blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Friday, February 29, 2008

My favorite lede of the week

"Many moons ago, back when Britney washed her hair and we didn't know what a Kim Kardashian was,"...

The Fug girls never disappoint.

Completely missing the point

Overextend good intentions drive me a little batty sometimes. Case in point. The core of racism is the belief that people of particular races aren't as capable/worthy/what have you as others. SNL looking beyond race in casting Fred Amrisen as Barack Obama, and on to actual content and capability, is the exact opposite of racism, and the exact opposite of a problem. I assume SNL gave everyone in their current cast a shot at the role. If they'd gotten Kennan Thompson to do the impression, and it was a bad one, wouldn't people complain that they'd just dropped the character duties on him because he's black? I thought Fred Armisen's Obama impersonation was really great. SNL had somebody with the skill set in house to fulfill the duties, and fulfill them well. What's the problem?

Update: Kay has a different take, and raises a good point. Thompson is the only African American on the SNL cast right now. Their needs to diversify in general are a different, larger problem, I think. But I stand by my original opinion -- if Armisen's good at the role, why worry about giving it to someone who looks more the part?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

You're not alone, Becks

Becks sent out a twitter recently declaring quarterlife unwatchable and begging us not to be fooled otherwise. Don't worry. I completely agree with you. I want my hour back. That show was the worst thing I've seen in a very, very long time. And not even enjoyable bad, like Rock of Love. Just plain old terrible.

Well, we're not alone in our opinion. Not only do we feel that way, but so does the entire viewing public -- it got the worst ratings for the 10 p.m. time slot NBC has had since 1991. OUCH! And, um, even the guy that made the show thinks it was a bad idea to air it. Double ouch.

Though, I feel obligated to say that I found one of the guys on the show to be entirely enjoyable and completely grew a crush on him as a character on Greek, which was a show I secretly watched all last summer. So, I won't jump to avoid any and everything that the people associated with this show participate in in the future. This was just a terrible, horrible mistake all around. From the creators of My So-Called Life.

What "tank" exactly?

The term "in the tank" has been used a lot lately. Julian Sanchez wonders where exactly that term comes from.

Your friendly neighborhood word nerd

Suck on that!

Cat owners live longer than everybody else. I am so living forever.



The Apes! Give this a listen, keep your eyes peeled on DCist today for a Three Stars feature on the band, and get yourself to the black cat tomorrow night. And, tonight also, if you want to see Larry from Galaxy Hut and Eric from D Plan play with their current, respective bands on the BC back stage. I'll be there!

Mark your calendars for 3/20. It's Mr. Rogers Sweater Day! Growing up, my actual next door neighbor was named Mr. Rogers (well, Bob Rogers, but Mr. Rogers to me), so I've always felt a strong bond to the shoe-changing, sweater-wearing fellow.

I should really go to SXSW one of these days

Just so that the 8,000,000 invitations and press releases are actually good for something other than clogging my inbox and making me jealous.


Catherine saw the first show. Here are my condensed thoughts on last night's show:
  • It was really, really wonderful. One of the best shows I've seen. Aside from "Heavy Metal Drummer" an "Muzzle of Bees", they played everything I really wanted to hear. It was a more or less perfect performance.
  • Two words: second. encore.
  • Man, that was one stinky crowd. The b.o. at large last night was just... gross.
  • The crowd was also: rowdier than you'd expect at a Wilco show.
  • And: I'd estimate about 80% male. From my perch up on the balcony, I spied very few women in the crowd.
  • Boy, Jeff Tweedy sure did not like the audience, and their constant yammering. Manners, people. Manners.
  • Nels Cline has clearly been playing Rock Band: he deployed into overdrive a bunch of times.
  • Man, I really love intense drummers. Glenn Kotche is an animal.
  • It's a shame Wilco doesn't have more really nice instruments. That's sarcasm, folks. They have the sickest instrument collection I've ever seen.
  • Where I was standing, we couldn't see what was happening off to the right -- who came in? What were they playing?
I should avoid pre-coffee blogging. Forgot to mention a few things:
  • They did some really great arrangements of a few songs -- rocking them up or slowing them down. It wasn't just album reproduction.
  • I went with the best people! Jenna, Anthony, Janel and the added bonus of Reed & Kelly made for a very positive and wonderful group to be with.
  • Did you know there's an espresso bar upstairs at 9:30? That serves coffee liquor drinks?
  • I talked to my friend Scott this morning that watched from the uber-crowded floor downstairs and said it was a nightmare. Hot, and full of angry, dudey guys.
  • Tweedy's banter was pretty great. His explanations of what was going on for the people listening at home were hilarious -- particularly his description of his hat. He was wearing a nice brown cowboy hat, and somebody in the audience yelled that it was amazing. So he described it for the people not there as something that rivals Carmen Miranda's head gear -- fruit, fire ants, wax drippings, mulch...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A little (a lot?) racier than standard blogstretch fare

Want this. Want it now. But, in the grand tradition of anytime I've ever bought anything with the intention of putting it to sexy use (ling/erie, the big box of condo/ms, stupid shit at a se/x to/y party*), it would almost certainly usher in a very boring era in my bedroom. So for the sake of getting any anytime soon, I'll refrain.

*The precise item I was thinking of was guessed correctly with no other hints by Kate when IMing about this topic. Apparently thr/oat num/bing gel is a widely purchased, seldom used product.

After-the-fact google proofing added because of an astounding leap in hits within first five minutes of posting this.

What the...

Seriously? First, you don't bring the double-boyfriend-extravaganza tour to my city. Then, when you do decide to stop by D.C., you do it when I'm gonna be out of the country. Britt, are you trying to tell me something? If you're not careful, I'm going to have to find another tall blonde lead singer of an indie rock band to fantasize about.

You don't want pants? I'll show you no pants!

I probably shouldn't be as surprised by this as I am, but my good friend Becky (who's wedding I get the pleasure of participating in next weekend) is a lawyer in Charlotte, NC. She attended a women in law forum yesterday, where the hot button issue was: are North Carolina court rooms ready for women in pants suits. The verdict: nope. Apparently stodgy old white guy judges just cannot abide by women in pants. She also displeased the establishment greatly when she had a cast on her foot and couldn't wear pantyhose for a couple months.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stinker, El Perro

"He is such a dog. You know, sometimes I think God messed up. Like how I was supposed to be black."
-Joe Bou/ier

ISO: My Own Dance Crew

I saw Step Up 2: The Streets this weekend. Aside from hearing the voice of Michael McDonald singing every time I type the title, I have been preoccupied with street dancing ever since. This movie, it was amazing. Not so much for the acting, which wasn't the best, but the dancing was out of this world. It makes the dancing in the original Step Up look like amateur hour. Seriously. I cannot express how deeply awesome it was. I went to see the movie in Ballston Mall, and after leaving the theater, went directly to FYE to buy the sound track. I am now DVRing every episode of that dance crew reality show on MTV, because Stacy told me some of the dancers from the movie are on the show. Stacy, Jamie, Jenna and I are currently planning a trip to a dance club (do you think The Dragon actually exists in Baltimore?), where we can hone our skills and possibly add some members to our crew. We don't have a name yet, but as the movie taught us, that will only be unveiled when we release our prank video on YouTube, in order to be considered for competition in the big street dance contest. Moral of the story: if you like stuff that is awesome, go see Step Up 2.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Words of inspiration from my creative director

"It's in your pen, right? You just have to let it out."

And the award for "analogy that's trying way too hard" goes to....

Slate's Dana Stevens:

Hansard and Irglová's lovely of performance of "Falling Slowly," their halting DIY ballad, compared to Kristin Chenoweth's studiously proficient belting of that big Enchanted number as an Obama rally compares to a McCain event. It was a glimpse of a possibility that the old (71-year-old party warhorses and chirpy blondes borne on the shoulders of male dancers)—may be giving way to the new (Kenyan-Hawaiian-Illinoisan activists and Czech/Irish songwriting teams).


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baby you're much too fast

Don't get me wrong -- Rihanna is astoundingly beautiful. She reaches levels of perfect physical beauty so high that it's almost creepy. The girl's a knock out. But, when I saw this picture on People, before reading any captions or headlines, I completely and totally thought it was Prince. But hey, Prince is rather pretty too. With a killer stage presence. So it's not necessarily a bad thing. Just, maybe, rethink the 'do?

You think they get movies in the after life?

If my boy Jon Forde were still around, he'd be really stoked for this. Or maybe enraged. I'm not sure. But either way, he's the first person I thought of when I read "live action Akira movie."

Happy Birthday Mom!

Headline not related to content. Here, have some links:

  • Friday Night Lights: not dead in the water. I don't grok it completely, but this is very good news.
  • This story has me crying big fat salty tears.
  • Kriston's post is funny; the insane comment storm is hilarious.
  • So did everybody check out that eclipse last night? Pretty dope. Here are some fantastic pictures from the DCist photo pool.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Even the hellicopter part was great

I should be embarrassed by how much I enjoyed this. I should have been embarrassed all those many, many times Betsy used to walk into my room in college and find me dancing alone to "Rich Girl." I should have been embarrassed by how much I actually kind of liked this video, even if only for it's complete and utter insanity and clearly coke-based concept. I should maybe be embarrassed that every time I think of that SNL clip mocking Behind the Music where Chris Katan sits on a stairway and says, "I'm Oats," I break down into incontrollable laughter. But I'm not. Viva H&O. I can't wait for episode 2 of "Live from Daryl's House" to drop on March 15.

Are you trying to break my heart?

I couldn't breath for a moment when I read the headline, "Spoon Announce Tour with The Walkmen." Could any bill be more perfectly designed to fill my head with love and anticipation and awesomeness to the point of explosion? No. No it could not. I have dreamt about a show like this. Stories have been written about a day like this. And what do my two beloveds go and do? Well, I'll tell you what they DON'T do -- they don't schedule a date in D.C. Am I going to have to drive to Virginia Beach for this? I might. I just might.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Gamer

Kriston: I realized yesterday, actually, that you're now a bigger video game nerd than I am.
Kriston: You're going to be playing Halo soon enough.
Kriston: Then your transition to the Dark Side will be complete. Face it, Mattos: you are 1337.
This weekend after tasting the sweet challenge of Guitar Hero for the first time at Jon's, I gave Alyssa the school yard upsell, and before I knew it we were putting a PS2 and Rock Band into her car. Then spent 5 hours straight playing. I also am about to embark on another video-game-related-thingy that I'll tell you about later. And, right now, this second, there sits a Wii and Guitar Hero in my trunk. Which I raced out to get the second I heard that the Best Buy near my office had them in stock. And I have a standing appointment to play Rock Band this weekend. I've gone from zero to geek in no time. Anybody wanna go outside and play real life sports and talk face to face and stuff? Save me!

Or, um, who wants to come over and play Wii?

Today in Outrage

Makes me stabby.

Makes me really, really sad. And very, very angry.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More on the wallet mystery

The name and email that was added to my wallet on its 3 week bender across the DMV? Didn't know a thing about any missing wallets. I'm starting to think my wallet went on some sort of coming of age journey, making friends, hitchiking across the region. And he's finally made his way home -- a little more savvy, a little too cocksure, and totally grounded.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kind of adorable

My mom, telling me about her date last night. "I think it went well. He texted me when I got home."

He came back to me after all this time

Three weeks ago I lost my wallet. Somewhere between celebrating Capps' birth at Recessions and liberating myself with dance at DC9, it disappeared. I put out an APB, I called managers and commissions left and right, and nothing. Nobody ever attempted to use any of my cards, however, so I remained hopeful. Well, today that hope panned out.

Around 2:30 this afternoon, my cell phone rang. A friendly, angelic voice on the other end said, "Amanda? Hi, I have your wallet." I was elated! Where was it? After three long weeks, it had surfaced! And here's where it gets weird. The call was coming from the Cowboy Cafe -- in Arlington. At the corner of Glebe and Rt 29. My wallet was lost in the district. They said it was found on the sidewalk at the intersection outside the restaurant. This morning.

And, what's even better? Nothing was missing. Not even the gift cards. There is, however, something in there that I don't think was in there before. A name and an email address, on a post it note. I'll let you know if this is the calling card of my tardy yet heroic wallet savior. (Who then, apparently, lost it himself.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

That just seems excessive

Just chatted with a flower delivery man in the elevator. He told me that their store -- one florist! -- has 200,000 deliveries today. Just in Tysons Corner. He asked, "have you gotten yours yet?" I politely said, "no, not yet." But what I was thinking was more like this:

However, if I had a honey, he'd definitely be receiving this card.

Tonight you belong to me

Apparently <3 day '08 means video content ONLY here at blogs t r e t c h. This is a really sweet cover of "Tonight You Belong to Me" by Fiona Apple, Nickel Creek and a few others. It's a nice little love song, full of wonderfully folky strings. Enjoy!


It's always surprising to start with a tart

Remember a couple weeks ago when I mentioned that I spent a Saturday judging a cooking competition between Spencer and Megan? Well, the video evidence is now uploaded and ready for mass consumption. I've never had the... pleasure(?) of watching myself chew before. It's not as mortifying as it could be, I guess. At least I chew with my mouth closed. (As do all of the other extremely polite judges on our panel.) I hope you enjoy my blatant shilling via the DCist sticker on my belt. It's a super long video, but you'll have to wait till the end to see whose cuisine reigns supreme. Anyhow, here's the video. Enjoy!

Every Day the 14th

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yes We Can Has

Via Becky

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Is this for real? Those pictures look so photoshopped.

Also, who raised you, drivers of Northern Virginia? Cutting people off when the roads are covered in ice? Really? You should be ashamed. And crumpled into a barrier wall somewhere.

I turned on the primary results, but all it's making me want to do is switch back over to the Westminster Dog Show and have a beer. So I think that's what I'm going to do. That is one good looking vizsla.

I Voted

I Voted
Originally uploaded by AMattos
For Barack Obama. All of the guys who've already dropped out of the race were still on the ballot in VA. Obama was first on the list. He was also the only one with any volunteer or signage presence in my Falls Church neighborhood.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Saturday night, some lovely lady friends and I tried out the new wine bar on 14th St, Cork. Kate and I are completely enamored with it and want it to be our new boyfriend. On a Saturday night a week after it opened, it was about as packed as you'd imagine. But even though we waited over an hour for our table, we didn't really mind. We had a great bartender taking care of us while we waited, suggesting wines and being generally charming. The hosts checked in frequently enough to make us know we weren't forgotten. And when we finally did get our table, we had a very hot, mildly flirty waiter -- which really kicks the quality factor up quite a bit on a girls' night out. We tried flights of wine -- which were reasonably priced ($9 - $14) and really delicious. Kate and I got the Grenache flight and Kay got the Cab Franc flight, and all of us loved what we drank. The menu is made up of small plates -- hot and cold, plus cheese and charecuterie selections. We got the amazing french fries ($5), which came with some deliciously basily homemade ketchup*, and the chicken liver bruschetta, which as Kate put it was like spreading cold amazing gravy on grilled bread. So basically we couldn't have enjoyed ourselves more and I can't wait to go back. The cheese, shrimp and brioche dishes are calling my name.

This weekend was great even beyond Cork. Friday night the district's bloggers screwed up their courage and came out to Virginia to see The City Veins play at Iota. The band had the best set of theirs I've ever seen. Sommer, Avent and I were even inspired to rush the stage. It was a great show.

Saturday was Becky's bridal shower, and thanks to her having forbade any cheesy shower games, we spent most of the time sharing outrageous relationship stories and stuffing our faces from the crazy spread Becky's mom put out. And I got to listen to stories from the always hilarious Allison. Hi Allison!

Sunday, Jenna and I went to the botanical gardens and learned about Orchids. I also have a new favorite plant: the Old Man Cactus. Then we went to Eastern Market, came back to my house (which had no power for much of the day -- showering by candle light is less romantic than it sounds when it's forced), then ate an insanely decadent meal at my dad's house (NY strips with au poirve sauce, sauteed mushrooms, stewed tomatoes, baked potatoes, ceasar salads, delicious and glorious wine, and chocolate mousse cake from Cenans). Having successfully gained about 70 pounds this weekend, it was then time to fall asleep watching Tina Turner on the grammys.

*Read this fascinating article to learn about why you won't be seeing specialty ketchup on your grocer's shelves anytime soon.

Never Gonna Die, P.I.

Why does TV think that anyone who is immortal must occupy themselves with crime solving? Since most of their cases take about one week to solve, I don't know that living forever is that big a help.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Of the dozens and dozens of fashion week products I've been judging on the internets all week, this is by far my favorite. I actually gasped when I saw it.

The new Missy Elliot video, however

Features all sorts of colorful high tops and the fly dancing and cuts between settings we've come to expect from Misdemeanor throughout her career.Oh my gosh! Mimes! Mimes with white sneakers as mime gloves! And DDR. These ninja clown baseball player people are kinda creepy, but my god I love Missy Elliot. The song's not that hot actually, but the video is of the highest quality. WHOA, it just became a completely different song and video. New beat and house party setting. Am I liveblogging my response to a music video? I think I am. I have so many new dance moves to learn. Namely how to "shake it like a pom pom."

I'd embed the video, but youtube seems to have about 37 different videos for Ching-A-Ling, none of which appear to be the one I just saw. Oh! Here it is. Apparently I'm supposed to watch it with 3-D glasses.

I watch music videos while I drink my coffee

New Lenny Kravitz video. The song isn't complete crap, but he does appear to have recently received song-writing-coaching from the guy who does the One Tree Hill theme song. And what's with the necklaces? The only word I can think of to describe them is... shiny. My coffee hasn't had its effect yet. But LK seems to be embracing that Fat Tuesday spirit. Also, wait for the highly improbably appearance of an orchestra in the middle of this one-man affair. Given all these factors, we should all place our bets right now about which hour long drama will use it over a scene first (**if the writer's strike clears up nice and quick like). Here's a mediocre video for a mediocre song that didn't really deserve to be blogged about. Enjoy the shiny necklaces, y'all.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I used to watch Nip/Tuck. I watched this season's premier. Let my DVR record the next few, never watched them, then decided to let this one go. It's always been completely off the meds, but it's gone from edgy and compelling to pure shock value in the past few seasons. For some reason I just decided to read some recaps of this season so far, and my sweet holy god. Topics covered in the 3 episodes I've read about: a woman defecating in a hot tub, scientology leading to meth addiction in a couple with a new born baby, said meth addicted father doing gay porn to make drug money, straight to lesbian to straight to lesbian to i have no idea, a high school girl who is an evil sloot who lost her virginity to a horse and got her hymen reconstructed and is coaching a younger girl in how to be bulimic, a wealthy plastic surgeon deciding to turn tricks for L.A.'s wealthy and batshit nutty older women, an eagle attacking Rosie O'Donnell's face while she hanglides, yet another person switching between sexual orientations like it's a hair color, and much, much more. I am really glad I stopped watching this show. And yet, I can't seem to stop reading these recaps.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My worlds are converging

In the coolest of ways! Tyler's new band just got an opening slot for The Walkmen. I wish I could go to cheer so many of my favorite people on, but unfortunately it's on a week night. In Charlottesville. Regardless of my presence, I'm sure it'll be great.

Yes We Can

If you couldn't tell or guess by now, I'm supporting Obama. I won't bog this down with too much politics talk (I mean, don't you people come here to find out what I had for dinner last night, and whether or not I fell asleep on the couch or my bed?), but this is a very important election year, in case you hadn't noticed. Spencer's got a good summary of why he's the right choice. As does most every other liberal blogger I know (read: every D.C. friend I have). On this super/fat Tuesday, if there are elections in your state, take the opportunity to vote. And if you want my humble opinion on the matter, vote for Barack Obama. Wouldn't it be nice to have a leader that inspires rather than embarrasses? That progresses instead of entrenches? I think so. When Virginia's primaries take place next week, you know who I'll be voting for. Si se puede!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

She's starting to rub off on me

After spending the day with Catherine, a portion of which was devoted to singing the praises of pineapple juice, I found myself waking up at 3am. Coughing. Sneezing. Feeling bad. What did I do? I went to the fridge and cracked open a can of pineapple juice. You see, in addition to reducing swelling and mending broken bones, CatAn also argues that the wonder juice cures colds. So here I sit, having my morning can of PJ, and feeling, I must admit, a little bit better. I think this may be a matter of juice over matter, but it seems to be working, at least a little.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

3 Things That Are Awesome

1. DipDive's "Yes We Can" video

2. Blogging Chefs. Thank you Spencer and Megan for finding such a delicious means of competition.

3. ART MONK and DARRELL GREEN making it to the hall of fame!!!!

Now off to bed absurdly early in hopes of kicking this fever.