Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

30 for 30

Posted by AllieB on June 20, 2013

Today was one of those days where I woke up before my alarm went off, hummed as I put on make-up, and sorta skipped to the subway – it’s perfect weather (you know how deeply affected I am by climate), it’s THURSDAY, and so many visitors are coming up this weekend!! I think that even if a homeless person spit on me I would say, “awesome!” and just keep skipping.

My birthday happened, and it was great. I’ll quit talking about it because that’s all I’ve been talking about, and I think we’re all ready for me to get back to Kate Middleton and Jessica Simpson (HOW MANY DOES SHE HAVE IN THERE?!) and pretty much anything else at all, so long as it’s not my birthday. I did have an awesome day and felt very special, what with the Facebook and Instagram activity posted on my behalf, plus the Haagen Das ice cream cake I had at work , and the beautimous flowers waiting for me when I got home (see bottom of post). To top it off, some of my most very favorite people are en route to NYC for the weekend…! cc: Buff, JohnnyT, Gulia, ESchenk, Undercover Turkey Lover, the entire Baxter Fam…

whelmed

Sister loves me all of the time

As you know, the rooftop idea wasn’t panning out so well, so I’m having the Most Anticipated Event of the Year my bday fiesta at B Bar. I like B Bar. And tonight Laureo, Sissy, and I are dining at Tartine. Tomorrow I’m going to have my parents over for happy hour and will serve charcuterie and the bottle of 2002 Dom Perignon that my co-worker gave me, and then a group is dining at The Dutch. I’m trying to make things easier for creepy internet stalkers.

In addition to moi, here is a list of things that turn 30 this year. I, for some reason, am not on the list, but there are some other noteworthy things with which we’re all familiar/fond of.  (credit:  Sista Lynn)

1. The Minivan. Well isn’t that just perfect.

Allie_Minivan

2. J. Crew. 30 years of classic preppiness – J.Crew and I are both known for being classically preppy.

3. Sweet Valley High. Have you read my version of Sweet Valley High?? It’s good. I grew up reading these behind my mother’s back – in hindsight, I get why she didn’t approve…but maybe we should pick our battles #portentofwhatwastocome

4. Hooters. Ha. Hahahaha.

And 26 other things (the internet, AOL, the Moonwalk…), all of which are making me feel like a real spring chicken :|

Despite the all-consuming task of birthday brattiness, I have been able to fit in some traveling. We all went to LA for Char’s graduation from UCLA’s business school, and we had a really good trip! I don’t think I complained about the active activities once – I even did some running on my own time. This is unprecedented vacation behavior on my part, but I think it made the trip much more pleasant for everyone…I’ll try to remember that moving forward. Unlike my other visits to LA, this was the first where it didn’t feel like a different planet – I could even imagine living out there…?

cali

Santa Monica as seen from The Fairmont; hiking in Topanga Canyon; Manhattan Beach #somanyfilters

 And now…..for the news:

-I found this article about how to give a toast interesting – would have been nice to have before any number of the epic bombs I’ve delivered in recent years.

-I need this travel accessory on the immediate. Not only would it prevent the head-bob, but it would partially shield my face (my eyes, mainly) from view…and it’s much more subtle than a paper bag, which is my other option for sleeping in public.

hoodie neck pillow

-This blog: Sport Balls Replaced with Cats. Yes? No? I am laughing; I hate cats – DUNK IT. I’m excited to watch Game 7 tonight of the NBA Finals. I am confused as to how the winter sport of basketball is still going on, but you’d have to be dead to not be interested in watching this one…I hope it’s not a huge blowout, I hate it when things that are amped up to be awesome let you down…don’t let me down, LeBron. (BBT recommends: one of my favorite columnists projects the champion – it’ll be the Spurs or Heat in seven.)

cat dunk

Regarding future BBT posts…I think I want to try something different, something I wouldn’t normally do, and then write about it. Like The Diary of a Juice Cleanse, or The Day I Walked Around with My Skirt Tucked in my Underwear. Maybe neither of those things, but something of that ilk…I need some direction.

Cher: I have direction…

Josh: Yeah, to the mall!

Enjoy your weekends – I know I will – and, instead of saying no, try saying yes. It’s the SUMMER OF YES!

And a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one my oldest, favoritest friends: K!!!! I hate we’re not celebrating together, but we’ll make up for it soon…x’s and o’s to infinity. I’m going to try and one-up the most beautiful arrangement of flowers I’ve ever received…allow me to reiterate the word “try.”

flowers from K

Thank you, K!!

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Every party has a pooper

Posted by AllieB on June 6, 2013

Oh, hey. You’ll all be pleased to know that it’s cooled down and, moving forward, I will stop talking about the weather so much because that is boring. Instead I’ll talk about my…birthday! That is the opposite of boring! It’s topical because I am planning my own party (with the help of friends), and I am also being very conscious about embracing this milestone instead of bemoaning it – discussing it on BBT helps me do that. The best is yet to come, right?

I’m still looking for a bday venue, and I’d heard about this place from a few people: it’s a mediocre hotel in a somewhat random ‘hood with a very awesome rooftop. I gave them a call and spoke with their events guy, Matthew, to whom I laid out all the deets…things went fine until they didn’t:

“This is for my 30th birthday,” I told him, “and I want to put together like a breezy, fun party where people can have some food and some drinks and enjoy the city – and nothing huge, like 50 to 60 guests.”

“That sounds delightful!” Matthew was very pleasant, and I was excited to feel a connection because every other place I’ve called has either not acknowledged me or been totally disinterested in the fact that I, Allie Baxter, am turning 30. He went on to tell me about the food (tacos) and booze (well was standard for open bar), and I thought this all sounded perfect and unpretentious and exactly what I wanted.

Then he continued, “So, since you want to have that many people, you would have to commit to a private rental of our rooftop…and in order to qualify for it you have to guarantee a $30,000 minimum.”

I laughed. “Come again?”

“To rent our rooftop for 50 guests you’d have to guarantee a minimum $30,000 minimum tab.”

“$30K!?!?! Would my 50 guests and I be drinking gold??” I suddenly felt just like George Banks in Father of the Bride.

“Eh…no.”

“Did you say “thirty” thousand because I told you I was turning thirty?” Clearly this was an act of blatant ageism.

“No…that’s how much it is.”

“I see.” I did not see. “I’m just having a hard time reconciling the fact that this means that I – just me, on my own – would then be responsible for consuming $600 worth of tacos and well vodka, and – don’t get me wrong! – I love tacos, but maybe not that many tacos, ya know? So….thanks but no thanks.”

Matthew seemed genuinely confused about my reaction, but I am genuinely confused about where they came up with that number, so at least it’s mutual. I will say, it does look like a great place to go have a couple of drinks and maybe 1 or 2 tacos – let’s go to here soon:

pod 39 roof

 Y’all how awesome would this have been?! Evidently they charge $28k for the view…which I kinda get.

In the news, both worthy and non:

-I saw Ethan Hawke outside of Morandi. I don’t think he’s taken a shower since Reality Bites. Celebs are always dining there – Cameron Diaz ate there two weeks ago, and Justin Bieber stalked Selena Gomez this winter while she was dining with gal pals. The place is literally 50 yards from my apartment, and the only person I see is greasy Ethan Hawke.

-Atlanta would be home to the “Pa-zing.” Calypso, a brand new wing place in Atlanta, has made itself known all the way up here for their invention of a chicken wing smothered in cheese and topped with pepperoni. Way to go, ATL.

-National Running Day was yesterday. In honor of the holiday and that marathon I’m doing in November, I celebrated by not running.

-It is my birthday month, ergo it is the astrological month of the Gemini. Much as I am a quintessential Middle Child, I am also a textbook Gemini. How nice to be so well-described by blanket stereotypes. A tagline about Gemini characteristics caught my eye on one of the blogs I read, The Hairpin, and it lead me to this:

gemini

 Brilliant. Oh yes. See also: sarcasm

-That wasn’t very newsy news. I got nothing without the rogue cruise ships.

Thank GOODNESS it’s Thursday. After work I have spinning and then beverages. Have a lovely afternoon and evening. And here’s a baby seal pup:

baby seal

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Hello, 911? I’m on fire

Posted by AllieB on May 30, 2013

I am well aware it was but a few weeks ago that I was ranting and raving about the endless NYC winters, but I really don’t care about how flaky and/or melodramatic I seem because I just don’t.  Today, after a Memorial Day weekend where the high topped out at 48 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, it is 92 degrees and the air feels like hot, stinky breath. I am seriously, legitimately concerned about how I am going to survive the next few months. I joked last week about getting bob haircut – as if! – but today I’m thinking a full-on Ellen DeGeneres whack job. I’m not kidding. And my hair is the least of my worries. Do they have full body deodorant? I’m talking Secret Prescription Strength for head-to-toe. The good news is that my office temp is a comfy 58 degrees, so I have to wear sweaters and scarves inside then basically disrobe to go outdoors. Winter’s easy:  you just put on more clothes. The wet, hot, American summer of NYC is a new animal with which I’ve yet to grapple, and I’m already thinking about ceding victory…for I am screwed. BOLO for 3 straight months of red-face/dancefloor Allie.

This week I present to you a very special segment: How to Stay Slim & Trim. I have two things that are really going to rock your world – perfect timing for ‘kini season!!

1. PRANCERCISE! What is prancercise, you ask? Prancercise is defined as follows: A springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and is ideally induced by elation.” But why use words when there is video:

I had a hard time getting past that camel toe, but I powered thru and am already planning to go prancering after work. I’ll fit right in doing this around the Central Park Reservoir. Don’t need sound for that video, and you don’t need to watch more than 20 seconds. Thank you, Sista Wedge.

2. Aw, crap.

AB marathon

The gods have spoken. If I’m going to talk so big about running a marathon, it seems I might actually have to do it. I bailed on the LA race in March, and when I signed up for the NYC race on a whim I assumed there was no way my name would be chosen from the lottery – I worked it out: I had an 8% chance of getting it. Given my history of never getting chosen for anything, I felt pretty confident about my odds…until that email showed up earlier today. Just this morning, during my morning yog, I thought to myself, “I sure am glad I didn’t get chosen to run that marathon in November.” But it’s local, it’s important to participate in light of the Boston Marathon tragedy, and it’s something I always said I’d do. Plus I’ve got like, what, 5 months to train? Totes doable – I’ve already got my Body Glide and everything. I don’t think I can prance my way through this one, guys.

And now for the really, really random stuff:

-Ron Swanson is one of the greatest TV characters of all time – that is a statement of fact, not opinion. His awesomeness is elevated in this slideshow depicting his feasts throughout the 5 seasons of Parks and Recreation as well as his commentary.

-My birthday party is happening. I haven’t sent out the invite yet, but here’s a preview…!

bday invite

ATTN anyone tempted to refer to my upcoming birthday as “Dirty Thirty” – you are preemptively dead to me.

-Ya know how I went to the Stones Fest last Thursday to see my friend Parker play? Well…it was awesome. Jason Isbell, Norah Jones, Boz Scaggs, Regina Spektor also played… I will never, ever forget the ensemble performance of Shine a Light (my most very favorite song) as long as I live….read about it here – this guy knows a whole lot more about it than I do.

Remember that really funny spider email from 2008? I had totally forgotten about it until I rediscovered it last night. LOL

funny spider

I threw this together in like 15 minutes but I’m on a great streak here of not missing a week, and I gotta keep up the good work.

TGIT! Eat, drink, and be merry. I’ll see you next week – same time, same place – unless I melted, in which case…who knows.

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Karma As It Applies to Me: An Essay

Posted by AllieB on May 23, 2013

I always thought it to be so,  but now I know for sure: karma is real. It exists, and it should be acknowledged as a true thing that happens. My belief in this is not religious or anything; it’s how I believe some things happen for a reason, or that three rights make a left – it just is. I like to think I would always do the right thing because character is what you do when no one’s looking, but up in this city, when presented with right v wrong, I definitely take into account how my actions could come back around…

MmmHmmm you know that's right

MmmHmmm you know that’s right

My karmic journey began at CVS on Madison and 34th last Thursday. I was walking home from work because I couldn’t find a cab and sometimes I hate the subway it was nice out, and I needed new hair clips and Vaseline (yes) so I stopped by CVS. I like CVS because they have self-checkout. As I went to ring up my purchases, I noticed that the machine was still beeping, “take your change” – sure enough, in the cash dispenser was a whole wad of bills, evidently forgotten by the person who’d been there before me. I took the cash and the receipt and found the nearest employee, explaining the sitch. “OH MY WORD!” the woman said, rifling thru the bills, “look at all these MONIES!!” Indeed. I have no idea how she handled it from there, but I knew I’d done the right thing, and I felt good about that.

Which brings me to…Saturday night. Oh no – Saturday night. I knowingly* set my phone down on a bar – for safekeeping, obviously – and accidentally left it there. When I woke up on Sunday, I was pretty sure it was at this bar/restaurant where we’d been, but they weren’t open so I couldn’t confirm. My mind started racing thru all the possibilities…ANOTHER lost phone!? My morale plummeted to depths heretofore unseen. But there was something in me – an innate belief in the goodness of mankind, I think it was – that had me almost positive that I would see my phone again. AND I WAS RIGHT. The very kind proprietor held onto my phone and I retrieved it Monday.

*unknowingly

Here’s what: had I not turned in the money last Thursday at CVS, I am certain that someone would have thieved my phone on Saturday night. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If it’s not yours, don’t take it. Thou shalt not steal.

stealing

Just kidding!! I was testing you.

Another example of karmic retribution: Lime Fresh Mexican Grill in Atlanta has CLOSED! All of them. BBT was anti from the word go: you can’t serve crappy food with poor service and expect to sustain an existence amongst Hall of Famers like Willy’s and Barberitos and Chipotle. I had to add Chipotle because that’s all I have access to up here, and it’s really pretty good…although my prayers have been answered and the Willy’s in Concourse B at Hartsfield-Jackson is finally open. Hallelujah. CC: Caro, K, Lucy

Everyone knows what a disaster apartment hunting in NYC can be. I don’t, really, because mine fell in my lap and is perfect, but most everyone else does, so I think we can all appreciate this new blog, The Worst Room. It lifts listings from actual apartment websites and shares the pics along with perfectly edited descriptions (credit: Joe, but also NYMag Approval Matrix (Joe, BUSTED))

Union Square, Manhattan. $1000.00<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
&#8220;I am looking for someone to move into a large closet space in one of the three bedrooms of my apartment. The bedroom has two closets but there is no need for it so we are looking to sublet it as a living space to a 4th roommate. The closet is about 5 feet wide and 7 feet long. It has no windows and think it would be ideal for a twin size bed and small night stand.&#8221;<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
&#8220;Amazing Location&#8221;

Union Square, Manhattan. $1,000.00

“I am looking for someone to move into a large closet space in one of the three bedrooms of my apartment. The bedroom has two closets but there is no need for it so we are looking to sublet it as a living space to a 4th roommate. The closet is about 5 feet wide and 7 feet long. It has no windows and think it would be ideal for a twin size bed and small night stand.”

“Amazing Location”

The price is right…there’s no such thing as claustrophobia…what a find!

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. $600.00

“special deal only for someone with a cat”

“we want to make sure the cat is a good fit as well”

What happens if the cat is a good fit but the person isn’t? #catpeopleprobs

I had a hard time deciding which ones to share; some people have incredibly low standards of living…literally – several posts mentioned not being able to stand  up straight due to ceiling height, or lack thereof. It’s sad…but it’s a funny-sad.

HAPPY BELATED, CARO aka BABYLINE! El, MHM and I toasted to you last night. XOXO

Corgis are so happy, and their happiness makes me happy. (JBax)

Ok, this is me leaving. Safe travels to those traveling, and thoughts and prayers to those who have served or are serving our country. God bless our troops.

Memorial-Day

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HAPPY FEET

Posted by AllieB on May 17, 2013

Now that I’m staying put for awhile, I am really excited to participate in all that is NYC in the spring/summer/whatever season it is (do we still have seasons?) for it is glorious. It’s as though we’re all emerging from our seemingly decade-long winter cocoons, and reacquainting ourselves with the sun, other people, and being outside instead of inside. This city is just really beautiful, honestly, and, since this is my first spring up here, I am literally seeing the light for the first time.

bryant park

 There aren’t not filters, but still! It’s just so pretty. This is Bryant Park in Midtown, I work a block east so I spend some time here…and that is the New York Library, the famous one, where I also spend some time…

I do plan to do other things besides hang out in a park and library near my office – FOR INSTANCE on Saturday we are going to Brooklyn and hanging out in beer gardens, and then on Sunday I am going out to Westchester for a garden party – a catered one. That’s legit diversity right there. I shall bring my hipster self to BK and my WASP-y self to the ‘burbs. I’ve heretofore never met Hipster Allie, so that will be interesting…WASP-y Allie is around a lot – she’s the one not confronting things and maintaining the appearance of normalcy.

Celebs used to  be a common point of discussion on BBT, but lately – not so much. Given my lack of other things to talk about, let’s see what’s going on….

Kim K is the worst pregnant person ever, and I already really don’t like her – she’s so boring she’s not even fun to point and laugh at. Like, wear different shoes. So simple. When presented with a choice between ones that cut off your circulation betwixt cankle and foot and ones that don’t, ALWAYS GO WITH THE ONES THAT DON’T. I think she thought that the nude strap and clear thingy over her insole would elongate the leg. No. (Credit: Hilary. She also gets credit for the title – she’s not completely worthless afterall)

0515-kim-kardashian-julianne-moore-3

David Beckham is retiring…from soccer. OH yeah, he played soccer. Perhaps this will free him up to do some more…picture taking. Like this, maybe.

david beckham

I am seriously blushing right now.

And now for a celebrity that I actually know personally and consider an actual friend – next Thursday I’m going to the Stones Fest at Bowery Ballroom to see my buddy Parker Gispert, lead singer of The Whigs, play. Rock on.

Stones Fest FB banner

If you live in the area or will be around, join me,  won’t you? Other performers include Norah Jones, Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, Jason Isbell and many, many more, including some SURPRISE guests (says the site).

That’ll do for today. TGIF, y’all!

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