Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

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.

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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!

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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.

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BBT’s The Allie Awards

Posted by AllieB on January 16, 2014

If you’re reading this, then you already know: it’s Thursday.

Award season is upon us! I find the Oscars to be a little high-brow for my taste, so I’ve created my own awards: BBT’s The Allie Awards. Just like Lee Daniels did with The Butler, I had to add the BBT part as I did not want to be confused with (or sued by) the Allie Awards in Atlanta which honor excellence in event design, planning, and production. One of their awards is “Best Buffet” – I would’ve been really good at awarding that award. Award. And now, without further ado!

Best Use of Double Sided Tape: Amy Adams, American Hustle. By the end of the movie I wanted to climb into the screen and offer her a turtleneck

amy adams american hustle

could she V any hotter….

Bleakest Film Location: The Prisoners. Conyers, GA is not so scenic.

Best Film Location: Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The Atlanta History Center, on the other hand, is very scenic.

Best Eastern European Accent: Steve Carrell, Despicable Me: 2. I love these movies.

Hottest Actress Who is 23, Australian, and Plays in an Ice Hockey League for Fun: Margot Robbie in Wolf of Wall Street (read that – I was all set to be like, “LAME” but she is a delight!)

margot robbie

oh hey

Best Soundtrack: American Hustle. It’s legit. I’ve always kind of wished I was around in the 70′s…I think it’s my decade-that-should-have-been.

In Memory of the One Who Kept Us Up At Night…RIP Paul Walker: You’re the hottest QB there ever was.

paul walker varsity blues

My awards > The Academy’s.

#NewYorkLife: On Sunday I needed to get from TriBeCa to the West Village, something that is very easily accomplished by hopping on the 1 train right by my apartment. Very easily accomplished unless, of course, it’s No Pants Day on the subway. The only thing worse than a bunch of weirdos riding the New York City subway without their pants is nothing; there is nothing worse. I wound up using a Citibike instead – in spite of strong headwinds, no gloves, and silly flats (I am my own hero) – and, just to be on the safe side, I took a cab home.*

*I have very strict rules about when I can and cannot take cabs. Said rules are constantly changing in accordance to weather, my outfit, time of day, and level of laziness, but they are rigid and ironclad once I choose to apply them.

#NewYorkLife: Yesterday I took a yoga class after work. Due to various variables, I had to bring all my stuff with me to the office. Super-sized satchel + gym bag + YOGA MAT makes for an exciting morning rush-hour commute – lots of slinging things around, and I know I drilled a few people in the peepers. Talk about losing friends and alienating people: I sort of felt like her. Namaste.

worst lady on an airplane SNL

oh yes, and I had on a neck pillow #commutercomfort

Some housekeeping: I updated my Book List this week, and I removed my Atlanta Restaurant Guide. It was time, y’all. If anyone really wants to see a list of where to dine in Atlanta as of July 2012, by all means email me and I’ll send you a copy. Or you can look at it here.

Enjoy what I hope is a long weekend like mine. I’m looking at some chillaxin’, catching up on movies/tv, lbcha’s AND MHM’s bdizzles… Oh, woof – and SoulCycle. Gag me with a spoon. TGIT!

P.S. I’d be remiss to not share these “otherwordly” pics taken of NYC yesterday…this place is the coolest.

NYC fog

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Let’s do this

Posted by AllieB on January 9, 2014

We’ll start things off on a high note: Monday, January 6, was Blue Monday. According to some somewhat reliable sources, Blue Monday is the most depressing day of the year. Today is Thursday, January 9, which means you not only survived Blue Monday, but that you’ve already had your worst day of the year and every day hereafter will be better than the last. This is great news!! 2014 is going to be awesome!

Coming at you on a low, albeit obvious, note: my process of thought is seriously flawed.

I have many intentions for this year, and I’m writing them down. An “intention” is less scary and not as annoying as a “resolution,” but it more or less means the same thing. I know – again with the flawed thought process.

1. I will use my passport. A&K..!

where to go in 2014

I do not know where Latvia is or how one might go about getting there, but I am IN! Jetsetter is my new favorite site.

2. Be physically active for 30 minutes each day. (Confession: this one started off as “Leave the apartment every day” but that sounds really pathetic, so I changed it. There’s a chance it will change back – February up here is the worst, and there is literally nothing I cannot get delivered to my apartment. Literally, in the literal sense.)

3. Continue to be a non-presence on this list: The 30 Dumbest Things Drunk Women Have Ever Done.

4. Read less. I read so much crap – like legitimate, good-thing-it’s-on-my-Kindle-so-people-can’t-see-the-cover CRAP – and I need to stop indulging in these “books” which are probably making me dumber and work on my own stuff. If you’re not living you’re dying, right? Bao Bao, the panda cub at the Washington Zoo, probably has a shot at a book deal if this fluff is any indication of publishing standards.

Bao Bao whoops

5. Sign up for zero marathons.

I am reaching for the stars in Twenty-Fourteen!

Newsflash: this week was really cold. It was very cold here, it was very cold in Atlanta, and people in Chicago should really consider moving. However, Optimistic Allie is here to enlighten you as to some perks of the frigid weather. Optimistic Allie can always find the silver lining.

-you can hunker down indoors all day and not feel bad about it. I love a winter Saturday in a cozy, dark tavern.

-a blast of cold air to the face will snap you right of whatever catatonic state you’re in: hangover, lack of sleep, office-eyes (you know, when you’re indoors all day you get office eyes), etc….

-children swaddled within an inch of their lives, waddling around with scarecrow arms. I get a real kick out of swaddled kids.

-all of your TV shows are back with brand new episodes!! Me, I am excited about: Cougartown (yep), House of Lies, Downton, Scandal, and the second season of House of Cards on Feb 14. BRING IT, FRANCIS.

-The Winter Olympics. 40 Harry will be hosting an Olympics party, so start gathering your red, white, and blue spandex and BOLO for an invitation 3-4 days before the party. Speaking of the Winter Olympics, it is the 20th Anniversary of the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal. That whole thing was seriously insane…gah, amateur sports are totally boring these days.

-you burn more calories running in cold weather than in hot.

-I have a deep and abiding love for my puffer jacket, which I get to wear every day.

-winter selfies…! And the obligatory weather app screen-grab to prove that you are colder than everyone else. Except Chicago – Chicago wins.

winter collageTemp on Tues PM; stick ‘em up!; Greenwich Street last Fri; my 5-borough running gloves being put to use

Did I miss my calling as a motivational speaker?

2014 is the Year of the Horse, and it is also the Year of BBT. Happy Thursday and Happy Weekend and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the DUCHESS! Here are 32 GIFs of her and her hair being perfect.

407761-the-duke-and-duchess-of-cambridge-attend-the-awards-ceremony-for-the-a

 Here’s to another year of this.

P.S. I’ve had (Do It On My) Twin Bed stuck in my head since before Christmas.

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