This past weekend was quite a busy one for me! Between Friday and Monday, I had attended 8 different events/activities with little room for rest in-between.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great weekend but a new weekend is almost here & I’m still recuperating. Here’s a recap of what went down during Chocolate Vent’s (not so usual) weekend –
On Friday, I went to go hear some live music at a local Los Angeles museum. A group performed celebrating the music of John Coltrane with lyric, poetry, and spoken word, as well as his music. I, along with hundreds of others, listened, danced & enjoyed the good music and the company of everyone else in attendance. I ran into some people I already knew and met some new ones. After listening to live music, I went to hear some poetry. Actually, it wasn’t poetry I went to hear, it was spoken word. Spoken word artists from around the city got up & spoke for several minutes each. Some shared from their own personal diary, others from a book they had authored and some even sang their words instead of reading them. There was a live band at this venue as well, that played mostly funk music & classic oldies. Food & desert was available and so were libations, all available for a very reasonable price. I even knew some of the spoken word artists, but was still surprised at some of the talent that evening. Afterwards, I met a friend for drinks at a local lounge where we sat & talked until the establishment shut down. I went home tired, but very content with the way the day/night unfolded.
On Saturday, I didn’t do as much. My day was pretty uneventful, but I did go out for Chinese Food at one of L.A.’s most popular “hole in the wall” spots and then went to a game night at a friend’s house. The game of the night was dominoes (of which I lost more games than I won). Overall, it was a pretty chill day but fun nonetheless.
Sunday is the Lord’s today, so naturally I went to church. Lately, I’ve been visiting different churches – going to the same one can get routine so it’s nice to shake it up – but this Sunday I went to my “home” church because it was Youth Sunday. Youth Sunday just means that the young people take over the entire service (and when I say young, I mean anybody younger than my pastor). The youth choir sings – both the little kids & the young adults separately, the youth pastor gives the message & even the little kids help out with taking the offering and giving the announcements. This happens once a year in my church & is quite a sight to see. This year’s theme was the 90s so everyone in the church was supposed to dress up like it was 20 years ago (yes, 20 years ago we were still in the nineties. Whew!). some people even had on the graffiti-sprayed jackets, big gold hoop earrings, overalls, kango hats & even a throwback Hillman sweatshirt (shout out to Hillman College!)
What made this Sunday even more special was that instead of just hearing 1 sermon, there were 4 sermonettes (mini-sermons) each preached by a different person. The first one was on the art of forgiveness – the preacher told a story about how he did something very bad as a teenager that ended up disappointing his family. Although there were consequences to his actions, at the end of it all his family forgave him and didn’t make him feel worse than he already felt about his situation. And in the same way, no matter what we’ve done, Jesus will forgive you of your sin no matter how bad it is. The second sermonette was about the 2 sisters Mary & Martha when they were having dinner with Jesus (see Like 10:38). In this story, Martha was busying herself preparing for dinner with Jesus whereas Mary (yes, Jesus’ mother) was enjoying her time with Jesus and not so concerned about the food or the preparation of the food. Martha got irritated by this & complained to Jesus. Jesus got on her by telling her that Martha was missing out on spending time with Him and shouldn’t be so concerned with making dinner “perfect” for Him. The lesson here is that we need not be so concerned with things that don’t truly matter. Instead, we should be focusing on the more important things in life – God, loved ones, etc.
The third sermonette was about the importance family. We can’t be so focused on being busy in the church or with work that we neglect our own flesh & blood (particularly if you have children). And last, but not least, the fourth sermonette was about the importance of education. The head of the Christian education department talked about the many resources my church offers and how a college education is attainable to everyone.
After church, I did a little grocery shopping, cooked dinner & got ready to go to a concert. Which concert, you ask?! The “On The Run II” tour featuring Beyonce & her husband Jay-Z. DJ Khaled opened for them & had special guests like Ella Mai, Tank & others. Beyonce & Jay-Z came out & performed for about 2 ½ hours well into the night! They sang all their hits from the early two-thousands all the way up until 2018. Jay changed outfits every 2-3 songs, while Beyonce changed outfits only about 4 or 5 times. They had 1 dancer who danced to Nina Simone in-between sets & a live band with I don’t know how many band members (but it was a lot). The band members were stacked like the old television game “Hollywood Squares” with different colored backgrounds & special effects behind them. There were vignettes of both J & B with their family, on vacation and being intimate that would play for several seconds in between a few of the songs. My date & I sat on the elevated seats right above the floor seats so we had a pretty good view. We had food and drinks and overall just enjoyed the show!
Monday evening, I went to hear some live improv in Hollywood. It was my first time at this particular venue & also my first time seeing The Black Version, a completely live improvised show comprised of 6 African American actors (mostly the cast from MadTV, like Phil Lamarr & Gary Anthony Williams. Audience members shout out a movie title & their job is to improv the “Black version” of this film. The movie I saw improved on Monday was the animated Pixar movie Up. The show was alright, but not nearly as funny as it was hyped up to be. And to close out my evening, I went to dinner (or should I say, I was treated to dinner) at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. It’s called the Yardbird & the food was delicious! My date & I tried several different dishes – from their city-wide famous fried chicken, flavor-infused watermelon, fresh fish, hopping John & more. This restaurant isn’t cheap, but is definitely worth coming back to!
So that was my weekend last week. I can’t wait to see what this weekend has in store for me!