THE IDEA that the people of Portland lack ambition is a filthy fucking lie and I will walk—UP A HILL, WITH A BACKPACK FULL OF JOB APPLICATIONS—to spit in the goateed face of the bumbaclot who started this scurrilous rumor (scurrilous is a fun word, huh?). It's an old, tired stereotype. I don't know if it was ever true, it might have happened when I was learning Hebrew back in 1997, but it certainly doesn't fit the reality of what's happening in this city right now. By the way, it isn't that funny either—even someone's dad folding a pile of Lee Dungarees before church thinks it's hack to call Portlanders unambitious.
There is a deficit of a certain kind of ambition, I suppose. There are only two Fortune 500 companies in the Portland area. Phoenix has double that! Doesn't that sound better? Being Phoenix? Rooting for the Diamondbacks and giving a fuck about Barry Goldwater all day... Phoenix! Perhaps we lack that certain specific ambition, but don't get it twisted−Portland is ambitious as a motherfucker.
It takes ambition to leave behind a steady job and launch a food cart on 82nd Avenue. It takes ambition to sell your car and bike to work every single sopping wet day. It takes ambition to open up yet another store that seems to sell only socks and fake mustaches and terrifying latex horse masks—EVEN THOUGH a store that sold the exact same thing just went out of business in that same location. I mean that last one may lack forethought, but it does not lack ambition. These are only examples that traffic in the lackadaisical, packaged-for-eye-rolling, delivered-with-a-jack-off-pantomime (too many dashes, probably) notions of Portland as a city. This is an actual city. You may find yourself staring at the "Nerdy Chicks Rule" bumper sticker, but please don't forget it's attached to a large automobile. When I was growing up, everyone's dad worked at Intel. You know what their mom did? Worked at Intel. You know what their kids do? Improv or some shit, right? Who gives a fuck if they DO do improv? I know people who make a living teaching and performing improv, and I don't know Wayne Brady or Ryan Stiles.
Frankly, if it's your ambition to do improv then you don't need to make a living doing it. You don't need to make a living brewing beer or writing or drawing webcomics or whatever it is. I mean, you do need to make a living, but if your ambition is to be happy—and for you being happy is paying your bills, loving yourself, and welding bike parts together with the intention of jousting from aforementioned welded bike parts, then don't let any motherfucker tell you that you aren't ambitious! You don't have time for that kind of talk, that shit needs a sidecar and you have work in the morning. @IanKarmel