Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

Posts Tagged ‘flat face’

What Not To Do (Part Deux)

Posted by AllieB on August 27, 2014

From the beginning, BBT has been a platform for sharing my own experiences so you can see what not to do. I spell it out very clearly in the site tagline: do as I say, never as I do and then reiterate it over and over again, from questionable grocery store practices (wrote this in August 2010…so interesting to see how habits don’t change) to sitting on a stranger’s lap in the subway. Another truth about BBT: I like to travel. Today these facts go hand in hand: I will relay some things I’ve learned from my adventures, and I expect all of you, in turn, will learn to take a hard pass should I ask you to go on a trip.

Packing: those Girl Scouts are on to something

Always be prepared! Check the weather and bring the right shoes. Captain Obvious gets very frustrated when people do not do these things. Also, know yourself. For instance: packing eight hardcover books for a trip to France might sound dumb, but I know that when I don’t have an activity I can be a less than ideal companion, so I did what I had to do. Was carrying around 12 lbs of books fun? No. Did the blissful sound of my silence enhance the quality of everyone else’s trip? Yes. Whatever it is – maybe you like a specific food item for breakfast, or you literally die without your straightener – for the L of G just pack it.

Airplanes: ugh

WHERE DO I BEGIN.

When I was 23 I lived in Thailand for a few months, “volunteering” in Bangkok and traveling around on the weekends. I went by myself, and when I look back I can’t quite recall the whole decision-making process that led me to Southeast Asia for 3 months solo, but it was awesome – save for getting there…

I found myself in row 77 (this is not in the front of the plane), seat E (middle seat in the middle section of 5 chairs), for the 18 hour flight to Seoul, Korea. If you are ever assigned seat 77E GET OFF THE PLANE. I was between two males that’s what she said: the gentleman to my left took a handful of horse tranquilizers before takeoff and slept on my shoulder for 12 hours, and the young man on my right lip-read his pocket Bible with such ferocity and intensity he ripped out pages. Another fun fact about row 77: it was up against a wall, which, on this particular aircraft, meant our seats could not recline.

I was in a middle seat in the full upright and locked position for 18 HOURS while one guy drooled on me and the other underwent what may have been an exorcism…it’s weird, I know it happened and that I was there, but I have definitely blocked out the firsthand feelings and sensations of the entire flight. I assume this is how memories of childbirth are also handled.

tuk tuk in BKK - um ok - sunset at Railay Beach - vino on Phi Phi Island (not pictured: my new friend  whose name I can't remember so I cut her out)

from top left: tuk tuk in BKK – um ok? – sunset at Railay Beach – vino on Phi Phi Island (not pictured: my new friend whose name I can’t remember so I cut her out)

In 2010 a woman died on my airplane in the aisle next to me. You know this story. It sucked.

My luggage and I took different flights to Africa last summer. It took 7 days to find me. I had to borrow my mother’s underroos.

I could go on, but I won’t.

Wallets: necessary

I left mine on the airplane (stupid airplanes!) in June when I flew to ATL – it was a full 12 hours before I realized it, and by that time we were already en route to the beach…and it was my 31st birthday. Nothing says “I have my sh*t together” like leaving a wallet on the airplane because you got it out to buy wine and couldn’t be bothered to put it back in your bag correctly. Who doesn’t love a birthday brat with no financial resources?? Happy Birthday :|

And I swear I didn’t do it on purpose…

In summary: bring a rain coat; don’t fly on the same plane as me; download Venmo so idiots who “lost their wallet” can ante up right away. You’re welcome.

Moving along…there’s a lot going on the world today that’s messed up and scary, but I fear some things are going unnoticed because of, you know, ISIS. Not to trivialize ISIS, for they are terrifying, but I am nevertheless very concerned about the following:

1. AlliCleveWolf brought this to my attention.

scary creeper

No. A million times – no. And several more “no’s” for the description. Plus one more NO for good measure. I’m not linking to it, so if you’re a sicko like the guy who wrote about the “lifelike, sparkling eyes” and want to purchase Scary Peeper – you’re on your own with the Goog. And you’ll probably end up on your own in general if you put this in your house.

2. You can buy a “knee-defender” which prevents the person in front of you on an airplane from putting their seat back. I learned about this in the Skimm. (Speaking of – do you get the Skimm? You should: it is a daily email that provides a succinct, readable round-up of current events. Go here to sign up.) They had to land the plane (airplanes are the root of all evil!) because two people got in a huge fight when a woman discovered the man behind her had deployed his knee-defender and she couldn’t recline her chair. Listen, I would go batsh*t bonkers if someone put a knee-defender on my seat. After that 18 hour flight stuck in the upright position…….no. The knee-defender should be illegal – I won’t be linking to that product, either.

3. Last and most upsetting of all: I really like Taylor Swift’s new song and video. I fear the end is nigh.

Alright – peace; have a wonderful long weekend (today is my Thursday suckas); GOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <– you better watch this.

@Hilary @SisEWard @Norah

@Hilary @SisEWard @Norah

 

Posted in Arbitrary | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Top 10 Reasons Why You’re Still Single

Posted by AllieB on March 27, 2014

I’m not going to sugarcoat it.

10. I can smell your Eau de Desperate musk from here. We all can.

9. You UGLY. Just kidding.

8. LET IT GO. Stuff happens, and it’s a fact of life that the older you get the more baggage you’ll be toting around, but maybe you should assess how you’re handling said bags…are you the person trying to stuff your full size rollerboard, 50 lb duffle, overcoat, and laptop case in the overhead compartment? No one likes you. Here’s an idea: how about checking the big, bulky ones? You’re not trying to hide the extra luggage, you’re just stowing it someplace more convenient and out of the way…bonus: people like me won’t kick you in the shins as we finally pass by your seat after watching you wrassle with your crap for 30 minutes.

Emotional baggage -> literal baggage

7. Your horizons: they are too narrow. Eschew all you think to be true about your “type.” Chemistry is a tricky, unpredictable thing, and who knows who or what might strike your fancy. I’m not saying lower your standards; I’m simply suggesting that maybe your white knight rides a black horse.

6. The idea of your sacred alone time becoming shared time with another human is unsettling.

5. You’re not even trying. If you’re not meeting new people – be it at a bar, volunteering, a concert, whatever – then you really might die alone. There is also online dating and speed dating, and, once you have a target in mind, casual stalking & choreographing “accidental” run-ins. In the words of someone annoying, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

4. You have a blog. Two words: Flat Face

3. You’re too social. You’re a recluse. You drink too much. You’re uptight. You’re a slob. You’re OCD. You’re too aggressive. You don’t take initiative. You’re not motivated. You’re always at the office. Your Flywheel classes are making you poor. Why are you so fat.

Huh? I’ll explain: it seems you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, so might as well go ahead and fly that freak flag at full mast. We all deserve to have someone look meaningfully into our eyes and say: “I like you very much. Just as you are.”

2. You took this quiz on Buzzfeed, How Single Are You?, and got “Destined to be Single.” Oh.

…and the #1 reason why you’re still single…

Well, I don’t actually know. But this could have something to do with it:

everything happens for a reason(Source)

Conversely, it could just as easily explain why you’re not single…

TGIT! I hope you’re enjoying this lovely Sprinter – or Wing, if you’d prefer. I have a nonnegotiable “No Tights” policy that kicks in April 1, so YO, Mother Nature: let’s wrap it up.

Posted in Arbitrary | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Posted by AllieB on January 23, 2014

I write today about choosing the company you keep. At this point in my life, I know exactly who I like, who I don’t like, and who I wish to send here, and it’s time to make some changes. I’ve outlined some methods that focus on the implementation of passive-aggressive behavior – as everyone knows, such conduct is a highly effective and emotionally prudent way to drop the zeros and get with only heroes.  See below.

#1: Trim the Fat. Cut the B-Team. You know – the people who are a third, maybe fourth resort when you’re looking to make plans. Wouldn’t you rather stay home than force awkward conversation while pretending to not look over their shoulder to see if there’s anyone better to talk to? I would. Done. It’s hard enough to keep your inner circle at arms length – these peeps gotta go.

#2: Just Say No. “Allie, want to get lunch today?” Nope. “Does anyone want to meet for happy hour?” Sure don’t. “Want to go shopping in Brooklyn?” Absolutely not. “So-and-so’s playing at Bowery tonight – wanna go?” What do you think?

#3: Flat Face. I talk about “flat face” all the time: it is the ultimate unimpressed expression that reeks of judgement and disdain. Cut to a Thursday evening at your favorite bar/restaurant –  you’re sitting at a table with a few friends, having a really fun conversation, oblivious to all around you. Then you sense it: the lurking presence of some stain primed to ruin everything. He interjects, “Well, hey there ladies…” Say nothing, just turn slowly to him with your flattest face and maintain eye contact for a couple seconds – trust me, he’ll pick up what you’re putting down…he might even cry a little. Be advised: this sometimes goes awry if you’re with people who do not employ FF and instead entertain strangers as though they might bring something of value to the evening. When this happens, you will look like a total bitch. Me, I say: Mission Accomplished!

flat faced

:|

#4: Radio Silence. Stop responding altogether.

#5: Salt-n-Pepa. Conversely, let’s say someone has decided to ignore you – who knows why, probably because of something you did – and they’re trying to utilize the approach described in #4. Under no circumstances will you take this lying down: instead you assault (“salt”) them with texts and pepper (“pepa”) them with questions. This strategy is actually empowering because you are knowingly foiling their Radio Silence plan, and knowledge is power. The Mess-er, as they say, becomes the Mess-ee. See below for a “salting” in the literal sense.

salt the snail

Sister, you are to me what Gail the Snail is to Charlie. xoxo

So there ya have it – 5 easy steps to fewer friends and more enemies…you are welcome! Also, I’m kidding*

*Except for number 3**

**OK, let’s get real for a sec: I’m trying – like in real life – to do the opposite of everything I just said. Especially #3, even though that’s going to be very hard for me, but it’s time to expand my horizons. I realized recently I am my own worst enemy when it comes to social ventures – I’m used to being included by default, but if you say no enough people really will start to get the hint. It is incumbent upon my nearest and dearest to hold me accountable as I attempt to eradicate these bad habits. Consider this needlessly sarcastic post a cry for help.

ANYWAY in other news…

Superbowl XLVIII is Broncos v Seahawks! And it’s in NYC!! Actually, it’s in Jersey, but whatevs. Not gonna lie, I was pulling for Tom and the Pats on Sunday (I have a thing for Tom), but this should be a good game. TBD who I’m cheering for – right now I’m thinking I’ll take chicken wings over the hummus.

I made this in 2011 - I still think it's some of my best work

Alsele & Tom

What a nice, non-creepy photo. I hope Tom Brady doesn’t have a Goog alert set for his name…I’d be so embarrassed if Tom Brady saw this!

Aaaand the weather outside is weather.

Winter Storm Janus. Who's naming these things?!

Outside our apt Tuesday evening. Credit: my roomie OBatt

Winter Storm Janus hit the Northeast coast pretty rough on Tuesday. Who’s naming these things?!

I screen-grabbed my own Snap. Yep.

Post-spin, pre-#wine. I screen-grabbed my own Snap

Have wonderful Thursdays. MC & KR, I’m thinking margs for this eve…? A spicy jalapeno one, to be specific.

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

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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ALRIGHT.

Posted by AllieB on January 16, 2013

Be advised: if you’re on my List or are at all guilty of irking me, today is not your day.

1. Jessica Simpson was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. I can’t even…

I am speechless; I am without speech. First, easy on the Botox. Second, it is possible to dress in a flattering, appropriate manner in which you accentuate your best attributes and disguise your flaws. Jessica, who has the demonstrated mental function of a wet mop, has never heard this message from Captain Obvious and chose to wear that instead. Of course she did.

2. I went postal at the Post Office. The Post Office has now trumped SantaCon as my Least Favorite Thing. There was an incident yesterday morning involving myself, two post office workers, a roll of Priority Mail tape, and a roll of Standard Clear Shipping Tape. Long story short: one of the workers repeatedly gave me blatantly wrong, flat-out-erroneous information regarding the kind of tape I needed to use for my shipping needs. This resulted first in confusion, then frustration, and ultimately snowballed into blind, unadulterated RAGE. I honestly think the situation could have escalated to the point of law enforcement intervention, but, as though I were starring in my very own segment from Chicken Soup for the Soul, a good samaritan appeared out of nowhere and shared with me her roll of Clear Shipping Tape. I nearly burst into tears I was so grateful. I then realized that I acted like a total f’ing lunatic may have overreacted a teeny bit, and I apologized to the people with whom I’d had issue…one of them, anyway, the other one got the stink eye she deserved. Having worked in the service industry several times during my adult life,  I know how much people suck and how hard it is to be nice all of the time, and I know that I can air on the side of impatient, but this….this was unfounded.

3. Was The Duchess on glue when she approved her first official portrait? HATES IT. I’m going to chalk it up to pregnancy hormones and let this one slide…hopefully it will find a nice home in the basement. Or maybe in Pippa’s room…muahaha

kate-middleton-portrait

Kate, why are you POSSESSED BY THE DEMONS??

Ok, enough complaining and senseless lambasting – I got it off my chest, and I feel much better… As I mentioned, I joined Equinox (Equinox is a gym) and I’ve been going a lot – I even went on Saturday. To the gym. To a spin class. On a Saturday. In efforts to keep things interesting, I am trying every single one of their class offerings, many of which are brand new information. Case in point: “ViPR” aka “vitality-performance-reconditioning.” Intrigued by this collection of healthy-sounding words, I went to the 6:30 AM class last Wednesday morning….and here’s how that went (cut and pasted directly from The Serve).

So, this morning I went to the most nonsense class ever, I don’t even know how to describe. Apparently it’s not only new to Equinox, it’s new to the United States, so when I was mega-failing (flailing?) that made me feel a little better. There was a really really pretty girl in my class – she looked like Lucy Hale on Pretty Little Liars w the dark hair and thick eyebrows only much prettier. Prettier, taller, skinnier. I’m telling you, this girl had an a** that would NOT quit. She was even coordinated. She did not enhance my fitness experience.

I’m just glad she wasn’t in the locker room the same time I was…could’ve been awkward for everyone.

Anyway, the focus of the class is this very crazy huge, weighted black pipe/tube that you sling around. I am laughing thinking about it. It was really hard. There’s also a step box; I think I did 1,000 squats. At the end, the instructor sought me out and told me I didn’t “totally suck”, which I found encouraging, until I saw him give Lucy Hale’s hotter twin a high five and a, “You go, gurl!”

I won’t be returning.

This was pretty much how it went down

This was pretty much the jist

I know I’m not talking about resolutions, but one of my non-resolutions is to write more in 2k13…quantity>quality??

Posted in Really? | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »