4SEB 2010 Year in Review

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

It’s New Years Eve and that means it’s probably time for a “Year In Review” type post. Considering this is the first ‘year’ this blog has been going, it’s probably a good idea. This way we can up noobs on what 4SEB has been doing… and start taking over all of the 4 Square world in 2011! But first, gotta review the games from last night (which were hella fun btw) …

We had folks come out even though it seemed like no one would show up. Shout out to Jordan, Ian, Lee, Sam, Paul, Adam, Robert, Judi, Meira, Liz, Mike, Samantha, Sydney, Justin, Leah, Ikru, Bernard, Amy, Dorian, Anne Marie and Laura! The play was vicious, there were less rules and more ass kicking. Seriously, people got served like all night diners. There were many 4 Square Challenges but only one winner. Lee = winner. Who-Ray! After midnight, elimination came though and Adam held it down for the last day of 2010. Way to be the best Adam, and good job at closing out the year in style.

As 4 Square of the East Bay looks back, we can appreciate that it has been a really good year for us. Even though 4SEB has been around since mid-2008, 2010 brought the beginning of this blog! Now you can share the experience of 4 Square with those who might not live in the East Bay! As our social media skills grew, we expanded beyond myspace to really blow up our facebook, twitter and (to some extend) our vimeo. This brought in more popularity as we were asked to come through and host different Squares at different community events around the East Bay like the reopening of the Oakland Museum, Oaklavía, Albany Streets, The Old Oakland Beer Fest and the rededication of Jefferson Square Park! 4SEB also commented on issues happening in our community, covering the aftermath of the Johannes Mehserle verdict in downtown Oakland and giving folks a unique perspective on Oakland’s Mayoral race.

But one of the crowning achievements of 2010 had to be joint pancake breakfast/4 Square Tournament that Strive For ____ and 4SEB put together. We dabbled in keeping score and changed some of the parking lot rules, but we focused on what was really important. FUN!

The other two very successful events that 4 Square of the East Bay had was our 2nd Birthday Party and our annual Costume Square! Considering that this event happens weekly, for FREE, many wonderful people came to the Rockridge BART Parking lot with food, friendly attitudes and had a great time! At both events, the love was palpable, the food was consumed, there were many pictures taken and the games were off the charts! Great job, East Bay, you are so totally worth living in!

Looking forward into the next year, 4SEB hopes to keep meeting on a weekly basis, hopes to keep providing a space for people to socialize in a safe, fun and competitive environment and hopes to become know all over the Bay Area and beyond.  While we had wishes of going to the World Championships for Four Square in Maine, the money and weather were both factors. As a result 4 Square of the East Bay hopes to start up our own International (intergalactic?) West Coast 4 Square Tournament where all those ballers who can’t get to the snowy East Coast can compete and really see who is the best. If you want to help with any part of this (organizing, fund raising, design, PR, food) contact us through facebook, email 4squareeastbay@gmail.com or just show up at the Rockridge BART Parking lot on a Thursday night between 9pm and midnight. Also we wanna make hoodies.

That’s it for this year! 2010 has been kickass! Thanks to everyone who comes and plays and donates time, blood, sweat and tears to this semi-organized event! Without you, it’d be really lonely in the parking lot. Keep balling and we are gonna leave you with the 4SEB’s Episode II. Watch, remember and enjoy… Be safe!

The Night B4 the Night B4 Xmas…

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Twas a night before Christmas, and all through the lot
Some people bounced balls, noses dripping with snot,
The square was drawn on the asphalt with care,
In hopes that hella players soon would be there.

The ballers were amped all ready for the games,
While visions of winning danced in their brains.
As cops in their cars made folks stash their booze,
The Square before Christmas featured a whole lot of Jews.

When out of the boombox there arose such a racket,
I sprung into action, with fly moves to match it.
All  in the Square, I soon rose to the top,
With all of my skill, there was no way I would stop.

The moon over Rockridge gave folks a great view,
Of me serving everyone, yes even you.
When, what to my wondering eyes should show up,
But more folks wanting to play, thinking they’re tough.

With a little old move, so lively and quick,
I got fools out with a monster slam hit.
More rapid than eagles these ballers they came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Liz! now, Greg! now, Justin and Lee!
C’mon, Caroline! C’mon, Robert! Three Mikes and a Keith!
What up Sam? What up Laura? Hey Eric and Lali!
I’ll get you out Martin, you’ll be hatin’ me prob’ly!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the air,
Folks talking about how I should be out of A Square,
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
They jumped into the square with a furious bound.

They were dressed all funny, with scraves round their faces,
Cutting in line and fighting about places,
A bundle of moves they introduced to the game,
But everyone who tried, got out just the same. .

Their eyes-how they cried! Their smiles were not there!
Why was it so serious, this game of 4 Square?
They talked mad shit, their temper was bitter,
One of them vowed to practice all winter.

I laughed in their faces, utterly certain,
That I would stay in, and their attitude worsened,
I jumped and I hit, showed guile and malice,
So much that a player cried “I 4 Square challenge!”

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had something to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Getting out players (they called him a jerk).
And laying his eyes firmly on me,
He raised up one finger, finger number three.

He sprang to the ball, the line gave a shout,
And away the ball bounced and then I was out!
I heard him exclaim, as he started to sing,
“It’s the night before Xmas, and I am the King!”

Season of Giving

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

We are in the middle of the winter season! Ah December, the month between Thanksgiving and New Years … you know, the one where you eat a lot, hang out with family and spend more than you should. While our memories of childhood Decembers might be peppered with greed and anticipation of gifts (what? goodwill towards men? peace on earth? um, gimme toys…) it is important to remember that this is a time of reflection and generosity. As folks grow up and budgets tighten (even more), the people of the American must take the little things in life as gifts. 4 Square of the East Bay would like to buy everyone a turkey and an iTunes card, but we just can’t afford it right now, so 4SEB would like to offer itself up as a present. With this gift of games and community, people from all over can come, relax, have a laugh in a silly environment and feel free to be themselves. Sometimes life can be overwhelming and we hope that 4 Square can offer just a little bit of celebration to your week as you dance around a parking lot, getting your hands dirty on rubber balls. Everyone needs to have real interactions and what better way to spend the holidays than by trying to get a person you just met out before they slam a ball in your square?

The games on Thursday were full of mirth and cider. Sleightbells were not heard, but occasionally the parking lot did ring out with the melodic carols of “Redo!” and “CAAAR!” The players were numerous, too numerous to name. Let’s just say that the line was long and full of cold noses in need of warming up next to a hot fire (hot fire being A square). The rules seemed to play the part of Scrooge and did not care for the season which meant there were no holiday rules called, just stupid ones like the Commie Rule, the On-Deck Rule, Non-Dominant hand, Breakfast Cereals, Profession Sports Teams, Superheroes and Countries of the World. Still, 4SEB stuffed everyones stockings with a whole lot of fun.

No 4 Square Challenges were won, but elimination came a little bit after midnight. Both Square 1 and 2 were cheerful and competitive, but the last rounds found Anne Marie and Eric trying to see who would be atop 4SEBs ‘Good’ list and receive the present of having a crappy picture put of them on the blog. It was Eric. Merry 4 Square, Eric!

Thanks for coming out last night on a rather cold evening with a slick surface and hard to see balls. It was fun! There are also other fun things happening this weekend, but mainly it’s the East Bay Bike Party’s Holiday Bike Party taking place tonight (Friday, December 10th) that we wanna talk about. This party on bikes is meeting at the Downtown Berkeley BART station around 7:30pm and leaving for a whimsical ride through the area and ending up in West Oakland at the Linden Street Brewery for a stationary party with food vendors, karaoke, dancing and live music. You should really be there.

Also, next week is the premier of Tron: Legacy. FYI many of the 4SEB mainstays will be attending the Friday morning (Thursday night) 1st screening so next week will be ‘BRING YOUR OWN BALL/CHALK/STEREO/IPOD’ night for 4 Square. Are you up to the challenge of making 4 Square work? Sure you are, you like your music better then the crap they play there anyway.

Well, we wish you a happy time as 2010 comes to a close. This year has been a wild and wonderful one for 4SEB as we’ve increased our presence in the East Bay’s mind have amassed at least 10 readers to this blog. Because of the interwebs accessibility we could be world famous and that’s kinda cool. Remember to give back to your community, to tell the people that you love that you love them and to have fun. Harbor no ill-will towards the people who got you out, because soon enough, they too will end up at the back of the line.

Thanksgiving Leftovers…

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Whew, it’s been a busy couple of weeks! It seem that the end of the year is always that way. After the November break folks ride a fridge of leftovers and get swept into a December full of shopping, spending money, family and all sorts of drama. Throw into the mix the colder weather and it can be a kinda depressing formula (especially if you are losing at fantasy football). Luckily, the East Bay has stable institutions that offer Holiday hassled residents some sort of consistency through the end of the year. 4 Square of the East Bay is all to happy to provide company and games to those who gather under the freeway and bounce balls in the parking lot.

4SEB has had a couple of event since the last post, so a quick update in pictures. These are from the Eat, Play, Bark Festival at Jefferson Square Park on November 20th (shout out and thanks to Robert for setting this one up) and Save A Turkey Square which took place on Thanksgiving after dinner. We were stuffed … full of awesomeness.

The thankful players from Save a Turkey Square were Julian, Lee, Gabby, Keith, Sam, Liz, Ben, Robert, Mike, Paul, Caroline, Lali and featured a special appearance by John, a 4 Square Legend from LA who was one of the fathers of 4SEBs lineage. A favored rule of the night was ‘Stuff you ate today’. The list went on forever. There were winners too! Julian consumed himself a 4 Square Challenge and Caroline finished the night by taking a bite out of some elimination winner pie! Congrats!

And then we had games last night too! Heck yes! Though it was rainy, hella people showed up! Maybe they were lured by the promise of free kitchen items that Sam was giving away or maybe they are just in love with the game.

Regardless, the players were Vi, Sam, Robert, Adam, Lali, Laura, Nick, Caroline, Emilie, Ben, Ian, Mike, Mike, Anne Marie, Lee, Caroline, Amy, Justin, Steph, Logan, Kendall, Judi, Barry, Micah, Paul, Will, Meira and Uriah. 4 Square Challenge winners were Lee and Phil. Hand clap and a finger snap.

The games raged on and on, new squares were drawn and balls got wet from bouncing in the rain. Elimination showed up after midnight and Square 1 was closed out and players lined up for the final games in Square 2. As it got down to the end Mike and Sam bounced the ball between them to see if they could determine a winner, but the game was so fun that the BART police decided they wanted to play too. As the music blasted from the police cruiser, neighbors came out of their houses and chased away the noisy cops before we were able to finalize a winner. Here is a picture of the finalists, throwing up gang signs and generally being hooligans.

That’s it for now! Next week will be a new one full of games and fun! If you’re feeling cold, move your body and bounce balls with us. It’s super fun. If you don’t believe us, ask any kid on a playground and they’ll tell you. Be safe, don’t spend too much money. Happy Hanukkah!

Flex Those Muscle Cars…

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

VROOOOOM! 4 Square East Bay has a CORVETTE! Does your 4 Square game have a muscle car? I don’t think so! That’s right! We are B-A-D, not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good! Okay, so maybe 4SEB is fronting a little bit but just because we push Hondas, Toyotas and bicycles doesn’t mean that we can’t pose in front of the real nice car that was parked dangerously close to our square. To all the owners of nice cars in the East Bay, we play 4 Square in the Rockridge BART parking lot on Thursday nights so if you park there, balls will be bouncing all around your shit. If you’re okay with that, then we’re okay taking pictures by your money … I mean vehicle.

Thursday was a divided night. The base of 4SEB is a lot of cool people who are big geeks on the inside (sometimes on the outside too). What drew many players away from last night’s game was the release of the new Harry Potter movie. They were all standing in line for the first midnight screening and to make JK Rowlings more richerer. When this was realized the conversations of the remaining players quickly turned to HP bashing. While a magical wizard boy is interesting and whatnot, 4 Square East Bay appreciates all those that suppressed the urge to hang out with nerdy ass teenagers and nerd out in a theater to nerd out with us in a parking lot.

Rules were in full effect last night, favorite being the Commie Rule, Precision Square, Countries of the World, Things That Live Under Water, Get To Know You Square, the Pirate Rule, On-Deck Rule and Hipity-Hop Square. Fun times. Players were: Katherine, Sam, Robert, Lee, Lali, Caroline, Emily, Jody, Mary, Adam, Mike, Will, Uriah, Mike, Stephanie, Logan, Laura, Judi, Rachel, Anne Marie, Phil, Jordan, Ben, Byron, Bill, Sarah, Nick, Amy, Gabe and Kurt. Most 4 Square Challengers were knocked away, but one muscled his way to the top. Flex em Mike!

Both Squares were jumping for most of the night and the games were excellent. There were lots of laughs, some disputes and some great play! The rallies seemed to go on and on and most people were able to win at least once. But at the end of the night, there can only be one winner. Paul and Laura stared each other down across the square and hit balls at each other, but Laura was not able to overcome the sheer muscly might of Paul. Congrats Paul, it’s your time to shine!

VROOM! That’s the end of the recap! Really though, you should stop reading these and just come out and play. Most people are friendly… 4 Square of the East Bay has an event that it’s playing at on Saturday, November 20th! It’s the Eat, Play, Bark Festival in Jefferson Square Park in Old Oakland from 11am to 2pm! Hotness, bring your dog and your A game cuz we will be throwing down! Also, next Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States of America. 4SEB is actually gonna be having a game going on then! What? As with most holiday squares, this game will start at 1opm NOT 9pm so if you feel so inclined as to work off that huge meal, come and join us! Bring left overs! Thanks for reading, see you in the square!

Veterans of the Game

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Thursday, November 11th was Veterans Day in America, a day when we honor those that have served in the military or those that just play video games. At 4 Square of the East Bay, we don’t really believe in violence, we believe in the healing power of the game. To celebrate Veterans Day 4SEB honored some of its veteran players who just happened to have birthdays around this time. Happy Birthday Sam and Uriah, you are veterans of the game!

To celebrate, everyone played 4 Square. There was less cake and more kick ass as the night started off small, but fierce. Soon more and more gathered, some to celebrate, some to play. Square 2 opened up after Square 1 had became overcrowded and a small b-boy/b-girl square appeared in between the two. Then, around 10:45, SPARKLERS! It was officially a party.

The veterans from last night were: Adam, Paul, Julian, Robert, Sam, Uriah, Michelle, Liz, John, Jerome, Mike, Kalen, Justin, Judi, Travis, Jordan, Phil, Daniel, Anne Marie, Mike, Elom, Will, Caitlin, Elena, Kendall, Ben, Kevin, Rachel and Lindsey. Play on playas.

While the focus of the night was distracted by sparkly fiery lights, some remembered the 4 Square Challenge. Uriah keeps his streak going and wins again. Happy birthday!

Elimination came early, but it was still ferocious! At the end of the night, a b-boy served the entire line and struck a pose. Way to win Will!

That’s all folks! Thanks for playing and celebrating, we love the attention. Bring your friends next time, but don’t be excessive. It’s not a good look. Also, Oakland finally has a mayor! Sadly, none of the major political players have ever graced our square to get our vote. Can we change that? Send them a link to this blog and tell them that we vote in a bloc! 4SEB has an upcoming event too. We’ll be at the Eat, Play, Bark Festival in Jefferson Square Park in Oakland from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, November 20th. Be there and bring the dog! See you next week…

Republicans take ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squares, Ballers still control ‘A’ Square.

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

On Tuesday, November 2nd was election day in the United States of America. Whatever. On Thursday, November 5th was 4 Square of the East Bay! Seriously, as 4SEB players knows from our counter-clockwise squares, power swings to the right. It’s a scary thing to think that the legislation that will come through in the next two years will be fought about tooth and claw and truly progressive agendas (or those that seem like common sense *cough gay marriage) will be buried. Why did it turn out this way? Was it your fault? Maybe not… What we do know is that even though we like to send people to Washington D.C. to represent us, the only way to truly build and uplift our community is through positive relationships and human interaction. With that sentiment, 4 Square of the East Bay would like to announce it’s bid for President of Everything in 2012. Donations will be accepted by the boombox.

In the midst of political turmoil, players will still play. There was no instant run-off 4 Square for all of these mayoral athletes, it was all or nothing. Candidates for ‘A’ Square were: Paul, Caroline, Rachel, Gabby, Lee, Uriah, Sam, Liz, Vi, Sanjay, Anne Marie, Kaylie, Robert, Will, Caroline, Lali, Justin, Laura, Mustafa, Eric, Mike, Ben, Julian, Lucas, Kalen, Greg, Kendall and maybe more!

4 Square Challenge winners managed to buck the tide of change and remain at the top of their game. As usual, Uriah and Lee stand as winners!

Elimination was called and people played until the polls were closed. While no one voted, Lee spend the most time and money on his campaign and bought many many ballots. Many called for a recount, but here at 4SEB News Network we are too lazy to check our sources so… Congratulations Lee! You decide everything and get to take the blame if it all falls apart.

While the 4 Square of the East Bay ‘elections’ have passed, Oakland did experience a sad event in the trial of Johannes Mehserle/Justice for Oscar Grant campaign. Mehserle, convicted of involuntary manslaughter of unarmed BART passenger Oscar Grant, was sentenced by Judge Robert Perry on Friday to the minimum sentence in prison of 2 years, with 292 days taken off for time served. This is not justice. As a response, Oakland gathered at City Hall during the day and began to march to Fruitvale BART after dark. They were met with a militarized police coalition which conducted mass arrests on peaceful protesters. Check out video here, photos here and listen to the whole situation unfold here live on KPFA. While our community reels from this blow to our sense of safety that has shaken our faith in the system, we are not powerless. The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights has an e-campaign to have Attorney General Eric Holder prosecute Johannes Mehserle in Federal court. In addition, Youth Speaks in having a town hall meeting at the Pro Arts Gallery on Friday November 12th at 5pm to ask the question ‘What does justice really look like?’ If you are affected by this situation, don’t sit back. Take action and build with the people around you. We can find justice together.