Q&A: Jasmine June of East Van Baseball

A couple years ago I got sick of the lame dudes on OKCupid, and started using the app to look for cool gal pals instead. That's how I met Jasmine June, a rad lady who plays East Van Baseball, eats a lot of vegan pizza, and really likes cats.  I talked with Jasmine about getting concussed, non-sport hobbies, and a dum dum veteran group that wants to kill people with tattoos. 

GOONHOUSE: Soo East Van Baseball seems really rad. What’s the deal, and how’d u get involved?

JASMINE JUNE: EVBL has fast rekindled the love of baseball for many. it's a whole new way to watch the good old game that's largely comprised of musicians and creative types versus the typical "sports jock of all trades" and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of it. I got my first taste a few years ago when only the Isotopes and East Van Black Sox reigned. I conveniently worked with two guys, one from each team, who knew I loved baseball and told me to pop by a game. I got in maybe half an inning, hadn’t thrown a hardball maybe ever… pretty laughable… but I knew if given the chance I would be right back out there. Sure enough, the two teams joined forces along with some scragglers (yours truly) and played in a CITR slopitch tournament the very next spring. I got the official call up to come out and play hardball with them and now I’m a Sox through and through. It’s been amazing to see the transition from the sporadic sandlot style game with pizza box bases to real equipment, stats, five league teams and a whole team of ringers. WE’RE HERE! WE’RE BASEBALL! BYO PEANUTS AND CRACKERJACKS!

GH: I saw via internets that you’re injured. That sucks dude! i’m sorry. What went down? How u coping?

JJ: It's true. I managed to stop a ball with my face during a game with my slopitch team... sacrifice the body as they say. It's been a huge bummer as someone who waits all year for baseball season, and has been known to play as many bonus games as possible with other teams. Been trying to participate in some lazier hobbies to get through the downtime needed for concussions, and going out to support my teams as much as possible, but dang does being on the sidelines sting. At least I don’t need to wait for an intermission to hit the snacks…

GH: Any advice for other people on the mend? Best way to pass the time when your body isn't cooperating?

JJ: The best thing for this dusty old rattled brain injury, and most I would say, is not rushing it. We’ve all had pulled, strained muscles, etc. but it’s totally different when it's your noggin. Being okay with a slow day, week, month…  can be hard to swallow when you’re an active person. Surround yourself with pals, start a new book, pet more animals, get out of the city!

GH: Hobbies are the best. What do you get into when you're not sport-ing?

JJ: I’m very fond of hobby jobs. A lot of my interests are still active not unlike bicycle camping, solo swim club, long walks to the ice cream store, and so on. I am always playing a game I like to call “important dog” which is where you see all dogs but make extra special note of the ones who exude importance. Plus it’s full blown camp and lake chilling season so it’s not all bad taking a little extra time to be chill!

GH: As a lady with lots of tattoos, I like seeing other tattoo babes around town. I don't know about you, but for me tattoos are about making my body more mine if that makes sense. When did you get into it, and who r some of your fave artists?

JJ: Tattoos are entirely about making your body yours. When I was fifteen I started pestering my mom to let me get one and being the wonderful hippy that she is she hashed it out with me to decide on something I wouldn’t regret, like the safety pin that looked like it was going through my skin that I initially had my confused little goth/punk heart set on. Haha. I have actually spent a lot of time avoiding telling people what I first wanted to get. I ended up with a little star for my sixteenth birthday which in the grand scheme of bad ideas is FAR less embarrassing. And now it’s an ongoing collection. As for artists, it’s really tough to play favorites, my tastes are always growing and changing as is the tattoo world. I find myself selecting artists I think will do justice to an idea with their own style and minimal guidelines.

GH: What are your thoughts on tattoos generally: when to get em, where to get em, how to get, why to get em, whatevs?

JJ: It’s a recurring conversation trying to explain to people that not every tattoo has to have some deep meaning. I think that if you want one, get one. If you feel like you need someone to hold your hand in order to do so, maybe don’t get one. After awhile they just reflect who you have been in your lifetime, which is far more fascinating to me than having to hold seminars to explain each one in depth. I also recently found out about about some group of veterans in the states who want to kill people with tattoos, so my advice would be to avoid them if you decide to take the plunge!

GH: Your self portraits are fantastic. I say self portrait instead of selfie, but maybe they're the same thing?

JJ: haha. Well shoot, thanks! Self portraits and selfies are one in the same. Sometimes you’re feeling yourself and want to document it, sometimes you have a vision of a photo opportunity, and you're the only one around to try to get the job done, so you get the timer going… either way it’s self love and that in itself is important. Even if it’s just in the moment! Giddy up!

GH: Lastly, your cats: please tell me about them <3

JJ: Oh my lanta my cats… those freaks are pretty important. I personally have two but just moved in with my partner who also has two, so if you can imagine four adult cats trying to coexist... Mine are called Arson (better known as fartman or farty) and Enid Coleslaw (from ghost world, also better known as peenid). They’re total brats. I once wrote a rap about how fartman howls out the window looking for new friends during the night. And enid is a straight up mommas girl who sleeps under the covers with me at night. Our new place has a bit of a backyard, so for the first time ever they’ve been allowed to pretend they’re in the real world, but really that just means Arson takes advantage of all the free salad he can find (ie: the neighbors' plants). As far as cats go, they’re pretty sociable and sometimes cooperative with dress-up photos. Deep down I identify with all those cat ladies out there whose animals have a better wardrobe then they do.