The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘dance’

My Honeymoon, by the Numbers

My wife (holy crap! I’m MARRIED!?!) and I will soon be going on our honeymoon. We are going to India. In preparation for the trip we have both read some books about India (she has read about 5 times more books about India than I have). In the TWO I have read (one fiction, A Fine Balance which is amazing and the other a travel journal sort of affair called Holy Cow) they have both mentioned the country being quite populated. Let’s talk about that.

One of the cities we are getting to visit is Mumbai. Our current home is in Houston, Texas.

Population Density:

  • Houston: 2,197 people per square kilometer (I rounded) (Source)
  • Mumbai: 29,650 people per square kilometer (I rounded) (Source)

FYI: There are 3,280.84 feet per kilometer.

Let’s say every person, standing up, is 2 feet for length (shoulder to shoulder) and 1 foot wide (the end of your belly to the end of your tush).

Given a square that is 3,280.84 feet by 3,280.84 feet … If everyone, measuring 2×1 feet, stood next to each other in this square kilometer then you have, essentially, 3,280.84 rows and 1,640.42 columns. Or, 3,280.84 people 1,640.42 times which is … 5,381,956 people!

column 1 (2 feet)                column 2                     …                     column 1,640.42

row 1 (1 foot)
row 2
row 3

row 3,281

 

In other words, 5,381,956 people would fit in if you were completely crammed. With that in mind, we’ve got some wiggle room!

I like to dance, and I have long limbs, so I’m going to need a bit of space for my flailing dance moves. Let’s figure out the amount of crazy dancing I can do. For this, each person will have their own block within that square kilometer. In Houston, we would have 2,197 blocks per square km, in Mumbai, there would be 29,650 blocks per square km. So each square in Mumbai will be much smaller – but what are the exact dimensions?

The area for a square kilometer is 10,763,911 feet. If you divide that, it means:

  • Houston: 4,899.368 feet to work with or a square that is approximately 70 feet by 70 feet. That’s some good dancin’.
  • Mumbai: 363.0324 feet to work with or a square that is approximately 19 feet by 19 feet. Plenty of space for dancing.

 

That’s all well and good. The dance check comes out with a green light. Now, what else? Oh right, the matter of public defecation. Both books have talked about that, and a friend telling us about his first trip to India mentioned seeing that happening right after leaving the airport.

I’ll just leave this chart here for you …

When in Rome …

 

 

Grandpa and the Aliens, Part II

We were close now to whatever the attraction was, because all of the aliens had circled like there was a school yard fight in the middle. We slowed down and for the first time since he woke up my grandpa seemed undecided. The aliens in front of us turned and seemed to step back reverentially. This was both good and bad: the good was that I knew an alien had not manipulated my brain to make me feel unnaturally relaxed, the bad was I was now afraid I was going to be killed or eaten.

Grandpa decided it was time to get the audience our side and opened the bag of sugar. He stuck the spoon in and held the bag out to me to the do the same, then we walked up to aliens and gestured for them to try the contents held in the spoon. The aliens somehow figured out what it was we were doing and took the sugar. I don’t know how to read the reactions of life forms I’d never encountered before but they mostly seemed pleased.

As we moved forward toward the center of the circle, toward what I considered my eventual unpleasant demise, we lifted the spirits of those around us, I guess, by handing out spoonfuls of sugar. Tentacles, digits, mouths, and telekinesis took the sugar to their mouths or what have you. What a delight to see that my grandpa and I were not the only ones with a sweet tooth.

Before we knew it we were in the middle of the circle and it had closed behind us, leaving us trapped. In front of us four aliens of, probably, different species stood waiting. While the atmosphere felt light, upbeat and excited, these four seemed intense and solemn. Oh, I thought with sarcastic aplomb, these are the ones who will be killing us.

A fifth figure who was wearing some pretty flamboyant clothes stepped into the center of the circle and gave a speech which was not only well-received, it almost made me want to cry. I looked over at my grandpa and he seemed bemused but delighted about it.

The MC gestured to my grandpa and I and stepped back to join those in a ring around the circle. I looked around for the first time since being in the circle to see that a number of aliens were hovering or flying so that they could see us. Stadium seating with no fuss.

A device was handed to me along with a nod, of sorts. I looked around, hoping for more clues but none came. Not wanting to deprive the crowd of entertainment, I hit the button on the device. Music started.

One of the four solemn aliens stepped into the middle and began a war dance. I guessed, in its culture, this is what they do before maiming a lesser creature. I studied it for weakness and noticed that intentional or not, it was really good at something not unlike the cabbage patch. After about a minute of flailing and such, the alien stepped back and another took its place, this one had perfected the white chocolate.

I looked at my grandpa who was tapping his foot, I couldn’t blame him, the song had a good beat.

Then, like that time I didn’t realize that girl liked me until she was in the middle of kissing me, it occurred to me. I’m a part of an intergalactic dance off. The next thought was a collection of about forty thoughts at once but it could be summarized as: neat.

I pulled out all of my best moves: the razzle dazzle (where I do jazz hands while also doing karate kicks), the Bambi (this thing where I pretend I’m a baby deer just learning to walk but it’s kinda to a beat), I did a really bad version of a ballerina spinning except I’ve never done any ballet so I almost fell down but I think I made it look intentional because then I went directly into this staggering around thing sort of like when you knock out the first guy in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, and finally I wrapped it up with some Footloose inspired angry dancing where every body part is trying to move as aggressively as possible.

I felt pretty good about my showing, and I think the aliens liked my moves, but just then our neighbor, the one I had lied about having cut off one of his limbs, showed up and unlike my grandpa and I he had a rather large gun. He was running toward my grandpa, pointing the gun angrily at aliens as he yelled he was coming to rescue us.

I decided to calm things down by turning up the volume (wait, how did I do that?) and hitting for the next track (talk about good user interface, I just guessed at where these buttons would be and I was dead on). Then I attempted to demonstrably prove the power of the Fraggle Rock philosophy on life: dancing ones cares away (thusly saving them for another day).

This did the trick of stopping my neighbor, but he still seemed unsure. I went to the circle and held out my hand, an appendage, I hope, was held out and we danced together for a brief moment. I went to another alien and pulled it into the dance circle in the same manner and soon enough the whole crowd was dancing.

If I may be so bold, this was an even better sight than crowd of alien ships flocking toward our backyard for a dance fight.

As the song drew to a close the aliens all began making noises, raising their voices to the sky in a celebratory cacophony of peed-pants inducing gibberish.

My body felt light and suddenly I was inside a spaceship. My grandpa was beside me, slightly less calm than before because this time he breathed in deeply and exhaled audibly. This was the same noise you’d hear if dinner time was delayed an hour. I was still riding the high of my dance fight, but I had to agree with grandpa, I was ready to be in a more comfortable environment.

Unfortunately some aliens arrived to show us to a window where we saw them destroy Earth. This was upsetting because I didn’t know if it was punishment for bad dancing or a prize for good dancing. Is it that I danced so poorly that they felt the Earth should be destroyed? Or did I dance so well, have such a party, that they felt the Earth had peaked and was no longer needed? Also I was upset because the Earth had been destroyed. That’s where I had kept all my stuff, and my family, and other people who were nice too, I suppose.

An alien nodded at me with what might be considered a grin, so I figured I’d danced well, and then the alien left.

“Hey grandpa?,” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.

“Hm,” grandpa responded, with a tone that seemed to indicate irritation.

“Um, I forgot.” This was a lie, I wanted to apologize but I didn’t have the words.

We made the same decision silently and began to explore the ship a bit in search of the alien equivalent of corn on the cob and a nap-worthy chair. It’s a noble pursuit.

Dance Off vs Nature

Me at a Fancy Christmas Party

Penguins and Slow Dancing

At some point during sixth grade my dad came around with some news.
“Family meeting, family meeting …”
No, I actually have no idea how he announced this. It’s funny, I don’t remember one single time when my dad or mom announced to the family that we’d be moving. It seems like there should be some sort of psychological conclusion there, maybe that I blocked them out because the announcements always impacted me more than I realized but … nope! Pure coincidence!
Anyhow. We were going to be moving. Kansas to New York.

The interesting thing about Kansas was that we lived off post.
This had its ups and downs. I was exposed to new things (really, there is a difference between living on post and living off post).
One of my closest friends, when I told him I would be moving, said, “so you come and you suck the friendship right out of us! And then you leave?!” This was in sixth grade. Talk about your funny. This guy always killed me (if you’re reading this Jimmy – hello!).
When I moved I would usually tell my close friends because, after all, they were the people who would need to know this. Living on post, you kind of expect that at the start of the next school year you won’t see a few faces, but you’ll see a few new faces. It was a nice rotating yearbook.

Before moving from Kansas, my ‘cool’ friend got me invited to an end of the year party.
We made it through sixth grade! Life is good! Let’s go hang out in someone’s basement and listen to the Spice Girls! YEAH!

When I got to this party I knew most of the people … I just generally never spoke to them. As a rule, I try very hard to clam up and become nervous and … if possible … look even more gangly than usual.
I stood around nervously and chatted a bit.
After a little bit we played … You’ve gotta be kidding me … What am I on a bad teenage TV show? Am I Doug Funny? Am I Cory Matthews? Are we seriously about to play this!?
Spin the bottle.
I had not kissed a girl yet. This was panic inducing. Luckily I still did not have acne (though for all I know my face instantly became riddled with zits as soon as I heard the phrase, ‘spin the bottle!!’).
When it was my turn I spun the bottle. Round and round and … Hey … It pointed toward a girl I actually really liked! She was … smarts-wise … not my style. But looks-wise, yes please!
Based on her reaction, she did not feel the same way.
How do you say … ouch.
I did a terrible Italian accent and pretended to kiss her on both cheeks.
I included this side story because it’s somewhat funny and a milestone moment (my first and only game of spin the bottle!) and because DANG! Cool thinking under pressure, huh? I mean really! I was in sixth grade, I just found out this girl I liked did not like me one bit, and I came up with that joke. Not too shabby, 6th grade self.

The highlight of the night for me came later.
A slow dance song came on and a girl I’d known since third grade (when I moved there) said let’s dance. I painfully (I was so embarrassed!) admitted that I had never slow-danced and did not know how.
She said I’ll teach you. She said it like it was no big deal.
Sincerely, this blew my mind. I fully expected to be laughed at and made fun of. Isn’t this where the lights dim and random attractive figures appear and point at me while they laugh?
She and I danced. Her hands on my shoulders. My hands around her waist. The standard foot to three feet distance between us.
It was magical.
We slowly pivoted, turning in very slow circles. We chatted a bit.
At some point I realized –
“I feel like a penguin.”
She laughed!
She laughed!
Of course! All I have to do is be funny! This joke totally worked! And the way we were dancing, we probably looked like penguins too!

I danced with a few other girls and I made the same joke to each one of them (I am so cool, huh?).
One girl said I was funny and that she wished we had hung out more at school this past year. That was an awesome compliment for me. I was invited to hang out over the course of the summer and to of course hang out next year at school! We’ll all be best friends!

“Oh actually … I’m moving.”
Where to?
“New York.”
NEW YORK! WHEN!?!!??
“Umm … like a few days.”
Whoops.
I had told my good friends about my move. And that was it. Apparently this was a mistake – was I supposed to have taken out a school flier?

Really, it was a good night for me.
I pretended to kiss a girl.
I danced with a girl.
To this day I can clam up about dancing. Luckily, I enjoy alcohol and alcohol enjoys making me do the robot.

Awkward Quick Hits

I went to a big meeting and asked a question which was not a question but really more of a complaint about the current setup for the project the meeting was about. Later that day I was walking to the bathroom, and from the other end of the hallway my boss’s boss was also walking there. He said, “you troublemaker!” I laughed and went in the bathroom. Then he came in. We ended up sitting in stalls next to each other … I wanted to either undo  my being in the bathroom or shout, “HERE COMES TROUBLE!”

I was hanging out with a friend, along with her girlfriend and another friend of ours. My friend said something about liking chick-chick flicks. Then she asked if I knew what that meant. I assumed it meant a really girly chick flick, but then something about how she asked made me think – wait, “she’s talking about girl-on-girl porn??” Then, after I mentioned porn, she became embarrassed for me and explained that chick-chick flicks are a romance movie where the two characters who fall in love (not lust) are girls. Whoops.

I went out on the town with some friends and was introduced to friends of my friend with this – “This is Brad, he’s a really crazy dancer.” The response from one guy was, “I can tell by his bone structure!” Later the three of us walked over to a group of girls to try and muster up the courage to talk to them (I talk a big game and say ‘let’s do it!’ then I chicken out). While we’re standing there a girl came up and asked if we had a lighter for her cigarette. We said no, then the friend-of-friend said, “this guy’s dance moves will light a fire though!” Then the two friends and the girl stared at me. I stared back – too much pressure! – and did nothing.  (But that line of his still cracks me up.)

And I’ll end with a brag – I was very proud of this little joke of mine. Two friends of mine and I headed to lunch one day, and when we arrived we got out of the car. There was a construction site nearby and a man was banging something metallic on something else metallic. I said, “that is the worst steel drum band I have ever heard!” (Actually I said that’s the worst Jamaican band I’ve ever heard – but I’ve revised the joke now that I have time and can remember what I intended to say.)

How to Dance to Dino

So … the joke in the vid is because I feel like his voice is silky smooth and sorta boozy sounding. Really. I can’t picture Dino with a glass in his hand, and that’s no apple juice my friend. There you go. A joke explained. Always the way to go.

 

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