Hip Hop 101

Right wrist up
Left wrist up
Right wrist down
Left wrist down
Torso turn pop shrug right
Torso turn pop shrug left
Arms up
Arms down
Lean right
Step left
Come together
Knees swirl
Body drop
And up
Step back
180 pivot
Right foot drag
Left foot drag
Shake it like you got something
Everybody got that? Now faster, with the music…

Dinner: The Birth of Squirrelly-J

Despite the innate planner in me, spontaneous evenings out are often my favorites, with no schedules to meet or expectations to live up to. On Saturday, I was just about to leave to go grocery shopping and pick up some dinner when I heard my cell phone buzzing. A missed call.

“Hey, it’s Nat. Farnsworth and I are going to dinner at Olé Olé, and then out for drinks. We’ll be there around 8:30. Give me a call on my cell if you want to join us. Oh, and we have a present for you if you come… bye!”

I knew that “out for drinks” would mean going to our favorite neighborhood cocktail bar, where Natasha, Farnsworth and I were working hard to become regulars. Nat’s boyfriend recently crossed into uncharted territory there, by learning that there was a secret list of off-the-menu drinks that had to be asked for by name. One of these drinks was the color of Windex, tasted like tropical paradise, and had a single red cherry resting perfectly at the bottom of the glass.

It was almost too beautiful to drink.

The prospect of that, coupled with Nat’s sing-songy promise of an unexpected gift made it clear that groceries could wait, so I quickly got ready and met them at the restaurant. Before I could even open my menu, Farnsworth told me he wanted to give me my gift – a rare find from a recent yard sale that he couldn’t pass up:


I may have gasped with delight.

“OH MY GOD! Where did you get this!?”

Farnsworth smiled, pleased with his purchase, and said modestly, “You know, I picked it up somewhere.”

“Ohmigod! Thank you so much! This is so perfect! A book of breakdance poetry?! It’s exactly what Nat and I need to inspire us for our breakdancing class. Hey – is Dee-Dee signing up for it, too?”

Nat shrugged, “I don’t know. I think she’s still busy coming up with our hip-hop names.”
“I’m not sure I’m comfortable with Dee-Dee being in charge of that. Wasn’t she the one who kept suggesting pig Latin versions of our astrological signs? I mean, she wanted me to be Isces-Pee. Isces-Pee?! Are you kidding me?! Yeah, because a breakdance name with the word “pee” in it is really cool. That’s really gonna inspire fear among the other breakdance crews.”

“Well, it’s not much better than the Irgo-Vee that she wanted to call me!”

“I thought you were gonna be Xanadu?”

“Nah, I think I’m over that.”

“Actually, I was thinking that maybe I want to be called The Squirrel, or just Squirrel.”
“Like walking the squirrel?”

“Exactly. ‘Cause I’m CRAZY! You never know what Jenny’s gonna do on the dance floor – she’s all squirrelly and shit!”

Farnsworth chimed in, “Squirrelly-J!”

I thought about it for a minute and started to nod, “Squirrelly-J. The Squirrel, aka Squirrelly-J. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Watch out for Squirrelly-J – she’s just trying to get a nut.”
Nat filled our glasses from the pitcher of margaritas that had just arrived. “So what’s your signature move, Squirrelly-J?”

“Good question. Maybe I could like, chatter at people. Like squirrels do? You know, like, ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak?”

“That’s not really a move, though, is it?”

“No, but it might scare some people off the dance floor.”

“Or maybe all your moves could be in a straight line, like a squirrel walking along a telephone wire?” suggested Farnsworth.

“And then I just throw walnuts at their heads. ‘Cause I’m Squirrelly-J, ak-ak-ak-ak-ak!”

“Personally, I think we need to start the class first and let our natural style dictate our names.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right. But we at least have to start thinking about what we’re going to wear. I was thinking of getting a new pair of Converse Chucks for class.”

“No, those make my feet look weird. I might get a pair of black Vans.”

“Look, if you want to do this right, you know what you both need to get, don’t you?”

Nat and I shook our heads no.

Farnsworth paused for effect, then said, “Old school Adidas.”

“Ooooh! You’re so right! And it just so happens that I have a pair of old school Adidas. Sweet.”


With footwear decisions made, and a potential hip-hop nickname in the works, I was now able to enjoy my dinner, but not before an impromptu poetry reading from my new favorite book:

Electric Boogie

Now I do the moon walk,
Watch my feet,
Heel, toe, backward glide,
Right to the beat.
I’m walking in space, man.
I am the ace, man.
– Lillian Morrison

Nat and Farnsworth snapped their approval. We finished our margaritas, paid the bill, and headed off to continue our evening of secret drinks and B-Boy poetry.


[Tune in later this week for the fascinating conclusion – Drinks: Desperately Seeking Susan]