Danny Cameranesi of Thousand Oaks and Chip Bell of Ventura have a very busy week coming up. They'll be competing in the annual U.S. Open Frisbee--excuse me, "Flying Disc"--Championships beginning Monday in La Mirada. It's a seven-day event involving the top 250 diskers from around the world, competing in seven events.
Bell, known as Scott when he's working as an insurance salesman, is the defending freestyle champion of the World Beach Frisbee competition. He expects to do well at the Open, too, but isn't quick to admit it. "In the past, I've said I'll win and then I end up in eighth place," he said, "so I'm not going to do that. If I make the top three I'll be happy."
Cameranesi, on the other hand, doesn't expect to win any of the events, though he is entered in all seven.
He said that four years ago he set a goal to win the overall seven-event championship by 1992. In 1986 he finished 60th overall, the next year he placed 29th, and the year after that, 13th. He's hoping for a top-four finish this time around to remain on pace.
Danny is not the only one in the Cameranesi clan who is adept at throwing a Frisbee. His brothers, Pat and Mike, are also top-notch. "When we were kids, we always liked to play catch," Danny said. "We'd try to hit objects with the Frisbee . . . whether it was the neighbor across the street, a trash can, or a light post."
If you plan to attend the championships, you should probably come prepared with a little knowledge of the lingo.
* Hein: "Apparently it came from the word heinous," Cameranesi said. "When you do a heinous crime, it's nothing to brag about. But in this case, it's like better than good, an extremely rad maneuver." Or, as Bell said, "Get hein or bail, which means get good or get out."
* Spounch: "It's the opposite of hein," Bell said. "A guy brought it over from England. It sounds great with an English accent. I hope my day doesn't go spounch."
* Boosh: This is a contraction of a common expletive. "It supposedly came from a small child slurring the word. I don't know, I wasn't there," Cameranesi said. "Usually, it's used on a bad judgment call. It's bad, something that shouldn't have happened. It's nothing to be proud of."
* Goob makes spounch hein: This is perhaps the ultimate flying disk sentence. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate too well. If someone says this to you, just nod noncommittally.
The Clocktower Inn in Ventura will celebrate its fifth anniversary tonight with a party from 5 to 8 p.m., benefiting the County Museum of History and Art.
Located on Santa Clara Street in the historic downtown section of the city, the Inn is on the spot formerly occupied by a 1940s firehouse. Also, the clock tower is the original. "They used to hang hoses in it to dry," said Sharon Morse, director of sales. "Now we store chairs up there."
Ushers at the Ventura Theatre found out June 12 what it feels like to be truly Byrned. Through the first couple of Brazilian dance numbers by ex-Talking Head David Byrne, they were busy keeping antsy fans from dancing, particularly near the exit doors where it would represent the greatest fire hazard.
Well, between songs, Byrne let it be known that he wasn't too pleased with the ushers' actions.
"If I see one more usher stop someone from dancing," he said, "I'll walk off the stage . . . " With that the crowd excitedly rushed out onto the floor, while at least one usher angrily stormed through the previously unblocked exit door. That particular usher, by the way, when he wasn't clearing people off the floor, had been doing a little cha-chaing himself.
Oh, almost forgot. Happy summer solstice.
Today, the longest day of the year, is connected with legends going way, way, back. "To the dawn of time," said Jerry Fecht, professor of history, humanities and marketing at Moorpark College. "For our ancestors in the Northern Hemisphere midsummer was when the Sun God, the most powerful of the ancient gods, was most apparent. They celebrated with feasts and sacrifices to the Sun God. It was, in effect, a high holy day.
Actually, Fecht said, "It was probably a day they could kick back and have fun with friends, because after that the days got a lot stickier and a lot hotter."
Also, midsummer night was the night the "ancients" believed that young males and females would have magical dreams and could turn into different creatures. Hence, Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream."