Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

The arsonist has oddly shaped feet

Posted by AllieB on August 6, 2013

Happy August 6th! Do you feel as I do, that 2k13 is going by super fast? This summer especially – it’s been a big one: I turned 30…went to Africa…I joined Snapchat…Georgia football kicks off in 24 days…things just keep happening! The mind reels.

To segue from my African adventures to just good ole normal weekly BBT posts, here is a bunch of random stuff – pop culture and what have you.

Watching: Orange is the New Black (exclusively on Netflix). I guess I should say “watched” instead of implying it’s something I’m still doing…I’m already finished. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s good – something to note is that it’s created by Jenji Kohan, who brought us the cluster that was Weeds. Do keep in mind that I’m not always right about things and that I often retract my opinions – hey, I’m flaky. But today, right now: BBT says to tune in. Also, look at this list of 23 Surprising Facts about OitNB – I think it might sell it even more.

I happened upon this last night on my yog along the Hudson River…

I saw this exactly as you see it - no enhancement. How?! Sometimes Mother Nature really nails it

I saw this then exactly as you see it now – no enhancement. How?! Sometimes Mother Nature really nails it

Reading: Suffice it to say, I’ve had some time on my hands recently to get through a few books. God bless the wonder that is the Kindle. Here, I even ranked them.

1. Where’d You Go Bernadette – I lol’ed a lot; it’s not your typical novel format, but I LOVED it

2. Beautiful Ruins – modern day movie business combined with 1960’s Italy – it works, I liked this

3. The Engagements – really like J. Courtney Sullivan, this one tracks intertwining stories over several decades

4. The Silent Wife – the dissolution of a relationship handled in a rather interesting way…this, along with many other books, has been heralded as the “next Gone Girl” – I’m not saying that it is, but the comparison didn’t bother as much as it usually does

5. The Cuckoo’s Calling – this crime mystery penned under J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym is really good – I’m always skeptical of authors writing under different names, but this is a page-turner

6. War Brides  – WWII-era historical fiction

What not to read: Revenge Wears Prada. I wanted to quit after like 8 pages, but I forced myself to stick it out for 60 more before I gave it up altogether. Andy is the least likable character ever, and I found myself wanting to go find her and yell at her, and then maybe shove her around a little. Skip it. Fortunately it has not affected my undying devotion to Devil Wears Prada, the movie. That’s all.

Also, I’m going to do a better job managing my Goodreads account – I just downloaded the app! – so if you’re interested in more suggestions you can go here instead of writing me emails (Caro, you’re not the only one). Bookmark it or something. I am interested in reading some more non-fiction and biographies/memoirs, so you may send me emails with suggestions for those.

News from my alter-ego, Alessandra: the discovery of this mascara, VOLUMINOUS by L’Oreal (grey tube w gold cap), is the best thing that’s happened to me in my 15 or so years of wearing makeup. It’s better than Diorshow, 1/4 of the price…pizza for everybody!

SPOTTED: Hugh Jackman and I were at Equinox last Wednesday at 545 am, getting our days started off right. We made eye contact and he smiled – he was smiling at everyone, and my goodness but is he handsome. Then, a couple of hours later as I sat on my desk and ate Fage yogurt with granola, I looked up, and – whaddya know – it’s Hugh on Good Morning America. The following evening K and I (K was in town!!!) saw Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) from Modern Family and his new husband at Commerce. We considered taking a pic with them until we saw some podunk tourists doing it, so we instead engaged his sweet husband in a convo while he waited for Jesse to finish up with silly people who wanted a photo with the famous person. I hope you’ll note that both of these celeb encounters occurred without me doing anything bone-headed. With age does come maturity??

Blindsided by: I am still recovering from the shock that Kate gave birth to a boy. It hadn’t even occurred to me that this was a possibility: Kate would have a princess and she would have hair just as glorious as her mum’s. After some thought, I realized how it was totally typical of classy, level-headed Kate to go ahead and get the heir-to-the-throne out of the way, thereby eradicating any potential pressure or undue criticism from the Royal Fam or the brutal UK tabloids. Well done you, Duchess, on controlling your own biological settings.

dang

this, them, her..

I wish I wrote this: fellow FOMO victim Will Welch offers step-by-step treatment for curing FOMO in this month’s GQ. Spoiler Alert: there’s no cure, but there are coping mechanisms.

Shack Attack: you peeps in ATL are really lucky – Shake Shack is headed to Buckhead in mid-2014. It is hard for me to talk about Shake Shack without going overboard, but it’s…it’s amazing. Yeah, Bocado and HF are great, but Shake Shack is different. And it’s cheap and easy and it’s like heaven in your mouth. So…y’all have got that going for you, which is nice.

Is Tuesday the new Thursday on BBT?? I hope not, I hate Tuesdays.

*re today’s title – I couldn’t come up with anything on my own and Anchorman happened to be on this weekend…really looking forward to #2. Plus, the arsonist really does have oddly shaped feet.

Posted in Arbitrary, Imparting Wisdom, Princess Kate | Tagged: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

The Meaning of Life

Posted by AllieB on July 30, 2013

Where do I even begin?? I think I will start with Africa, yes? Yes.

In summary: Africa is my new favorite continent. I have a greater urge to return there than any other place I’ve visited, which is saying a lot because I’ve got a pretty persistent case of wanderlust. I would really like to go back and do the wine country in South Africa and check out Cape Town – I do love vino and Cape Town is supposed to be incredible. I’ll tell you – it’s the people who make it so wonderful. It’s definitely not the food and lack of standardized infrastructure that’s luring me back. In Malawi, where we spent 5 days, it is understood that the more white starches on your plate, the better the meal – a standard lunch/dinner was heaping piles each of white rice, potatoes, noodles, and nsima, which is basically very finely ground grits. I ate a lot of peanut butter. This is a hazard of travel, I suppose – in Thailand they kept trying to get me to eat bugs. Bugs are gross!!

Having an hour of electricity and usually just 15 minutes of freezing cold running water each day wasn’t my favorite thing, either, but that’s what headlamps and Neutrogena wipes are for. Every night I woke up tangled in my mosquito net – this was no way to live. It’s one thing to adjust for five days, but living every day in that manner is obviously very difficult to imagine. The latter part of the trip, 3 days in Johannesburg and outlying areas, was very luxe in contrast, and the safari was SO fun – I knew it would be cool, but I didn’t know it would be so fun. Riding around in an open Land Cruiser with our driver Godfrey, spotting animals and enjoying South African beers is, for the record, one of the most enjoyable ways you could possibly spend an afternoon. My only regret is that we did not see a lion kill, which is a bummer, but there’s always next time…

This will surprise no one, but the flight-related aspects of this trip did not go smoothly. Truly, I implore you: should you find yourself planning travel with me you’d be well-advised to just meet at our destination. Do not board an airplane if I am your fellow passenger – proven side effects of my companionship include: death, lost luggage, broken bones, interminable delays, leaking lavatories, etc…go on without me – save yourselves!

So, as I’d said, I flew NYC – ATL – Johannesburg – Lilongwe (Malawi). On the very first leg of the trip, from NYC to ATL, I was delayed three hours. Things were off to a great start! The flight from ATL – Johannesburg was leaving at 7:10, and we touched down at 7:05…assuming I wouldn’t make it, my mom and sister figured out that I could fly out the next morning to Dubai. Honestly, I was excited at the prospect of spending a night in ATL and I don’t mind (and might even prefer) traveling solo, so I had accepted my almost-certain fate. I was still going to move quickly towards Gate F14 from B6 but at this point I figured there was really nothing I could do.

As I made my way up the aisle, a man spoke over the plane’s loudspeaker: “Alexandra Baxter, are you still on the plane?” I raised my hand – that is my name, I am Alexandra. The gentleman beckoned me to the front and people began to move aside to let me through – clearly I was someone important; the most important people always sit in row 26, seat C. I imagine this was akin to the parting of the Red Sea. The Delta guy was waiting for me right outside the plane door and ushered me over to the exit that leads to stairs directly down to the tarmac, saying, “hurry follow me! We got you a ride!” At first I hesitated because surely civilians aren’t allowed on the tarmac at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (and I am a staunch follower of rules), but he was insistent, plus he had a Delta name tag and seemed legit, so I made haste down the stairs….down the stairs and into the Porsche SUV waiting for me on the runway.

porsche and allie

the anti-van. I definitely would have missed my flight if Delta had dispatched a Toyota Sienna

My photo shop skills have improved significantly. In case you’ve never read BBT before – rude – this is the original…

And it gets better. Much like James Bond in Casino Royale, we sped from Terminal B to Terminal F, racing 747’s and dodging gasoline trucks, screeching to a halt at the plane in under a minute, it felt like. The pretty, surprisingly aggressive woman driving me was yelling, “GO! GO!” and I sprinted up the stairs and onto the plane – I’d made it!!! There was hugging and stuff, possibly some tears, but then it got a little anti-climactic because I had to deplane and go get a seat assignment, and I saw like 25 people still waiting in line to check in and board…so I not only made my flight, I made it with like an hour to spare, but it was still cool. Newsflash: taking a private Porsche between terminals is infinitely better than stupid underground mass-transit trains.

So, here’s the secret to a VIP escort: my sister had the genius idea to tweet @DeltaAssist and ask them to help me get to my gate. Both she and my mom had begged the flight attendant/pilot to please promise to not leave me, but they weren’t that concerned, so Char reached out to the internet. And good thing, because this dude in Air Traffic Control didn’t give a hoot if “the girl” made it or not.

I think it's pretty obvious that by 'sorry' he meant 'not sorry'

I think it’s pretty obvious that by ‘sorry’ he meant ‘not sorry’

My luggage, meanwhile, did not make the close connection, and it wound up taking the international equivalent of a short bus to Malawi; it finally arrived on Tuesday evening. I had left the Wednesday previous. My roommate, Mom, was a real sport about sharing everything, including underpants, and it’s not like I was in Malawi to wow them with my wardrobe…

Oh, and my flight from ATL – NYC on the return was delayed 3 hours because one of the bathrooms was leaking all over the floor of the plane. Sick. I thought about switching flights, but then what about my luggage…? It was cool, I went to Chick-fil-A.

So, the trip was awesome. I think the easiest way to do this will be to just share with you my Picasa album, which is in chronological order and has captions, and you can just have at it. These were all taken with my iPhone, so National Geographic it is not. For those who are too lazy, I attached some highlights below…but you should probably just click through – it’s Tuesday, it’s not like you have anything else going on. Plus, there are pictures of Hilary which are actually pictures of pigs and other unattractive livestock, and a lot of other cool stuff. Africa is an aesthetically pleasing place; there are many lovely vistas.

little baby girl

little baby girl

sunset

sunset

 

Hawks jerseys size XXL for XS people

Hawks jerseys size XXL for XS people

errands on a Wednesday morning

errands on a Wednesday morning

this death-trap rounded out the trifecta of plane-related adventures. 3 of the worst hours of my life

this death-trap rounded out the trifecta of plane-related adventures. 3 of the worst hours of my life

safari!

we are going on a safari..!

so.many.ELEPHANTS

so.many.ELEPHANTS

 

rhinos from afar. this is when a decent camera would've been nice

rhinos at their local watering hole. this is when a decent camera would’ve been nice

giraffe: 1, dumbass tourists: 0

giraffe: 1, dumbass tourists: 0

BBT HIGHLY recommends Africa for your next international adventure.

My plan is to write again this week to talk about everything else that has happened in the last month…ie, the Royal Babe, my A-list celeb sightings, summer reading, the best mascara ever, and other highly relevant things.

Know that I’ve missed you all tremendously.

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

NEXT!

Posted by AllieB on June 27, 2013

It happened; it’s over.

sistas in the city; my bestest Juan embracing life on Top of the Standard; city biking on Westside Hwy (NO HELMETS DANGER); there's a cat on Sissy's head

Bday Weekend Breakdown: sistas in the city; my bestest Juan embracing life on Top of the Standard; city biking on Westside Hwy (NO HELMETS DANGER); there’s a cat on Sissy’s head

Moving on! In less than two weeks I depart for Africa. Every time I say “Africa” I automatically hear that song “Africa” in my head – it’s getting pretty old. One thing that’s cool about this trip, besides the fact that it’s going to be really cool, is that it will enable me to cross off 6 of the 7 continents from my list: Continents. This leaves only Antarctica, which is actually super convenient because all I need to do is nail down an SI Swimsuit Cover and I’m all set!

dang

made ya look

Back to Africa. Ok, one more look at Kate . . . and NOW back to Africa: I will take tons of photos, of course, and tell you all about it when I get back. One thing that should cause all of us some concern is that, from NY->ATL->Johannesburg->Malawi->Johannesburg->ATL->NY I will log in approximately 50 hours of flying time.  My god that is a lot of time to be on a plane within 12 days…it really hit me when I did the math just then…oh dear. Anyway, unpleasant things tend to happen to other people while I’m on board airplanes (e.g. death, broken pelvis, violent nausea), so this doesn’t bode well for my fellow passengers – that is a lot of time for others to be at risk. Best wishes for safe travels!

50 hours. What the crap am I going to do for 50 hours. Pre-Teen Allie is getting fidgety just thinking about it…

In other news, some of which is legitimately worthy:

-THE ODDS ARE IN MY FAVOR!! If Princess Kate has a girl (which everyone thinks she is) the odds are 5-2 that she will name her Alexandra. If I cannot be Princess Kate, I will settle for being the namesake of her first born. (Credit: Caro)

-the amazing story about the man who slipped into a coma upon consuming 413 cheddar cheese biscuits fat Red Lobster is, sadly, not true.

-The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is getting really good reviews – I thought it looked dumb, but perhaps now I will see it on Sunday. I always listen to reviews, just as I always follow the rules regarding bicycle safety (unless that outlaw Sister is involved)

-This list of “Lessons Learned” is applicable to everyone, regardless of occupation/age/gender – it’s written by a Vice Chairman at the PE firm Blackstone. The guy’s been around for 80 years, he knows what’s up.

-is anyone interested in renting my sister’s townhouse in Jupiter, Florida? I can’t believe I’m even posting this, I’d really rather it stay in the family for when I am in the mood to visit SoFla. I am trying very hard to not think about what $1,860/month gets you there vs. what $1,860 gets you here…..gross.

Happy Birthday to AMERICA!!! I love the 4th of July. I’ll be heading east to the Hamptons, and I will enjoy the beach, fireworks, $30 cover charges at Talkhouse, and overcrowded accommodations. God bless the stars and bars, sahn.

food you can make look like an American Flag: lasagna, assortment of cheeses, Budweiser, dessert

food you can make look like an American Flag: lasagna, an assortment of cheeses, Budweiser, dessert

If you need the recipe for Budweiser, let me know.

TGIT! It is unclear to me how it is only Thursday, but I am ever so thankful that this, the longest week ever in the history of all the weeks, is almost over. Be well, make good choices, and, as always, do as I say but never as I do.

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

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!!

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

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

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

Next Page »