Tag Archives: Portland

On My Book Shelf: The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin

The Pacific Northwest’s never-ending winter has a way of choking happiness out of people. There’s something about staring up at gray skies day after day after day that has a negative psychological effect, particularly on a bayou boy like me.

So, with that in mind, I picked up a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project at Powell’s a few weeks ago. I had never heard of the New York Times bestseller. Powell’s has a bestseller’s bookshelf, and sure enough this paperback with its fun, light blue cover attracted me.

So did the thought of being happier.

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On Softball, Illness And The Day’s Greatest Victory

Roadside Attraction Summer 2011

My right shoulder is communicating to me today in a surly, unspoken language. As best I can translate, it is saying, “you idiot, you didn’t stretch me enough before throwing the softball yesterday.”

So it goes. My right arm is tight. Plus, the nail on my right big toe is gone. Those are small sacrifices to make in exchange for playing softball in February, which I did yesterday in sun-drenched Irving Park.

A year ago at this time the ideas of hitting, fielding, or throwing a softball, or merely being outside, were as distant, for me, as setting foot on the moon.

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Open Letter To Jeff Mangum

Jeff is coming to Portland! Hooray!

Thank you! You answered my request to visit Portland. Maybe you read The Cajun Tomato, maybe you don’t. My money’s on “don’t.” Either way I am so excited!!!!

No, seriously. I had a hard time containing my joy today when I learned you were playing two shows here in Portland. I spent a solid hour doing an ecstatic, pants on fire dance in my mind … at least, I hope it was all in my mind. That could have been awkward.

I adore your music. Want proof? Check out No. 1 on my favorite albums of the 1990s list.

Did I mention I was EXCITED?!?!? OK. I’ll stop before I hyperventilate.

Hope to see you soon,
Ray aka “One-Headed Boy”

Thoughts: “A Whole Lot of What Ifs”

The term “what if” was a negative force in my life the past two months, as I wrestled with illness and the anxiety associated with it. Questioning yourself and the path you are on does not need to be negative thing though. It can be a freeing experience.

I jotted this down a few minutes ago. The genesis was “what if I reached my potential?” I told my dad the other day I felt afraid to reach my potential. My logic, if there was any: “What if I reach my potential and it is not all that great?” You see? A perfect example of the term being negative. The flip side: What if I reach my potential and it IS great?

Anyway here’s my stream of consciousness piece, “A Whole Lot Of What Ifs.” Dig it!

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LSU-Alabama NCAA Football Live Blog

Former LSU pitcher Brian Wilson

Hello everyone,

It’s the Cajun Tomato here. I’m coming to you live from rainy and cold Portland, Ore. We’re about a half hour from the start of the LSU-Alabama game. You might have heard about it.

LSU is No. 1 in the BCS. Alabama is No. 2. Most pundits are picking with Alabama, largely because of their defense, the presence of RB Trent Richardson, and homefield advantage.

You can read my keys to the game here.

Continue reading for minute-by-minute analysis! PS: All times are Pacific Standard Time.

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Poetry: "These Days Even The Sun Feels Cold"

These days even the sun feels cold
It hides behind clouds of woe
Waiting for a flight to somewhere remote
But distance is no antidote
Like warmth is no substitute for growth
Just an excuse to remain in the mold
And then what do you have to show
When your clock reads all zeroes

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Electrify MusicFest Northwest

Macklemore crushin' it!

Seattle hip-hop act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis put on a kingmaking performance Friday night inside Portland’s Roseland Theater as part of MusicFest Northwest 2011. The show had everything you could ask for: incredible music, incredible crowd energy, and incredible charisma from Macklemore.

Prior to Friday night, I had heard a few tracks from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis I enjoyed. If I had any doubts about attending the show, Portland weekly newspaper Willamette Week ended them by blasting Macklemore on its cover this week. The music and the hype were enough to bring me and 1,200 others out.

The crowd reaction two songs in was about as deafening as I have heard in a venue this size. You would have sworn Macklemore was hip-hop Jesus incarnate. I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first. White rapper hype can be deceiving, especially in a place as vanilla as Portland. But Macklemore earned every ounce of the crowd’s love.

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LSU-Oregon College Football Live Blog

Geaux Tigers!

Cheers everybody!

This is Cajun Tomato coming to you from Portland, Ore., the land of crazy Ducks fans. They have been looking forward to this game against SEC West power LSU for months. I, as a fan of LSU fan, have been anticipating this game for months too.

Tonight, one team’s fans will be happy. The other will be sad. I predicted earlier today it would be LSU’s fans that would be happy. But I admit that I am a tad bit biased.

Without further ado, les geaux Tigers!

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Live Blog: Fantasy Football Draft PDX

I picked two Saints! Who Dat!


I am coming to you live from Yur’s Bar and Grill in Northwest Portland. Tonight is my inaugural fantasy football draft since I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I planned to research the draft earlier today. Alas, I did almost no research today. I am winging it. It’s like high school except there’s booze and money involved. So-so bar wi-fi willing I will post about each pick this evening.

Follow this train wreck below:

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I Said I Was Sorry: My Experiences With Bums in Portland

I "hooked" this man up with a dollar.

To outsiders across the country, Portland is a weird cultural oasis in northwest Oregon renowned for its bridges, roses, and endless strip clubs. It is home to the world’s largest nude bike ride and arguably the finest weed in the world, according to its residents.

What tour brochures and locals don’t tell you is Portland’s also the unofficial bum mecca of the Pacific Northwest, if not the United States. Why are there so many bums? Good question! My guess: Bums can’t resist smoking the world’s finest weed on bridges while watching nude bikers pedal toward strip clubs featuring dancers named Tequila Rose.

Nary a day goes by when I don’t get solicited for disposable money. The giver in me wants to reach in my pocket and give the homeless person before me my Burgerville card. I’ve earned $3.50 in rewards, a sum good enough for a burger with all the fixings.

The cynic in me silently believes these beggars will pawn my Burgerville card and buy booze with the proceeds. So I make it a practice to simply say “sorry” when I’m asked for change. This usually halts the conversation. I don’t feel too bad about saying “no” to the homeless; there are social programs in place to provide them food and shelter.

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