Category Archives: Tomato’s Choice

Homicide by David Simon: A Cajun Tomato Chat

Proof Simon is a genius!

Ed. Note: My friend and fellow journalist, Nate Monroe, decided to experiment tonight while talking about a mutual interest of ours — David Simon’s seminal journalism work, Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets. We did a gmail chat much in the same manner we would have done a podcast. Here is a transcript of our chat. Enjoy!
PS: Nate is denoted in the conversation as “me.” I am “raybaybay3.”

A Tutorial On How To Score Chicks At The Coffeeshop

I made it my mission to crank the music in my headphones to deafening levels tonight to avoid the loud and insipid conversation between the twenty-something guy and girl sitting at the table next to me inside the coffeeshop.

He talked about his duel summer jobs delivering pizzas. She talked about men having vision. They flirted over serious discussions of the tenants of Catholicism. Zzzzzzzz ….

Everything was kosher until I removed my headphones to ask my roommate, Scottie, what album he wanted me to burn him. It was at this precise moment I learned how (not) to score chicks at the coffeeshop. (My dad would be so proud. I kid.)

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A Gator Stole My Cajun Accent: My Q&A With Myself

I'm offering a reward to anyone who finds the gator that stole my Cajun accent.

If I ever wrote a memoir, I would seriously consider naming it Where’s Your Cajun Accent? or A Gator Stole My Cajun Accent or something like that.

The book could also be named It’s Spelled Legend With An R-E. I say “it’s spelled ‘legend’ with an ‘re’ ” in hopes of helping people spell my last name not hindering them. Sadly, many people don’t know how to spell the word legend.

I might forgo writing a memoir and just record everything like Kenny Powers of “Eastbound and Down” fame. I’m so indecisive.

Look for my memoir in 2041 or thereabouts wherever fine books are sold. I have no clue where fine books will be sold in 2041. Just be on the lookout.

I wasn’t thinking about memoir titles when I named this blog. I was thinking about writing a Q&A, like one that would appear in Playboy, to talk about my three months in Portland — where I’ve been, where I am right now, where I hope to go, etc.

For this exercise, I would be the interviewer and interviewee. The title just came to me because I’ve heard several variations of the statement “you don’t have a Cajun accent” and the obvious follow-up question “why don’t you have a Cajun accent?” from several people.

Good question. Click on the link below for more questions — some frequently asked, some not — and my somewhat expansive, somewhat vague answers to them. Cheers!

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Everything In Its Right Place: My Favorite Radiohead Songs


When rock’n’roll gods Radiohead announced this week they would release their eighth studio album, The King of Limbs, this Saturday, I did more than a few mental cartwheels.

It’s been a while since Radiohead released an album. 2007 to be exact. This new album, which will be available in MP3 format Saturday and in album and CD format in May, is cause for rejoicing. It’s not hyberbole to say that the album of the year could be released Saturday. But I might be getting ahead of myself. Little is known about The King of Limbs. It’s shrouded in mystery.

While counting the days to The King of Limbs’ release, I compiled a list of my favorite Radiohead songs. I set out with a goal of picking 12 songs. I ended up with 18. No reason to be conservative when it comes to listing Radiohead songs. You will notice I did not include a few Radiohead classics — “Karma Police,” “Paranoid Android,” and “Fake Plastic Trees.” I might be a weirdo, but I don’t really care for most of their classic third album, OK Computer. Commence throwing stones my way.

This list is merely my favorite Radiohead songs. The songs are listed in alphabetical order. Ranking these songs would have been too hard. The order would have changed hour to hour. No need to play that shell game. Feel free to disagree with my picks here.

Let’s do the damn thing! Click the link below for my favorite Radiohead songs!

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Morphine and Milkshakes: The Cajun Tomato Returns

Cajun Tomato Rockin' The Jacko Mask

I’m looking out my fourth story window at a winter’s skyline of brick buildings, withered trees and lazy, oblong clouds waiting to punch the clock. Everybody and everything in Portland, it seems, is waiting to punch the clock on the cold, rainy season.

You might have noticed the past two weeks I have been absent from this blog, and then wondered if Portland had succeeded in making me unambitious in just over two months time. I assure you I haven’t crawled into a fetal position waiting for March to arrive.

About two weeks ago, my lymph nodes gradually began swelling, until they had grown to the point where I had extreme difficulty swallowing food or liquids or speaking. Imagine trying to speak intelligibly with a dozen cotton balls lodged in your throat.

The ordeal landed me in the emergency room, where I was treated for severe dehydration and a rushed heart rate and given antibiotics to ward off what appeared to be a viral infection.

After exhausting my supply of antibiotics, the infection viciously returned last week. On Wednesday, I scheduled an appointment with a throat specialist Friday. On the day of the appointment, I threw up liquids upon waking and nearly passed out inside the doctor’s office, once again leading to an emergency room visit.

This time I wasn’t given the option of leaving the hospital.

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I read Playboy … for its MLK interview

Dr. Martin Luther King

Playboy subscribers are a funny lot. They are quick to let you know they don’t just order the magazine for the airbrushed nude photos of co-eds and D-list celebrities.

Oh no, they read the articles too. That’s what they say, at least.

I’ve never subscribed to Playboy. The reason is not rooted in any moral high ground. I like the magazine. Playboy routinely features great fiction, articles, and Q&A’s. (God, I sound like a Playboy subscriber. Shakes head.)

I receive Playboy’s daily Facebook updates on my “news feed.” On Monday, along with a link promising to showcase sport’s hottest under boobs ever, Playboy’s feed contained a link to Alex Haley’s interview of Dr. Martin Luther King published in the magazine in 1965, in conjunction with the national holiday honoring the late civil rights leader.

I would venture to guess the under boobs link generated more page views. Sex sells. But even the most magnificent under boobs sag. King’s message of equality, which he outlined thoughtfully in his Playboy interview 45 years ago, continues to endure.

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Out Of The Toilet Bowl And Into The Natty: An Oregon Alum’s Take On the Ducks’ Rise From Obscurity To The Title Game

There were no winners that day. At the end of what has been dubbed “The Toilet Bowl,” involving the University of Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers, the scoreboard read 0-0.

Some say it was the worst football game ever played.

Eleven fumbles, five interceptions, four missed field goals, no points.

If overtime rules had existed then, this comical futility may have never ended.

The year was 1983, several months before I moved to Oregon. This was the state of the Oregon Ducks football program when I first set foot in the Pacific Northwest. It was a laughingstock of a program, unknown to the rest of the country.

Tonight the Ducks play the Auburn Tigers for the right to be called national champions.

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Cajun Tomato’s 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

Hello friend,

Here just hours before 2011 arrives is that noblest of pursuits: a list of resolutions I will brush aside during the first week of the new year. Anyone can brush aside one resolution, two resolution, three resolutions … but here I have listed 26 resolutions. I can’t possibly brush all of them aside, can I? Just watch. I’ve already said, “Thanks but no thanks”, to five of them while typing this intro. No, I’m not going to tell you which. You’ll just have to guess. You’ll probably guess wrong, though. The mind of the Cajun Tomato is a whirlwind, a friendly whirlwind, but a whirlwind all the same. Well, it’s time to post this baby. May you have a wonderful evening and may 2011 bring you all the health and wealth your megachurch pastor promises.



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Tucker Max book signing inspires bizarre protest

PORTLAND — As I walked into Powell’s Books in Portland Friday night, I spotted a young woman in front of the store holding a cardboard sign with a bizarre question, to put it mildly.

“Isn’t rape hilarious?” the woman’s sign sarcastically read. There were about 20 or so protestors with signs of a similar vein, but that one stuck with me.

What was the meaning of this odd query? Who  was it directed toward? Is non-consensual sex really funny, and I’m just missing the joke?

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