Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

Posts Tagged ‘autobiographical’

Is this thing on?

Posted by AllieB on March 17, 2016

Hello? Hi. I know it’s been awhile blah blah I’ve got news!

I’m going to business school! In Atlanta! I’m enrolled in the full-time program at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business and I’m moving in July. When I first began considering schools, Tech wasn’t even on my radar because Tech is where nerds go, but then I remembered I’m pretty nerdy. Also, it’s a good and becoming great school doing a lot of cool business-y stuff in ATL and elsewhere, but what really sealed the deal is that Amazon is opening a brick and mortar store on campus this summer. It came down to Tech, Emory, and UGA, but the decision more or less much made itself: when you know, you know – ya know? I’m super pumped to go back to school: I’m excited to learn new things and maybe be president of some clubs, to make new friends and buy school supplies (!!), and I can’t wait to explore ATL – it’s like a completely different city from when I left four years ago. Speaking of: do you or anyone you know own a condo or residence in Midtown/VA High/Inman Park they want to lease to a responsible, easy tenant who can handle many of her own minor home repairs? Yas. Call me. Living in New York is the coolest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m a better person for it, but I’m ready for what’s next.

me in emoji

This is basically who I am now. +2 points to Tech for having a mascot that’s also an emoji – I didn’t even factor that into my decision-making process

I would like to comment on the whole studying/test-taking/application/interviewing/waiting business school process in that it SUCKS. It’s a scary thing announcing your intentions then having no idea how it will all pan out, no matter how hard you work or how many deals you make with The Man Upstairs. The reason I haven’t written in so long is because I was wallowing in depths of the unknown and uncertainty and had nothing but tales of woe to offer. My blood pressure was scary-high, and I was turning into a real betch displaying borderline manic traits. For three solid months I had nightly nightmares wherein I was not only denied by every school – including some schools I hadn’t even applied to – but, in addition to the scathing decision letter detailing said denial, I was forced to sit in front of the Admissions Committee while they literally pointed and laughed at me. The spiral…it was real.

Anyway, I’m totes fine now. Next up: the compilation and subsequent pursuit of my #NYCBucketList. I read the BBT from June 2012 that plotted my #ATLBucketList prior to moving up here, and it turns out I did exactly zero of the things. My 2012 self was really lazy. Who wants to take the tram to Roosevelt Island?!

Besides school stuff – and honestly, there hasn’t been much besides that – things are as ever. Winter was a nonevent. I visited Char and SRM in Seattle and have been to ATL a lot. I lost my medallion status on Delta and now fly all of the airlines which I’ll get into another time if you’re lucky; Southwest has a truly confounding business model. I drew this “map” a few months ago and it took me the better part of a Tuesday to do, so I’m forcing it into the post then we’ll never talk about my commute again. Yeah, that’s a lie. Two to four times/week I board the Metro North to Greenwich, CT, an enclave of wealth northeast of the city that makes Buckhead look like a hole, to work in my company’s Connecticut office. While it really is beautiful and it’s nice to get out of the city, the trek to and from – as my map very clearly illustrates – is not great.

the journey

Get it?? Girl on the TrainS?? On Fridays I treat myself to train beers for the ride home, and, as someone who has had multiple people take pictures of me sleeping, I sometimes like to pay it forward. Also pictured: the office. See – it’s nice, it’s just..not in New York.

Greenwich

This is easily the worst ending of all time, but I’m gonna leave it here with the promise I’m getting back on track. It’s like Senior Spring for me: we’re already hiring peeps for my replacement(s), and I’m on public transit like 12 hours per week – what else do I have to do besides write BBTs and search property tax records of old-mansions-turned-newly-renovated-condos south of Piedmont Park that I’d like to live in but whose units are rarely listed?? Friendly reminder: today is not only St Patty’s Day but also the first day of March Madness, plus it’s Thursday on top of all that, so be careful out there…and don’t you dare pinch me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLEMBOT!

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Forever we love our four-legged friends

Posted by AllieB on August 26, 2015

Every day is National Dog Day, but today is The Official National Dog Day, so I’m dragging BBT out of hibernation to acknowledge and exalt the wonder that are our four-legged friends.

It’s easy to love dogs: few things can make your heart swell like the greeting of a ferociously wagging tail, or watching their ears perk when they hear your voice or footsteps, or spotting a certain silhouette posted up at the front window as you pull in the driveway, having sensed your arrival long before any human could. But I like to take it a step further and consider the idea that dogs aren’t just reacting to your love, they’re communicating their own, singular feelings, and they love you just as much as you love them: unconditionally. Humans can love unconditionally, too, but dogs don’t lie and they don’t say things to hurt you. They will eat your favorite shoes and they will mess up your house, but that’s your fault because you didn’t put your shoes away properly, and if they hadn’t messed up your white couch, I would have (I likely still will).

Even if the human/pup dynamic isn’t that complicated – it’s probably not but I’ve never met a relationship I couldn’t overthink – and even if they can’t understand the actual words we’re saying (they can) or don’t have their own thoughts (they do), what makes dogs so special is the way they become a part of you and your home. They learn the smells and the sounds and can intuit the moods, good and bad. How many times have you been rescued from some awful conversation with a parent or partner by a silly dog moment? Saved by the pup. A dog improves quality of life on every level; the only cons to owning one are none. There are no cons.

I’m thinking about going to business school (!), and one of the pros to this very exciting yet, at times, exhausting endeavor is the thought of moving somewhere that is not NYC and getting a dog. Obviously I would not go to business school for the purpose of getting a dog – obviously – but I think it’s a pretty great perk and, if we’re being honest, the idea of my own lab mix puppy this time next year has helped keep me motivated when I was not. Times such as earlier this month when I went to take the GRE, going so far as to undergo a full body search and even sit down at my computer, then being told, “oh no, the computers are broken, you’ll have to reschedule for 6 weeks from now which will totally mess up your application timeline and cause you great panic.” YOU HAD ONE JOB, EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE – ONE JOB.

Many of you remember our beloved dog, Missy Baxter. She will forever be the gold standard of The Worst and Best Dog there ever was. The breeder let us take her home a week early so we could have her for Christmas, and it turns out the difference of a week, when you’ve only been alive for five, is crucial in terms of learning basic dog instincts. As a result, Missy identified more with people than other canines – she never had any dog friends – and I think this was a significant factor in her lousy behavior (and she was a spoiled brat – but that’s on us). Her innate humanness also granted her an uncanny way of talking to us; she was a far more effective and articulate communicator than many males people I know. Eating food that was not hers to eat was her most common offense – I linked to it above, but see below for an excerpt:

I believe Missy had opposable thumbs that she employed only in our absence. I once interrupted her enjoying a large, Costco-sized container of almonds. Said container had not yet been opened – of this I would swear on my life – but she somehow managed to turn the lid and break thru the aluminum seal. On this occasion she proudly showed off what she’d done: “Bet you’re wondering how I managed this, aren’t ya?!” with a saucy wag of tail and toss of head. I’m still wondering.

when she was a teeny puppy she tried to drag up the newspaper, and she did it every day after that for the rest of her life

she did this every single day.

Her only defeat was the 5lb wheel of Stilton blue cheese relatives send us every year from Willams Sonoma. I stupidly left it out, and Missy helped herself. I came home to a very queasy pup and 3/4 of a ravaged, smelly cheese wheel. She looked at me, not guiltily but almost accusingly: “Why did you leave this out when you knew YOU KNEW I would get into it…I hate you, I hate that cheese, and now I’m gonna puke” and then she puked. Missy loved cheese, but I don’t think it loved her back.

when she was older, Missy underwent various treatments for her joints; this was her day at laser therapy

she’s wearing doggles

RIP Missy. We don’t have a permanent family dog right now, but we’ve had lots of fosters! Through Atlanta Lab Rescue, my parents have fostered almost 20 (??) dogs since Missy passed away two years ago, and all of them have been sent off to happy forever homes. We can’t help but compare every single to one to The Best and Worst Dog we’ve ever known.

I’m not sure what moved me to break a 4 month hiatus with this non-newsworthy post – besides the fact that it actually is National Dog Day, check your Insta – but just as these posts can’t be forced, nor can they be stopped. Give all of your dogs an extra hug for me today, and sorry in advance to anyone I see today accompanied by their pup because I’m coming in for the embrace (with your dog, not you)(and I won’t touch until I ask for permission because you always ask if you can pet someone’s dog)(I learned that the hard way). I’ll try to not be a stranger, I’ve missed this; I’ve missed US!

And now, some of my favorite dog things on the internets:

A video tribute to Denali – this went viral earlier in the summer. If you were all, “No I can’t watch, I’ll cry” watch it anyway, you pansy

Bay Breeze Labradors on Insta – I don’t follow them because my favorite thing is to lie in bed and enjoy a whole backlog of videos and laugh (warning – there are some recent posts with newborn puppies that are not quite as adorable as toddler puppies, but I trust you’ll use your eyesight to determine what you do and don’t watch).

Man finds unlikely soulmate in his new puppy – this is cute and will take some of the edge off that first link

Her left ear was a little floppy. She was perfect in her imperfections.

Her left ear was a little floppy. She was perfect in her imperfections.

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Interview of the Week: Me

Posted by AllieB on November 6, 2014

This is the one where I couldn’t think of my own material so I copied something I’ve seen on another site…

Today’s post is borrowed from The New Potato and follows the list of questions they give to the actors/designers/foodies featured on their blog. Have they featured me? They have not. But now I will be prepared if/WHEN such an event occurs. I didn’t like some of their questions, so I made up a few of my own. I call this “Interview of the Week” – my first ever! – and my first guest is me because who else.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Breaky: 2 cups of earl grey tea and a cranberry scone from the bakery dude who comes to the Tribeca Farmer’s Market every Saturday…I’d probably also toss in pancakes from Bubby’s and brown sugar-glazed bacon.

For lunch: Shake Shack – Shack Burger & cheese fries.

Dinner: pizza, pasta, steak…pizza from Keste* or Spunto; pasta from Bianca or Max; steak by moi – a ribeye or similar coated in salt n pepper cooked in my cast iron skillet with sauteed spinach and the pepper jack mac n cheese from Whole Foods on the side.

Snacks: cheese dip from Jalisco, burrata from John Dory Oyster Bar, choc chip cookie from Levain; veggie slice from Fellini’s with Italian dressing for dipping…

I’m hungry.

*ATLiens: Don Antonio by Sarita is a Neopolitan pizza place on W Paces Ferry in Buckhead where STG Trattoria used to be – it is operated by the same owners who run Don Antonio in New York, who also own Keste. In other words: GO TO HERE. Go now and get the Burrata Roberto pizza.

How do you always start your day on a good note?

I’ve started making smoothies every morning and they are GOOD, like, get-me-out-of-bed-on-cold-and-rainy-mornings good. Also, sometimes I wake up and lie in my bed for a little while, looking at the river and just contemplating life/my outfit for the day, and I’ll see a big cruise ship go by – I have two thoughts: 1. How cool that I can see this from my bed and 2. SUCKAS

What’s your drink?

Actually, I was at The Standard East Village a couple weekends ago and my eye automatically went to the spicy marg – I saw ‘tequila’ and ‘jalapeno’ and ordered it w/o further thought, then K pointed out it was also “topped with red wine.” What. These are not two drinks I would normally think to have together – in succession, sure, but not simultaneously – and turns out it is delicious.

Hey AllieIt’s now called “The Allie” they just have to reprint the  menus

What are your vices?

I eat too much kale.

What’s always in your bag?

Vaseline and Rohto drops.

Words to act by…

I’ll defer to Pinterest on this one

Three words to describe social media…

I love/hate/love social media.

Do you Tweet?

Yes, I am on Twitter, but I only use it to share a new link to BBT (as many as one person has clicked thru – I have a massive and devoted following), and to retweet stuff I like. I have not had an original tweet since October 9, 2012, and I think we can all agree I really went out with a bang:

twitter

wow is right.

If you’re a Twitter-er you should follow Samir from Buzzfeed – he will make you laugh.

Million Dollar Idea? 

So, we all use Snapchat, right? I want Snapchat to have a function where it links to your Spotify and shows the name of whatever song you’re listening to onto the snap. I need it to access what’s going on INSIDE my phone instead of only picking up ambient noise. Por ejemplo:

wiz khalifaSee? Not just a selfie in the elevator bank (embarrassing), it’s like, “hey guys I’m here and I’m listening to Wiz Khalifa what are y’all listening to?” For the record, this went to only like 5 ppl in my Snap contacts…well, and now the millions of BBT readers. Either way, I am not trying to steal Snapchat or copy it, I just want to build on top of its gazillion dollar platform, is all. Everybody wins!

Mr. Snap: have your people call my people.

Favorite kind of workout?

The kind of workout I hate least is Flywheel. I did a new class on Tuesday: SLT (Strengthen-Lengthen-Tone). I’ve never been so sore: I’m walking like Frankenstein and every time I stand or sit or cough I cry a little. It’s like Pilates Reformer, I think – I’ve never done Pilates – but there’s a cardio aspect, as well. I don’t know, if you’re really interested read about it here. Bottom line: it was HARD.

SLT Soho“50 shades of fitness” LOL but 4 real those contraptions look like gurneys. Each class costs a month’s rent so not sure how often I’ll go, but it’s nice to pretend.

How have you contributed to the Greater Good this week? (BBT is not a place for political discussion, so voting does not count.)

I just made a donation to Atlanta Lab Rescue. And, unless you’re Mother Teresa, I’m guessing your karmic balance could use some padding, so please go to the Atlanta Lab Rescue site and donate $5 – literally, $5. You can all afford $5. It links right up with your Paypal so you don’t even have to register, and you can help save this dog’s life. (I can’t read the story again or I’ll lose it, but he needs your help!)

ALR is a 501c3 nonprofit and 100% of all donations are used for the rescue and care of these dogs. 

*PS none of you are Mother Teresa so let’s get going on the link clicking.

Ok. The End. Happy Thursday and hellooooooo to the Weekend. Goodbye, however, to Fall. It was nice while it lasted :(

foliage_best library in the worldFall foliage at my favorite library in the best city

Oh yeah – TGIT!

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GET A GRIP

Posted by AllieB on July 24, 2014

Hi and hello.

BBT is not a place for agenda pushing or controversial talk – I’m not here to stir the pot. I’m also not here to air all my dirty laundry (ew) or document every trivial moment: “Dear Diary, I just made my bed and watered the ficus”…but why not mix things up a little? Today I am heading into some uncharted territory: this post is as much for me as it is for anyone with internet access – which means to say: I’m getting personal. Yep, we’re diving headfirst into the deep end, so…hold onto your swimmies.

It’s real pretty to think that by the age of 31 I could be immune to how others perceive me, but I’ve realized that before I can wholly disregard the opinion of others there’s a more basic and fundamental idea that must first be considered: being comfortable in my own skin. Tantamount to achieving complete contentedness – which, to me, is the ultimate goal – being comfortable in your own skin is the holy grail of life accomplishments, one that I’m not entirely sure can be done in your 30’s, or your 60’s, or maybe ever.

I do think that with age comes thicker skin, as well as a zero tolerance policy for bullshit, the ability to see things how they really are, and I’ve finally accepted that I am the only person whose actions I can control and to worry about or obsess over other people’s choices/behavior is a spectacular waste of time and energy. But to be 100% a-ok with me, inside and out…that’d be neat.

Here’s how things work in my domepiece:

Scenario 1: Sometimes I feel like that others might judge – or on a bad day, pity – me because I am not married or even close, I’ve bounced around jobs and have only recently hit my stride in the corporate world, my apartment is not magazine-ready, and I often go 8 months between hair cuts…I’m not and may not ever be a person you’d describe as “put together”…I’ve been known to commit the not-so-occasional social blunder and when people come to stay with me my idea of cleaning is jamming things in drawers and hurling clothes in closets and hoping they don’t notice… (I DO provide clean sheets and towels and plenty of wine – I’m not disgusting.)

Scenario 2: I am killing it! I moved to New York and it was the best decision I’ve ever made; I make awesome steak tacos and a Garden & Gun worthy Tomato Pie; I’m very handy around the house and live just as easily with others as I do by myself…I’ve been lucky to travel all over the world, and I can wake up at 7:15 and be out the door at 7:25…I have an amazing family and friendships that I’m so sure of, I count them as family, too…I drove a minivan for 8 years and people still hung out with me – like I said: killing it!

When I review the two mindsets in tandem like that, it is easy for me to tell Whiny Allie (#1) to chill out because Cool Allie (#2) is doing juuuuust fine. Sorry I’m not sorry that I don’t have two bedside tables and Oscar Blandi dry shampoo is my most prized possession. This is me – take it or leave it. I hope that marriage and a family and a gazillion dogs are in my future, but these things – they cannot be forced.

One important thing to remember is that people really don’t care about what other people are doing. We are a universally selfish population, and for that I am thankful. We have too much going on in our lives to really think about what so-and-so is doing on a judgmental level – right?? I’m worried people are pitying me – but when have I spent even a second pitying someone for their life choices. I am laughing right now thinking about it. Isn’t it the darndest thing – that I can be such a champion of others yet so hard on myself. We should all just do ourselves a favor and GET A GRIP.

I’ve noticed that you can pretty much blame social media for anything these days, and I’d like to jump on that bandwagon. It seems to me that Pinterest is not so much about “collecting ideas for projects and interests” (per Wiki) as it is an aesthetically pleasing exhibit of all the things other people are doing better than you. I don’t think of it that way on a day to day basis – I’m in there pinning all kinds of stuff without wailing WOE IS ME – but when you take a step back and really mull it over…it’s actually quite rude.

Ok, I think that’s as deep as this well goes. The Man Repeller, an aptly named blog I wrote about in 2k11 that has since blown up into a full-fledged business, posted this week about confidence, and I’d like to share her flow-chart with you. I love a good flow-chart. Bottom line: we’re all a work in progress.

confidence-flow-chart-1

I’m trying not to overthink the oversharing that just went down…vulnerability is not my strong-suit.

Luckily I have a story that will get us back on track – speaking of social blunders….

Last night I did some yogging and some yeights in my office gym (I quit Equinox – F that noise) and was heading out around 8pm. I got in the elevator and saw a woman I used to work with. Sidebar: since I’ve been working out in the office gym more than one person has commented that I am “unrecognizable” during and post-workout because of my “ponytail” – and by ponytail they all mean the freakish red-face affliction from which I suffer after 20 minutes of physical activity. In this particular elevator situation, I figured my ponytail + red face saved me from interaction so I kept my head down and put my headphones in….and as I stepped out the woman I knew yelled, “Allie! Allie! I know that’s you!” Dammit.

“Yes, hi” I turned around to say hey

“Allie,” she said, grabbing my sweaty arm, “I’d like to introduce you to Sarah (aka Fergie), the Duchess of York.”

Of course you would. “Oh hi!” I managed, shaking her hand (of all times to NOT curtsy…)

“Oh my  – look at you! Please, please, go on ahead and – look at you! But yes, lovely meeting you….” Clearly the Duchess paid attention in her etiquette courses – Lesson 5: How to Handle Awkward Social Encounters with Awkwardly Sweaty People.

I just hope she doesn’t tell the OTHER Duchess, Duchess Kate, about our interaction…

so sweaty

yep

The End.

TGIT!!! BTW – BBT turned 4 on Monday…happy birthday and whoa. BBT is a kindergartner.

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Hide your crazy and start acting like a lady

Posted by AllieB on August 22, 2013

Oh hello.

Recently, thanks to the wisdom and maturity that comes with turning 30, I have been able to face some harsh realities about my person:

1. I can be lazy

2. I have a penchant for over-indulging

3. Time to put my money where my mouth is and start writing that damn book

4. I overthink everything – I am my own worst enemy

5. I need to give myself more credit

None of this is brand new information, obviously, and self-awareness is an important trait, but it’s pretty worthless unless I start modifying my behavior. So…that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be a go-getting, self-disciplined, published author who doesn’t dwell on the mundane and gives herself a pat on the back every day.

Too deep? I feel uncomf. Let’s head back to the shallow end and talk lobster rolls.

It’s not a total non sequitur: lobster rolls are something in which I  might very easily over-indulge if I didn’t enforce some self-discipline (see #2). I would eat one, like, every day if they weren’t $28/ea and didn’t have 8,000 calories. For this reason, and I have a similar rule for fettucini alfredo, I only get to have it once/year and it has to be worth it. IE, from the best restaurant and I don’t mess around with portions. This way I’m neither deprived, nor am I disgusting – you know what I say about moderation and how key it is. I don’t respond well to words like “no” and “don’t” and “can’t” and this system allows for indulgence but in a – what’s that? – yes, moderated way. Playing mind games with myself is exhausting, in case you were wondering. And this brings us to #4, doesn’t it…

lobsta roll

that’s some straight food porn right there

Enough with psycho-babble BS, BBT. Dinner at Pearl Oyster Bar, home to the best lobster roll in NYC, was so fun. Three cool girls, some rose, a heaping serving of lobster and mayo on buttered bread with shoestring fries and some fried oysters on the side… Laureo & EDon, we’ll do it again soon, but we’ll have to go somewhere else because my lobster roll quota for 2013 has now been fulfilled.

I am moving over Labor Day. The moving part blows, obviously, but the end result is very exciting. I’m headed downtown, y’all, and it’s going to be great. I’m on the river, I’ll have a balcony overlooking the river, there is an ice machine and a washer/dryer IN UNIT. Plus my rent is going down by like $300 – I feel as though I’ve struck real estate gold. I was running along the Hudson River Running Path the other evening, and I took this pic at the intersection of my new street + Westside Highway (my building is half a block behind me).

what a serene vista

what up JERSEY!

Speaking of running…I use Songza, an app whose virtues I’ve extolled on many occasions, for tunes. I first choose the day and time: it was Monday evening, then the activity: working out, then I choose the genre: the selection varies – I usually go with Aggressive Rap but I chose Upbeat Country. I forgot how enjoyable country is…anyway, Miranda Lambert’s Mama’s  Broken Heart came on, and one line really stuck with me…reference: today’s title. Ladies, hide your crazy.

BOOM – I never do what I say I’m going to do, and this week I did: dos posts en una semana.

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