Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

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I beg your pardon

Posted by AllieB on April 12, 2013

Everyone told me, “it’s not that the winters are so bad in New York, it’s that they last forever.” Everyone is right. And, while I appreciate the effort to play down the severity of the winters, that was a load of crap. Spring came this week, and then it left. The cookie has been dangled, and the cookie has been cruelly taken away. Today I am in an overcoat and boots and I have reached the END of my rope. The next week day morning I wake up to rain and gusts of wind at 40 degree temps, I am staying home. Just, that’s how it’s going to be.

When spring comes back for real I can’t wait to go the Frying Pan and to Smorgasburg (every weekend like 75 food vendors set up tents and sell their delish food items…I went last fall and had the best best BEST fried chicken and waffles I have ever had…literally. And there’s a beer garden. There’s nothing not to like), and take strolls along the High Line and see movies in Bryant Park and dine al fresco…one of my favorite things about the city is the way all the restaurants open up onto the sidewalk. The other evening I was walking in my ‘hood and it was all I could do to not reach down and snag a sweet potato fry off a table as I passed by. I didn’t, but I thought about it.

frying pan collage

 The Frying Pan is a bar/restaurant situated on two tug boats tied together on the Hudson River in Chelsea. It’s pretty rad. From top left: me and my bestest Juan last September; a sunny day on the patio; the two tug boats. There’s also all these cool art installations…but you do have to exercise some caution: the boats are still functioning boats, just tied up at dock, so when there are waves they move (that’s how boats work), and the bathrooms are down these very narrow and dark spiral stairs…it’s not ideal for the overserved.

So, this is random but worth sharing: I opened my SPAM the other day to see what was what in the online shopping realm (I have all my shopping emails sent to SPAM – out of sight out of mind is the idea, it’s not especially effective), and, amongst the Shopbops and the Gilts and the Amazons were two emails that kind of stood out.

The first was hard to miss: ALLIE BAXTER! YOU HAVE A STUPID FACE!

The second, slightly more subtle but no less insulting: Single and ready to mingle? Check out this new dating site for Senior Citizens!

Excuse me? I’m finding it hard not to take these personally – the first actually says my name, spelled correctly and everything, and the second, if I were really indulging in some self-pity, I could construe as portent of what’s to come. I get it, I’M TURNING THIRTY.

Brush it off, Baxter.

And now, for the news:

Melissa McCarthy hosted SNL last weekend and killed it. And the Weekend Update skit – which she wasn’t even in – was also hilarious. I laughed outloud a LOT. This sketch about a Pizza Business was a standout (I’ve watched this 2.5 times now, and it’s my new favorite thing), but you should prob go watch the whole episode – it’s onDemand if you didn’t record.

BOLO for this: Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns comes out on June 4. I did some research about whether or not anyone’s talked about a movie, and I learned that the Emily Blount character, Emily (skinny British lady who asks Andy if she’s attending a hideous skirt convention), is in it a lot…so I’m thinking the book was written with a movie in mind. That was smart, Andy was annoying and Emily was funny. Fingers crossed.

Carol the Elephant was  shot in a drive-by shooting in Mississippi yesterday. She’s expected to make a full recovery.

Where has Mischa Barton been, you’re wondering? I don’t actually know, but her grand re-entry to the tabloids was well-cataloged…and it’s not good.

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day!! I am celebrating this evening with Dinka and El and our good friends, Syrah and Cab Sav. Join us, won’t you?

Charlotte B Maines, my big sis, is running the Boston Marathon on Monday. This will be her 17th marathon. I can’t even. GOOD LUCK!

TGIF! Happy Weekend!! Bummer:


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

At least I’m not greedy…

Posted by AllieB on April 4, 2013

Have you ever taken a Seven Deadly Sins quiz? There are several online. You answer some multiple choice questions and then it generates which of the seven sins (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony) of which you’re most guilty. I’ve taken a couple over the years, and I am actually characterized by not one, but two sins: sloth and gluttony. To me, this isn’t so bad because those are pretty much just two horns on the same goat; I’d be worried if my answers came out 50/50 to sloth and wrath because that suggests a bipolar disorder or similar. Anyway, Gluttonous & Slothy Allie comes out in full force on vacation. I really can’t go on trips – like beach, low-key type trips – for more than a week. It’d be very unhealthy to sustain the lifestyle I embrace on vacation for any longer.

Cut to: Mexico. I went to bed at 8:30 every night, choosing slumber over rowdy family games of UNO, and slept til 9. I complained about walking half a mile to dinner, but then would go – begrudgingly – and inhale margs and chips and salsa and tacos and more chips and margs. I groaned at trudging all the way to the beach from the pool that was pretty much on the beach and considered the journey up the three flights of stairs to the roof-top pool/lounge area my Everest. I did go on a couple of yogs and I think I knocked out 50 squats and a full minute wall-sit midweek, but that’s it. By Friday, the sixth day, I was ready to go. I finished every single one of Elin Hilderbrand’s books (I don’t know what it is about her books, they’re like the novel equivalent of mac and cheese), and I was sick of waking up still full from my meal the night previous. There is no worse feeling than waking up still full from your meal the night previous.

While it’s good to be back into normal Active Allie mode, I do miss Mexi…esp the temp. It was 33 degrees this morning and I AM OVER IT. In protest against Mother Nature I’m wearing a skirt without tights. People on the subway looked at me more strangely than they did the male senior citizen sitting next to me who was listening to Taylor Swift on LOUD and humming along. It was pretty funny – a fairly normal looking 75 year old, just jamming out to T Swizzle.

Mexico was great, though, here are some photos.


 Can you guess which are enhanced and which are not? No? Don’t really care? Ok, I will tell you: the two on the right are without filter and the other three have a couple. Wow!


Sunset; SISTERS; tourist-watching at the Mayan Ruins. Like, that is foul. The view from the front was borderline pornographic and much too inappropriate to share on BBT.

After vacation I went to Atlanta. I hosted a baby shower for Nancy with the rest of SPICE my high school besties, and that was really fun. The only way you can tell Nancy is pregnant is because of her baby bump, the rest of her is the exact same – she’s TEENY. JSimps: you’re doing it wrong. My contribution to the festivities was the Mimosa Bar (obviously), and I think it turned out great! Thank you, Pinterest.


Domestic Allie’s Mimosa Bar: prosecco, sparkling water, organic juices (grapefruit – OJ – pink lemonade)

Also, and I’m not going to go into the whole story because I don’t feel like it, but, as I predicted in my last post, we DID have some mishaps with our airline travel…we had to switch planes in ATL en route to Cancun last Saturday morning, and our flight from NYC to ATL was 30 mins late, thereby making our 45 minute connection very dicey. Jordan and I hauled A off the plane, shoving aside anyone who was in our way – I kicked a toddler in the gangway – and literally, like really literally, sprinted all the way down the A terminal (we came in at A9 so that’s like half a mile) to the train which we rode out to Terminal F (Terminal F is at a different airport, I think), then run up three escalators and all the way down to gate F4. The door was already closed and the attendant was closing up shop, but she saw us and said, “let’s give it a try, girls!” and she ran us down to see if the airplane door was still open…and it WAS! Turns out Mr. Baxter was going all furrowed-brow on the stewardess trying to shut the door – no one argues with Mr. Baxter when he brings out the furrowed brows – and we were able to board. The whole plane applauded. As I told the nice Mexican man in Customs, it was all very high drama. The End.

I do that a lot: I say I’m not going to tell the whole story, and then I proceed to tell the whole story.

Newsworthy news:

-theSkimm: it is a news email that goes out every morning around 6:15 and gives you a “skimm” of what is going on in the news on a Domestic and International level, and Social and Political issues that are a hot topic that day. I got my first one today and it’s legit – sign up!

-I updated my book list. I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately…I still can’t get over the book about meth (Methland) – it was NUTS. Take those freaky meth commercials they air in Georgia and multiply them by like infinity and you’ve got the stories this guy wrote about…kids, don’t do meth

-if you don’t have already it, you need to get Netflix: the return of Arrested Development will show exclusively on Netflix and it premiers on May 26 at 9PM. House of Cards - have I talked about this yet? - is another Netflix-only show that is awesome. It’s a sleazy political DC-based series starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright that I made it through in one weekend. It’s so bad it’s good.

-Ryan Lochte is getting his own reality TV show. (Remember his amazing tweets leading up to and during the Olympics? He’s speshul.) I won’t watch it because I only like scripted sleazy television, but I look forward to hearing about what a doofus he is.

-WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS CRUISE SHIP. Sister sent an email this morning describing the situation perfectly, so I cut and pasted it: you know that cruise ship that was stuck in the Gulf of Mex? Well, it was somewhere in the gulf near Mobile being repaired and BROKE away from where it was tethered and floated down the river and crashed into something else. Like, PUT that cruise ship down like a rabid dog, someone please.

-I learned how to use my hair wand, and I joined Foursquare.

Have yourself a lovely Thursday. Watch where you’re going and say please and thank you. Laureo and Lucy, I’m already thirsy….

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

Beach Bum Tan > Baxter Bark Twice

Posted by AllieB on March 21, 2013

It’s a common stereotype: people in the North are more abrasive, louder, and sometimes literally pushier than people from the South. I wouldn’t argue with this at all. The good manners and common courtesies with which I was raised and am accustomed to are not a given, and I think I need to just put on my big girl pants and get over it.

Case in point: last Friday evening at Beach Bum Tan. All I wanted was a spray tan in a booth, which they didn’t have, but the seemingly pleasant girl behind the counter, Mariam, said she could airbrush me herself in like an hour. No prob, I had some wine with Mary Cath around the corner and went back. In the time I was gone Mariam apparently underwent some kind of lobotomy, and it was not she but Mr. Hyde who was doing my tan. Things started off poorly when she accused me of lying about being from New Jersey and continued on in the manner of a downward spiral for the duration.

“I’ve got an Allie Baxter in the computer right here – see? That’s your name, you’ve been to our Jersey location before. You’re from Jersey.”

“I think it’s another Allie Baxter. I am from Atlanta.”

“Why would there be two of you?? And we don’t even have any stores in Atlanta!”

Precisely my point. “Look, I really haven’t been here before, and sometimes people have the same name…maybe there’s another Allie Baxter in New Jersey.”

“Fine, whatever. You’re not from Jersey, I get it. SH*T we’re running behind. Hurry up, Abby, we gotta get this done fast.”

She turned and stalked down the corridor. Assuming by Abby she meant Allie (after all that you’d think she’d get my name right), I dutifully followed along behind her, really thrilled to have the crazy person give me a spray tan. Once situated, the berating continued.

“You know how this works, right?”

“Yes, I -”

“When’s your event?”


“TOMORROW?! When were you going to tell me it was TOMORROW. Jesus frigging Chr- I just asked you if you knew how this works, and you said yes, but OBVIOUSLY you do not if you’re here a frigging day before whatever little party you have. It’s a TWO DAY process.”

“Um….I didn’t know…I’m sorry?” Her manner and tone really did make me feel sorry.

“Let’s look at you – oh my god you’re even paler than I thought. You’re like a Type I, I can’t even give you that much color or you’ll look like a frigging idiot. Seriously, do you go outside, like, EVER?!”

I inferred this to be a rhetorical question.

“I’m going to write out a list of instructions for you, Abby, and I think I’m going to call you tomorrow to make sure you’re following them TO A TEE and not screwing it all up.”

She shut off the airbrush thingy and ordered me to dry off while she attended to her other customers. I mulled over our interaction and started to get a little pissed off because seriously?! I got dressed and marched out to the reception area, ready to stand up to this relentless abuse.

“Listen, Mariam,” I began, planning to tell her while I appreciated her ‘input’ I did not appreciate being yelled at but that the tan was looking really good. (See what I did there? It’s a Compliment Sandwich: two compliments bookending a criticism. It’s a trick for delivering unpleasant truths. I learned it from Family Guy.)

Before I could continue she cut me off, thrusting a two page pamphlet in my hand with illegible scrawls all over it, “Remember what I said about FOL-LOW-ING THE IN-STRUC-TIONS. Oh, and here’s an envelope for my tip. People are usually happy with the outcome and leave me, like, $7-$10. BYE Abby.” She looked at me, then looked pointedly at the envelope.

I feel like this is what The Today Show and People magazine are talking about when they talk about bullies. Instead of standing up for myself, I obediently took out a $10 dollar bill, placed it in the envelope, murmured a feeble “thanks” and shuffled meekly out the door.

The good news is that it was a buy-one-get-one-free situation, so I’ve got a voucher to go back for another. If anyone wants to go be Allie Baxter (NOT the one from Jersey), you are more than welcome to a free airbrush and moral smackdown with Mariam.

Cool story, Hansel. On Saturday I am going on vacation!!! The whole Baxter fam is headed to Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Weird stuff always happens when all of us travel together, so fingers crossed no one dies on my airplane! Here’s a pic of where I’ll be – it looks pretty nice. And my new phone just arrived, so I’ll be sure to document our week on Insta. BOLO for humble brags!

playa del carmen

Ok, I’ll finish the drill. For those of you still reading, here are a few external links for your reading enjoyment. Adios!

In the vein of what I mentioned last week re: my mortal fear of a subway-related death, there are also these things about which to be concerned.

You’re going to want to meet Mo, a brand new baby river otter.

This article published in the LA Times 25 years ago that predicts how things would be in the year 2013 (2013 is the year it is now – this guy got it pretty wrong).

*I always come up with the title after I write the post, and I’m only now seeing that Beach Bum Tan and BBT share the same initials. I HATE THAT PLACE.

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

I asked, and then I answered

Posted by AllieB on March 13, 2013

Name: BBT

Age: I am 29 years old. In sixty-seven days I am turning thirty, and in seventy days I am having a superfab thirtieth birthday party. Join me, won’t you? Actually, it’s going to be invite only…but maybe you’ll get one. K, we’ve got a lot to talk about this weekend.

Neighborhood: West Village

Occupation: I have a job at a company and I work in an office. I like it a lot, therefore I will not disclose the name so as not to link us in any way. I’m confident they’re not at all ashamed that I work here, but better safe than sorry…who knows – maybe I work for the CIA

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City is my favorite fictional New Yorker. I wish she was real.


What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York? L’ArtusiPerilla, Pylos, the crab spring rolls in Grand Central Market…I have a new best meal like every day. Eating well is impossible to not do here

Do you give money to panhandlers? Sometimes and only when there’s music involved – like the guy who plays the accordion in the tunnel of the Bryant Park subway station during morning rush hour. And the guy on the 1 last week who was playing “Georgia On My Mind” on  his harmonica – I gave him $2.

What’s your drink? It might be easier to say what is not my drink, and that is white wine. It used to be just Chardonnay I didn’t like, but I’ve pretty much cut out all white varietals. White wine – blech

white wine

I can’t talk about wine without a shoutout to these two – see you soooon!

How often do you prepare your own meals? Eh. Once a week? I try to make something on Sunday that I can have during the week when I work late and don’t feel like making dinner…thus far I’ve accomplished this exactly zero times, so I guess when I said “once a week” just then I was fibbing. Sorry, Gaylen

What’s your favorite medication? Melatonin, maybe. Definitely not the sleeping aid my work friend gave me. Let me tell you something: when someone offers you no-name sleeping pill from Mexico and warns you to break it up into fourths, or smaller if possible, and to make sure you have a “loooooooong time” to sleep it off, it is in your best interest to decline. Trust me on this…me and Captain Obvious.

What’s hanging above your sofa? A big mirror. It is probably from West Elm

How much is too much to spend on a haircut? It depends where I am in my budget cycle. I almost walked into Great Clips the other day…Allie, NO!

When’s bedtime? Midnight

What do you hate most about living in New York? I am legitimately terrified that I’m either going to trip and fall into the path of an oncoming subway or that some loco person is going to push me.

Who is your mortal enemy? Taylor Swift; LeAnn Rimes; the dry cleaner on my corner that I swear closes when they see me coming…notably not mentioned: Hilary. Hilary is actually something of a hero today. (I’m not even going to make a remark about packing your ice skates because hell has frozen over – that’s how sincerely I mean it.)

When’s the last time you drove a car? Christmas. But I will this weekend!!! I miss driving.


BBiT: Buckhead Betty in Training. Hop in, y’all!

How has the Wall Street crash affected you? Yes

Where do you go to be alone? I think if you’re sans mobile device, you’re pretty much alone. I leave mine at home when I run errands sometimes. NYC can be very isolating even when you’re surrounded by peeps. I am reminded of my going away party when people kept playing “All By Myself” – kinda mean, looking back.

What makes someone a New Yorker? I don’t know the answer to this just yet…I do know this city is not for everyone, and I think you’d probably know pretty much instantly if wasn’t a good fit. Me – I knew right away that moving here was my best decision of all of my decisions. This doesn’t say much, given my history of decision-making, but it feels good to get at least one right.

The End. (Credit: NYMag 21 Questions)

Now for the other stuff:

This corgi saw himself in the mirror for the first time and I die:

mirror image_corgi

If you love Friends the TV show even half as much as I do, you will appreciate these two compilations of the best, most quotable quotes and scenes. (Part one, Part deux)

The 13 Most Annoying Questions People Ask Dogs. This is very true and accurate and funny, and I already knew that dogs hate it when they’re asked them because Missy told me ages ago. She keeps me in the loop on stuff.

 “Where’s your bone?”

The 13 Most Annoying Questions People Ask Dogs

I missed y’all last week, so I wanted to write early this week. I plan to return on Thursday. Until then!

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

The sauce is weak

Posted by AllieB on February 28, 2013

GREAT NEWS! It is Thursday. Besides that I got nada…bupkis…a great big giant goose egg. No more life events to share, good or bad.  I’ve been working a lot, I socialize, I go to el gimnasio – OH! Remember Lucy Hale’s hotter twin? She showed up in my Cardio Sculpt class on Wednesday. Miss Thang came traipsing in already sweaty – evidently she works out before she works out. Fine, whatever, but the class was at 6:30 in the morning – clearly, she sucks. But she can do a push-up, maybe even a few, and I cannot. Rico, the instructor, was actually fascinated by my inability to lift myself from a horiztonally prone position, flat on the floor, into a push-up. I told Rico that it had always been this way and that when I took the Presidential Fitness Test in 9th grade I could only complete 1/4 of a pull-up. “We can’t excel at everything,” I said. Rico thought about this and asked, “but would you call being able to do a single, legit push-up excelling?”

“For me, yes, that would be excelling.”

“You gotta raise your standards, gurl, because you on the floor just now, trying to push yourself up – that was just about the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen. And I used to work at the YMCA.”

Jeez, Rico, no need to SUGARCOAT IT.  

I can’t Instagram a #tbt, so here’s one. This is me chillin – just me and my cheeks hangin out. I bet if I showed this to Rico he’d be like, “typical.”

baby allie


I watched the entirety of the Oscars on Sunday – from alpha to omega I tuned in - and I hve some observations:

-Jennifer Lawrence is clearly PLU. Let’s hang sometime JLaw 



-how pissed was Anne Hathaway that SHE didn’t think to fall down?? (Sidebar: article about why we love Jennifer Lawrence and do not love Anne Hathaway. Muy interesante.)

-Channing Tatum… you come here to me.

-INTERVENTION: BBT, this is the third consecutive post in which you’ve mentioned Channing Tatum. Pump the brakes, yo

-Halle Berry…daaaaang.

I’ve never borne the burden of having too much money, so I can’t attest to what I’d do if I had just billions of dollars that I wanted to “spend before I die” but I really, really do not think this would come to mind. My certainty stems from the fact that this is the STUPIDEST thing I have ever heard and someone really ought to shut it down.

Plans for Titanic Replica Set Sail as Australian Billionaire Avoids Sink Jinx

Summation: he’s building a boat exactly like the Titanic, from size and interior to class separation (allegedly he’ll be riding in third class becaase that’s where all the fun is), to sail the exact route the Titanic did without – fingers crossed! – hitting an iceburg and sinking. Apparently he has “dozens of people” interested in signing up. In one deviation from the ill-fated ship, there will be a lifeboat seat for every single passenger and crew member.

In Clive’s defense, he already owns 100 vintage cars, 150 race horses, five private jets and a large collection of dinosaur fossils. And you’d think the person with a private collection of dinosaur fossils must want for nothing…this just goes to show: money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can buy a lot of other stuff. 

I give up. Go have yourself a beverage. TGIT!

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