blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Saturday, January 31, 2009

More tracks I like

This band, Naked Hearts. They've got this balance of the stuff that was rad about the early 90s and the more interesting stuff of the early 00's that just about suits my mood right now. Here are two tracks: Cat and Mouse and Call Me.

As fond as I'm not of tattoos

This is a pretty great one.

Friday, January 30, 2009


A friend sent me this list, of what prepared foods at the grocery store are the worst health-wise, and suggesting alternatives. Then I realized, I do not eat any of this stuff. None of it. We had some of this stuff occasionally growing up, and I relied on prepared foods someone in college. But really -- none of this is in my pantry now. I am a changed woman.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seriously, f**k that guy.

Bush gives elitist liberals the finger one last time. And this time: he's messing with our cheese.

Shake Shake Shake

Hey! I like this song! And this one!

Good Morning

How many consecutive bad hair days will I endure before I take the hint and schedule a cut?

And, if Carla from Top Chef were a patient on House, he'd totally diagnose her with a brain problem.

Matty and I have an ongoing conversation about how our brains are like computers (spurred by ideas like this and this), and how it's weird that we've developed something that, as it turns out, runs like we do (we are also, it seems, a couple of stoned undergrads). This story seems to fall in line with that.

I have stayed in every night this week. I haven't done that in... I have no idea how long. And yet, I still have done no laundry. I keep going to sleep around 9 p.m. On the bright side, I have had some BANANAS dreams. Last night involved white water rafting and finding lost children and eating barbecue chicken at the beach with my cousin Kevin and running barefoot on grass and lots and lots of school buses.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


As I mentioned on the IFA earlier, I'm sick. So I wanted something comforting to eat while I miss Top Chef night at Matt's and Au at Velvet Lounge. I made miso soup last night, and I've been drowning in hot liquids lately, so soup's out. I knew I wanted red meat, so as I wandered the beef aisle I thought, stuffed bell peppers! My mom used to make them all the time, they're quick and easy and delicious. Perfect. So three hugely stuffed peppers are sitting in the oven right now. And right now, many minutes too late, I realized why that seemed way too easy: I forgot one of the main ingredients. Rice. Basically I made meatloaf and stuffed it into some green peppers. These fuckers are going to be DENSE. And take a really long time to cook. Oh well. If I'd remembered the rice, I might not have been able to justify the mashed potatoes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cook this, cook it now

Over on the IFA, I wrote up the phenomenal meal I made last night (roast lamb leg, roasted veggies, mint chutney -- and the unmentioned pear/greens/blue cheese salad and appetizer of lentil soup). Go read it. Go cook it. Thank me later.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Catherine tagged me in this little best-of-08 meme. I hope I don't overlap with her too much; this is what happens when two people who blog about similar things and hang out a lot and live in the same neighborhood write in the same format. But, here we go!

4 favorite memories from 2008:
1. Like Catherine, election night out on U Street was by far the best time of my year -- one of the best of my life. Also super awesome: the night he accepted his nomination and the impromptu dance party that ensued.
2. My trip to Costa Rica was pretty much phenomenal.
3. Pop 5 at the beach was probably the most fun... ever. All beachy vacations were fantastic this year.
4. Moving to Bloomingdale!

4 favorite movies in 2008
1. Dark Knight!
2. Iron Man!
3. Rachel Getting Married!
4. Step Up 2: The Streets!

4 favorite foods in 2008:
1. Beans. Anything with beans.
2. Tea roasted duck at Hong Kong Palace
3. Yup, the cooler full of oysters + seafood feast
4. My birthday meal at The Source

4 events i loved in 2008:
1. sexy teen birthday party
2. we love christmas party
3. let's make sandwiches day at tom/emily/charles'
4. tie between seeing spoon & the walkmen on the same stage, and dot com being born

4 people i tag:
1. DCeiver
2. The IFA
3. Drizew
4. Barack Obama


Hey blog! I'm back! I took an inauguration-related hiatus. Thanks for those of you who checked in on me; as Catherine points out, in Web 2.0 you can never die alone.

My hiatus wasn't from blogging entirely -- I was burning my little fingers off over at DCist. Sommer & Co. did a heroic job covering this thing. With a few exceptions of some things that could have gone better (especially the way all the extra troops and police were used throughout the weekend), it was an incredibly successful undertaking (no arrests! very few injuries! lost children all found their way home!). As for DC overall during this process, it was basically... So many people! Everywhere! All the time!

The awesomely close up tickets Alyssa procured for the swearing in were, in fact, awesomely close... and completely obstructed by the grandstands. In those long shots of the mall that were everywhere, I'm... not in them. I'm off to the left. But in this super cool image from SPACE, the red square is around the place where I was standing. See! Right there! Awesome! My jumbotron was way closer to Obama than your jumbotron.

We were actually TOO bundled; we covered ourselves in those i'm an old lady with arthritis heating pads and stuffed handwarmers anywhere we could fit them, and sweat our way through the walk and the ceremony.

Yesterday I took a day of rest and finished reading the Twilight books. And you know what? Totally loved 'em. Yes, the religious (and surprisingly, racist!) overtones are way too in-your-face, but as far as vampire/werewolf/sexy teen awesomeness goes, they kicked ass. I make no appologies. Twilight4ever.

I'm about to go off to Boston for work again. Yippeeeeeeeee. I'll be back tomorrow in time to celebrate Capps' birthday with MORE AWESOME VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES. I'd say that this is my new obsession for 09, but really, I'm just getting back to my roots. The real Amanda Mattos, comin back in full effect! Also: don't be swaggerjackin.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Keep up the good work

This morning I read this City Paper story about the difference between Ehtiopian and Eretrian food as I sipped on a delicious macchiato at the Big Bear. I don't know the difference between the two, I said to myself! I'm looking forward to hearing what it is! (Especially with my newfound interest in Ethiopian food.) Here's the head/subhead:

More than spice you say?! Interesting! OK, I'll read on. And read on I did, through some vaguely interesting anecdotes about the writer's visits to a few different restaurants. Right up until the payoff:

So, it comes down to.... spices. Awesome. Thanks! Earlier this week, also at the cafe, I saw a blurb on the front page of the Washington Post about something in the sports section. The article was about Gilbert Arenas, and the teaser said something along the lines of, "So where has he been all season? That's a good question." I'm going to adopt that style into my writing. "So what does that mean for other local bands? I'm glad you asked, Amanda." My point is: copy editors around this city need to start paying more attention.


This song sounds like what I thought the second Gorillaz album would be. I like it a lot! That's about as deep as my analysis is gonna go on a busy day like this, but, looking forward to this upcoming album; the sounds seem bigger and the tensions a little more pronounced.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This is great.

I was under the impression that Ryan Gossling couldn't get any hotter. I was wrong.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ring any bells?

My friend Matt is wondering if anybody recognizes this and knows what it was called:

there was this story i read in a jr high literature book once that told a story of a world where people ate this like icecream or something that made them fat then when they got too fat they went into this chamber that slimmed them up and everytime got a dot stamped on their wrist

My best guess: star bellied sneetches/wooden people of the popul vuh mashup? It reminds me of the movie we watched at some point in English class, about the planet that only got sunlight once a year (or future earth, whatever), and the kids in school had to sit under sunlamps and have recess in the dark. And then when it came it was like this huge thing everyone anticipated. And some freaked out, and some were underwhelmed. Kinda like New Years Eve. Anybody know what that one was?

UPDATE: Thanks, internet! Looks like the ice cream story is "Lose Now, Pay Later" by Carol Farley, which was published in 2041: Twelve Stories About the Future By Top Science-Fiction Writers ed. Jane Yolen. The sunlight one is Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day."

Best blog post of 2009

It's headlines like these, on January 5, that are a perfect example of why I decided to stop being cool (aka, feverishly listening to music and blogging about bands and stuff).

2009's First Weekend

In breaking with the tradition set by holidayathon 08, I didn't actually drink to excess this weekend. My liver is very content with me this Monday. It's a new thing we're trying out. Instead, I went and saw The Wrestler on Friday night in Georgetown. The only D.C. theater it's yet to grace with its presence. I'm still not sure if I actually liked the movie. I appreciated the construction; it was a really well done portrait of that type of personality, and the characters were all chosen really well to highlight and reflect the main character's flaws and attempts at growth. But damn, was it hard to take. And there were a few moments that were untrue to the rest of the film -- like the explosion in the grocery store. I think it was a good movie, but not one I'm sure I actually enjoyed or would watch again.

Anyway, then we Georgetown-visitors had dinner at Paparazzi, where I picked up some sweet tickets to Saturday's Georgetown/Pitt game. Capps, Dan, Catherine and I headed over to the Verizon Center at noon-time for a really good game. Well, a really good first half. Georgetown just does. not. rebound. It's a terrible strategy. But it was fun to go to the game anyway, and sit in the fancy Acella suite, eating disguisting buffet food, and sit in amazingly good 100-level seats the rest of the time. After a couple hours of Buffy watching, and some encouragement from Becks and Ficke to peel ourselves off the Flophouse couch, we went to G Fine Arts for some art, ACKC for some uninspiring hot chocolate, and Dukem for my very first encounter with Ethiopian food (which I absolutely loved). The rest of my fellow travelers peeled off to see The Wrestler for themselves, and I met up with Jenna to check out The Gibson. It was pricey, but worthwhile. Not the kind of place you go to mingle; you go with one person you want to spend two hours talking to. Luckily, Jenna and I always have way more than 2 hours of conversation in us, so we had a lovely time sipping their craft cocktails. Very much a special occasion destination if you can get a table, but worth a trip for sure.

Yesterday I watched the playoffs and made steaks at the Flophouse, and read the rest of New Moon. My hate for Bella subsided throughout most of the middle of this book, but by the end it was back. I will probably loathe the time I waste finishing the series, but I'll do it anyway.

This week: bowl games, visits from Emily, Ireland planning, Abby's birthday, Catherine's birthday, more art, taking down Christmas decorations, and a lot of work. Cheerio!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy 2009, dudes!

Yesterday, as many friends gathered for new year's day brunch at our house, I was shocked to learn how many people were completely unfamiliar with the tradition of eating black eyed peas for good luck in the new year. Don't worry though, I made sure all my friends are guarded by the power of legumes.

I also ate ham and greens, like any good southerner does on the first day of the year. And, less traditional but part of lazing around for 10 hours with a bunch of my friends and neighbors: delicious frittatas, mimosas, bloody maries, tea, coffee, and not one but two rounds of pizza delivery. Starting off 2009 with dear people and plenty of food and good movies and conversation is pretty much the best. Happy new year, internet!