The hands of fate appear to be drawing me to a place that has always been nearby, but never really on my list of frequented places until this summer. I first went to the Beanberry Caffe on assignment for the Patch to see their comedy night. The event was a solid one, not much to say about it, but it really was pretty enjoyable. Come to think of it, the only thing worth mentioning was this mother whom I'd been shooting the breeze with waiting for the show to start said I'd be perfect for her daughter. I just kind of nodded and said thanks, I really had little intention of following that up. However, what little impetus I had to follow up quickly vanished when her next sentence was something to the tune of "if you break her heart my husband will get someone to break your legs." Ah, the innocence of a budding romance. I, again, kind of nodded and said thanks. Another woman, noticing my shirt with her name, said I knew nothing about Janis Joplin. We exchanged thoughts on her music and some very basic trivia about her life and apparently I passed the test. She then said I was cute and went to rub my face. The interview ended immediately.
Anyway, the atmosphere is awesome there. For lack of a better term, there's a really chill and intimate vibe. They offer a variety of food and assorted drinks including tea, wine, and beer. As if that weren't enough, they have a scrabble board too. It would seem I've found a home away from home.
This past Tuesday, they had an open mic there. Usually, my spot for musical open mics is pretty exclusively the Velvet Lounge unless I'm going to see a specific friend someplace else. A friend, Eliot Greene, mentioned that the Beanberry was pretty open to poetry reading as well. That was a refreshing proposition because I'm not a fan when poetry is kind of the elephant in the room when surrounded by great tunes. It's a little unnerving in my opinion. Anyway, I went to take in the scene and really had no intention of performing, but the talent there was really impressive, and I've already spoken with much aplomb about the setting, so I went for it and read one piece of mine I brought just in case and inspired by Eliot, laid out some improv verses that people really seemed to enjoy. I was thrilled with the warming reaction and reception and definitely plan on attending pretty often. Not since York have I felt so at ease to share some of my work and experiment with my lexicon in public. The Beanberry is providing an outlet that I find myself really hungering for at this point in my life. I can't say enough about the quality of the place and people.
I had accidentally showed up to the session an hour too early and witnessed three high school aged kids nose deep in their gameboys and having in depth conversations about the quality and apparent strategy of various pokemon games and levels. I'm not even trying to hate on it. It was really enriching to hear people be so passionate about something that I didn't understand/didn't care about too much. I kind of realized how I must sound when the NBA comes up in conversation in certain company.
A few days ago I went to Cedar Beach to shoot some hoops as I do every now and then. I summer camp pulled up and they watched my play for a while. Then, I imagine they thought they were whispering, but I could hear them plain as day as they spoke about how I was really good and whatnot... what they said is kind of irrelevant, but the idea is pretty important. I then heard them debate amongst themselves as to whether they should ask "the stranger" to play. Many kids said no for that very reason, others seemed really eager to play with me. I watched them put it to a vote and was quite proud of the demonstration of democracy. I imagine it was decided I shouldn't play because I never heard anything more about joining their ranks. It's so interesting to see kids in their interactions with each other.
Speaking of kids, the summer camp I work at has started up again. It's good to be back and brush up on my "lava monster" and jump rope, both of which had gotten quite rusty over the past 10 months. I feel like rather than tell you all about my camp days and likely bore you, I'll simply share one or two highlights of each day.
1. Girl feeling tired intentionally closes her eyes while walking and proceeds to ram herself into a wooden fence, cutting her chin open. Confusion still lingers about what she expected would happen.
2. 10 year-old boy takes great pride in "Wolverine" impression. Actual impression tends resemble more of an effeminate catwoman, complete with hissing sound which may or may not be voluntary. A big part of me wants to tell him to knock it off, but a bigger part of me doesn't want to endeavor to explain to him why he should knock it off. I leave it alone after becoming open to the idea that maybe my ninja turtle impressions as a youngster weren't as spot on as I hoped they were. Ignorance is bliss, witnessing ignorance can be even more rewarding.
The Kraus family had a gathering to celebrate Emily's graduation from UD. These gatherings are always a good time. Part of what makes these days so special are the volleyball games that take place. Two quick stories along those lines before I let you go.
1. Mild-mannered Ben Kraus took his game to another level and was all over the court. Good to see his mean streak on full display as he took on all comers unbiasedly laying down the law to each one. As the other team innocently tossed the ball over to our side for us to serve, Ben spiked the ball emphatically out of reflex, leaving stunned spectators and players on both sides in his wake. Also, his brother called him "Daddy Long Legs." I really got a kick out of this very appropriate nickname.
2. As was bound to happen, the volleyball was hit into Emily's pool. Rather than wait for the ball to float to the side where it could be picked up, Emily's uncle went to lean in and grab the ball. Everyone knew this was a bad idea, but we looked on in silence anyway. His risk proved costly as he fell in the pool, soaking his phone. I'd be lying if I said I didn't crack a smile, but it was more of a shame than humorous. What was funny was Emily's uncle's friend coming to his aid was a lawn lamp to get the ball with and/or for him to grab on to. Now to be fair, I cannot with 100 percent certainty say that the object was a lamp and even if it was a lamp (which I do think it was) it was definitely not plugged in. But even with that said, there's something hilarious about about grabbing something strictly electrical to fetch something out of a pool. That laughter was not as easy to disguise. Grebe and I were on similar pages in that regard and shared a hearty laugh and fake noises of electrocution for the rest of the night.
Song of the Day: Roll Right- Rage Against the Machine
Jazz Song of the Day: Lost- Wayne Shorter