Portland? More Like Sportland!

The first round of the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is in the books. Here's how the TMT Tourney Challenge looks thus far.

If you’ve seen any of my NCAA Tournament brackets, you would think I decided to go into exile. However, being reclusive is so 1960s and what kind of host would I be to my girlfriend’s siblings if I locked myself in a closet in the middle of their four-day stay?

I’m writing from the Fred Meyer Wi-Fi area across the street from our apartment. The rest of the clan remains conked out after going to see Chelsea Handler perform at Keller Auditorium in downtown Portland. I took a pass, stayed in bed, watched a few episodes of The Wire and lamented how age has utterly destroyed my ability to bounce back after a night of drinking. Twenty-four hours after drinking three bottles of merlot, all I wanted was a drip bag, a heating pad and a hug.

It’s a funny thing, moving so far from home and having family visit after you’ve “established” yourself somewhere else. It’s even funnier when that place is Portland and your family is from small-town South Dakota. Nothing shocks my girlfriend and I anymore, but I expected her siblings to be aghast once or twice during the stay. Hasn’t happened yet — Portland’s been on its finest behavior. It’s like all the hobos and hipsters left for spring break.

But still, I’ll admit a little pride in this fair city. We made it back from Seaside yesterday afternoon. Her brother and I hit Eastmoreland, an old golf course in the southeast, in preparation for our round today at Tri-Mountain in Vancouver, Wash. It was a part of Portland I hadn’t been to and something I haven’t done, really because my golf clubs had been stranded back home since I moved. Having my golf clubs here, doing something I love, something that felt familiar with someone I’ve known for a few years now made me feel, for the first time, “at home” in Portland.

Today, it’s golf and sushi. (Golf > Sushi, in my opinion, but I’ll suffer the latter to have the former.) The forecast in Vancouver is 72 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze. You ever seen Vanilla Sky? (If not, move on to the next graph.) Sometimes, you get a day where everything aligns so perfectly, you have to wonder if you’re cryogenically frozen, and this is the lucid dream you’ve purchased while your reserved body awaits the science to come back to life.

Anyhow. The second round of the NCAA Tournament kicks off today. I Prefer Chicken in a Biscuit holds a slight lead over MollyKHey, but there’s still a lot of tournament left. (For some of us, anyway. My bracket was D.O.A.) Enjoy the basketball this weekend, but if you’ve got weather like we do this weekend, get outside!

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