blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Friday, October 31, 2008

You can vote however you like

I took a break from listening to Monster Mash, Thriller and Look Who Got a Website repeatedly when Kate sent me this video. It is... pretty rad. Enjoy. And happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


So, just in time for my entrance to the neighborhood, the Yoga District in Bloomingdale opened this weekend. Not a hard opening, but a soft one. That means that this week, all of the classes are free! Which means, all of the classes are crowded. And lots of random, non-yoga types join in the fun. Which is wonderful! And, chaotic. And... drunk? 

I'm going to skip the gingerly phrasing and just say that a neighborhood drunk was standing outside, watching all the yuppies roll out their mats and take off their shoes. He decided to ask the instructor what was going on. 

Neighborhood Drunk: What's this? 
Spritely Yoga Instructor: It's a yoga class. (this part actually went on for a few more rounds, but I'll spare you the back and forth.)
Neighborhood Drunk: What's yoga?
Spritely Yoga Instructor: It's exercise, and stretching, and relaxation and meditation... do you want to come in?  
Neighborhood Drunk: (silence, suspicious glaring)
Spritely Yoga Instructor: The classes are free this week.
Neighborhood Drunk: (silence, suspicious glaring).... OK
Spritely Yoga Instructor: Come on in, take off your coat... and your shoes and stuff. 
Neighborhood Drunk: (silence, suspicious glaring)

So, ND comes in (hell, it was really cold last night, it was probably a very good call on his part), throws his parka and his hat in the corner. Looks around, takes off his shoes. Gets a mat, puts it down right in front of me. Takes off his socks. When the staff passed out the blocks and blankets, he thought sweet! Place to sleep!, and laid down and covered himself up. He didn't just nap through class though. He put in a better effort at actually doing yoga than I thought he would. With each stretch, I was hit in the face with the wafting scent of vodka, but hey, at least he was doing something. It was sort of like a muppet doing yoga -- just generally putting his limbs in the same area that we were supposed to without actually doing the stretches. Or just sitting down if it got too weird. We did one stretch towards the end where we put our hand on our opposite ear to stretch out our necks, and he just sort of hugged his head and I imagine that he was thinking, this is so not worth the blanket. 

I wish there were a funnier end to this story... like he passed out during the relaxation at the end, or lost it and took a swing at the instructor when she came around rubbing people's shoulders, or tried to drink the peppermint oil. Alas, he just gathered his parka, and his stinky socks, and his big hat, and carried on. I can only assume I'll be seeing him in class a few times a week. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

O rly?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's like raaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiin on your moving day

I know it's a universal truth that everyone is aware of and nobody needs to be reminded of, but MAN, moving sure blows goats! I'm sitting in my home of the past 4 years, waiting for the movers to arrive. I've spent the past week solid packing it up and it took up until about an hour ago to really be ready to go. To put it lightly, I have a lot of stuff. A million thousand thanks and hugs to the people that helped me this week -- Ezra the Excellent, the Stupendous Steadmans, Loyal Lovely Liz and of course my mom and dad. Everytime I was teetering towards mental collapse, somebody swooped in with support. Ok, enough alliteration already. You get it. And now, something in one of my boxes that is packed up (which box? i don't know!) is beeping. The fun never stops in moving party 08! Buh bye Falls Chuch, hellooooooo Bloomingdale!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I love you. You are wonderful.

That headline goes out to Clinton Portis, London Fletcher, Chris Horton, Carlos Rogers and Jim Zorn. I also love Jason Campbell's continued maturation, our amazing D-line, and the team as a whole. I could live without all this low scoring, keeping it close nonsense. But that was a well-earned victory yesterday. Good on ya, Redskins.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


You know how I'm all food-obsessed? Some might even call me a "foodie"? Well, I love a lot of crap food too. For instance, right now I'm eating spaghettios and I'm on top of the flingin' flangin' world.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Baltimore

Don't you fucking dare.

No on 8

After reading the heartwrenching story of a close friend of ours (who happens to be gay), whose own family members (who happen to belong to the LDS church) are posting "YES ON 8" signs in their yards in California, Alyssa and I got to talking about how asinine it is to be considering adding discrimination into state constitutions in 2008. I think Alyssa's response wraps this whole insanity up into a nice little bow. 

Alyssa:  I'M CHATTING WITH YOU THROUGH INTERNET TUBES OF THE FUTURE but hating people is still ok?


I'm doin it! Really soon! I'll finally be far from my work, instead of far from all of my friends and my entire social universe. While Kate S., Kay, Catherine, Sommer and Jenna may miss my presence on their couches on weekend mornings, I think we'll be able to keep those bonds strong once I'm actually living nearby. And able to ply them with delicious meals on a regular basis. Kate A. promises that we'll "cuddle and snuggle and make pies every day," so I think you all understand my reasoning for abandoning Falls Church for Bloomingdale. 

(By the way, if you know anyone in search of housing in either Falls Church or Bloomingdale, inquire within.)

I'm excited! And completely and totally stressed out! I need to pack up my house I've been stagnent in for four years, and move, and find somebody else to rent my condo (it's a great, great place! all new appliances! dripping with Mattos-branded TLC! Doesn't that sound like just the perfect place for you and/or your loved ones and/or coworkers to move into?), and learn to live with roomates again. Well, roomates with two legs. Me and Stinker have got this thing down. Of course, this is all to say, don't expect too much uptick in blogging over the next week or two. As I transition to the totally elitist urban blogger lifestyle most of you probably already thought I had, my time will likely be spent on other things. So sit tight, read DCist, and ask yourself why you aren't already calling the movers to get your stuff into my BEAUTIFUL, LIGHT FILLED TWO BEDROOM CONDO! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I like the band's name better than their song

But check out Kilgore Trout is Dead.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Try not to make any sudden movements or loud noises

I seem to have some sort of cloud over my head today. Things started well enough this morning, until I knocked over a glass and it shattered all over the floor (just like yesterday morning!). I thought oh, well, at least this week has a theme. Then as I was taking the trash out this morning, the bag gave way and all of the trash scattered onto the sidewalk. So I rushed to get that cleaned up and taken care of, so I could hop in the car and still get to work relatively on time. No such luck! The beltway was at a standstill. A half-a-mile-in-20-minutes kind of stand still.I thought, "wow, with the way today's going, I wouldn't be surprised to realize I forgot something important." Then I looked over and realized I'd left my computer at home. So I got off of the beltway, only to sit in traffic on 66 for 35 minutes. Got home, got my computer, then got to sit in that stand still beltway traffic all over again. As of this moment, I have yet to twist my ankle or spill some sort of hot liquid on an important client.

This is just to say that when a large earn or something falls down onto my head, makes me dizzy and I fall backwards directly into the path of a stampede of elephants, well, at least it was sort of inevitable. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

All Star Dinner

I know I write about my adventures in the kitchen quite a bit, but the meal I made tonight was really unbelievable. I'd say that if you've got a date or family member to impress, this wouldn't be a bad place to start. 

Radish Butter
Wash about 10 radishes. Cut into quarters (or pieces that won't choke up your food processor). Blend that with a stick of butter also cut up into knobs (you may decide you need more butter to even out the proportions). When that's well integrated, add a handful of watercress, 1-2 lemons' worth of zest, and a few good turns of fresh ground pepper. Process until all mixed together and smooth. 

Spread on toasted pieces of good bread. I chose sour dough. I also sliced additional pieces of radish on top for a little additional crunch. 

Whiskey Glazed Carrots 
The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a great food blog; she posts photos and an explanatory narrative first, so you get to know the recipe, then she posts it in more basic, standard terms. Her recipe today for whiskey glazed carrots caught my eye and sparked the whole rest of the menu. These were so good I'd recommend them even for Thanksgiving. Yes, that's right. Thanksgiving worthy! I didn't deviate from her recipe one bit, so here it is

Pork Chops with Arugula Salad
This was a really nice balance of acid and fat. At the end of the meal, I used the remaining arugula salad on the last piece of toast with radish butter, and that was also excellent. But this was a great way to mix up a stand-by main course. First, prepare the salad. 

Whisk together the juice of half an orange and 1 lemon, and... some olive oil. I'm not sure on the amount. I usually follow Jamie Oliver's "3 to 1" rule for dressings -- 1 part acid to 3 parts fat. Also add a good squeeze of dijon mustard, one diced shallot, salt, fresh ground pepper and parmesean. 

Arugula as the main green leaf, a couple tablespoons of fresh chopped mint, and about half of a granny smith apple chopped. Toss it all together with the dressing to coat all the pieces.

Pan Seared Pork Chops
Dust each side of the chop with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook in hot pan in olive oil for about 3 minutes on each side. Top with the salad mixture. 

Here's what my finished product looked like. Happy cooking! 

on a scale of 1-10, this dinner earned a zomg

I love TV

Because the new season of Friday Night Lights won't air on NBC until January, but is currently airing on DirecTV, and Catherine and I are impatient, and Sommer is kind enough to let us take up space in her Tivo, I was able to watch the first two episodes of the third season last night. And, it's SO much better than season 2. Still not back to the heights of season 1, but loads of potential. And man, I will never get over how pretty all those people are. And the effortless acting. So great. My one complaint: they've turned Billy (Riggins' brother) into a characature this season. He's always been the steady one in Tim's life (relatively steady, at least). This year he's a drunk engaged to a stripper who delivers hiccupy misguided advice. I hope they tone that down a bit. Otherwise though, clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. 

I also watched the first episode of Life on Mars and really really liked it. And not just because Jason Mara and Lisa Bonet are so freaking attractive. It's taken just the right tone for the show it's trying to be, it seems. Hopefully the next few episodes keep that up. 
And finally, I think I may have lost interest in Ugly Betty. I watched the premiere, and the following episodes are just sitting in my DVR. Anybody else not feeling this season? 

Friday, October 10, 2008

According to Ezra

My blog has been "super lame" recently. Sorry dudez! What little time I've had away from my very busy professional endeavors, colonial travels and my bustling and terribly intriguing social life has been spent looking for new housing and working on stuff for DCist. 

Which brings me to my interview with Girl Talk! Sample it, won't you? (har har)

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

Hey pals! I've had all sorts of adventures lately -- a great many of them taking place in Boston, where I went for a long weekend to visit Ms. Meagan. We had a blast. To summarize: befriending every Redskins fan in Boston, going to Fenway for a playoff game, a duck tour, Le Loup & Stereolab, and gallons upon gallons of both chowder and beer. Then I came home to bushels of crabs courtesy of Attackerlady, Obamanation, and lots of other good stuff. But anyway, here we are on Friday in Internet Land, and I have a great link for you! NPR did a story about one of my all time favorite songs, "Jolene." While NPR's real version of the story and why it's got such staying power are fascinating, I prefer the fictional version of the tale, which Dolly tells in all her glory in this video:

Friday, October 03, 2008

The band named after the city did name a song after my name

For that reason and... wait, no, not for that reason at all. I'm going to Boston this weekend to visit my best friend since Brownies. Anything in particular I should check out while I'm there? 


I talk to them! Go over to DCist and read my interview with These United States. We sat down and listened to their new album together. They told me all about recording it (6 days! all live!), and it was fun. It's a pretty good read, a good idea of how these record things come together. 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Meme, from the mind of Drew

How many places from the North American version of "I've Been Everywhere" have you been? I have... not been to many of these places, as it turns out. 

Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma, Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, Tocopilla, Barranquilla and Padilla.

Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana, Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana, Monterey, Ferriday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa, Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa, Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake, Grand Lake, Devils Lake and Crater Lake.

Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika, Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica, Richfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport, Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond Du Lac, Davenport, Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina, Pasadena and Catalina.

Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado, Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, El Dorado, Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika, Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika, Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Sioux City, Cedar City and Dodge City.

Ok. Then how about the little stickers of my photo?

(Conversation started with this)

Mitchell: remember, you'd have to pay like 15 bucks extra to get the lasers

my parents would never spring for it, but I could never understand why

I'd be like, mom, dad, seriously, these are lasers, all the cool kids are getting them in their pics, why can't I

it was the same with baseball team pics, my parents would never let me get the individual baseball cards with the stats on the back

just the team photos

I was like "WHAT THE FUCK?"

get me those baseball cards now!

I need it

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The World Is Changing

Really. Not just politically, or economically, or socially. I'm talking about the actual earth. A new ocean looks to be forming in north eastern Ethiopia's Afar desert region. Seriously. There's a huge crack developing that has all the earmarks of the beginning stages of an ocean's birth ("a 3,500-kilometer-long zone of tectonic turmoil that is tearing the continent in two"). BBC breaks it down:

The UK-Ethiopian group says it was astonished at the speed with which the 60km-long fissure system developed.

"It's the first large event we've seen like this in a rift zone since the advent of some of the space-based techniques we're now using, and which give us a resolution and a detail to see what's really going on and how the earth processes work; it's amazing," said Cindy Ebinger, from Royal Holloway University of London.


In the far-distant past, oceans such as the Atlantic have formed when supercontinents have torn apart.

Indeed, North America and Europe are still moving in opposite directions at about the pace fingernails grow.

Researchers have long recognised that the Afar region, an inhospitable depression in north-eastern Ethiopia, has been contorted by similar forces in recent geological time.

But the event in September is said to be unprecedented in scientific history.

It began with a large earthquake on the 14th of the month and continued with a swarm of moderate tremors.


"About a week into the sequence, there was a volcanic eruption," explained Dr Ebinger.

"A lot of ash was thrown up in the air, and a lot of cracks appeared in the ground; some of which were more than a metre wide.

"Using satellite techniques we can see ground deformation, and about a month after the sequence, we could see a 60km long section had opened up, and it opened up about 8m in its central part.

"It appears that we've seen the birth of an ocean basin."

The movements of September are only a small part of what would be needed to create a whole ocean - the complete process takes millions of years - and in other regions of the planet, ocean development has been started only to stall at a later time.

But the Afar event has given geologists a unique opportunity to study the rupture process at close quarters.

So cool. Check out a slideshow here.

Happy (belated) Rosh Hashana

Last night, in their continuing efforts to make me never have to feed myself again, Ben and Ezra made a Rosh Hashana feast. I will undoubtedly misspell the names of the traditional dishes they served, so I won't try. But trust me when I say that they were all really remarkable. I'd never celebrated a Jewish holiday before last night, so that was also fun. Anyway, today (as usual), a bunch of the smart people I had dinner with last night said smart things. Feed yr head thusly: