blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The Girl Talk show on 10/10 that was originally scheduled for the Black Cat is off of their schedule, and on the 9:30 Club's. Looks like that whole giving your album away thing is working pretty well for ole' Girl Talk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Olive oil consumption leading to 'serious environmental problem'"

Leads to catastrophic clash between things white people like.


so gimmicky with my link dropping right now

bears: so cute right now

horns: so obnoxious right now

metro: so tysons right now

women: so voting right... -ly so for the past 68 years.

michelle obama: so great right now

Spencer's remarks on Teddy Kennedy literally gave me goosebumps as I read them this morning:
Is there anyone in the second half of the 20th century who, more than Ted Kennedy, dedicated his or her life to liberalism? In its struggles, its failures, its excesses, its rebirths, there he was. His brothers made their family a symbol. But it was his charge, a task he never sought but bore for his entire adult life, to translate the symbol into tangible reality. Looking at Ted Kennedy tell us, in probably his last true star turn, that in Barack Obama "the dream lives on" -- a reprise, of course, of his legendary "The Dream Will Never Die" speech 28 years ago -- you wonder: Ted Kennedy devoted his life to pulling his fellow Americans out of poverty, division and injustice and into the sterling dignity of the American promise. What kind of person could oppose that mission?

He truly has been the backbone of almost every progressive move the country's taken while he's been in office. And unless your heart is made of stone (or maybe if you're a republican) you'll probably also feel a little misty while watching Caroline Kennedy's tribute to her uncle, and his rousing speech from the DNC last night. You can watch both videos here.

While we're on the subject of the DNC, Sommer's reporting from there all week for DCist. Our site was chosen as D.C.'s official blog representative at the convention. The stuff she's filed so far has been great, so stay tuned for more.

Monday, August 25, 2008

As I'd Rank Them

My birthday: A+! So many wonderful people from so many corners of my life. Thank you so much for making the weekend special. STBP was phenomenal.

Vicky Christina Barcelona: Huge Meh. So very not special. I think everyone that's been giving it great reviews was just woo'd by the idea of all that Spanish wine.

The Source by Wolfgang Puck: Un. Freaking. Believable. As I twittered, from the complimentary amouse bouche to the table side preparation to the cocktails to the wine to the ridiculously special and delicious entrees to the desserts that were both delightful and contained all of the notable elements of the entrees to... god I don't know what else, anyhow, it was an incredible meal and more than that, an incredible experience. One of, if not the, best I've had in D.C.

District Inferno

One of the things I'm proudest of in my time at DCist: starting a comment section argument about the War of 1812. Go check out my rundown of the day D.C. burned down over here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Today in Animals: Confused Babies Edition

Humans and animals, living together, mass hysteria! Two adorable confused baby stories, one with a baby human (featuring animals), one with baby animals. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No really. The worst.

So, I was a little bored on Monday night. I didn't feel like watching the Olympics. Or cleaning. Or doing laundry. I ultimately ended up at Galaxy Hut. But first!, I channel surfed and landed on the show discussed here. Holy crap was it terrible. My best guess would be that the geniuses who direct The Hills and actual 13 year olds developed the dialogue and story lines. Mostly the 13 year olds, though. I have a pretty high tolerance for teen dramas, but this was just every color of terrible and unengaging and stupid. So, don't watch it.

I have however used that viewing party tool PopCandy mentions to catch up on episodes of Greek that I missed. Greek is one ABC Family offering that's actually really great. Clever writing, likable characters, charmingness all around. I actually kind of really love Greek. I've also sort of been watching their show The Middleman this summer. When I first saw it advertised, I was put off by the excessive levels of camp. But it turns out, it's actually done really well. I watched the first few episodes and lost interest, but a couple weeks ago landed on a new episode and it's really hit its stride. They've developed some great character dynamics and the conceit is really entertaining and the whole thing is lighthearted and delightfully campy and funny. Some moments even ring of season 1 of Buffy. I recommend it.

Things the Guys at the Car Wash Unearthed In My Car

  • A pair of sunglasses I lost so soon after purchasing, that I actually convinced myself I'd imagined buying them
  • A never used tube of lipstick
  • 2 totally melted chapsticks
  • A glow necklace
  • Trash

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sign Language

My alma mater has banned signs from sporting events. I don't really have a problem with this, sportsmanship is a good thing. But from what I remember of UVA sporting events, the most incendiary messages weren't on signs -- they were on t-shirts*. Every time a big rival came to play, they'd sell tshirts on the lawn with mocking phrases. My favorite was the super classy one that said "Juan Sucks" on the front and "Dixon Their Mouths" on the back.

*And that hateful "not gay" chant during the good old song. But thankfully that's pretty much gone away at this point.

Today In Animals: Extra! Extra! Edition

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Breathe Amanda, breathe

Best. Maybe. Ever.

Best thing I've ever seen on FaceBook

Monday, August 18, 2008


Lo is straight BITCH.

I also somehow always manage to forget how incredibly stilted the dialogue on The Hills is. Wow. And yet I sit here, and watch all the shiny/pretty.

Update: Yeah, what Radar said.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

José Andrés at Night

The next time you see Lindsay Gibson, ask her to describe her theory for deconstructed sex acts. We were dining at Cafe Atlantico (which, by the way, was the best of three fantastic meals I had this Restaurant Week), and she came up with a hilarious idea for applying chef Andres' favorite cooking gimmick to the bedroom.

Moving on. A stretch of 66 from about Glebe to Rt 7 smelled like bacon tonight. Delicious, delicious bacon. I don't understand it, but I like it.

Tropic Thunder is a really great movie. What a brilliant satire. Believe the hype.

I got a manicure yesterday. I haven't had color on my finger nails in a long time. I feel fancy!!

I ate a lot of amazing food this weekend. Everyone should go to Vinotecca and get some of the Red Hawk cheese. Oh my everloving god is it amazing. And the lime and salt air margarita at Cafe Atlantico is appointment drinking. Every sip was thrilling. And Pho 75 just can't be beat.

There was one last teensy thought I wanted to include here but it's flown straight out of my head. Probably a sign that I should get off the computer and call it a weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bon Voyage, Stace Dawg

One of my oldest, dearest, sassiest and awesomest friends, Stace Dawg, is moving far far away next week. I've been sitting here weepy, looking through pictures before heading to her going away party. Take a walk down memory lane with me & Stace Dawg. Good luck on the left coast, buddy!

And, *cough, check out my new fancy flickr tricks!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Seriously, go buy the album

Sometimes I read interviews with HL and get an all-a-flutter feeling like when I used to stumble upon a profile of Luke Perry in YM. They can sound pretty ridiculous, but it doesn't matter cause giant pink cartoon hearts are flying out of your eyes. I mean, how can you not swoon over someone who says, " I thought Batman was very good...I liked how long it was." Oh celebrity crushes, you'll never stop being fun. I somehow didn't pos on it, but, the lovely new Walkmen album is available for a short while more on Amie Street for just $5. Proceeds go to curing cancer. So probably, directly to ChrisH. Go git it!

V Mars for cheap

Amazon's practically giving away seasons 1 and 2 of Veronica Mars. $19.99 each. Go! Get awesome television!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today in humor for 12 year olds

me: i'm editing a post for dcist
and have decided that it's impossible not to mis-read "large black clock"
mrstegmaier: when i was working on my fireplace everywhere i went only sold white caulk. so i seriously had to call around asking if they had black caulk

This is for you, Spencer Ackerman

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So what do *they* do, again?

This profile of the Ronson siblings reads like a facebook page. Each is defined by what famous people they know (which is, ya know, why we know who any of them are in the first place), but also by the famous people their fabulous parents enabled them to be "inspired" by growing up. Rather than saying much at all about, ya know, the siblings themselves.

Woo! Fort Reno! and, Woo! Weekend!

Sommer's traveling today, so I'm manning the ship at DCist. I was going to write up last night's delightful Fort Reno experience here, but Nestor -- he of our newly minted photographer corps at DCist -- took some lovely shots so I wrote it up there instead.

So, this weekend was stupendous. I went to Bobby & Meghan's beautiful wedding on Friday. It was perfect -- the ceremony was probably the best I've witnessed, the venue was unbelievably beautiful, the weather was (as previously mentioned) out of this world, and I got to catch up with the Marshall hoodlums I don't see nearly enough of. And I took lots of pictures for you to look at!

Saturday I didn't go to any county fairs, though I meant to. Instead I went to an open house in Mt P, then careened around town on a record buying, oyster eating, beer sipping, desert fetching, bus riding, rock & roll listening, hip-hop dancing, scotch drinking adventure. It was pretty much awesome. Especially NRCOF, naturally. And discussing the finer points of classic rock with Ned.

Sunday JP & I went to big bear, then my mom & I hung out around the city a bit, checked out a couple open houses, bought a new dishwasher for my place, and got a delicious dinner at Dogfish head. All in all, this weekend got high marks.

I love the woooooooooorld

That's what I thought this morning as I sat on my porch drinking coffee. This weather is too insanely beautiful. It gives me feelings that are too far over on the happy scale for that early in the morning.

Also, every time I make coffee at home in the morning, I have this epiphany while drinking it and say out loud, "man, coffee is so GOOD!" As though I didn't know that going into it.

And, it's official: I have olympic fever. Also, when did swimming become the star sport? Most of my life, I remember looking most forward to the women's gymnastics, track & field and sometimes diving. But now, it's all swimming all the time. Way to go, Phelps.

And, to continue with the cheery theme of this post, my woes from last week are all solved. It turned out to be a minor problem with my car that was pretty inexpensive to fix. And my arm is pretty much better. And it's restaurant week and the weather is sort of spooky gorgeous and life is good. Yup.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Making a fundamental change to my vocabulary

I'm totally switching over to "alligator pears."

I have a request for clothing designers

Could you guys start making bigger bust sizes of button up shirts and (and shirt dresses, as long as they're in style)? Having boobs basically makes me incapable of wearing anything that buttons. And my boobs aren't even that big! Normally things will close but just gap in that awful/tacky way. But more and more they won't even close, making me supremely jealous of the lithe flat chested women who can wear shirts that hang loosely on them. Jenna and I went to Shake Your Booty this weekend and I tried on this truly adorable dress that fit wonderfully everywhere else but wouldn't even close across the front.

My endowments aren't going anywhere, and I'd like for this entire category of clothing to not be closed off to me. So, join the revolution of special sizing! Change my life the same way long pants did! Build shirts with busts for people who actually have breasts! Thanks.

Chris Is A Genius

Look what my good friend went and did! I know people that are curing cancer. What have your friends been doing lately?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

So. Go to PIAB and read The Nabob's story. But more importantly, watch the video. This puts the z in zomg.

Entry #8,987,141 of Yes, This Really Did Happen In My Office, I Swear

A coworker in a panda suit and company t shirt just came by and brought me panda cookies from China in celebration of the Beijing Olympics. We're also shutting down the office early today to go have OFFICE OLYMPICS. Yup.

A series of unfortunate events

Last night I took an ungraceful spill on the sidewalk. This isn't very uncommon for me. I fall a lot. This one was particularly dramatic, with 3 or 4 false starts before the grand finale of eating it whole sale. I scraped up my hand and my elbow and my ankle, and I thought that was it. NAY! I woke up this morning to discover that my hip was hugely bruised and my shoulder is suffering some mysterious side effect whereby moving my right arm at all feels like somebody's tugging on my shoulder and holding it still. Awesome!

THEN! On my drive home last night, after the fall, my little oil light on my dash started blinking just at the same moment as my engine started to shake. It shook and shook and started to smell like chemicals and burning and finally I stopped at a gas station, checked my oil (there was NONE on the dip stick), and poured a quart in to make it home.* With no help from the men at the gas station at the corner of 29 and Graham. It was really nice of you to watch me fighting with opening my hood (for those of you familiar with opening my trunk, it's even harder than that) at 11:00 at night. And just keep staring. Instead of offering any assistance or pretending to care. But all that staring sure was helpful!

Anyhow, so this morning, bruised, partially immobile and in a pisser of a mood, I found out that my AAA membership had expired last month. Whoops. But, they helped me anyway. I always forget how nice those people are on the phone. "Hi thank you for calling AAA how can I help you?" "Hi, I need a tow." "I'm really sorry to hear that! Are you in a safe location?" That is excellent customer service. They know that people calling them for help are going to be in unfortunate circumstances, and they train their employees to act like human beings. Imagine that!

Anyhow, that's all. Bitching for bitching's sake about my crap day. As the AAA operator said to me before we hung up, I hope your day gets so much better.

*I should note before a commenter jumps on me that no, I haven't lapsed in my oil changes. I just got it changed 3 or 4 weeks ago. No, I don't think they left me dry because... it was 3 or 4 weeks ago and if that had been the case this would have happened sooner. I think it's probably a leak of some kind. Which is sure to be cheap and painless to repair! Or, not at all. My mechanic made some seriously sad faces at me this morning when I described what was going on. Uf.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

So confused

Why is the internet trying to make me like people I am pretty sure I really don't today?

Today in animals

So, a baby bear was caught in the forest fires out west. A brave fireman rescued him. They're now bff. Each of the bear's burned paws is being treated with a different salve to help regrow the pads. One of those treatments is honey. Watch the video and hear a baby bear make people noises over on Radar.

Also, about 125,000 low land gorillas were discovered in an equatorial area in Congo. That more than doubles the number previously believed to be left in the world.

Most people have probably seen this already, but last night at dinner I discovered that internet dwellers Catherine and Ezra hadn't, so, grab a tissue and prepare to get all misty when you watch Christian the lion reunite with the men who owned him as a cub.

Speaking of dinner! I convinced some of my D.C. people to flee the city and come out to VA for dinner at my place last night. It was lovely, thanks for venturing west, friends! And, the food was pretty boss, if I do say so myself. Pear/goat cheese/prosciutto appetizers, fennel/apple/arugula salad, and bacon-wrapped sea scallops served on heirloom beans. That menu might shed some light on my earlier post.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'll give you the secret to cooking

Serve your guests lots of wine before they sit down. And make sure cheese &/or some pork product are included in every dish. Voila! A happy table full of guests.

Get off da tubes and live a little

According to this study, 10% of adults in the U.S. have blogs. That's a lot! When you whittle down the age between 18-34, it's more than 20%. Wow. We should probably all just step away from our computers for a week or two.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

#28, #81

This is a really big time for Redskins fans. Art Monk and Darrell Green have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. These two players have had a huge impact on our team and a huge impact on me personally. They were part of the era that was one of the greatest in football, and certainly the greatest for the Redskins. It was their playing and their character that made me fall in love with this game and this team as a kid. As most people know, Art Monk was repeatedly denied access to the HOF over the past 7 years of eligibility, to the great upset of Redskins fans. He deserves it more than most. And Green, well, he was just pure charisma, energy and talent. He was a rallying point for fans, a constant source of inspiration for the team and an active community supporter. Both guys are just tremendous men, and I'm so happy they're being recognized. I have been a huge fan of both of these guys for as long as I can remember, so I'm pretty nostalgic right now. If you want to get a little misty, watch Monk's wonderful speech here. Also, for JMHS alums, you may recognize Hutch & PJ at about the 9 minute mark. That speech got a 4 minute standing ovation. Skins fans were out in force. There were people from other team's being honored as well, but it was truly our day. So, with that, I'm off to bbq and watch what's sure to be a throwaway game of third stringers (and, I really hope that's the case; Zorn would start getting some good faith from me by benching everybody that matters), and start another season of HAILING TO THE REDSKINS!


Why did all of my household and pet care items just run out simultaneously? I've just returned from Target with:
  • Dish detergent
  • Laundry detergent
  • Shower & bathroom cleaner
  • Mopping... stuff
  • Dish soap
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Paper towels
  • Cat litter
  • Cat food (dry)
  • Cat food (soft)
  • Litter pan liners
  • Litter pan filters
And, ya know, a cute headband. But I stayed away from the clothing department! Aren't you proud of me, internet?

Friday, August 01, 2008

My Favorite Beatles Songs

This list is fluid. If you asked me a year ago, it probably would be very different. Three or four years ago, and it would have been almost entirely comprised of Paul songs. I've moved over to my John era, as you can see. Anyway, simply because I felt like it, here are my top 10 favorite Beatles songs right now, at this waning point of the summer of 2008.

10. Any Time At All
9. Two of Us
8. I'm Only Sleeping
7. Helter Skelter
6. I've Just Seen a Face
5. All I've Got to Do
4. Oh! Darling
3. Yer Blues
2. Dig a Pony
1. Happiness is a Warm Gun