Category Archives: Tomato’s Choice

The Crafty Life: “On-Set Whale Tendencies”

Behind the crafty tables

The Crafty Life is a new series chronicling my experiences as a person with a non-film background working as a craft services assistant on television shows shooting in New York City. Today’s second installment is called “My On-Set Whale Tendencies”. You can read the first installment here.

I am a whale once I step on a TV set. I have zero self-control. I am making a down payment on a heart attack. I know it, and yet I keep eating shit. Let’s be honest: It’s not a birthday cake Oreo. It’s shit.

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Cajun Tomato’s NYC 100: “Places Where Teens Make Out In NYC”

This is the 25th installment of Cajun Tomato’s NYC 100, a periodic series chronicling my observations and insights as a new New Yorker. You can read past dispatches here.

A week ago I labeled New York City as “No Drive City” because I had driven in the city three times in three months. This is a stark contrast to the bayous of south Louisiana where I learned to drive as a peach-fuzzed 16-year-old, and subsequently peeled rubber and polluted the atmosphere for the next decade.

My friend Marie read the post and wondered, “Where do the kids make out if they don’t have cars?” Good question. Here’s places where teens make out in NYC, or I imagine they do. I felt it unnecessary to title the post places where teens without cars make out in NYC because unless your papa is loaded or you live way, way, way out in Queens, you’re not driving as a teen in New York City.

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Six Musical Degrees Of The Cajun Tomato

Cajun Tomato Dance Party

Earlier this week, NPR took a bite out of Kevin Bacon with its list of six musical questions. You are what you listen to, and don’t you forget it, the web site suggested.

I am eclectic in my musical tastes. I like trashy pop music. I like sad bastard indie rock. I like to dance and I like Motown. Oh, and I once bought a Christian rock album. So there’s that.

I am a musical smoothie. You can be one too. Indulge.

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On The Olympic Catwalk, A Nationalistic Furor Erupts

Sportswear for France's 1 percent?

In fewer than two weeks, American Olympians will parade through the Olympic Stadium in London in Ralph Lauren-designed red, white, and blue uniforms made in China. That communists made our Olympic uniforms bunched up several American politicians’ knickers the past few weeks. A patriotic nation like America should send its warriors, I mean athletes, into battle in garb made by the hands of their countrymen, the politicians shouted, especially when said patriotic nation has 8 percent unemployment.

I am conflicted. One part of me thinks this whole made in America argument is ludicrous. China is my official outfitter five days per week. The other two days I am a nudist. TMI? NAH. The other part of me questions why Bravo or some other reality whore network didn’t create a show where contestants competed to make American Olympic uniforms out of silly string, whip cream, and duct tape. It’s un-American not to turn everything into a reality TV famewhore event – especially when the alternative is a fashion atrocity that recalls sportswear for France’s 1 percenters.

America’s uproar about its Olympics jerseys mirrors other countries, such as Spain, that outsourced their Olympic uniform design or manufacturing. You see? America isn’t even unique when it comes to bitching about Olympic uniforms. I can’t wait for HBO’s The Newsroom to inject a 10-minute rant about this into one of its future episodes.

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Is Frank Ocean A Shoo-In For Pitchfork Album Of The Year? (A Statistical Analysis)

Frank Ocean at Coachella

The hype surrounding Frank Ocean’s debut album, Channel Orange, reached a fever pitch Thursday morning when indie tastemaker website Pitchfork gave the rising R&B star a 9.5 on a 10 scale, earning him a coveted Best New Music label. To put this in perspective, Pitchfork has bestowed scores of 9.5 or higher to six other albums the past decade. Those albums were The Wrens’ Meadowlands (9.5, 2003), The Fiery Furnaces’ Blueberry Boat (9.6, 2004), Arcade Fire’s Funeral (9.7, 2004), Kanye West’s Late Registration (9.5, 2005), Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion (9.6, 2009), and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (10, 2010). Three of those six won Album of the Year – Funeral, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Pitchfork editor-in-chief Ryan Schrieber’s tweet from Thursday indicated Ocean would win Album of the Year if the year ended today. That’s no surprise, given the praise Pitchfork lavished on Channel Orange and the fact the next highest score the site has awarded this year is a 9.1 to Beach House’s Bloom. But not only is 2012 far from over but there are several Pitchfork favorites releasing albums in the coming months. Animal Collective, Ariel Pink, Grizzly Bear, Big Boi and Kanye West, all of whom have recent 9.0 or better albums to their credit, are dropping new music in the coming months. So while Ocean is most likely assured a spot in the Top 3, he has not locked up Album of the Year (yet, at least).

Here’s a statistical look at how Pitchfork’s scoring practices have changed over the past decade, from a more liberal approach a decade ago that resulted in unpredictable year-end albums list to their more streamlined and conservative approach to doling out 9.0 scores in recent years.

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10 Craptastic States I Don’t Want To Live

New Mexico: Where Trains Outnumber People

Last time I counted I had visited 26 continental U.S. states. That does not include airport visits. That means driving through and/or stopping. I’ve seen the South, the Midwest, the Northeast, and the West. All have their charms, sure. Some less than others though.

With that in mind, here’s a list of 10 states I would not live in unless I was offered a Godfather deal to work and/or play there. Play there? I’ve been reading too much Bill Simmons and watching too much basketball.

Let’s get started offending people, shall we?

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You’re Outta Here: On Getting Ejected From My Yankees Stadium Debut

The crime scene

And now for a story about throwing popcorn at strangers, verbal altercations with off-duty NYPD cops, and getting kicked out of baseball’s most tradition-rich stadium, all of which would make my mama shake her head …

I did not throw the popcorn first. I imagine I would start there if I were in a court of law retelling this story. I am civilized. I don’t waste popcorn. Hell, I don’t buy popcorn at ballgames.

I arrived at my first game at Yankee Stadium three innings late. The women I attended the game with pre-gamed and then during-gamed off-site. I did not consume alcohol before or during the game.

By the time we arrived in the Bronx, the game had no chance of being anything but a buzzkill for them. Blurry eyes, full hearts, can’t get drunker at Yankees Stadium – not unless you wanna throw your wallet in the Hudson at the end of the night.

So, I’ll skip ahead a few innings – past the part where my ladyfriend Kerry and I wandered around like exiles looking for a program, watched Alex Rodriguez strike out with the bases loaded (score!), and then found said program in the bowels of the stadium. We returned to our right field seats around the seventh inning, and even though the Yankees were losing to the Tampa Bay Rays everyone seemed in good spirits.

The chain of events that occurred next surprised me, excited me, confused me, and, above all, amused me. Who gets kicked out of Yankee Stadium on their first visit? This guy, apparently.

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Examining 10-Year H.S. Reunion Questions

Future goals: Rollerderby enthusiast?

My 10-year high school reunion is this month, I think. This month or next … either way I am old as dirt.

I sent a Facebook message to the person coordinating the shindig informing them I wouldn’t make it. I live 2,500 miles away. Truth is even if I lived 2.5 miles from the reunion’s location I would not attend. I have no interest in reliving high school.

I received a reply with a series of questions – spouse’s name, number of children, future goals, and favorite high school memory – for a “memories book.”

So, about those questions …

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“Rougarou” Talk Says All You Need To Know About A&E’s “Cajun Justice”

Rarely in life does the term “Rougarou” say it all. A&E’s press release for its upcoming “Cajun Justice” reality TV show starring the Terrebonne (La.) Sheriff’s Office is one of those times.

To call this “reality” show, set to debut June 7, a farce is too kind. To call former Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois a publicity hungry shyster is perhaps just right.

Clearly, “Cajun Justice” is less about a law-enforcement department serving its community than it is a sheriff serving his ego. It is my belief Bourgeois should resign now.

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Kanye, Jay-Z Risk Lives Atop Throne in Tacoma

Kanye, Jay-Z risking their lives!

It would have been the oddest celebrity death in history. The international headlines would have read, “Business card causes pop icon’s fatal fall.”

Instead, it was another epic Kanye West rant, much ado about nothing. A fan, presumably going H.A.M., threw a business card onto a part of the Tacoma Dome stage that had moments earlier been raised two stories high.

Kanye flipped his lid. He threatened to remove a row of people who paid around $200 per ticket. I love when Mr. West goes off script.

“These cubes going 20 feet in the air,” Kanye told the crowd, genuinely pissed. “We’re risking our lives, fam.”

Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne tour stop Friday night in Tacoma, Wash., featured three hours of show-stopping moments – from scores of platinum hits to an awe-inspiring light display to Kanye being Kanye to the encore of “Gingers In Paris,” as I call it. They might not have literally risked their lives, but Kanye and Jay-Z were nothing short of life-affirming.

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