

Sister, you are to me what Gail the Snail is to Charlie. xoxo

So there ya have it – 5 easy steps to fewer friends and more enemies…you are welcome! Also, I’m kidding*

*Except for number 3**

**OK, let’s get real for a sec: I’m trying – like in real life – to do the opposite of everything I just said. Especially #3, even though that’s going to be very hard for me, but it’s time to expand my horizons. I realized recently I am my own worst enemy when it comes to social ventures – I’m used to being included by default, but if you say no enough people really will start to get the hint. It is incumbent upon my nearest and dearest to hold me accountable as I attempt to eradicate these bad habits. Consider this needlessly sarcastic post a cry for help.

ANYWAY in other news…

Superbowl XLVIII is Broncos v Seahawks! And it’s in NYC!! Actually, it’s in Jersey, but whatevs. Not gonna lie, I was pulling for Tom and the Pats on Sunday (I have a thing for Tom), but this should be a good game. TBD who I’m cheering for – right now I’m thinking I’ll take chicken wings over the hummus.

I made this in 2011 - I still think it's some of my best work

Alsele & Tom

What a nice, non-creepy photo. I hope Tom Brady doesn’t have a Goog alert set for his name…I’d be so embarrassed if Tom Brady saw this!

Aaaand the weather outside is weather.

Winter Storm Janus. Who's naming these things?!

Outside our apt Tuesday evening. Credit: my roomie OBatt

Winter Storm Janus hit the Northeast coast pretty rough on Tuesday. Who’s naming these things?!

I screen-grabbed my own Snap. Yep.

Post-spin, pre-#wine. I screen-grabbed my own Snap

Have wonderful Thursdays. MC & KR, I’m thinking margs for this eve…? A spicy jalapeno one, to be specific.

Posted in Arbitrary, Imparting Wisdom | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Next Page »