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My dears, I could use some help.  I need to hear some stories about good men.  I know they exist, and I know that I have several of them in my life, but I could use a little reinforcement right now.  Lately it seems like the news has been full of too many stories about women abused and raped and brutalized.  In the last month at work I’ve had to help employees deal with the fallout from several relationships gone seriously south – divorce, abuse, and general awfulness.  (And when your local HR department has to get involved in your breakup, things have gone very wrong indeed.)  And then in my personal life there are a couple of situations that are awful – the kind of thing where you can see the train wreck coming, like the slow motion sequence in an action movie, and are powerless to either persuade the person to get out of the line of fire, or escape getting hit by some of the blowback yourself.  And it’s getting to the point where it’s just a little hard to take.  So if you’ve got any good stories about guys being awesome, doing self-sacrificing things and loving the people around them in mind-blowing sorts of ways, now is the time to share.

And speaking of spreading the love, this is your friendly reminder that Valentine’s Day is just about a week away.  If you were going to send anyone a friendly sort of package as part of Operation Valentinus, now would be the time.

All that being said, it’s been an interesting week or so since I blogged last.  (I can’t believe time just sortof slipped away from me like that.) Even if this post started on a rather dire note, it was a good week.  Last weekend Rosie and AP finally moved into their apartment together (the town house next to Mariah’s).  Sae and Fleur came to help.  Mariah let Fleur drink caffeine pop with her lunch, so when I headed over to help, I was greeted by a small redhead furiously packing snowballs to throw at Boy-O.  She looked at me very intensely, and almost gritted out, “I am very hyper!”  To which I replied, “Yup, you are!”  Thankfully, this translated into some pretty good fun.  I showed Fleur how you can draw smiley faces on trees with snow, which she took to an entirely different level.  She started painstakingly sculpting faces onto the tree, determined to get it just exactly right.  Unfortunately, she was rather the victim of her own perfectionism.  She would get it almost right, and then the next, last touch would be the one that dislodged the entire feature from the tree and she had to start all over.  However, she seemed to view this as all part of the fun, and happily sculpted with snow until the obligatory moving-day pizza arrived, and she was distracted again.

The other highlight of my week was getting to see the Harlem Globetrotters in Springfield last Tuesday.  I’ve wanted to see the Harlem Globetrotters for years, ever since I saw an ad for their annual New Year’s Eve show when I was a kid.  At the time it wasn’t even a possibility – my family was never much for sports, so taking us to see a basketball demonstration when none of us even played basketball wasn’t really anywhere near my parents’ radar.  Plus, the cost for taking our massive brood would have been intimidating.  So I always put it from my mind.  However, I was reminded of them a few years back, and decided that going to see the Harlem Globetrotters at least once in your life is something you should do, like going to the circus.  You don’t have to go all the time, but you should go at least once.  So I started trying to find people to go with me, which turned out to be more difficult than you would think.  But then late last week Flo texted me, and said that the Globetrotters were going to be in Springfield on Tuesday, bleacher seating, tickets not too much, did I want to go.  I texted back, “YES!!” and that was it.  We were going to see the Globetrotters.

And you know what?  The Globetrotters were amazing.  Totally amazing.  Completely worth the wait.  I would go again in a heartbeat.  The show was this mix of pure silliness, endearing crowd interaction, and a ridiculous level of mind-blowing skill.  It was a little bit like if Cirque du Soleil decided to ditch the funky costumes and the mood music, and go for slapstick, basketball, and having fun with the kids in the audience.  I loved every single moment of it.

On Saturday I taught a short swing lesson and DJ’d for the Emmanuel Homeschool Co-op Father/Daughter Dance.  That was more fun than I expected.  The little girls danced like their lives depended on it.  A couple of the dads did too.  I think my favorite moment was when I played What Makes You Beautiful, and the whole dance floor just went nuts.  I don’t know who danced harder, the little girls, or the dads.  It was incredibly sweet.  And maybe that’s something I can remember when the general state of male/female relationships looks so bleak – that was a room full of men who love their wives and daughters.  So, you know, that’s good.

Other than that, the rest of the week has been quiet.  Swing Club started up again, so I’m getting used to having one less night free again.  I think I might be starting to recover a little of my dancing mojo that I lost so thoroughly last summer.  DJing for the Father/Daughter dance helped a little.  For the first time in months I found myself actually kinda wanting to DJ.  And this Wednesday, I just might actually go dancing.  Probably.  I kinda told a few people that I would.  I might still fink out on it.  But chances are good.