blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Monday, December 31, 2007

A little light reading

Today I've enjoyed:

Salon's year in sex, and the Sports Bog's recap of last night's player style. Hopefully I will be leaving computertown soon and won't blog anymore today, so happy near year everybody!

Peace Out 2007

It's been a very interesting year. It started off with a bang as I spent new year's in Austin with my best friends, and continued that traveling trend through the first half of the year. I spent the middle part watching everyone I know get married. But it was also a year in which I went to as many funerals as I did weddings. Particularly this last little bit of the year has been a rough road. But all in all, my life is still pretty damn good. I love my friends. I love my job. And my good great jeebus, I'll be damned if I'll be able to look back on this year and do anything but smile, because the Redskins are in the freakin' playoffs, thanks to a thorough ass whooping over Dallas. So I'll say goodbye to the year on a victorious note. 2008: it's gonna be great.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


So much fun and still going. For those of you interested in the mundanities of my time passing, here's what I did this weekend:
  • Christmas party at 1300! Chung and Sarah made a crazy awesome spread of food and there were tiny little helicopters flying around. So clearly, it was awesome. But I couldn't stay long because I had to go...
  • See Patti Smith at the 9:30 Club! Holy SHIT it was amazing! That woman kicks more ass than you can possibly imagine. And she's so funny! Definitely one of my favorite shows of the year. So great. So. Great.
  • Then we went and tested the integrity of the flooring at Liberation Dance Party. I think I danced off about 5 pounds. It was great.
  • Then we had a sleepover at Jenna's and made a crazy good brunch feast. Then I proceeded to laze the day away until...
  • It was time to dust off our high school-style partying skills with an old school basement throwdown jam. I love my friends. So much fun.
  • Then JP and I went back into DC for a quick fly-by at the Flophouse's "website party" (where Spencer gave me the awesomest Sean Taylor shirt, that fits like a glove), then off to the black cat to drink some bud heavies with a bunch of hooligans, and cap off the night Swann St style at Manny & Olga's. Pepperoni, mushroom and onion, whaaaaaaaaat!
Now I'm off for a final lunch with Drizew before he moves to the left coast with his lovely wife, then off to dad's to watch the Redskins trample Dallas*. If anybody wants to join us and watch the game on the amazing 9 foot x 7 foot HD television (seriously), give me a shout. LET'S GO REDSKINS!

*Yes, I did just knock on wood. Don't worry.

Friday, December 28, 2007

That's what friends are for

Jenna: "Well that's why we have friends. To give us a different perspective on our own lives and decisions."

Joey: "And also cause we like hanging out with them and stuff."

My Favorite Concerts of 2007

Now with less explanation!

  • Spoon @ 9:30 Club
  • Kings of Leon @ 9:30 Club
  • Justin Timberlake @ Verizon Center
  • The Walkmen @ Ottobar and Rock & Roll Hotel
  • NRCOF's Julyoween party @ Rock & Roll Hotel
  • Unbuckled w/ The XYZ Affair & Le Loup @ DC9
  • The Virgin Festival @ Pimlico
  • Travis Morrison & Jukebox the Ghost @ Rock & Roll Hotel
  • Dan Deacon & Girl Talk @ Black Cat
  • Le Loup's album release @ Black Cat
  • Ryan Adams @ DARCH
  • Janel & Anthony and Kyp Malone @ Galaxy Hut

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My favorite songs of '07, in no particular order

Inspired by the Rockist guys, here's what rang my chime this year.

  • "West Coast," Coconut Records. Dreamy, beguiling, simple, infectious and just plain pretty. Since discovering this song, I have listened to it every single day.
  • "Jacket," David Vandervelde. The best take on glam rock since T.Rex.
  • "The General Specific," Band of Horses. This song gets me up out of my seat, dancing and clapping on a regular basis. It was an instant favorite from the moment I heard it for the first time.
  • "The Underdog," Spoon. My favorite song off of my favorite album of the year, and quite possibly the catchiest song every written. And we all know how I feel about horn sections.
  • "The Good Life," Kanye West. I love a good hip hop anthem. And this surely qualifies.
  • "D.A.N.C.E.," Justice. "One Two Three Four Fives"
  • "Umbrella," Rihanna. Everybody loves this song. It's impossible not to.
  • "Knocked Up," Kings of Leon. Possibly the best touring rock band at the moment, and this opening track from their 2007 release set up the ripping and roaring to come on the rest of the album. And come on people, that voice is undeniable.
  • "Amsterdam," Peter, Bjorn & John. This song makes me want to put on sunglasses and go for a long summertime drive. It's a bright and chill track that even outshone this year's most ubiquitous song, "Young Folks."
  • "Tears Dry On Their Own," Amy Winehouse. Girl groups are my kryptonite. This whole album blew my socks off, but this has got to be the standout track, with those lilting little instrumentals and her booming voice.
  • "The Heinrich Maneuver," Interpol. Paul Banks' voice and the overall Interpol sound is still the sexiest thing on record, IMHO. Smooth but agitated, confident and confronting, and it just digs right into the middle of you somehow, despite its starkness.
  • "Two," Ryan Adams. This is just a really great love song. And it puts Adams' incredible voice up on a pedestal.
  • "Dinner Party," White Rabbits. Jangly modernization of 60's rock instrumental basics (a la The Walkmen), mixed with smooth and gentle vocals (a la Nick Stumpf of the French Kicks). One band that sounds like two of my favorite bands. Yes please, and thank you.
  • "You Are My Face," Wilco. All of Wilco's awesomeness collides on this track -- mild folk strumming into big grinding guitar riffs and a lot more. But rather than being disjointed, it's powerful and big and just right.
UPDATE: If I had thought about it for more than 2 minutes, "Heart it Races" by Dr. Dog (an Architecture in Helsinki cover) and "More Lights" by Georgie James would absolutely have made the list, must like this guy's. Also: something from All Y'all, though I can't make my mind up as to which song. I really like several of them quite a bit. Probably "Hawkins Rock" though.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Staples of My Diet

According to my recent fridge clean out (called for because I got a new fridge for Christmas! I am so old. These are the things I ask Santa for now.)
  • Beer
  • Cheese
  • Popsicles
  • Coffee
  • Mustard
  • Olives

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today's the day we blog about Christmas music!

According to Tommy and Ryan (oh, and The G). So I'll throw my hat in the ring. I'm not much of a purist when it comes to holiday tunes -- I'm an equal opportunity spirit lover. I'm especially fond of most of the high energy ones that make you want to dance like Kevin McAllister with his Michael Jordan cardboard cut out. Ryan says Christmas is about the past, which is all well and good, but it's also about celebrating.
Also, old standards like Bing Crosby's "White Christmas", Sinatra's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" make me tear up and want to stare longingly into a fire while sipping cocoa. "Silent Night" is probably my favorite Christmas song overall; recorded, I'm fond of the version by The Temptations, I think.

If you're a fan of Wham's "Last Christmas," check this out: these bloggers are compiling every cover of the song they can find. They have found an astounding number.

Que Cera, Cera

A look inside the world of Michael Cera

Just kidding. That's what I would call my interview with Michael Cera, if I had done one. Instead, I just asked Mitchell West his thoughts about Landmark Mall, Alexandria's shopping stop that's about to get a major overhaul.

A: How would you describe Landmark Mall?
Mitchell: One of two ways:
the best mall in the world
a horrible mall with a terrible food court and even worse stores

one is sarcastic and one is for real

A: And the general atmosphere?
Mitchell: how is it still open?
A: I described it as, "it has the look of somewhere you Wouldn't Want to Park Alone"
and, "i haven't been inside in years, but even then it was dirty and weird."
Mitchell: No, it's not scary, it's just there is no reason to go there. Unless you need 3 I saw it on TV shops. And 30 kiosks to buy hair weaves and incense oils

Mitchell: I used to love going to landmark
they had a good arcade, I could smoke cigarettes in the food court...
then there was a period where I was banned from the mall for several years
I came back and all I saw was get your nails done stores*
my mom still goes to the tailor there though

Mitchell: Trae and I used to go to the taco bell all the time for lunch in high school
and we'd always go play skee ball after we were finished eating
and we kept our tickets in this really cool old suitcase I got at a yard sale
and we saved up tickets for years
and then we went and bought our heart's desires of crappy toys
that were all broken or lost after like a week
we had these really cool star wars watches
he had obi wan and I had darth maul
it was cool

Oh and one time, this was right after Trae got his license, we told his mom we were driving to go get some dinner
so we went to burger king at landmark
and we're eating and one of the employees came over to our table and asked if one of us was Trae
Trae's mom had called Burger King looking for him
we have no clue how she figured out we were at burger king

so Trae's behind the counter talking to his mom on the phone and I'm thinking Shit, somebody must have died or something
Trae comes back looking confused, and I ask what she wanted
his mom called to tell him it might rain and to drive safely

That is a 100% true story

*From this point moving forward, I will always refer to them as "get your nails done stores"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You know what makes me a little sad?

That my reign as Time's Person of the Year has come to a close. Mine, yours, and ours. We made the most of it, internets!

Also: what's with everybody being knocked up today?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Things I've Googled Today

  • "If you like Pink Floyd, you'll also like"
  • "90's clip art"

The Best Story I've Heard All Day

"I went to Atlantic City this weekend for a friend's bachelor party."

"Did you win any money?"

"I lost all my money, except for $10, in the first 15 mintues. So I went to the bar to contemplate, and remembered what Wesley Snipes says: always bet on black. So I went to the craps table and won all my money back."

I can has more time?

Christmas is approaching far too fast. Santas t r e t c h's sleigh is not even close to full yet, and my social calendar is leaving little time to fill it up. Hope you like "super happy fun time with Amanda" coupons, loved ones!

This weekend I suffered a conversation with someone who can't believe that a woman could possibly have credibility as a music critic, because women have such poor taste in and little knowledge of music, and are generally unintelligent -- unless of course, they're ugly. If they're ugly, they can be smart. Duh! I have never wanted to throw a drink on someone so badly in all my life.

But, I also finished all my Christmas card writing (my hand, it ouches), and said farewell to Drew & Liz in party-format. I also signed up for Netflix. I am very excited about this. What should I queue up, people? Dexter & The Wire are already at the top of my list. Also: the list of most popular selections on Netflix is hilarious. America's taste level (much like that of women!) is kinda sad.

Also: random flickr grazing lead a photo I took last year in Seattle to be chosen for a Schmap guide to the city. Check out my Gas Works Park pic here. And while we're talking about photos, don't forget to submit your ish to DCist Exposed 08!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Internet Is Great

Can you guess who this is?

If you were thinking Buzz "yeah we ordered a cheese pizza, but someone's gonna have to barf it up" McCallister, all grown up, you are correct! Thanks to Dave "I need 12 makers & cokes" Spore for the update.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Look at what Mottram went and did!

My favorite Mottram (no offense Jamie, you're swell too), recently relocated to Charlotte to get The Sporting News' blog presence off the ground. And that he did. Way to go old buddy, old pal.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sommer is really good at smackdowns

In response to this drivel, Sommer replies. My favorite part:

"Don't tell anyone, but we have it on good authority that women are working and having sex before marriage. You know, between all the shopping."

Dear Santa Clause, How have you been? Did you have a good summer?

My blogger crush Bricks Explode records his thoughts as he watches A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time. The moment I finished enjoying that post, I went directly to YouTube to watch what is still probably my favorite thing that website has ever brought into my life:

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hey, NYC Parents

Could you take it easy with the Suri Cruise haircuts on your little ones? Making your babies trendy is a little weird. Apparently, parenting skills in nueva york are in serious disrepair.

My weekend in the big city was great. Spent lots of QT with Pamela Marie, ate amazing food, and taught the kids of the East Village how to cut a rug. Also, poured tons of salt all over my pizza thinking it was parmesan. It did not taste good.

I'm trying to watch this Tin Man mini series, and despite Zoey D, some intriguing story twists and my overwhelming love for The Wizard of Oz, it's leaving me pretty damn cold.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Too Hip for Good Credit

In Gavin's inbox:
You were rejected because you had a “Suspicious Address”. I talked to my fraud manager and she said it is because you live in Brooklyn.
Off to NY to visit that knucklehead and several others for the weekend. Hopefully sometime today I'll recover my voice. I cheered it right off from the third row at the Skins game last night, thanks to Stace Dawg and her boss' awesome tickets. It was a blood bath, but one with a good outcome. Go Skins!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's kinda lazy, isn't it?

Is it just me, or do you guys think Will Ferrell should be out of sports movies to parody by now?

So Christmas is here again with its tinsel and lights

The city is covered in snow. At our house family and friends have gathered tonight to eat drink and share the holiday cheer. And this december like decembers before, we find ourselves reflecting...

I love it when my little flickr sidebar serves up something fun. Since it's snowy and December and I'm pretty much mainlining all things Christmas these days, seeing the XMas Family Photo from a few years ago made me feel all holly jolly. So, ho ho ho, merrrry 12/6/07, everybody!


Blah Blah Bumpwatch

Can we skip the constant monitoring of Xtina's pregnant belly, and talk for a minute about the fact that she seems to be wearing a bronze bikini top on the outside of her shirt?

Speaking of pregnant bellies, I saw Juno last night. For free! This new fangled world of free screenings is something I'll be tapping into much more often. Especially when Michael Cera or Ellen Page are involved, cause I sure do love them both lots. It was a good flick. Page's character is a little too clever to be truly believable, but, it made for good movie. And I plan to wear my "Paulie Bleeker is totally boss" t-shirt until it's thread bare.

UPDATE: Slate's review of the movie is pretty much exactly what I thought, just stated more thoughtfully and articulately. With facts 'n stuff.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Should I tell you what my favorite album of the year was, or should I just let you guess because it's so painfully obvious?

DCist Exposed 2008!

On the heels of last year's success, Heather and some other DCist folks have announced the details behind DCist Exposed 2008. It was a really great event this past spring -- non-professional photographers getting the opportunity to show and sell their work and turn their hobby into something more. The opening night was incredible -- such an amazing turn out. And this year, it's going to be even bigger and better! Since the terribly sad closure of the Warehouse, we've had to move to a new location -- Civilian Art Projects in the Penn Quarter. Anyhoo, I'll stop babbling, but, you should all seriously consider submitting your work to the contest! Entries are due no later than January 13. Or at the very least, attend the show. It runs from March 7-15, so mark your calendars. All the details you could ever need are outlined here.

Oh What A Dummy-full Moooorning

So, it's snowing. Really light, non-sticky snow that doesn't even require windshield wipers. But, that didn't stop it from making the drivers of the greater D.C. area lose their fucking minds this morning. My ten minute commute took an hour. I didn't have any coffee before I left (was going to get a latte when I got to work). My car's stereo decided to die this morning. So I spent an hour in silent, uncaffeinated gridlock. I've never been so happy to arrive at my office.

I went to Marvin last night. It was fun! I like that deck bar a lot. And the duck was delicious. Decks and ducks. I give it two thumbs up.

Also, my man Ham gives some reading suggestions over at The Millions. I particularly like this line: "Eventually the number of twists proves a little too much and you start thinking that maybe martians or Bruce Willis might show up or something."

And finally, this comic is funny. Thanks, Drew.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You Should Read DCist

Because you'll get to read lines like this one:
And as we all know, just like a child can drown in three inches of water, Washington can work itself into a frantic death spiral over an inch of snow.
Adam Bailey drops the knowledge.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A'Wassailing, as defined by Kriston

a'wassailing: when claymated geese walk down the street drunk

I spent today doing festive, cheery things, like getting a Christmas tree and decorating it. Also, I found a memory book where my mom wrote down notes about my 2nd Christmas. Here are some highlights:

Christmas Eve
"We spent Christmas eve at home. Kathy and John opened their presents tonight so that everything under the tree would be for Mandy on Christmas morning." (Yes, I am an only child. Woo!)

Christmas Day
"Mandy said 'ooo-aah' many times when she discovered that Santa Claus had left her so many presents. She opened some completely and others partially... Mandy was so excited that she wouldn't take a nap or eat dinner. We had a good time."

Christmas Dinner
Filet mignon
Broccoli casserole
Broiled potatoes
Sauteed mushrooms
Chocolate & coconut pie

Christmas Gifts (I think most of my current interests are represented on this list)
Chatter telephone
Poppin' Pals
See and Say -- Farmers
3 dolls
3 stuffed animals
Wind up Smurf
Building blocks
Hopping frog
Drumming dog
Disney Baby Bopper
Shape Bean (?)
Stacking circles
2 puppets (!!!)
8 books
Lots of clothes (favorite: Cowgirl Dress)

Holiday Highlights
Kristie & Ernie came home and visited
Stephanie & Sandy visited too
Hap, Shelly and the kids came to dinner
John got "the cable"