blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Things That Are Just The Best

  • AAA and their super helpful people who handle phone calls. I genuinely felt comforted when he told me that he was sorry I was having car trouble today. And he gave me no flack whatsoever for not having my card with me.
  • Aaron & Mandy Van Roy for having an amazingly adorable baby boy named Cohen. Seriously -- his stocking is bigger than he is. Just look.
  • My 3 year old cousin for, after sizing me up, getting to the real questions, like, "What color is your bed?"
  • KASEY for being in Virginia.
  • ME and 11 of my closes friends and our trip to Austin that starts TOMORROW!
  • Kyle, for taking care of Stinker & Tinker while I'm gone.
  • Finally being able to breathe through my nose.
  • The general state of happy that's come over me in the past hour or so.
  • Did I mention the whole GOING TO AUSTIN FOR NEW YEARS thing? Cause that really is just the best. BEST!


Apparently something strange happened with my comments a few weeks ago. So about five minutes ago I got every comment left on my blog since the beginning of the month. So hey thanks!-- to everybody who likes my new dark hair, thinks my friends are hot, wished me happy christmas tidings, left me videos of baby bull dogs, etc. Commenting functionality should resume immediately.

Great Starts

When thinking of Awesome Ways to Start The Day, having a flat tire and taking a cab into work is not among them. Frak.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Blogger comments all effed up?

Drew tells me that he's been a commenting fool and to no avail. If you're trying to leave a comment and it's not showing up, just shoot me an email.

Caption This

Submit your best caption for this photo that Drew took this weekend. I can only assume he was hired by the Robert Mondavi people for a new ad campaign.

Ho Ho No

A quick poll around the office showed that this Christmas was a pretty crappy one -- family feuds, puking babies, stomach bugs at large, crazy ex girlfriends, etc. Anybody out there have an incident-free holiday? Maybe this is just what happens to us suckers who didn't take today off.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ho Ho Ho

So the holiday turned out pretty good afterall, other than my mom having food poisoning and not being able to do anything other than sit in her chair. But the moods are right and all is well, so merry christmas, one and all. I hope santa brought you somethin' good and you're gorging yourself on ham right now.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Things I Should Have Asked Sant For

  • Battlestar Galactica DVDs. I know I would love this show, I just haven't had the exposure to it.
  • New computer speakers. Or someone to rewire my current ones.
  • Someone to pretend to be me and take my computer to the apple store and spend many hours there till it's actually fixed.
  • A new DVD player. When you invest $40 into one, it apparently only lives for a year.
  • A truck full of Zicam and Airborne and anything else that will make this godforsaken cold disappear.
  • A new stove.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Me

UPDATE: Errrr, forgot the whole tagging portion of the meme thing. Sorry. Most of my blogging world has already done this, so I'll tag Drew and... uh... the following people to execute it in the comments: Becky, Jenna, Beth and Betsy.


Courtesy of Catherine, I'm it.

1. Susan totally stole my "brief but illustrious modeling career" tidbit, and with a much better backstory. But at age 14 with all the height I have now and about half the weight, I had a fledgling modeling career that ended when I declared to my mother that it "felt like prostitution."

2. It may be a bit boring to piggy back on other people's selections for a list like this, but, whatever. Catherine's #3 is well known to me because Catherine's first cousin Chris is a very very good friend of mine, predecessing and unrelated to my relationship with Catherine. The wife of the grandfather she mentions knows of me as "the girl the turtle's named after."

3. I have irrational fears of bugs, escalators and helicopters. My fear of clowns though -- I don't think that's irrational at all.

4. For the first three years or so of my life, my parents were really worried that I was never going to develop a sense of humor because I was so extremely serious and didn't smile or laugh. Also, for the first week or so of my life, my parents feared I may die because I didn't eat, drink, poop or pee. Don't worry, I mastered it all in subsequent years.

5. My sorority invited me to play on our intramural softball team solely for the purpose of getting to watch me run, because in all my gangly, unathletic glory, it's apparently the funniest thing you can observe on any given night in Charlottesville.

For What It's Worth

I never, ever check my email address. Haven't in over two months. So if you want to get a hold of me, just use gmail.

And Look What my Flickr Sidebar Just Served Up

Originally uploaded by AMattos.

Ahhhh, blasts from the past.

And on a completely different note

Hey, at least I'm super popular:

Split Holidays Suck

I don't much get into the personal parts of my life on le blog. I mean, you all know that I have a close, personal relationship with my television and iPod, but that's about it. Lamenting poor-little-rich-girl tragedies just seems sort of stupid, and who wants to read that anyway? But, sometimes you need a little room to vent. And I think that when it's 8:30am and you're sitting in front of your Christmas tree with your head in your hands as tears well up, it's time for some of that catharsis stuff. So if you don't want to read a probably depressing diary entry, stop now.

So, my parents are divorced. Just about a week and three years ago, my dad up and left my mom. That's right -- Merry Christmas, I got you a broken home this year! So it's still a fairly recent development in my life (22 years of a unified family, 3 years of not), and it weighs most heavily around holidays, particularly this one. Now, I do think my parents' divorce was ultimately a good thing -- their marriage had essentially been over for quite some time, and in fact, the last few holidays we did spend together were a bit miserable. But, nonetheless, the actual act of them breaking up sent me to a real bad place. I spent a year in a very, very deep depression. By the time I was able to walk amongst the living, I did anything I could think of that was bad for me. Year two was much better, with dark spots along the way, but generally full of on-the-mendiness. This past year I've been damn near back to fine, rarely if ever thinking about it, reclaiming my sunny disposition, comfortable with the new lives we're all leading, slightly ok with the continual egg-shell-walking involved whenever mentioning one of them around the other, even comfortable spending time with my parents' sig-o's.

But ugh. Christmas. It's such a damn cliche', but holy shit this is hard. I've been feeling myself slip into a bad place over the past couple weeks or so, sort of unconsciously. Getting mad at or being not nice to people for no good reason, getting really really drunk and really really emotional, and overall feeling pretty gloomy. Ho ho ho, right? It didn't occur to me until this morning that it all had to do with what time of year it was and what that all meant to my psyche. My dad called to chat and said something along the lines of, "so I only get to see you Christmas Eve? That's all?" Enter head in hands, in front of fully decked tree, tears-a-plenty tailspin. Cause you see, it's not the revamped traditions that bother me (anymore). I can handle the driving across the entire map of Northern Virginia to celebrate in all of my mandatory locals. What I can't handle is the GUILT that both of my parents make me feel for something that they themselves imposed on me. Neither does it intentionally, and whenever I tell them to cut it out, they immediately appologize and say that wasn't what they meant to do. But that feeling of letting people down just kills me. Don't they know that if I could spend an entire holiday in one place that I'd be happy as a clam? Don't they know that I want to spend time with both my parents and not feel like a traitor in some way? Not feel like their birthday cakes are competing with one another?

There's no real solution. All things considered, I know I'm lucky to have two parents who love and dote on me and want to spend as much time with me as possible. But I just hate the fact that something that should be jolly and cheery and full of love and happiness gets so bogged down with territorial crap. And that it'll never change and never go away, and probably, when I'm all married and childed and have an entire other family of players involved, get even worse.

So, uh, yeah. Sorry for the buzz kill. I guess the purpose of this was to get it all out, and appologize to anyone I've been/will be terse with, done something stupid or mean to, inexplicably burst into tears in front of, etc. It is most definitely not you. It's me. And if you've got a hot tip on some Christmas cheer, hook a sister up.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

To anybody who copmlained that Tower's prices were too high

Go take a spin around Borders, which is the last man standing in Tysons Corner (since they apparently closed the Best Buy sometime in recent weeks as well). Yikes. Sadly, I coughed up my inflated fees because it's Christmas time and I'm freaking desperate.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Holiday Blowout

The Walkmen's holiday blowout show in Philly this weekend was pretty darn great. They sounded really really good, and other generic gushy and adoring statements. They started things off with some new songs -- the next album is probably gonna kick quite a bit of ass. I actually didn't expect them to go through any of the standards this weekend, I thought the focus would be on new material and christmas music, but they managed to get The Rat, Thinking of a Dream I Had and 138th Street in there too, which are always great. They brought out the lead singer of Mazarin to do the narration part of Christmas Party, which was a big roaring good time. They even played White Christmas. It'll be added to my list of favorite versions of White Christmas. That list goes like this:

1. Doo Wop version they play in Home Alone
2. Walkmen version

I took lots of pretty cool pictures but my computer is on the fritz so they'll have to live on my camera for a while. The show sold out before Dave & Stephanie could get tickets, but luckily, once a trumpet player for the walkmen, always on the guest list. Paul had Alyssa +1 down there before we even asked, which was pretty awesome. So all four of us got to go to the show. Oh, and Johnny Brendas is a pretty awesome venue. I'd say about 200 people max can fit in there, but the sound is fantastic. Totally intimate and totally awesome. But, whatever you do, don't take the bartender's beer suggestions. You'll end up drinking something that tastes like steak sauce and gives you a crazy hangover.

What will likely have been my final concert of 2006 was a great one.

Oh, and is anybody else out there liking John Mayer more and more all the time?

Baby it's extremely warm outside

Is the unseasonably warm weather impeding anybody else's ability to get into the Christmas spirit?

And is anybody else amused and confused as to why they're still running those Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds commercials from like 1988?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Gettin Phunky in Philly

Is what I'll be doing this weekend. If you are too, get at me dawg.

Sorry about that. I'm really punchy right now.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Don't Tell My Clients

But sometimes, when I'm having writers block, I turn on my iPod and rip off and/or bastardize lyrics and song titles for headlines. Today, my clients are getting things based on Paul Westerberg and the Postal Service. They'll never know.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I think I love our intern

My boss had his panties all in a bunch yesterday, shooting down ideas left and right. So today our INTERN went into his office and said, "I didn't know guys got periods."

Go 'head.

Monday, December 11, 2006

More Lost Dogs

We all remember the Goldie incident from a couple months ago. Well, this weekend, as Kenley, Jess, Jeff and I were getting ready to head up to FedEx Field, I noticed a fluffy little dog without a person trotting through Jess's neighborhood. We caught up to the little stinker (literally -- that was one smelly dog) to find that the only tag he wore said "I'm Lost -- call Arlington Animal Shelter." It had an ID # for the dog, so we embarked (ha) on an hour or so long journey to track down Spike's owner (we named him Spike because that's the name he responded to when we were guessing). We were eager to get our tailgate on, but the importance of reuniting a dog and its family was not lost on any of us. Spike was super friendly and cuddly, so we were happy to help. We ultimately found the old lady and the dog's real name ("Uggaboo"), but let me give you a hint: when you're working with the Animal Shelter, and you agree to take the dog back home because the owner's a confused old lady who doesn't understand what's going on, make sure the people on the phone at the Animal Shelter specify where the heck you're taking the dog -- i.e., house? apartment? ASSISTED LIVING CENTER?!?! It'll make things go a lot more smoothly, and cut down the number of "estamos buscando..." conversations you have to have as you trek around north arlington.


My nice weekend ended on a sad note with the death of a dear member of my household. Mr. Plant came into my life as a tiny potted tropical guy that my mom got me at the grociery store the day I moved into college. For the past 7 years, he's grown from a teeny plant to a gigantic tree, surviving several moves and growing into many new pots. This winter, I was careless and left him outside through the first freeze, which was too much for Mr. Plant to survive. I feel quite guilty and very sad about the passing of my good pal, Mr. Plant. I'll miss you and your long pointy leaves big guy.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I've Said It Before

But it bears repeating. This season of The O.C. is recapturing the heights it had in the beginning. Next week's Chrismakkuh episode is going to do a bit of an It's a Wonderful Life thing with what if Ryan had never come to Newport? I'm sure I'll love it, though it might be trite, but hey -- I'm pretty sure every tv show with a run of 3 or more seasons is required by law to do an It's a Wonderful Life holiday episode. I've seen two already this year.

Anyway, if you're Thursday night tv viewing could use a little sunshine, give The O.C. another chance.

Pros & Cons

Pro: The term "celebutard"

Con: Snapple lemonade. YICK! Never again! It says "all natural." That must mean "all naturally occuring chemicals dumped together to imitate lemonade but taste like it's going to make you radioactive."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm Finally Used to My Hair

So in case you were wondering, six days. That's how long it takes. That's when you stop doing double takes when you pass mirrors, and stop being shocked when you wake up in the morning. Six days.


Thank you, TV Squad, for pointing me towards this oh so awesome video. In the grand tradition of playing Dark Side of the Moon while watching the Wizard of Oz, they set a heavy metal song over the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas to hilariously awesome effect. Merrrrrrrrrrry Christmaaaaaaas!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's Hip to be 4th

So, rather than save this for my christmas letter as I was planning on doing (yes, I wrote a christmas letter. shut up.), reading everybody else's lists of favorite shows of the year has me all antsy like. And since I'm hiding out in my office till the roves of cars allow me to escape Tysons Corner, I've got a little time to kill. So here they are, my favorite concerts of 2006.

The Walkmen @ MacRock
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The first of four times I'd see the band between April and August (with a fifth to be added next weekend), I had the innocent elation of seeing he-who-would-be-crushed-by-a-pony wail on the drums, Paul Maroon absolutely kill his guitar like no sweater-vest loving man should be allowed to, Walt & Pete look kinda scared but somehow give the show all its emotion-plucking notes, and Hamilton Leithauser do his dreamy darndest to scream his way into my my heart for the first time. The following months turned into The Summer of The Walkmen, and played host to many more memorable experiences with the band, but no performance was quite so thrilling as that first one. Other MacRock standouts: The Wrens, Medications, Man Man, Aloha and that dude with the banjo that stomped his feet a lot whose name I never caught.

The Raconteurs @ VFest
I expected to love this band before their album came out. I expected to love their live show before I ever saw them. But the level of quality, rehersed perfection, musical chops, charisma and straight up thrashing, grab you by the red hair ROCK -- that I didn't expect. They completely surpassed all of my expectations. And they had really fucking cool gear.

I don't want to focus too much on VFest, but The Who and The Flaming Lips also put on impecable and unforgettable performances.

The Rolling Stones
I've chronicalled this experience here plenty, but it was a once in a lifetime chance to see some living legends perform in every bit of their glory.

Cold War Kids @ Fletchers (Baltimore) & the Black Cat Backstage
I really can't decide which show was better, so I won't. These guys just bleed themselves dry with everything they put into their live show. I love looking at somebody who I think might someday be driven mad by his art, and I get that from every member of this band when they're on stage.

The Hold Steady @ the Crocodile Club (Seattle)
The show that turned my mediocre feelings about this band into full on addoration. I even went and saw them again at the Black Cat a few weeks later. Many other people have said far more interesting things about them than I could embelish on here, but, these guys, they know how to perform.

The Go! Team @ Black Cat
This show was just plain fun. I went with Tyler, who always inspires me to shed my inhibitions, but even then, I was jumping, flailing, and doing all sorts of other things I would at the time called "dancing" because I just couldn't keep myself from doing anything else.

The Strokes @ DARCH
Ya know what? These guys deserved (most of) the hype. That was one of the tightest, most well rehearsed, engaging, musically on point shows I've ever seen. And rocking DAR is a very hard thing to do.

Pearl Jam @ Verizon Center
Cause it was freakin Pearl Jam and seeing them was something I've wanted to do since before I learned how to control my hair.

Fiona Apple @ Wolftrap
Another one I'd wanted to see for years, she exploded all over that stage. With ever moody shoulder shrug and feminist yawp, I loved her more and more. And man, she so pretty.

Honorable Mentions: The French Kicks @ Black Cat, Colin Meloy @ Birchmere, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ DC9, Belle & Sebastian @ 9:30, The Decemberists@ 9:30, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ 9:30, Art Brut @ Black Cat, the Spinto Band @ Black Cat, and Of Montreal @ the State Theater

The Grinch Who Stole Stretchmas

The past 24 hours or so have been... trying. So basically, this is a really long vent and invitation to anyone to come drink with me tonight, cause though heartbroken about Seth and Sommer, I didn't sufficiently tie one on last night. So, the most recent chunk of my life goes as follows:

-Spent 3.5 hours or so at the Apple store. Mac Geniuses, particularly Eric in the Tysons Corner store are the most amazing human beings in the world. They answer the exact same questions 30 times in a row and never act impatient or like they've answered the exact same questions 30 times in a row. In my tenure there I saw approximately 394,208 people come in whose iPods just needed to be restored. They spoke caringly to each and every one of them. Amazing. So, Eric = good, my computer = not so good.

-So yeah, my computer. Fucked. Long story short, I had to buy an external hard drive ($100, about 1.5 hours lead up time), put everything i have on there (1 hour), wipe my computer and reinstall my OS (about 1 hour), go home, finish transfering my files, buy a new battery ($100), buy a new power adapter ($100), then discover that my computer -- which was ordered online -- came preloaded with iLife and Office, so I have no backup disks and therefore don't know how to reinstall them. So, any of you computer types out there who have suggestions in that arena, hollar. A little known fact about me is that the two things that will crumble me into a stress heap more deeply and quickly than anything else are computer and money problems, so, yeah, this is pretty much making my neck turn into a giant spring and bounce up and down, cartoon-style.

Also, does anyone know if iLife '06 is just an update, or will buying that give me the actual programs?

-After leaving late for work (dorking around with my computer more, complete and utter inability to decide on what shirt matched what sweater), I encountered the worst traffic possible. It took me an hour to get off of the beltway exit and onto 123 (which is a distance of less than 4 miles), only to be redirected back onto the beltway for another 20 minute adventure in re-directing, all thanks to a suspicious pipe in a gully.

-Got to work, was met with, "wow, so you're wearing jeans to the meeting?" Had to turn around, drive home, change faster than lightening, and go back to work, rerouting to avoid the aforementioned traffic.

-Go to said meeting which was basically an hour of "how do I tell you this is terrible without insulting you?"

-Got a really terrible "roast beef melt" that was supposed to be delicious but was really just a fancy and gross cheesesteak.

So I was feeling pretty deflated. Then I came back to the office, and saw this, and am now falling into fits of gigles over the idea of Matt Barrick being crushed to death by a shetland pony. And seeing the walkmizzles and Dave and Stephanie in Philly next weekend, and eating a real and not gross cheesesteak.

So back to my original point -- who's up for some drinkin this evening?

UPDATE: Boss just emailed out the following. I'm never getting home. "Just ran into the UPS driver (4:40pm), he said the traffic lights are out at International and Westpark. If you go that way, it might be a little dicey."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In Mourning

The best celebrity couple ever has called it quits. I need a drink. Good thing it's Repeal Day.

Christmas List

Here's something you can get for me if you're feeling frivalous. A ten minute conversation with Kristen Bell.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Light to Unite

Drew McDermott directed me to this site, where you can "light a candle." For every candle, Bristol Meyers Squib will donate $1 to AIDS research. Go do it!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I just have to take a moment and recognize that I have some exceptionally pretty friends. Many of whom aren't represented in those pics, but still. I was looking around last night and thought, "damn!"

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's Academic!

I love it when I'm both up early on a Saturday and at home so I can catch the local institution that is It's Academic! Especially when there's one hopelessly geeky kid on.

And it totally just dawned on me who Mac McGarry looks like. The owl from the tootsie roll pop commercials!

Update: WOW, the O'Connel jazz ensemble is really, really bad.

The Big Reveal

I am now, as of this evening, a brunette! I've never dyed my hair before, and I've pretty much been blonde for.... ever. So in the life of me, this is a pretty big deal. So check me out! I'm all.... grounded, and to-be-taken-seriously, and not intimidating.


BTW, this and this were the color inspirations. I keep my legacy of modeling my hair after SMG in tact, a decade later.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Do you hear my wasteland?

This is so great. "Do you hear what I hear" set to the tune of "Baba O'Reily." [via]

Change a' Comin'

Believe it or not, the not-so-awesome DCist site redesign isn't the biggest switcheroo in my life today. More on why my stomach's flip flopping in anticipation after-the-fact.