Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

Posts Tagged ‘travel’

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

 

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I read too much

Posted by AllieB on June 17, 2014

Sometimes, when I haven’t written in awhile and am trying to get in the swing of things, I like to make a random questionnaire and then I answer the questions. It’s like Me: As Asked & Told By Me. That said – here’s what we have today: random, fascinating facts about BBT; the World Cup is happening; I’m pretty sure O.J. is innocent; and we’re getting 250 NEW EMOJI. Welcome back.

Q: What is your favorite smell?

Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender scented anything and this candle by Prospector Co. Also, rubber cement.

Q: What are your vices?

I read too much. And that’s it – that is my only vice

Q: What do you consider to be the epitome of happiness?

This

viceroy maldives

BBT at the Viceroy Maldives in a diaper ‘kini sipping spicy margs. Not pictured: hot guy companion

Q: What’s your favorite childhood memory?

The time when my neighbors’ black lab had puppies and they let me come over every day after school and sit in the dog house for hours while little black lab puppies crawled all over me. See also: “What is Heaven like?”

Q: What is going to be the highlight of your summer?

My summer calendar does not suck. First and foremost, I am turning 31 and I’m not the least bit bummed; I’ve heard great things. Between now and Labor Day I have trips to Alys Beach, Newport (RI), Montauk, Lake Tahoe, and the pièce de résistance – FRANCE. I am not sorry.

Q: Describe yourself in five words or less? 

Contentedly restless; usually smart; wine

Q: What possession will you never throw away?

Whatever it was, I’ve probably already thrown it away.

Q: If you were to live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I took a nifty quiz via Amy on Facebook that assigns a country based on your personality (even though technically we do not approve of these sorts of things being shared on Facebook, A does whatever she wants…and I was bored, so it was fine) and learned I belong in Brazil:

You are an adventure enthusiast who likes to party, and enjoy a wild night out. You appreciate a culture with a vivacious lifestyle. You are drawn to warm climates, and love being near the water. Sitting at home is not your style. You’d rather be doing something active or walk around the city with friends. You are fed by good conversation and have a strong personality. Your motto in life is, “Life is for living” and in Brazil you are surrounded by others who share your passion.

If only I’d known this before the World Cup…I might’ve made different arrangements.

Q: What is your Game of Thrones warrior name?

Ahh, another nifty quiz…

oh. great

oh. great

Q: If you could give advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

This question is good prep for if I ever run into Brandon from Humans of New York. My advice would be to show up. That’s half the battle – if you can get where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, I think you’re usually good to go. I realize that sounds fairly basic, but all of the most important life lessons are fundamentally basic – are they not? I would also remind people that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…well, newsflash – it’s probably a duck.

You know what they say: with age comes wisdom.

The end.

In other news…

- Watch this: John Oliver’s segment on FIFA from his show, Last Week Tonight - it aired on 6/8 but it’s still relevant. I haven’t yet watched the new HBO program in its entirety, but I fully intend to moving forward. This made me laugh outloud, and I learned some stuff, too. (It’s not short and you obviously need sound.)

- Speaking of the World Cup…USA! I BELIEVE! In addition to “watching” the live blog of each game on the WSJ, someone nicely changed the tv above my desk to ESPN so I am able to actually watch, also. You should check out the Google homepage from time to time – they update the header graphic a couple times per day and it’s weird but oddly cute. I think my workday life is somewhat different than those in, say, commercial real estate or external sales…but should you find yourself at a computer during game time there are ways to stay tuned in.

here is an angelic octopus (?) deciding who to root for, Belgium or Algeria

here’s an angelic (?) octopus trying to decide who will win today’s noon game: Belgium or Algeria

- Ok, I know this sounds a little silly, but…I’m like 90% sure OJ is innocent (of the double murder, not the subsequent robbery etc). OJ Is Innocent And I Can Prove It is an “exhaustive book” written by a P.I. who’s been investigating the murders for 18 years – he’s managed to poke some gaping holes in the prosecution’s case and lays out a very compelling argument that Jason Simpson, OJ’s son, is the guilty party. If you’re into this kind of thing, it’s worth a look – plus there are lots of pictures. Join me in a nice cup of kool-aid Business Insider: Here’s Why His Son Should Be a Suspect

- 250 NEW EMOJIS!! 

And we’re done! I can still say TGIT! because it happens to be my Thursday…sorry for the rest of you who are still on Tuesday – Tuesdays are the worst :(

L8er sk8ers

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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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There are no small victories: BBT by the numbers

Posted by AllieB on April 10, 2014

Minus 10 points for missing last week – I don’t even have a good excuse and it will probably happen again, but I’m here today which I’d say is a victory – and not a small one because there are no small victories. Lots of exciting stuff going on: instead of using a standard bullet format to organize my thoughts, I am breaking them down by the numbers. And if that’s not enticing enough, there’s a really cool surprise when you get to the end…

24: 24 hours til I’m poolside in the Panhandle.

3: Three different sales people Pretty Woman’ed me at Bergdorf’s on Monday. I ordered something from Neiman Marcus online, and I didn’t like it. I also didn’t like the idea of waiting 14 days for my refund (there’s no Neiman’s in NYC), so I gave Customer Service a call and learned I could return my item to Bergdorf’s. Awesome! B-dorf’s is 10 blocks from my office. Things got a lot less awesome upon arrival – I totally get now how lousy Julia Roberts-as-prostitute felt when she went to that store and those bitchy ladies wouldn’t help her.

Sidebar Rant: I think there’s a required seminar all these employees attend where they learn how to make you feel like crap. First and foremost: the signature Eye Rake – this move actually has the same effect as that machine in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids except it shrinks your soul.  Anyone who is not toting an ostrich Prada bag or hasn’t had at least four plastic surgery procedures is subject to the Eye Rake wherein the sales associate rakes their eyes up and down your person, pausing to raise a single brow at especially offensive attire or accessories, such as a pair of Tom’s. Once they’ve robbed you of all self-worth, the employee will purse their lips in a smirky duckface and then, with a hugely exaggerated roll of their eyes, might they deign to answer whatever question you dared ask.

Perhaps one day I’ll go back in carrying not one but three Prada ostrich bags having spruced myself up with a face, brow, eye, boob, AND butt lift, then glide around with my nose in the air waving wads of cash saying, “Big mistake, huge.” Yeah….yeah.

I digress. Someone finally told me where to return the stupid dress, and I got my dollaz back in 48 hours. Mission: accomplished.

2: I’ve made two tomato pies in the last two weeks. Have you heard of the tomato pie diet? It’s all the rage – little known fact: mayonnaise and flaky pie crust are actually power foods.

tomato pie

4: I recently bought a pack of classes to Barry’s Bootcamp aka Torture Chamber Where You Pay $$$$ To Be Yelled At Then Almost Vomit. I’ve gone to four of them. Four is also the number of days since I’ve been able to stand up or sit down without crying a little.

0: I have successfully walked into the Men’s room zero times this week! Two weeks ago I moved up several floors to a new office, and the layout is literally identical to where I was with one exception: the men’s room is where the women’s room was, and vice versa. While I feel really good about my literacy and ability to identify the universal signs for MALE and FEMALE, I still find myself walking towards the wrong door…

5: …and last week I actually did walk thru the wrong door. Five times :(

2011: back in August 2011 the PGA Championship was at the Atlanta Athletic Club. I went to an early round and discovered the physical specimen that is Adam Scott. I spent much of the day stalking tracking his progress and I know I wasn’t the only one who felt our “connection” – it was palpable. Adam definitely needs another green jacket. What a smokeshow.

BBT and Adam Scott

See something you like, Adam? I think he might be jealous of my traps #hoss #mustbetheangle

19: Valeria, the human Barbie, has a 19 inch waist and maintains her inhuman proportions by way of plastic surgery and subsisting on an “air and light” diet. She’s freaking me the EFF OUT. Read more about how cool and normal she is in this GQ article. (Credit: Hilary.)

human barbie valeria

That’s a real person.

39: 39 Things That Only Girls Growing Up in the 80’s Would Get. This gave me almost physical pangs of nostalgia…Caboodles! Lip Smackers! Side pony’s! I actually still like a side pony…(credit: A)

23: So this what they mean by “heaven on earth” – the Annual Lobster Rumble on June 5 in NYC showcases 23 lobster rolls from 23 restaurants across the US, and I, the event attendee, am tasked to taste them all and choose a winner. Holy sh*t. There goes my “one lobster roll per year” rule. That was a really dumb rule anyway.

I was lying about the cool surprise – thought I’d lose you when I started talking about my “standard bullet format.” Thanks for reading!

I’m PCB-bound for a calm and relaxing wedding weekend with only a couple friends – we’ll go to bed early and there will be no dancing, especially not to Mustang Sally.

Spring is here!!!! TGIT!

Bryant Park 1And one day, not too far from now, those trees might even grow some leaves…

 Take a minute and count your blessings today. I say that in all sincerity.

 

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I have a new hobby!

Posted by AllieB on February 13, 2014

If there is one thing I know to be true it is that idle hands and minds are the devil’s playground. Are they ever. The solution is simple: stay busy – duh. Here’s how I am keeping the devil at bay…and then just some other stuff, because there’s always other stuff.

-I have a new hobby: gambling! I bought upwards of 10 squares for the Superbowl ($50 out, $0 in – that went well), and I’m filling out my ballot now for the Oscars . Perhaps I’ll even look into that billion dollar bracket that Warren Buffet is doing…but probably not because I can’t even pretend I care about college basketball, and I can pretend to care about most things.

-I am watching the Olympics. Well, sort of – sometimes I get bored – but I’ve observed the following:

First: mogul skiing should be illegal.

mogul ski NO

Second: Bob Costas is my hero

-I am in love with Jimmy Fallon. I watched the 1.5 hour Jimmy Fallon Goodbye Special (it’s OnDemand), and I loved it. I haven’t had that much fun watching a television program in a long time. If I was a celeb, I’d tell my agent, “GET me on Jimmy Fallon and tell him I want to play Beer Pong and Catch Phrase and also do some sort of dance.” You can tell everyone is having an awesome time – Jimmy is the most genuinely entertaining and easily entertained person I have ever seen; he loves people and they love him. Will Ferrell is a frequent guest, and this is my new favorite thing: Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon Fight Over Tight Pants. (PLEASE WATCH!) My second favorite thing is this tumblr of all his Thank You Notes - sometimes the internet comes thru in amazing ways. I have very high hopes for our Jimmy.

thank you oatmeal

Thank you, Oatmeal, for looking like I already ate you before I eat you.

-Ah yes, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day…kewl…better get to Duane Reade and stock up on the holiday candy. If you’re in a bad place re: your Valentine’s sitchy, I encourage you to check out the post I did last year – your morale will skyrocket; my VDay’s of yore leave much to be desired. I think it also single-handedly fulfills BBT’s “personal sharing” quota for the next decade.

-I am accepting of Fashion Week this season, minus the huge stain it is on my Instagram. Also, the below was chosen as a “Best Look of the Day” by NYMag. Have they no eyes that can see?

The Row fuzzy sweater and slouchy pants

If this were shown with a bowl of popcorn and a remote instead of patent Oxfords and a briefcase, I could possibly reconsider.

-I am very much looking forward to a return trip to France in August. Is that annoying? You’re annoying. Our 2010 stay at the chateau was delightful, and I can’t wait for Round 2. I am already planning some activities, and, amongst other things, I would love to visit a vineyard, see Mont-St-Michel, and have zero women die on my airplane. (Hey, E Rock – have I told you that story?)

BBT + chateau; #wine; Mont-St-Michel; death

BBT + chateau; #wine; Mont-St-Michel; death

-Speaking of death, I am plotting the very slow and painful demise of Old Man Winter.

-I have been going to spin class on the reg,* and I like it. Well, I don’t like it – obviously I hate it – but it seems like a very efficient way to exercise if one must exercise. The downside is that, upon completing a single, 45 minute class, I say to myself, “Done!” and feel as though I have achieved my apex of physical fitness, an ass that won’t quit, and will never have to exercise again. That’s not right.

*Because BBT is not a fitness blog (say what?!) and because I am not lame, I will leave this open to interpretation. But I’m kind of proud of myself so if you’ll allow me a little humby brag, I will say that I have gone to more spin classes in the 44 days of 2014 than I did in all of 2013 and 2012 combined. And you should know that still doesn’t say much.

-Happy late/early BIRTHDAYS to Sis & A & Mims. Mucho love. Mucho.

favorite people

I just love this pic in general. Hazy pic….hazy night. xoxo

Happy Thursday, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy…whatever! Except you southerners – y’all are really starting to piss me off with all these snow days, so I wish you no happiness. Read the previous sentence as: Thursday, Valentine’s Day, …whatever. If you don’t have power I am sorry.

P.S. I know most people reading this are dealing with crappy weather right now, but this happened on my way to work today: living near the water means more wind, it’s just science, and I was literally blinded by horizontal snow coming at me in gale force gusts on my way to the subway. As I turned the corner onto Hudson I ran smack into a woman, also blinded, and it was like something out of a movie except not. We both involuntarily reached out and grabbed one another to keep our balance, and we wound up locked in a sort of standing embrace – she was about a foot shorter than me, so I basically had her nestled in my bosom - and then, once we gained our footing, continued on in our respective directions without exchanging words besides a muffled SORRY. Now that I am safely ensconced in my office, I can kind of laugh about it…but at the time: only tears.

do you see?? real human tears.

do you see?? real human tears.

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