blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This Year

Was actually a pretty great one! Here are some things I liked about/did this year:

  • Joined twitter and consequently, hung out with bloggers way more often
  • Moved to Bloomingdale! Man, I love Bloomingdale.
  • Voted for President Elect Barack Obama!
  • Went to Costa Rica! And London! And OBX! And Boston! And Stone Harbor! And to a bunch of weddings! And more local but still awesome destinations like Philly and Baltimore and Richmond and Charlottesville!
  • Threw a couple rockin parties
  • Cooked. A lot.
  • Got really into a bunch of BBC shows
  • Sort of gave up on the fervent pursuit of hip new music. But sure did love those Swedes!
  • Watched a lot of street-dance-related media.
  • Blogged a lot in bullet points
See? Not a bad year at all! Here's to 2009. I hope to do more yoga, wear more pin curls, read more, have a wonderful time in Ireland, visit Chicago and New York and San Diego, maybe fall in love or somethin, learn how to make risotto, start biking, and... I don't know... meet somebody famous. Yeah! What do you want to do next year?

No guys. No.

I have to say something. Beyonce's "Single Ladies (put a ring on it)" is NOT a good song. It is not catchy. It is jarring. It gives me a bit of a headache. It has somehow become this year's pop song to put on year end lists amongst the indie stuff, like "Umbrella" and "Since You Been Gone" before it. But it is just not a good song. At all. So please, list makers. Just cut the crap.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Coked-up Bees Love to Dance

"But after dabbing low doses of cocaine on the bees' backs before they went out, the researchers observed that when they returned they were more likely to dance for their nest mates, and performed particularly vigorous routines explaining where the food was located."

Monday, December 22, 2008

This weekend I

  • Ate a lot
  • Watched Die Hard... twice
  • Cooked a lot
  • Made up indie rock versions of Christmas carols
  • Pie Party!
  • Tried in vain to explain the brilliance of Adventures in Babysitting
  • Went to see the Redskins beat Philly. Thank goodness.
  • Had a Very Bloomingdale Christmas
  • Did I mention I cooked a lot? Primarily: meat pies for the aforementioned party, and crazy amounts of brunch food.
  • Did not wrap a single Christmas present. I hope you like Amazon boxes, family!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Member that time I went to sleep at 9:30, then woke up at 4?

Oh well. Gives me a chance to catch up on my stories.

Update: though my DVR apparently disagrees (as it stopped recording new episodes for some reason), Chuck is still lots of fun and clever and warm. Especially this week's ode-to-die-hard Christmas episode. By the way, anybody wanna watch Die Hard or Nightmare Before Christmas... tonight maybe?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I thought about doing a gift guide on the blog

But then I realized everyone would know what I was getting them for Christmas. You can't fool me, internet!

Your #1 Source for Dinosaur-related ranty blogging

I've always suspected Vulcanism, myself.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

So, this weekend, we had a Christmas party. A big, twinkle lit, peppermint barked, egg nogged, wine mulled, mistletoed Christmas party. It was a really good party. At some point in the evening, Ficke, Mitchell and I decided that the best possible idea was to do some car bombs. Ya know, why not? So, here is a photo essay of my evening, titled, Bombs Over Bloomingdale. (Note: the last photo in this series starts to explain the "why not" part of that.)

bombs over bloomingdale

you pour it in, like so



victory over carbombs

official hangover/floating head shot

I dunno Weigel

I see Ray Liotta, but I also see a lot of this.

Friday, December 12, 2008

just as long as my necklace and ears glisten

I was talking to my friend Matt this morning about the whole Blagojevich mess (he lives in Chicago, so it's even more of a huge deal in his world). We talked about corruption and how far it reaches into so many industries, including his. So, he said, "thats why im gonna switch my career to rapper." What a perfect segue into this.

It was 20 years ago tonight

Carrie Brownstein and I had similarly themed 2008s. Although, here in the district, it wasn't just about teens. It was about sexy teens.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Light Poisoning

As we were sitting around my living room last night, decorating the Christmas tree, Catherine warned The G, Capps and I that we should wash our hands after messing with the strands of twinkle lights, and before... licking our hands or something? Her mom had told her growing up that they were covered in POISON! After some googling, I haven't found anything to suggest that's true (bubble lights, however, will fu#k you up in a number of ways, it seems). Anybody out there have wisdom on this matter, or was CatAn's mom just trying to keep her from messing with the tree?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas FAIL

Darlene Love's version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" is so very, very killer. So is everything else on A Christmas Gift for You, from Phil Spector, I'm willing to wager. That's why I bought it off Amazon on Monday. And got 2 day shipping. So that I could enjoy it IMMEDIATELY! And have it for my party this weekend.

But, hurried excitement and not paying attention to detail means that, instead of an actual album, I bought... sheet music.

If anybody would like to bring some instruments over and kick out some Christmas jams, I've now got part of that puzzle locked down.

Speaking of Christmas music: check out a roundup of local D.C. musicians' Christmas songs I did over at DCist.

I have an announcement.

This may come as a shock to some of you. It is weighing heavily on my heart and mind to come to grips with this truth. But I have to just accept it. I don't think I have time to send out Christmas cards this year. This is the first time since... I can't even remember. I've been distributing holiday cards to my extended network of loved ones for as far back as my memory spans. Sadly, it has become clear that this year's flurry of planning Christmas parties and still getting settled in my house and trying to rent out my condo and having a life and a job just doesn't lend itself to blocking out a week of evenings to write cards to all of you out there in the world that I normally do. Please don't feel slighted. I send my warmest holiday wishes to all of you, still. And hopefully next year the Mattos card tradition will re-ignite. I just don't have time to sit down and write personalized messages to everybody this year. So, please accept my apology, and my good tidings. Merry Christmas, my friends. I do mean it.

Thank you.

I'm talking to you, Pyggies. Thank you for finding time to break away from your bundle of dot com to keep writing the funniest blog posts in the world. For example, this post, in which The Nabob moves deftly from sorority girls to federal pardons in a few illuminating, side splitting paragraphs. (Though I do take issue with the line that equates sorority membres with "trickster women.") This is your friendly reminder to read PIAB all of the time. And if you ever hang out with them, ask them to tell the story about the barn with the animals and the dogs.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

To the van on my street

Whose crazy ass alarms go off everytime another vehicle passes, I say, please, quiet down. Also, I suspect that you're THE LIBYANS.


For about a year or so, I've changed my celebrity gossip diet intake. Instead of looking at a handful of the salacious blogs, I just catch the headlines on Jezebel. Sure, because they provide the "news" in a more feminist-friendly way, but also, because it's one-stop-shopping on a site I already read. Just now I made the mistake of clicking through The Superficial, Egotastic and Cityrag. The top posts on all of them were about: boobs. Two out of the three of those featured several headlines that went like this: (name here) topless in (publication/movie trailer). I guess it was always that bad and I had just become desensitized? But, DAMN. Seriously. They're all The T/tty Times. How did I used to read that shit? Anyway, thanks, Jezebel, for both catering to my desire to know gossip and enabling me to do so without hearing it from a parade of horny d-bags.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Things I Ate/Drank in Philly

  • Vacherin Mont D'Or and duck prosciutto from Di Bruno Bros
  • Butternut squash soup with a seared scallop on it, oysters with caviar on them, and parmesan bread with lemon butter on it at Southwark. Also: an Aviation. Everywhere we went in Philly had special drinks involving Maraschino liquor. I'd never encountered it previously. Apparently, it's very old school.
  • A bunch of bourbon drinks at Chicks.
  • Beans & macaroni that I made at 3am in Emily's kitchen.
  • Lime lamb sausage & red lentil soup and escargot at Beau Mond. Alyssa and I thought we knew where we were heading to find brunch, got there, it wasn't open yet, and went inside the next place we found that was open and not outside in the FREEZING FREEZING COLD AND WIND. It turned out to be an expensive french restaurant/creperie. But, whatever, we said. It is freezing out there and warm in here and gimme some food already plz. It was delicious.
  • More cheese from Di Bruno Bros.
Then, it was too cold to continue our mission of walking around and doing stuff, so we got back in the car and came home to D.C. Oh, and I saw my favorite band, and it was good. And we stayed at Emily's awesome apartment and hung out with her awesome cat and did stuff that, in general, was awesome.

Dear Everyone I've Ever Ordered Something From Online

I get it. Everything is on sale! Free shipping! Sale ends Friday! At which point we'll start another, even more deeply discounted effort to get you to spend money! I get it. Please stop sending me 5 emails a day.


Friday, December 05, 2008

The More You Know: What is a mix tape?

In which I reveal how deeply un-hip I actually am, and Spencer says some funny shit.

Spencer: i have the mixtape, it's really good
check out the 'Ms. Jackson' version dissing 50
me: ok, i realize i should understand this, but i don't. what is the difference between a mix tape and just an album?
i've tried to wrap my head around this like 17 times
it doesn't work.
Spencer: a mixtape is an unofficial release, not meant to be a definitive artistic statement
and it's accepted practice to rap over other people's beats without paying
as well, you're supposed to do a lot of freestyling as a way to promote/showcase your styles -- especially to dis people
me: interesting
Spencer: basically a mixtape is supposed to be Too Hot For The Album, intended to be raw
like it wouldnt be considered proper for Jadakiss to put a 50 diss on his album, so the way he's supposed to reply to 50's provocations will be on a mixtape
if Jada put it on his record, that's considered a significant escalation
me: so it's like, backwards etiquette
Spencer: think of it this way
Shiites have a tradition of 48-hour marriage/divorce -- that way you're not an adulterer or a fornicator
it's like that, except with disses instead of kisses
(ugh can't believe i wrote that)
Spencer: it's also considered an opportunity to demonstrate that you can rap over other rappers' beats better than they can
me: i see.
Spencer: Jadakiss has a track called "Jada's Got A Gun" and somehow it DOESN'T jack the aerosmith song
me: what?
jada FAIL
Spencer: srsly

And while we're on the topic of music, head over to DCist to see me talk about a hip hop tribute to Sean Taylor, check out the Yeasayer slideshow our new contributor Francis put together, and read Valerie's interview with D.C.'s very acerbic The Points.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Here I Am!

Spencer says I haven't been blogging enough. That's probably true. But I write for like 47 blogs and my real life job, and have a personal life and a cat and a family, so, sometimes these things fall through the cracks. Anyway, so, here are a few things I've learned recently:
  • The only people I can't find Christmas gifts for online are my grandparents. It's sort of appropriate.
  • Thanksgiving and Spring Breakare the same thing. Just ask mine & Kriston's livers.
  • Petworth has awesome restaurants! Liz and I took Jenna to Domku last night for her birthday. It was delightful! Decorated like Anthropologie, tons of delicious eastern European foods and drinks, a sweet and adorable waitor, comfy seating... all that! Go to Domku.
  • Speaking of my liver and europeans, on Thanksgiving night, while I was drinking many beers, there was a fight at the Black Cat! The Norweigan girls said that "zee American stahted it," but that French guy looked like he was up to no good to me.
  • Also, $5 buys you 18 songs on the black cat jukebox! That's a lot! Unfortunately, we started picking songs about an hour before closing time, which means, every other person there had already filled up the que and we never heard our songs. I hope the next night's patrons liked T. Rex!
  • Gestures: totally awesome. Saw their show last night at the Black Cat and they have come a long way with building their sound. Really a great set.
  • And, after that, I watched Edie Sedgewick be incredibly awesome. Seriously, if you get the chance to go to an Edie Sedgewick show, do it. You won't regret.
  • I also learned that the spare keys I had made at the sametime as I made my roomates' keys do not work. I learned this when Sommer took time out of her day to let a lady into my house (she'd bought a bed from me off craigs list). How come the other keys all work, but not this set? How come, key maker guy?
  • Lana's bike's name is Horses.
  • The Redskins stopped playing good football sometime a few weeks ago. I'm not happy about it.
  • The movie Once is lovely, but frustrating! Do not believe the hype that it is a love story about falling in love and love. That is not what it is about.
  • Slumdog Millionaire, however, is awesome. Maybe not quite up to the hype, but a really great movie that you should all see nonetheless. The flashback about the first question he answered is still my favorite.
  • I love Bloomingdale. I already knew that, but, I have awesome roomates and neighbors like Dan/Ray/Catherine/Julian/Lana to hang out with, and the big bear, and it's all just awesome. I'm happys t r e t c h.
  • I still don't have a renter for my condo, though, so... um... yeah.