blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where's the Real Gary?

Today, as a halloween prank, the whole creative department dressed up as our boss. Can you spot the real man behind the mask? Better yet, can you figure out which mask this blogger is hiding behind?

On another work/costume-related note, I (along with Tippy Hedron from The Birds) won our costume contest. I get a $50 dinner anywhere I want! A big step up from the movie ticket gift card I won a few years ago.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What are you doing 6 hours from now?

I have a plus one to see Ryan Adams tonight at DARCH. Who's comin with me?

UPDATE: Sold! And, the conversation that lead to their claiming pretty much encapsulated the essence of Alyssa:

me: hey what are you doing tonight?
Alyssa: uh

There's got to be at least one person out there who noticed this too

I'm hoping that someone else in internet land paid close enough attention to The O.C. and also watches Chuck, so that I don't feel like the loneliest tv nerd in tv nerddom for having noticed that last night's episode of Chuck featured a scene that was a direct quote of a scene from The O.C. (episode: "The Countdown"). Both shows are helmed by Josh Schwartz, so it's some inside baseball/self mocking that really cracked me up. Here's the scene from The O.C.:

I can't find video of the clip from Chuck, but they played the same song ("Dice"), had the same set up -- the leading man running in slow motion to make it to a party on time before he was given up on... except rather than running to his paramour, he's running to his geeky best friend. And rather than getting there in time to return an "I love you" and share a midnight kiss on new years, he's getting there in time to be the butt in their annual sand worm halloween costume. Chuck's sister's Marissa-mirroring hair do was a nice touch.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halp! I is stuck in shark belly!

Fickeween was a great success. The stately manner made for a perfectly spooky/scary werewolf barmitzvah. A truly great showing of costumes this year. I think drinking bird, Galactus, Dr. Doom, GW/SC, and LOL cat were my favorites. Here's me, being devoured by a shark. It's important to remember to lift one's pinky when taking a final slug of miller lite before death. Manners know no bounds.

Also, ask Tom Lee what he thinks a land shark is. His response has absolutely nothing to do with this.

Rest of weekend: so much quality time/deep meditation with Steg, great music from Janel & Anthony and Kyp Malone, worst games ever, being locked in the flophouse.

Friday, October 26, 2007

That's what she said!

"I did it again! I put my mouth on it, and all the stuff came out."
-Travis Morrison

Last night's show was a ton of fun. I only saw about 2.25 minutes of Ra Ra Rasputin, but I'm intrigued enough to go see them next time they play. Jukebox The Ghost are just so freakin talented. Seriously, those guys are just wonderful. Really complicated rhythms and harmonies that somehow come out as incredibly high energy pop songs, paired with the enormous on stage presence of their lead/keyboardist. Really good stuff guys. Really good.

And then, of course, there was my friend Travis. His band is incredibly tight and they put on an amazing show. I actually really like the new album, so I enjoyed the set and the new stuff they played too. And nobody could ever possibly deny the charm that is TM on stage. The smiling, the dancing -- it's all beyond endearing. When was the last time you saw a full on dance party break out in a D.C. club during a concert? For me, it was last night. And, there were free cupcakes, which pleased Ficke greatly. So, I give Thursday night's concert going experience an A+. It's been a really good week for music.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Check it out, the bajillionth post of the day

As Drew pointed out, maybe I should consider joining Twitter if I'm going to keep posting one-line blog posts all day. Or maybe I'm just really bored. Twitter still kinda freaks me out. At any rate:

"I mean, obviously I watch Battlestar, but that’s like air."

Tomorrow night: Friday. I'm thinking low key. Mama's been partying a little too hard lately. I'm thinking any of these diversions would be fun. Or just some sort of dvd rental/pumpkin carving/other wholesome activity. Who's with me?

If there's any holiday that makes bloggers rush to their list-making-machines with fervor, it's halloween. I've probably clicked through at least 20 countdowns of best scary movies, best rock stars dressed up in costumes, best other tangentially halloweeny things we can count down, etc. But TV Squad's list of the Top 10 All-time Scarriest TV Characters is pretty dead on. Particularly their selections from the X Files and Buffy. They haunt my freakin dreams to this day. Here are some additions that Small Child Amanda would have made to this list:
  • Mr. Boogedy. I can't really remember with great detail anything other than the scene in which the family traps the evil Mr. Boogedy in the vaccuum cleaner, but I do remember being scared out of my gord by this probably comical, likely not at all frightening made for tv movie as a kid.
  • Mr. Snufalufagus. For reasons that I cannot explain, I lived in deep and perpetual fear of Snuffy. I think it had something to do with a weird voice my parents used to do when immitating him.
  • Entire Cast of the "Thriller" video. I had a true love/hate relationship with MJ back in my younger days. I was a serious fan and made my parents play Thriller day and night. But when that video came on tv, I would shriek, start crying, run, hide, or do any number of other things to shield my eyes from those zombie dancers... then crack my fingers open just a little so I could keep watching. Then, repeat.

Looking for love in all the right places

Hey, there's hope for all us chugalugs yet.

Say it aint so, Giles

I really couldn't care less about Paris' horror musical debut. I was all ready to write it off completely, until I noticed that it's costarring my beloved Anthony Stuart Head. As we remember from Buffy, ASH singing = super hot. Paris Hilton, as hard as she has tried to prove otherwise, = definitely not. Horror opera... jury's still out on relative hotness of gore and singing (though I'm willing to bet this will be a far better entrant into that category). I can't wrap my head around this one.

Hey, who knew?

ScarJo is the new early 2000's Angelina. Sweet! Goth crazy is way more interesting than blow crazy.

Something that's been bothering me

Why are they calling Julie's new love interest on FNL "the Swede"? He's pretty clearly American, right? Am I missing something?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This whole thing is terribly intrusive, but that last bit... wow. Just wow.

Go! Read!

Head over to DCist and read the abridged version of my interview with Travis Morrison. The original transcript was over 3,500 words, so Sommer rightfully had some cutting to do. The gist is all still there though. Enjoy!

Also, I have a plus one for tomorrow night's show, so let me know if you're interested.

Update: Here are some of the bits that were left out of the final cut.

That being said, it occurred to me that if we could get together a reunion tour with Joan Jett, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I’d pay so much money to go see that show, but I wouldn’t have to, cause I’d be in one of the bands.

OK, I’ll talk to Joan Jett’s people and see what I can do.

Oh man it would be so incredible to tour with Joan Jett! And if we went to like crazy countries we’ve never been to. A reunion tour, with Joan Jett, in Sardinia, and North Africa. That’s the kind of thing that’s a good reason to do any tour.

What it comes down to, is I would never say never, but I don’t look at the four of us and see a situation where we have that kind of hunger where we just need to get together and go on a voyage in a basement. Which is where it all starts anyway. If we don’t have the revelations alone in a basement, it’ll never… I mean we could go make mediocre records and maintain our popularity, but again – we’re kind of weird dudes. I don’t think we’d be very good at that.

I mean, I was thinking before, well what can I do with my music to make people like it so I can have a career. And that lasted for like 7 months and I was like, fuck that! And then I started listening to really weird Miles Davis, and I just kind of said to myself, well, the people who criticize me for not tending to my little career, I’m not going to even try and make them happy. What a bummer that would be! So in terms of what I want from my career now, I guess I see it as a life in the art form. And I can definitely say that my dedication to the art form is stronger than it’s ever been. And I’m not even sure I’d want to go back to where I was in 2001, where really the main thing I was doing was running a small business. Those are not warm memories for me – that period where I was “making it.” I just remember working with Quicken a lot. I mean that’s cool, if that’s what you’re into. Again, I’ll take the million dollars, if I get a hit, but ya know, so much money I don’t even have to learn Quicken! If I fuck up my finances, I’m still rich. I’ll take that. Definitely.

Like I said, my main memory of when the band was successful was Quicken. And the feeling that we had accomplished something within the parameters of what the Plan was – which was a band that was kind of just an around the way punk band, but also wildly ambitious stylistically. And at the time that it was kind of a weird thing to do. Now you can put whatever you want up on your MySpace page and it’s cool. But back then it was, “is it indie rock? Is it not indie rock?” It was like niche marketing. It was really kind of repressive. And looking back on the crazy things we tried to do as a “local punk band,” and trying to mean something to a specific community at the same time, it was like, “We did it!” To play those shows and raise that money for them is proof that we did do that.

This next question comes from our technical guy at DCist, Tom. What's your favorite Javascript library? dojo? jQuery? Prototype/Scriptaculous? moo.fx?

Tell him I hate them all. Because they have unintended side effects. I’ll go with jQuery for now. I can feel that resonate with your soul Amanda.

Monday, October 22, 2007

In love with me, maybe just a little

Beth and Betsy let their cameras speak the words they could not say at homecoming last weekend, when they took more pictures of just me than I think have been taken in the past... 26 years.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If I had included pictures of just me and one or both of them, this thing would have been about an hour long.

Our Secret Weapon

My friend Chris was at the game yesterday, sitting in the Dream Seats (jerk). He came in to work this morning to tell me he knew who really won the game for us (since it clearly wasn't The Redskins who are to thank). It was this guy:

Apparently he screamed at Rackers the entire game, shouting "YOU'RE GONNA GO LEFT! LEFT! YOU'RE GONNA GO LEFT!" He's a 12th man and a profit. Bless you, sir.

Photographic Evidence

Oh hai! I finally got a new camera. I clearly don't know how to really work it yet, as most of the pictures taken under the flop house's red lights look "kinda porny." But here they are, pictures from Styleistics & the Mid-October Party.

Open Letter to Myself

Dear Amanda --

You are not 18 anymore. Try to remember that. Next time you go to see a friend's band play, maybe go home after their set is over. Or after the bar closes. You don't always have to go to the after party and stay up till 5am. Also, you don't have to stay at a party the next day until well after the sun is up and it is straight up daytime. You just don't. I know you're having fun and laughing and dancing and drinking delicious beer*, but trust me when I say, that tomorrow morning, when you're sitting in a fold up LL Bean chair at Fed Ex Field, that beer that was your friend Friday and Saturday will taste like poison. POISON. And you will barely have the strength to yell and stomp and do the things a responsible Redskins fan should. And you will crumble into your bed at 5:30 p.m. and sleep until the next day, with only a quick awakening to order pizza around 8:30. So honey, no matter how much fun you're having, or how much you really like your friends a whole lot and want to hang out with them forever n ever n ever, just make a sensible decision once in a while, and go to bed. You hear me? Get some sleep, you sorry sack. 7 hours in one weekend is NOT ENOUGH.


*And not doing blow, as some people accused me of. Just drinking beer. BEER.

Unrelated: "It's like Laura Ashley married a Poison video and then got really inappropriately drunk at the wedding and threw up all over Jennifer Connelly."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seems like an unnecessary detail at this point, but ok, whatever

So uh, everybody hear about Dumbledore liking dudes?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Who loves the skins the most?

I'm talkin to you, blog readers. Who loves the redskins? Loves going to games? Loves hanging out with me? If you think you're worthy of my spare ticket to this Sunday's game against the Cardinals, tell me why in the comments or over email. I am not above bribery.

UPDATE: Tony wins.

llbba43: u are a goddess

10 minutes later

llbba43: have i told u how cool u are?
llbba43: ur really cool

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wanna pack you in my suitcase

I know this record isn't new or anything, but lately I haven't been able to stop listening to "West Coast" by Coconut Records. (Just ask Beth, who had to sit through it at least 8 times during I road trip to C'Ville this weekend.) I think I remember Tom blogging about them at some point, but Google isn't helping me prove that at the moment. Then I read again about the song on Mindy Kaling, aka, Kelly from The Office's blog, Things I've Bought That I Love. Reminded, I set out to get the album -- all of which is quite enjoyable. But "West Coast" is completely infectious and I can't stop listening to it. It also kinda reminds me of "Little Locked Room" from the end of Slackers, but only cause it's Jason Schwartzman and a keyboard, not because it's creepy. Anyway, enough explanation of how I came to like this song and onto the actual song -- in video form. Dan tells me that the skater here is The Gonz, the biggest advocate of skating as an art form, not a sport. So enjoy the sounds of Coconut Records and the skate art of The Gonz.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I have a Bel Aire hangover

I've eaten approximately 8 pounds of bel aire sandwiches in the past 24 hours. I also spent the weekend in the most beautiful town with the greatest friends and the cutest 1 year old drinking the most beer eating the most food and having the best time. Man, I love Charlottesville. Did I appreciate how freaking incredible that place is when I was living there? I hope so. I think I did.

And, we won our football game. Against the undefeated (??) UCONN Huskies. Which I was really glad about cause, boy would it suck to travel to cville for a game then lose (especially when you're with Beth Tommasone Falk, whose mood would have been seriously impacted by a loss. seriously), but also because some UCONN fans were responsible for the confiscation of my bourbon. It's a long story that involves both their chests and mine, but suffice it to say, Connecticut got what was coming to it.

And, Nabob, I totally knew that was you sending me those text messages. At least, I was sure enough to save the number in my phone as, "Nabob's real name, probably." My friends were really excited though. "We have to go to the White Spot! What if it's your true love??"

And on another note, man, a lot has changed around Charlottesville! Starr Hill: GONE! Bluebird: GONE! Northern Exposure: GONE! O'Neals: GONE! Yet another restaurant/bar has filled the space that was once The Crab. And the Greenskeeper turned Jabberwoky has now become Three, The Corner's answer to Mister Days. And the Amigos on the corner has now become a 2nd Christian's Pizza! (Which is totally awesome.) Oh, and those SOBs now have their very own Target. And the owners of the aforementioned home of the gusburger opened up an ice cream shop next door, called the Sweet Spot. And on game days, they offer face painting for fifty cents! And one thing I learned this weekend that I never really had to while I was a student: cabs in Charlottesville are plentiful and extremely affordable!

Completely Unrelated: I just left Tra/vis Mor/rison a voice mail.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I have one more Spoon ticket

Yes yes I do. Who wants to join my pal Britt, the DCeiver, CatAn and I and bask in musical deliciousness at the 9:30 Club on 10/23?

It cheers our hearts and warms our blood to hear them shout and roar

At 6:30 I'll be picking this up at Dulles, then hitting good ol' Route 29 for Charlottesville and homecoming. I haven't been back to the 'ville since the horrific flea-and-mold-ridden-motel-stay of '05, (which apparently, I never blogged about. weird.). But I have faith that this venture will be significantly better, since we're not staying at the EconoLodge, and no deity could smite me enough to get more bites on top of my already completely devoured legs.*

Hennyway, I'm looking forward to an exhausting, interesting, fun, reuniony weekend. And eating my weight in C'Ville sandwiches. I plan on eating at Bel Aire at least twice.

Oh yeah, and, go Hoos!

*BTW, this is still totally awful. The bites are turning into massive bruises. I'm not sure why or how. Gross.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For the sake of being bendy

Somehow, discussion of baby marriage in Arkansas lead to The G and I deciding to take yoga. It was a skinnier, more peaceful time in my life when I did yoga regularly, and since she's in a constant state of "owe! my back! owe! my ankle!," she thought, ok sure, why not. So we're taking our bottles of waters and personal towels to Edge yoga in Arlington* next week. If you know anything scary about them, please warn us.

*This location was picked because of its proximity to Galaxy Hut, for post-yoga Alagashes. We're very dedicated to both mental and physical health.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Well DAM! It All

For the 2nd year in a row, I'll be out of town during the District's Awake! Music Festival. If you're going to be around this weekend, you should really check it out. Keep your dials tuned to DCist for more extensive coverage, and in the mean time, check out the festival's site -- they've done a great job of profiling each band, including tracks to listen to and everything.

"Who's this Kiawah person? I thought Drew was marrying somebody named Liz?"

I'm back from my whirlwind trip to South Carolina. Drew & Liz's wedding was absoultely beuatiful -- ceremony on the 18th hole, intimate and awesome reception in the club house. My adventure started off flying blindly into Charleston, to be picked up by a car full of dudes that I'd never met. After the requisite Hokie vs. Wahoo ribbing, I was informed that we were on our way to a bar in Charleston, not the house in Kiawah, and that we were out for the night (this at 2:30pm). Sure, ok!

Va Tech won, UVA won, Redskins won, all was happy in Club Wedding. I think we drank all of the beer in the low country. I mean it -- every single beer. There was much poker playing, shit shooting, drunk nonsense talking, night swimming, phosphorescence gawking, beach exploring, dancing, singing, and all those good things. But more than anything else, there were mosquitoes. Horrible, terrible, blood thirsty bastards who've left me scarred beyond belief. Since it's ya know, October, I'm off my usual warm-weather regiment of bug bite deterrence (vitamin b, skin so soft instead of any perfume or scented lotion). But since this weather is, just totally and completely stupid, those jerks were out in full force. There's no part of my body that's not swollen, red and itching like nothing has ever itched before right now. I bought a tube of benadryl this morning that I'm pretty sure will be gone by the time I leave the office. So, I'm itchy, mildly grumpy, but had an excellent trip.

Oh, also, one of the guys I met for the first time this weekend and proceeded to live in a house with, kept leaving me out of the count of girls staying in the house. He said it's because I don't seem like a girl -- I seem like one of the guys. Uh, thanks? Shut up? How do I take this?

Friday, October 05, 2007

What We Did At Work Today


If you've read anything that has anything to do with tv or entertainment in the past year, you already know that Friday Night Lights is the best, and by that very fact, most under-watched show on tv. The season 2 premiere is tonight, and you owe it to yourself to watch it. Unless you don't like great acting, multifaceted, great characters and fantastic writing. But if that's not enough, just remember this:

To Grandmother's House I Went

Last night, we celebrated my dad's birthday with a dinner at my grandparents' house. My real camera is still broken, mainly because I've made no effort whatsoever to fix it. But! My fancy new phone does have a fancy camera on it, so courtesy of that, I bring you these pictures of Weird Crap In My Grandparents' House. Sorry for the dark crappiness of the 2nd one. I'm putting these on Flickr because my page there has been horribly underused lately. And I noted them up for the high points of weirdness.

1. Scenes From The Bar

2. Nascar phone. Yes, that's right. Nascar phone!

Next time: I'll take this experiment into The Junk Room. (There is literally a sign on the door that says, Junk Room.)

When I Know It's Time to Wash My Jeans

A. I've gone to a bar in Virginia and therefore they're too terrible smelling to wear again.


B. I've worn them for so many days in a row, stretching them out so much, that I no longer have to unbutton or unzip them to pull them down.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Fun with Google Chat: How well do you know your friends?

My list of Things About Mitchell:
  • Loves his friends
  • Likes to party
  • Makes beer
  • Likes to rock, especially GNR, KoL
  • Double Dutch
  • T2
  • Karate Kid
  • Rambo
  • The Strokes
  • Converse shoes
  • Likes people, is totally nice to everybody
  • Good at funny voices, especially bill murray in ghost busters
  • Likes dogs
  • once went to bob and edith's twice in a ten hour period
  • owns a jump suit. a smelly jump suit.
  • purchased a tall tee from a kid on the street
  • often has a sea of humans asleep on his floor on weekend mornings

Mitchell's list of Things About Amanda:
  • president of the Jim Vance fan club
  • really good at chatting online
  • excellent music aficionado and writer
  • always down, in general. just always down to do cool shit
  • oh, watches T2 extended edition with her dad
  • blogger extraordinare. that's not how you spell that. don't add good at spelling to my list
  • good at costumes
  • good at getting into VIP areas
  • loves Galaxy Hut
  • interested in learning souljaboy's dance moves
  • loves to laugh
  • once went to bob and edith's twice in a ten hour period
  • was cooked birthday pasta at 4 am by a dirty, awesome man on drugs
  • and finally, an all around awesome girl

And Randel-El dat OOOOOOOOOOO

By far my favorite approach to crankin anything so far. These are good. This is better. When Crank Dat Ryan Avent finally blows up on the scene, Crank Dat Redskins might have some competition.

I think it might have had more to do with the setting

Warning: Un-graphic mention of lady-doctors ahead.

I probably get told I look like Katherine Heigl an average of about 1.5 times a week. So my answer to, "has anyone ever told you you look like Katherine Heigl/that girl from Knocked Up" is yes, actually, all the time*. But this morning, my answer was given through a burst of laughter. Because you see, I was asked this by my gynecologist. While I was in the gown, and the stirrups**. And since that's the way Ms. Heigl seared her visage into mass cultural consciousness, well, I think it might have effected the comparison a bit.

*Followed by, "but you should see my friend Alyssa. She REALLY looks like her!"

**Which, they had to pull all the way out cause boy! Your legs sure are long, aren't they sweetie? Also, the nurse wrote down that I'm 7'1" on my chart. Long, but not quite that long.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I think I'm more productive when my fingernails are painted

Because my hands are more interesting to look at maybe? All I know is that since yesterday, I've been productive as all hell, whittling down a goliath of a to-do-list to but 4 remaining tasks. And I even cleaned off my desk and my white board.

This new show, Chuck. I think I like it. It's Ugly Betty meets Alias, kinda. And the lead guy is Randy Scott + Alan Amerault + Jim Halpert. The first two people in that equation are friends of mine, so don't feel bad about not recognizing their names.*

Speaking of Jim Halpert, I had a dream a couple nights ago that John Krasinski and I were on a date at a farmer's market. He was picking me up and singing righteous brothers songs, and Stace Dawg was blowing bubbles through one of those complicated multi-window swirly bubble blower things, when, all of a sudden, a fly flew in my ear. Luckily I'd just bought some tweezers for my purse, so he got it out for me. What a guy!

Any suggestions as to what I should pack to stay in a house in South Carolina this weekend with roughly 13 guys I sorta know? Also, what do you wear to an October wedding when it's supposed to be 80 degrees outside?

A shrewdness of apes? You really expect me to buy that?

And, before I go, allow me to share two awesome grandparental moments from last night's family dinner:
1. Grampa slipping the bus boy a few silver dollars
2. Grampa says to gramma: "Hold my hand madame!" Gramma, giggling, replies: "Behave yourself!"

*Unless, of course, you watch local news in south florida, or were a fan of local music in the san francisco area a few years ago or my flickr page.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Also, You Are Dead

I took a Which Hero Are You? quiz online, after being pointed that way by PopCandy. Apparently, I am Isaac.
You are a creative person who uses art as an outlet for coping with what the world throws at you. You may have a tortured soul, but through your pain you will help the world.

And you died last season. And you've got a mean jealous streak. And you're a little nutters. But you have pretty hair, so it's a wash.

I want to wrestle you so freakin bad

Fellow DCist music writer Chris Snyder points me in the direction of Chris Hansen sound clips. Begin giggling at your desk for the rest of your afternoon: now!

Update: so far this has lead to: discussions of which clip would make the best ring tone/text message alert; google chat away message wars; reading everybody else's non-hansen away messages in a chris hansen tone of voice; so much more!

Monday, October 01, 2007


I'm noticing today that some of the blogs I subscribe to on Bloglines have ads embedded underneath them on my RSS feeder. The ads are placed as though they're an image within the content of the post, but they're completely unrelated text ads (and aren't on the posts if you click through). Much like nature, marketing will find a way.

Favorite line out of an email today

"Apparently I got kicked out for trying to order drinks for myself on the bar computer."

I'll see your 2nd time and raise you a first

I've never seen a single one of these movies.

Also, I tried to see Dragon Wars on Saturday and it was only playing at 11am at the theater by my house. Don't leave theaters before I can have my chance to get all teary-eyed and whatnot. So I went and dropped a fair sum of money at Target on cute fall jackets and I <3 Jim notepads at Target instead.

Completely unrelated: my pork tenderloin chili verde is quickly becoming my go-to meal when I want to impress someone. Every time I make it people freak out. Ok, maybe "freak out" is too strong a term, but people like it. Every time.

Tangentially related to what I just said but not the earlier stuff: if you too have been wondering what the heck ramps are as you watched Top Chef in recent weeks, the answer was given last night on Iron Chef America. Apparently they're a wild cousin of the leek, native to American riversides.