Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

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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I wish you would stop being useless and start being pizza

Posted by AllieB on May 9, 2013

I went to two weddings last weekend. I flew to Charleston on Friday for the rehearsal dinner of one then flew to Atlanta on Saturday for the ceremony/reception of another. While it may seem that this nonsense itinerary was me being a really, really good friend, it was actually because I wanted to see all my peeps…and because of my FOMO. It’s real convenient when a selfish gesture is construed as a selfless one. I’m glad I did both, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever do it again. Future brides and grooms: it’d be great if you could check with me prior to setting a date.

My spring nuptial tour wraps up this weekend in Highlands, NC. Lindsay, I am ready to party on your behalf.

wigs

Actually, Lindsay, me and the belly dancer are both ready. Wigs & Babaganoush – A’s Bday 2010. I think we can all agree that you’re best as a blonde, and I think Kim Zolciak wants her wig back…

Several weeks ago I went to the New York Tenement Museum (of course I did) and, while browsing in the gift shop afterwards, I found a book that caught my eye: 642 Things to Write About. Obviously I bought it. Wouldn’t it be neat if I knocked out all 642 things, kind of like a Julie & Julia thing (the girl cooks all of Julia Child’s recipes from her most famous cookbook). As I’m wont to do, I haven’t really followed thru on this big idea, but better late than never. To summarize: the book has 642 random thoughts, words, ideas, and scenarios about which you can write; here are some examples:

-Write for 10 minutes about what is running through a husband-to-be’s head while his wife-to-be is walking down the aisle to the alter where he stands. (I’ve started this; it’s going to be great – it might even make me famous)

-Describe one of your bad habits and why you secretly get joy out of it (this won’t make an appearance on BBT…ever)

-Something you’ve always regretted saying (I mean….where do I begin)

-What you ate for breakfast (Special K)

-Write about something you know absolutely nothing about. Make all of it up. (I do that every time I write a BBT post)

serial killer

I’ve never won any penmanship awards.  Dexter bc duh; CSI bc you have to know what kind of tricks are up the police’s sleeves – gotta stay current; Say Yes to the Dress and Kardashians bc you’re clearly insane and only insane people watch those shows; Friends bc you weren’t always this way – once upon a time you loved a good laugh.

So I figure I’ll get started on some of these, and the 636 other questions, and share them on BBT sometimes. This will be fun!

Fail of the Week:

Yesterday morning I woke up around 6 AM and was going to do some stuff on my home comp while I had a cup of Earl Gray and watched some tube. I turned on my tv, then made my tea, and returned to my room to settle in for a bit. I went to change the channel…no remote. Obviously it was there, in my room, since I’d just used it to turn the TV on, but I couldn’t find it. I got SO frustrated, and before long this frustration began to boil over into legit anger…it was when I started hurling pillows around that I decided to not go all Courtney Love on my own room, and just go to work early. I figured when I got home it would be hiding in plain sight on my dresser or something – you know, “if it were a snake it would’ve bitten me” type thing. It was when I got to work and was unpacking my stuff that I realized my remote was in my shoe/second bag I carry around everywhere…how or why I know not, but…fail.

That was an even cooler story than Hansel’s.

theres my remote

Damn you, remote. And damn you, Gwyneth Paltrow!! My work friend, Gail, gives me all her mags when she’s done, hence the stack. It’s f’ing gross out, hence the ‘ella. Although up here you’d be wise to never leave home w/o an umbrella.

There’s an About Me page on this site, and it’s  just a few facts about moi that I change up every now and again, with the exception of Favorite Foods section. My four favorite foods have been the same since the very beginning, and they are as follows:

  1. cheese
  2. steak
  3. cheesesteak
  4. pizza

I really love pizza.

ariail

Little Mermaid agrees.

That was random. Here’s the thing – sometimes I really have no idea what I’m going to write about, and I have to start somewhere – this week I started with the title, having filched it from Sister ages ago with plans to use it on BBT in some capacity, and went from there. I also made homemade pizza with Jordan on Tuesday (whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s – very delicious) and had a slice for dinner last night (Joe’s on Carmine, a real institution), so a pizza theme seemed kind of appropriate….

And that’s how my mind works.

Newsflash: Two people fell overboard and are now missing from a CARNIVAL cruise ship in Australia. Can we have an intervention with Carnival? Dear Carnival, SHUT IT DOWN. Shut them all down. However, at this point, if you’re dunce enough to willingly book a Carnival Cruise, you might deserve whatever misadventures that may befall you.

TGIT!!! Peace – Love – Pizza

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Today is Picture Day!

Posted by AllieB on April 26, 2013

Happy Friday!! Instead of writing words, I posted pictures. There are ten photos, and then a bonus one so eleven total. Bon appétit!

1. This is where I am sitting right now.

photo 1

2. Meanwhile, someone in our Santa Monica office is sitting here #oh #neat

This is the view from a desk in our Santa Monica office #oh #neat

3. JTommLiv got an iPhone…

JTommLiv got an iPhone

4. Saturday’s sunset from Marion’s rooftop. I will never, ever tire of this view #IheartNY

Saturday's sunset from Marion's rooftop. I will never tire of the NYC skyline #vista

 5. I finally went to the Spotted Pig. Fleming and I shared this (and some pink wine) – it was everything I hoped it would be

photo 4

6. This is the block where I live. It’s like the set of my very own romantic comedy except not (yet)

photo 2

7. I’m going to AFRICA!!!! G Force and I are booking our tickets to Malawi this weekend. It is part goodwill, part adventure, and I am so excited. I did some goog’ing and learned that Malawi is far away. It will be winter when we’re there (July), so that’s a perk – for a second I was like, why am I going to Africa in July, but then I remembered the different hemisphere/opposite season thing. Der. The flight is 16+ hours…I’m gonna need to pack my eye mask for sure, or, as a co-worker helpfully suggested re: my unfortunate sleeping habits, “just put a bag over my head.”

20123

8. Before going to Africa I will turn 30. El and I went for a walk on the Westside Highway last night and I scouted out some potential spots for my big bday bash…I just love a good vista #nofilter #evenJerseylooksgood

photo 4

9. I guess it’s good thing we went for that walk…sometimes I revolt against the goals I set for myself. It’s very productive.

MYEQ Dashboard - Google Chrome 4262013 71628 AM.bmp

10. This might be a little weird because I have no idea who this person is (I got it off Buzzfeed) BUT I WANT TO BE HER #pileofpuppies #puppiesinapile

PILE of PUPPIES

Bonus #11. Let’s open up the vault: real life Picture Days of yore. 3rd Grade was pretty good, if I do say so myself. 4th Grade – not so much. I was at the height of my Marla Hooch phase…and it will come as no surprise that I no longer wanted to be called Allie, but Alex #identitycrisis #goBraves #firstpickforkickball

picstitch

Well that was fun. Pictures = easier than words. Have an AWESOME weekend!!! XOXOXO

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The one where a stranger took a picture of me sleeping

Posted by AllieB on April 18, 2013

Hello, let’s jump right in. Today I share with you the pluses and minuses of public transportation. Please don’t stop before you begin, I promise it’ll be worth your while…

MINUS – like, minus to infinity: I had a work thing in the DC/Maryland area this week, and I like trains so I decided to take the Acela instead of flying. The Acela is my new favorite method of transport: it is a fast train that stops in only a few cities, and it has comfy seats and lots of leg room and there’s none of the security hoopla of airports. I went down Monday night and returned Wednesday morning on the 7AM train. My 5AM wake up call was entirely unwelcome: I already felt like I’d lived a week of two Mondays, two Tuesdays, and I was waking up to my second Wednesday – I was exhausted. The train ride from DC to NYC is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and I slept HARD, like hardcore R.E.M. sleep from Baltimore to Philadelphia, which is about 1.5 hours. I woke up as we got close to Philly very disoriented and confused…and then…THIS:

“Um, excuse me?” The guy next to me cleared his throat.

I turned to him and he continued, “So, I have something to show you, and before you think I’m really creepy – I swear I’m not – it’s just…well, here,” as he pulls out his phone, “I took a picture of you sleeping.”

“You – wait … WHAT?!?!?” It took me about 3 seconds to process this (if you count out 3 seconds Mississippi-ly that’s a long time to process a thought), and once it hit me I was not happy.

“Yeah – stop, don’t look at me like that – you sleep really…I guess I’ve never seen anyone sleep like that before. You were, just, getting after it. I wanted to tell my friends about it but I didn’t think they’d believe me, so I took a picture…then I felt bad about sending it, so I decided I’d show you before I sent it to anyone and let you decide if I could share it.”

He handed me his phone. Suffice it to say…it wasn’t good. My head was lolled back on my shoulders, mouth gaping open, eyes pretty much wide open and staring right at him (I sleep with  my eyes open – have we talked about that?) and hair a veritable rat’s nest around my dome. “Plus,” he said, ever so helpfully, “your head kept doing that thing where it falls forward and then snaps back…aw man, I should have taken a video!”

Sweet. “Yeah, you’re gonna have to delete that,” I told him, “delete that right now.” My level of kiddingness was neg.

“OK…I get that. Here, done, DELETE.” He was sad to see it go, but he probably already sent it to his buddies anyway and the part about letting me decide was a bunch o baloney – I wasn’t born yesterday.

Then he added, “But I guess I also took it because I thought you should know how you sleep…”

I assured him that he was definitely not the first person to take a picture of me sleeping, but was absolutely the first stranger who had, and he goes, “Ha, that you know of….”

At this point all I could do was laugh. He didn’t seem like a weird creep (and I don’t give people much benefit of the doubt when I’m assessing weird creepiness), he was definitely somewhat PLU, around my age, not heinous…hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself… Then we pulled up to Philly and he got off. The end.

(Author’s note: I went back and forth about whether or not I was going to include a pic of me sleeping – obviously not the one he took, but I wasn’t lying when I said that others had snapped pics of me in medias slumber. I decided that, given all the weird crap going on right now we could all use some cheering up..so…here. Bus – me – under it.)

It is intentionally a very small file. No need to supersize this assault on the eyes

It is intentionally a very small file. No need to supersize this assault on the eyes

Here’s my takeaway: are there any classes that teach people how to sleep normal? I bet there are – there’s a class for just about everything in NYC. I do usually sleep with an eye mask, which helps with the eyes-open issue…but, as we all now know, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

gratutitous NYC pic featuring the West Village, my 'hood

gratuitous NYC pic featuring the West Village, my ‘hood

PLUS!: AM New York, a free newspaper up here, distributes their paper via paper people who stand at subway entrances, passing them out as people walk by. You’ll find a wide array of paper people: some are surly and just hold them out, silently; some are shouting about deals/coupons in that day’s edition; and others are less focused on giving away papers, but engaging with passer-bys. Normally, no gracias – leave me alone – but there is a woman who stands on the landing at the Bryant Park/42nd Street station at the corner of 42nd and 5th, where I emerge from subway to city every morning, and she is maybe my favorite human in NY.

“Alright, girl – it’s another beautiful day out there! Let me see you smile, oh yeah, there it is! Look at that smile! You go, girl, you’re gonna be great today, just keep smilin’…”

Each morning as I climb up the stairs, regardless of my disposition or mood, I cannot help but break into a huge, goofy smile, and I feel so silly about it I start laughing to myself. So, basically, because of this woman, I start each day laughing outloud. I believe that my overall quality of life has been improved since I began seeing her every day.

Cheesiness factor: high. I care not, you’d all be so lucky to have this gem of a person in your life.

On a serious note, I’d like to thank you all for your concerned texts/calls/emails/gchats about my sister, Charlotte, who ran the Boston Marathon on Monday. She was very close to the explosions, but she had her phone with her (many hadn’t had a chance to retrieve between finishing/running race and the blasts) so she was able to let us know right away that she was fine and safe and kept us posted as to her location, etc. It’s such a horrible tragedy on so many levels, but I really do appreciate the social media focus on the inherent good in people that shows itself in situations such as this. I also really appreciate these five golden retrievers – “comfort dogs” - who are part of the K-9 Lutheran Parish in Boston and trained specifically to provide emotional support.

This is Luther. Luther is hard at work and not enjoying a minute of it

This is Luther. Luther is hard at work and hating every second of it

BBT sends thoughts and prayers to all those impacted by Boston, the Texas explosion, or any of the other unpleasantness going on right now. XOXO….and TGIT

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