Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Stuff No One Thinks About Except Me

Posted by AllieB on September 3, 2015

*barked while my Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie bakes

Oh hello. How was your summer?

Mine was uneventful – I took night classes at a depressing Kaplan center in Midtown West to brush up on quadratics and other maths, and I have no tanlines to speak of, but we did hike Machu Picchu in May! Make sure that’s on your bucket list – it’s as amazing as all the pictures suggest. And, while you can do it in one day by taking a train up, it is quickly turning into an overrun tourist madhouse and we actually preferred the hiking part over the site itself – you know what they say about the journey vis a vis the destination. Should you opt for the train you will still get your scenery shots, but your experience will undoubtedly be marred by tourists. People, it turns out, are generally the worst. We did a three night hike to get there, and it was not easy, but it was awesome, and everything about the way REI organized and executed all that goes into taking a group of 9 silly Americans on a treacherous hike through the Inca Trail was amazingly well done. BBT gives it all the stars. If you would like to know more…I wrote a review on the REI website because of course I did – posted here (it’s the first one by “notahiker1”).

peru

Clockwise from top left: dancing with my new non-scary clown friend; Christmas Card 2k15; there she is – notahiker1; dawn’s filtered light over Mt Salcantay; day 5 in a row for those clothes/that hair; MP from the Sun Gate; not from the trip – that is the aforementioned Corn & Zucchini Pie, it’s delicious and there’s no pie crust or mayo so it’s basically kale

Insider Tip: if you’re packing for a camping trip in the Andes when you’ve never been on a camping trip in the Andes, it’s smart to pay special attention to what the packing list suggests. Also, when the forecast calls for freezing temps at night, it’s wise not to assume you’ll “be fine” with whatever you “tossed in” and tell those who warn against this sound reasoning that “it’s never as cold as they say it’s going to be” ALLIE BAXTER DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM LAST WINTER anyway… I was a little chilly.

Stuff No One Thinks About Except Me:

I heart Spotify. I pay $9.99/month for the premium subscription, and it’s by far my favorite music app. I signed up for the three month trial of Apple Music and did not like it one bit – it’s confusing and not user friendly and I need to cancel that before I start getting charged. Sometimes, after I’ve reached the end of the internet, I will check out my Recently Played List – both mine and other people’s; if someone has a list of 10 EDM artists, you know they had a slightly different weekend than the person who’s been tuning into Soothing Study Songs…it’s sort of a Peeping Tom of tunes. And that’s #notcreepyatall. Let’s see what mine says about me, according to me.

spotify

I feel like I just invited you to rifle through the drawers of my bedside table…whatever – judge away, GlassHouseDwellingStoneThrowers.

Should I get an Apple Watch?

Decision pending further research.

I’m doing ClassPass

The neat thing about ClassPass is how you can really have some fun with your fitness…did I just say “fun with fitness”? I’ve gone now to two boot camp classes at Evolve Fitness. Evolve Fitness is on the 3rd floor of a pre-school school on 52nd and 3rd, but don’t let the makeshift appearance fool you because Kenny and Norberto are not messing around. You’re there to work, and, in my case, wow people with my brute strength. Last week Kenny had us do a rigorous segment of push-ups, of which I can do zero. I tried to explain this to him, that I wasn’t being lazy but I honestly can’t do full push-ups…

Me: Kenny, I think it’s best if I start with the knees, I can’t do them the real way

Kenny: You’re new here, so I won’t yell at you, but NO. ALL THE WAY DOWN and ALL THE WAY UP

Me: What about injuries?

Kenny: You’re gonna hurt yourself doing a push-up?

Me: Kenny, I really might. I’ll do extra kettle swings!

Kenny: Let me see you try at least one. <He watched in what was first amazed then what I inferred to be disgusted silence> Go do kettle swings.

I think I lost some of his respect, but when I showed up to class a second time this week Kenny gave me a nod of recognition and nicely averted his eyes and left me alone during the push-up segments, so I assume we reached a truce to agree to disagree.

Sidebar: the whole push-up/gym teacher judgment exchange was sounding a little familiar, so I did a little past-post-perusing and….this is embarrassing – I had almost the exact same conversation with Rico, my cardio-sculpt instructor, in February 2013. How sad.

Football is BACK

Nick Chubb for Heisman!!!

This video is amazing; what a beast. How many push-ups do you think Chubbatron can do?

The End.

**Don’t get too excited – it still looks like a hot mess – but I updated my book list. Traveling this weekend? Take a look and find a book!

***I just inadvertently quoted Reading Rainbow…now THAT is sad.

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Today is Picture Day!

Posted by AllieB on April 23, 2015

Picture Day at school was my least favorite day. My forced smile looks exactly that – forced – and 9 out of 10 times I would forget and show up with my hair in a veritable rat’s nest, or happen to wear my 1991 Atlanta Braves National League Champs tshirt (Adult Large) with sweatpants. At least you couldn’t see the sweatpants?*

But here on BBT picture day does not suck because the smiles are (hopefully) not forced, and sweatpants are actually in style right now. Besides, sometimes I feel like y’all don’t read my carefully crafted comments, so perhaps this format will be more appealing.

~ Google offered a “what animal are you” quiz yesterday in honor of Earth Day. I must say, I did not see this coming:

what animal are you

 but who am I to argue with the Goog? #dismember

~ VISTAS!

vista

On the Left: last night in my ‘hood, post-storm. There’s something for everyone at Pier 25! #golf #snacks #theapocalypse

And ze Right: I went off-campus for a hike on Saturday w MelBoo & CDMcD – it was a great success in that the weather was lovely and there were lots of “money shot” views, less so in that we got completely lost and actually did 2 hikes instead of one. As we hit mile 7 of our 3 mile hike, I began to wonder who might play me in the movie…

~ Speaking of hikes, the Baxter Fam is hiking Machu Picchu in Peru next month. We were told that some training is advised, so I’ve been doing lots of Flywheel and sometimes I take the stairs to my 9th floor apartment carrying two bottles of wine. I thought I was good to go until the aforementioned hike last Saturday, when I realized – not so much. Always reasonable, I tried to blame the higher altitude for my shortness of breath (1,380 ft) but then I checked and The Inca Trail we trek to Machu Picchu reaches almost 14,000 ft in some places…so. Crap.

machu picchu

I think it’ll be worth it tho – BOLO for 1,348,986 vista pics

*case in point: Picture Day was the worst.

picture day

Second grade: I think my parents did this on purpose, like for their own entertainment. And it occurs to me that is genius and I’m 1000% doing that with my own kids

Third grade: I may have peaked in third grade

Fourth grade: no.

Turns out I already did a Picture Day post – two years ago, same title and everything. +2 points for consistency.

Friendly reminder: only 7 more days to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month. TGIT!!

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10 Things About Fall & Other Stuff

Posted by AllieB on October 9, 2014

It’s fall, y’all! Fall, according to the Goog, is the most popular of all the seasons, so here are 10 things about fall and other stuff, then I added two more items at the end so I guess 12 things total. I try to mix it up; BBT is NOT some basic fall-loving betch who only talks about new sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes.

1. This is me not talking about pumpkin spice lattes – never had one; I don’t care; you do you but maybe consider the sugar content

2. TV is not only back, but there are a lot of new shows to check out: How to Get Away with Murder premiered two weeks ago, and, besides its annoying name (HTGAWM henceforth), BBT highly recommends. Marry Me has such potential (Penny from Happy Endings! Ron from Party Down!) and, I’m embarrassed to say this, Selfie might not suck… Homeland wrapped up some very tired story lines (smell ya later Brody) and the season premiere shows much promise for good TV – just so long as Carrie never touches her child, or anyone else’s, ever again. Lastly, I watched the first episode of The Affair last night – I am IN. It caught my eye earlier this year when I heard about the cast (Pacey Witter! Maura Tierney! Jimmy McNulty from the Wire!) and, based on the first epi, it is everything I hoped it would be.

3. I got stung – stung bad – by a bee in Idaho last weekend. I hope it died.

sun valley

Idaho – who knew? (I know other people knew, but I didn’t) CONGRATS Nandi & Duncan!

4. 31 Dog Reactions for Everyday Situations – this is perfect, please click thru (#’s 1, 2, 9, 12, 14, 16 – 25, 31)

5. I’m not implying that all kids raised in NYC are brats, but I have observed a heightened level of the ridiculous when it comes to parenting up here. Case in point: I was recently at my local Whole Foods doing my daily shopping of only things I needed right that moment (nothing if not practical!), and I noticed a father and his two children, a boy and a girl both under age of 4, in the midst of truly epic meltdown. The girl, the younger of the two, had collapsed on the ground and was crying that especially aggressive silent cry where her mouth was open and her body was heaving but no sound was coming out. Not to be overlooked, the boy had wrapped himself around his father’s leg while he cried a more subdued whimper but with double the snot and tears. Dad, to his credit, wasn’t freaking out but I think this is likely because he’d checked out entirely to his mental happy place. “Woof” I thought, as I skirted by them to get in line, “I wonder how much longer he’s going to let this go on..” I also may have thought things like, “get your sh*t together little girl” and “can someone please wipe this kid’s nose”

Finally, something yanked Dad back to reality – maybe it was that his daughter hadn’t taken a proper breath in like a minute – and suddenly he was totally, 100% over it. His eyes darkened as he inhaled deeply….”PENELOPE! ALVIN! THAT. IS. IT! When we get home….NO soy dream for you.”

Aaaaand you lost me. Hey, buddy, FYI: the moment you named your kids Pompous and Arrogant you gave them license to behave like jerks. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that one or both had some sort of dairy allergy, explaining why soy dream was the most glorious treat in which they’re allowed to indulge thus the absolute worst thing he could take away…but with names like that, it’s hard. My advice? Sign the girl up for soccer, the boy up for football, and cancel all lessons involving wind and string instruments. There’s still hope.

*Note: when I have kids one day and name them Philomena and Astrid and they go mental at the grocery store you can remind me of this post.

**Y’all know I’d never name my kids that.

***Confession: I played the Alto Sax in third grade. It was a risky move but I pulled it off. Penelope – not so much.

****I don’t know anyone named Penelope or Alvin, do I?

6. Jimmy Fallon + EW! = watch this.

7. My Father, The Hero (?)

Just kidding. Dude, that's too much...and when this pot calls you black, you better recognize

Dude, that’s too much…and when this pot calls you black, you better recognize

8. All the hilar Insta accounts you need to follow, give or take a couple – there’s really something for everyone. You should check out that blog regardless, @AshHess is doing good stuff over there. Thank you, Witty & Pretty!

9. Brush up on history with a healthy side of scandal and intrigue with After Camelot, a sweeping biography of the whole Kennedy family – there are lot of them, so it’s long, but you can breeze right through it.

10. This week in That Is Brand New Information: Todd Gurley is a Badass

Georgia running back Todd Gurley completes 50-yard pass (GIF)

I could watch these all day.

Here's the GIF of Georgia's Todd Gurley running like Marshawn Lynch against Clemson.  -- (Via @SBNation)

***UPDATE 10/10: I posted this yesterday before the TRAGIC news that TGII had been suspended. Why God. Why. I am 100% #teamtodd and still think he’s one of the good ones – he’ll get thru this and go on to have an amazing career and keep a clean record all the while, of that I am sure, and in the meantime us Georgia fans will have to hunker down and deal with the hard knocks that we should by now be used to/expect. TEAM TODD!!!

Bonus #11: I needed a crisp white button down to go with my outfit yesterday, but I couldn’t find the iron because we don’t own one, so I used my straightener instead – it totally worked! A tip from me to you: best to remove the shirt then iron as opposed to keeping on shirt whilst wielding a piping hot wand of heat near your skin.

Super Bonus #12: I think we already knew as much, but I asked Siri the other night who’s the fairest of them all, and…well:

fairest one of all

And there you are – a BBT for your Thursday. Boom.

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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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