Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

Posts Tagged ‘books’

What are you drinking?

Posted by AllieB on May 22, 2014

I can think of nothing except the upcoming long weekend, so today’s post is all about travel and vacation and activities for when you travel on vacation.

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and, to me, summer means baseball games and hanging out by water – be it a pool, the beach, or the murky, toxic Hudson River – and, of course, having drinks outside. Much like the ladies of Sex and the City and their Cosmopolitan, I, too, would like a Signature Cocktail. People will be at a bar ordering drinks and ask, “What does Allie always get that looks so good? Oh! A spicy margarita – I’ll have one of those” and it’s almost like I’m doing a good deed or something. If you’re looking to upgrade from your Bud Light Lime, please refer to this fun interactive drink calculator on New York Times: What Are You Drinking? (Credit: JVB)

what are you drinking

I got margarita. Duh

This week in Really?!?

Malaysia Airlines’ new ad campaign is apparently celebrating their knack for ferrying their passengers off to places where no one can find them….Really, Malaysia Airlines? Really?!?

Malaysian Airlines

 What I want to know is who looked at this and said, “That is not at all inappropriate. Approved!”

That’s what’s up:

- 38 People Who Will Make You Feel Better About Your Life Choices – wow.

- I’m calling it now – this is the book of the summer: You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. PLEASE read so we can discuss. It’s a literary mystery featuring a psychiatrist who is publishing book entitled “You Should Have Known” basically telling women who are in bad relationships that their partners had been exhibiting signs of clear and present danger all along, and they should have seen it coming. I think you can see where this is going….

- I do not understand Reddit if someone could please explain

- I traded out my office desk chair for a Body Ball this week…BOLO for my 6-pack.

- In my last post, You’re Doing It Wrong, I provided some very simple do’s and don’ts for social media behavior. It’s clear to me that some of you did not read it closely, if at all, so I will say it again: you cannot punctuate hashtags. If you really want to have a break  between words within same tag, then you may use the underscore (_) aka the “low dash.” Anything else will mess it up and then you look dumb. I had an email address once, back in 9th grade: compuchick_alb@hotmail.com. Looking back I’m a little upset – that’s pretty racy?? I clearly had no concern of internet pervs. My kid’s email is going to be oldandugly@gmail.com.

- I realized last week that I had no plans for Memorial Day, and it turns out that my nearest and dearest A and K didn’t have plans for Memorial Day, so we decided to go to…PALM BEACH! Sun, pools and beaches, frozen bevs, cute and arrogant preppy boys – it’s going to be awesome. I’ll warn you in advance, I will likely break many of the rules I mandated in the aforementioned post, and A doesn’t adhere to any rules of social media – mine or otherwise – so just prepare yourselves for the inevitable onslaught.

the breakers palm beach

 A & K – ARE YOU READY

 In summary: summery cocktails = good; airlines that lose people = bad; Reddit = ???? Happy Memorial Day!

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What Not To Do – Just In General, Vol XVII

Posted by AllieB on February 20, 2014

Hi! It’s still winter.

Few things are ever as they seem – especially thru the veil of social media. This is good to remember on, say, Valentine’s Day when Susie McSucksALot posts 10000 pictures of the sweet things her “main man” (CAN WE NOT) did for her. What Sus is not telling us is that last week her “Prince Charming” went to happy hour with his bros and somehow wound up in Vegas where he gambled away their life savings and was found in a compromising position with a burlesque showperson of an undetermined gender. Perhaps SusieQ needs to quit posting things on social media and focus on her relationship with this “dreamboat” – ya heard?

Besides, anyone can put things online and act like they’re real.

BBT and TomB

Some things, however, are exactly as they seem and allow for no alternative interpretations. Case in point: subway etiquette. There are no grey areas when it comes to protocol on the subterranean railway, and adherence to these rules is a very important part of living here. The rules are as follows: 1. avoid unnecessary contact, 2. don’t eat foods that require a utensil, and 3. silence is golden. I hope y’all know I would never eat a cup of yogurt on the subway or play the Les Mis soundtrack on full blast, but the first…well, I think you can guess where I’m going with this.

Re my daily commute: I take the 1 or the 2/3 trains home – they run on parallel tracks, the 1 is local, the 2/3 are express. If I am in the midst of a good book and feel like sitting, I take the local;  if I want full body contact with 5 strangers at a time and wish to get home in 8 minutes, I take the express.

Last night, I opted for the former. I stepped in the empty-ish car and honed in on the most prized seat: the one at the end of the row with empty seats beside it. There was a man sitting a few feet down, but he seemed fine where he was – headphones in, bobbing along to the song – I don’t think he even realized the train had stopped. I claimed the spot with a pointed look and made my way to what was now, as far as I was concerned, my seat.

As one does when sitting, I turned around and I sat. I’ll admit, it was more of a “plop” than a “perch,” so when I came down not on the orange plastic seat, but in the lap of the man who, seconds previous, had been sitting several seats away, there was no denying contact: I, Allie, was on top of him, Male Stranger on Subway. Evidently, said “Male Stranger” was actually a Seat Ninja.

subway fail

I’ve never been known for my cat-like reflexes (true story: I used to intentionally move my leg when the doctor tapped my knee because it never seemed to do anything on its own…forget “cat-like” I’ll settle for just “reflexes”), but I bolted up so quickly I was able to get off the subway right as the doors closed and it pulled away, taking with it the stranger in whose lap I’d just sat. I didn’t even get a chance to hear or see how the guy reacted, which I think is an undeniable indication that miracles are real and they happen every day.

This whole spectacle lasted no more than four seconds, but I can’t stop replaying it in slo-mo in my head. You know how when you remember horrible, embarrassing things you’ve done and you involuntarily blush and cringe reliving them? That’s happened like 10 times since last night.

To the Male Stranger on Subway: I am sorry I sat in your lap. Should I put this on the Craigslist “Missed Connections” page?

I know. Between that and the standing stranger embrace last week, it almost seems as though I’m intentionally doing this… I’m not, but I could see how you might think so. What’s next – an inadvertent elevator kiss?? Jesus. Stay tuned.

In other news….

- J Simps looks great! You go, gurl.

- If you are sick of reading thought-provoking literature like I am, indulge in this: Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. Three sisters – triplets, actually – deal with life at age 33 in Sydney. It’s a step up from totally trashy chick lit, and it’s a nice break from War and Peace.

- This:

bob costas fnl

Ok, the end. If you’ve learned anything today, I hope it’s that I’m really good at photoshop and drawing.

*Volumes I – XVI of “what not to do” can be found in any number of previous posts. In fact, I was thinking I might rename BBT “What Not To Do, Just In General.”

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Good to Know Vol. III

Posted by AllieB on November 7, 2013

Oh hey. I don’t think there was a Good to Know Vol I or II, but I wanted to give myself a head start. Herewith: some pearls of wisdom, observant observations, and a corgi. And a Hilary.

1. Happy Birthday, HILARY. Have y’all met Allary? She is Allie + Hilary. This freaks me out in a big way.

Alhi

 I feel like my eyes are messed up. What is happening. DO NOT WANT!

2. Jason Isbell’s album Southeastern: buy it.

3. If you ever tire of lighting your money on fire or throwing twenties in the garbage, by all means spend some time among the items displayed in the Sephora check-out line. It will have the same affect.

4. There’s a reason southern women are so pretty and non-weathered: it’s because they aren’t ravaged by northeastern winters every year. Winter is way harsh on the epidermis, and I’m already on the offensive. First, Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream. I’m a sucker for all-purpose moisturizers, especially ones made in other countries without the pesky FDA to approve them – this one comes from Japan. It’s not at all greasy and kind of reminds me of Carmex without being too Carmex-y. Good for hands, face, cuts, burns, etc etc etc. Second, Benefit Watt’s Up. Good bye ghoulish, ghostly winter pallor – helloooo glowing snow bunny! It’s a highlighter for your face. Use with blush/bronzer and you’ll glow like a worm.

collage makeup

Come at me, Motha Nature

5. I originally had my your/you’re grammar peeve for #5, but I’ve decided to let it go. Your welcome.

6. Kale. UGH I am so over kale. But even I know how dumb it would be to not eat it on principle (I have principles?!), and my preferred method of consumption is via chip. Kale chips are the bomb.edu. I don’t eat them because they are nutritious; I eat them because they are delicious. But heed me on this: said chips should only be consumed in the presence of someone whom you trust implicitly, someone you know will say, “yo, you’ve got something in your teeth” because, after this leafy snack, you will have a whole garden of kale in your chompers. What’s not in your teeth will be on your shirt – this can be hard to spot if you’re wearing a dark color, just FYI. Maybe no kale chips on a first date.

7. I was the only female in my subway car this morning. I counted 35 dudes, give or take, and then me. That’s weird, right?? I thought that was weird.

8. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the author Bill Bryson. I realize that his books, on on the outset, might not seem terribly exciting, but they ARE – he can make boring, random, pointless crap absolutely delightful. I just started his new book, One Summer: America, 1927 and not only have I already laughed outloud many times, I have also learned a lot. I love laughing and learning! Nerd.

9. Do you follow Humans of New York? DO it. Do it now: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, buy the book. It is my favorite thing on the internet.

10. The 33 Dumbest Things That Have Ever Happened is pretty entertaining. Upsetting, but entertaining.

Jack's best friend's emergency:

11. I’m only on 11?

12. THIS corgi. I just keep looking at him and smiling. So regal.

corgi

 Sprawled. Credit: FlemBot

13. Speaking of ole FlemBot, I wound up dressing up for Halloween after all.While I am not a particular fan of Grateful Dead, I felt okay dressing up as Sugar Magnolia because I know some of the words to the song. Plus, I love a floral domepiece. Halloween in NYC is a spectacle. I feel like everyday could be Halloween in this city, but on October 31 people achieve a whole new level of freak.

scarlett begonias sugar magnolia

Scarlet Begonias & Sugar Magnolia, y’all

14. Make this on Sunday and have it for lunch all week: Fall Orzo Salad with Butternut Squash, Bleu Cheese, and Pomegranate Seeds. The recipe doesn’t mention the pomegranate seeds, that’s BBT’s Top Secret Ingredient. And by BBT’s I mean Fresh & Co., the place where I purchased the salad yesterday. It was so delicious and it really does seem easy to make, so I goog’ed the recipe and that one’s pretty close. I don’t know what pepitas are – perhaps use pumpkin seeds instead.

Cooking tips are not really under my purview…I should probably leave the recipe talk to the 4,968,999 cooking blogs out there. Hey, look – I have a camera and I heated up some pre-made chocolate chip cookies! People should see this! And don’t EVEN get me started on the fashion let’s-take-a-picture-of-me-in-my-outfit sites…..I feel like, since I have a blog (www.baxterbarktwice.com), I have free rein to judge other people who have blogs. I gotta say, I’m pretty unimpressed. The Bill of Rights is great and I do love America, but there are a lot of people whose right to Freedom of Speech should absolutely be revoked.

15. I love a good cityscape, and NYC never lets me down.

nyc sunrise

Yesterday morning’s sunrise. Prob spent longer taking/enhancing/posting this pic than I did actually running. #priorities

16. Sixteen Candles, Sweet Sixteen, 16 Handles….ok yeah, I’m done.whiteflag

I hope you all have really great Thursdays. Me, I have a packed night of plans – a quick stop at the salon for some personal primping, an art show, dinner at Pylos with some gal pals…you know, just L-I-V-I-N’

Baxter, out

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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.

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Despicable Me

Posted by AllieB on February 21, 2013

I lost my iPhone. It happened two weeks ago, and I am not doing well. Most of the time I have no idea where I am, how I got there, or how I’m going to get where I want to go; I have no soundtrack for my daily commute; and…no Instagram. On top of all that there’s the whole behavioral issue: losing one’s phone does not purport mature, competent, adult conduct. It just doesn’t.  And, while it wasn’t a situation of me being totally blotto, it was my own careless oversight that allowed it to happen – I’ve no one to blame but myself. For this reason, instead of getting a new phone right away, I am sentencing myself to cellpiece purgatory for a few weeks with an archaic Blackberry Curve v 1.0 – pretty sure it was the clunkier predecessor to Zach Morris’s portable phone in Saved by the Bell. At its best it sends one out of every three text messages, and at its worst it freezes for hours, or maybe minutes, at a time. I’m calling this an exercise in character building. Also, torture.

I don’t have anyone’s numbers, I don’t have voicemail…if you need to get in touch with me send a text identifying yourself and I’ll respond. If you text me and hear back nothing but radio silence, you can assume that the text didn’t go through…or that it did and I’m ignoring you. XOXO! Actually, having a malfunctioning cellular device can be kind of convenient re: contact I’d rather not have, and, come to think of it, I’ve really missed that red LED light – “Allie! Someone has contacted you!” – and it’s nice having a keyboard again…plus, the lack of access to Google Maps has done wonders for my sense of direction around the nonsensical cluster that is the West Village.

This is one of my favorite things about BBT: I start off bitching and moaning about something, but by the end of the post I’m like, wait, this isn’t so bad, and I’m back to my usual cheerful self.

The camera doesn’t totally suck? I was all the way downtown by the WTC this morning for a meeting and took this…the Financial District on a weekday morning is like a different country.

#nofilter #blackberrysdonthave filters #WTC

#nofilter #thatsbecauseblackberrysdonthavefilters #WTC

How or why I rambled for three paragraphs about my cell phone situation I know not. But there you have it. I was brainstorming some preventative measures to ensure I never lose my mobile again, and I might rig up some sort of apparatus so it is affixed to my person at all times. No? Yes? I’ll keep you posted.

HUGE NEWS: the minivan is gone for good. Some other very, very lucky person (I hope it is person-singular and not a whole family) is driving around in that party wagon safety mobile. Note I said “sold” and not “given away” – true to form G-Force got some decent cash for the thing. I think removing me from the equation upped the value significantly.

Go see it: Side Effects. It’s GOOD! That Rooney Mara (she was Lisbeth Salander in Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) is a real piece of work – the word diabolical comes to mind. Also, Channing Tatum’s in it and I have a an unabashed, no-holds-barred crush on that guy. Is that sleazy?? Whatever – he’s a babe. Huge bonus: it’s under two hours long.

Watch it on the tube: The Following. It’s screwy and gory, but I’m hooked (Mondays on Fox). Credit: Caro

Read/Download: The Dinner by Herman Koch. People are going to be talking about this one, and you will all forget you heard it here first (but you did – you heard it here first), and BBT highly recommends. I saw one review calling it a “European Gone Girl” which I don’t necessarily agree with –  not in a bad way, just in a that-is-not-correct kind of way. Credit: Mom

The Duchess revealed her baby bump…bravo, Catherine. Bravo.

good god her hair is even more glorious than before

good god her hair is even more glorious than before

Meanwhile Jessica Simpson seems to be doing an okay job not turning into The Monster Who Ate Literally Everything, but she also has taken to dining at The Cheesecake Factory, according to some article I saw recently – that’s not wise. And the “sexy” pursed-lip duck face is illegal on pregnant women, so that’s gotta go. She’s also decided that if she has a son, she wants to name him Ace. The over-under on Ace not being a total d-bag is about zero. Screen Captures1

I figure this - sorry - they speak for themselves.

My plans for the evening are described on that invite below. I’m thinking Luda and I can Act a Fool while Representin‘ tha Dirty – I hope to see How Low he can go…and I fully intend to do some shaking of my Money Maker.

Doc1 - Microsoft Word 2202013 91324 PM.bmp

I didn’t black out the location because I’m too cool, I just don’t want to get in trouble…

TGIT! Make good decisions and never end sentences in prepositions,

BBT

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