Dare To Believe You Can Survive

At some point in the near future, I feel like exhaustion is going to catch up with me and make all of the dancing I have added into my schedule difficult. Let’s hope I can push that off until the beginning of next month.

This past Saturday was a test of my endurance levels. I was invited to attend an open dance party that evening at a new dance hall that hadn’t even open yet. They had recently finished putting the place together, and wanted to have a party to let everyone in the Dance Kingdom stop by, see their facility, and dance together for fun. It was a really nice place, and they had more room out on the floor than we have at the Land of the Loft (but obviously nowhere near as big as the Endless Dance Hall). With the number of people in the building that night checking the place out, it was really warm in there. I had already done a large amount of physical activity that day before coming on the dance field trip, since had I spent several hours at the Land of the Loft in the morning practicing routines with Sparkledancer, then had a coaching session to go over a couple of new routines with Lord Fabulous before running through a faux-International Standard championship round, and then I went to do my normal Saturday workout that afternoon before going to the party. With all that activity, it felt like my core body temperature was up really high before I even walked into the party, and it just never dropped back down to normal Dare1until long after I went home that night. The party was a lot of fun, especially after I gave up trying to practice my competition routines with any person I danced with and just relaxed. I had thought going into the evening that I could use it as a good opportunity to practice, but the sheer number of people on the floor kept throwing everything I was trying to do out the window, so eventually I just had to give up. One of the funny things I saw while dancing around the room was that the bathrooms were labeled “Lead” and “Follow” – I’ve never seen signs like that at any other dance hall, and it got a well-deserved chuckle out of me. Next Saturday they will be having their actual grand opening party at this dance hall, and our little group of people from the Land of the Loft were all invited to come back for that. I’m sure I for one will be back to this place for future events – it’s much nearer to where I live than any of the other dance studios I spend time at, so it makes it appealing to check out what kinds of classes they offer during an average week (after the next competition is over, of course. I don’t want to make any changes to what I am currently doing until after that).

I can officially say that I have now checked off and put together everything in the American Smooth, International Standard and International Latin categories. We added in the last two Standard dances on Saturday, leaving us with only the four Dare2American Rhythm dances to finish the choreography for. If I can push things as planned, I hope to have those routines at least put down in writing by the end of this coming Saturday. If I can do just that much, everything will be ready to practice at any time with any partner (that knows the figures, obviously), so I can just spend the last three weeks inside of an inspirational training montage to get everything down. I found out on Wednesday night that Lady Q was going to be out of town this weekend because of a family issue, so Lord Fabulous is going to talk to her and see about getting me the American Rumba and Hustle routines she had put together that she would have taught to Sparkledancer and I on this coming Saturday. I’m feeling better about things now compared to where I was a few weeks ago when I wasn’t sure that we would get through everything. The Latin/Rhythm dances still need a lot of work, but the ballroom ones are feeling fairly good right now. For some reason, all of the choreography for the Standard/Smooth dances has been sticking with me more easily than everything else. That is entirely the opposite of how things usually go in my head. Usually I struggle with the ballroom dances, and have an easy time with Latin and Swing dances, but right now it seems all topsy-turvy.

The one ballroom style dance I will mention that I am struggling with is the International Waltz routine we just finished. No, it’s not because the figures in it are difficult, or the order of things is hard to remember, or the technique is giving me trouble – it’s because some of the figures used in the choreography I was given by Lord Fabulous just seem… wrong. For instance, every time I do a reverse rotation, I am supposed to do a lady’s turn during it, and for most of one of the long walls I am supposed to do open change steps. When I was originally taught the differences between International and American ballroom dances, I was told one of the major things was that in International styles you are not permitted to break frame. That seemed like a fairly simple rule to keep in mind, but now that rule is being turned on its head by the use of these figures that break frame in a competition routine. While working with Sir Steven on Tuesday night, I walked through the choreography with Dare3him to ask his opinion on things, and he kind of just shook his head sadly at me. I don’t know what to make of that. I do know that comparing the two, Lord Fabulous always prefers things that are much flashier and showier when he puts together dance routines for people, because he likes to be the center of attention and get everyone to watch what he has done. Throwing in things like this that are so different than what everyone else is doing on the floor would surely draw attention, so it makes sense that he would want them in there. But I have always been told by everyone, including Lord Fabulous, that Sir Steven is the man who knows the syllabus the best in the Dance Kingdom (and holds certifications to prove that fact), so if he tells me something isn’t right, then I have to believe that it isn’t right. What do I do about it? I don’t know how I would get marked by a judge for doing crazy moves that are strictly American-style during an International-style heat, but I can’t imagine that it would earn me a good score.

The thing is, I do know that some things we have learned recently are wrong. Quickstep is a good example. One of the figures that we have in the Quickstep routine is the tipple chasse. We went through the figure in last month’s Quickstep class with Lord Fabulous, and then it ended up in our routine on Saturday, but it seemed awkward every time I did it. Turns out, it was just being done wrong. He taught it by emphasizing the ‘tip’ part of tipple – essentially leaning to the left or right like a teapot pouring while doing two rotating chasses. When I looked the figure up online, and when I had Sir Steven look at it Tuesday, I found out that there is not a lot of body tilt in it, and the chasses do not rotate, and one of the chasses is actually supposed to be a lock step. I don’t know if they were trying to teach a simplified version of the figure by doing it like that in the syllabus for last month’s class, but when I tried the correct version it seemed much easier to me, so ‘simplified’ doesn’t seem like the best way to describe things. I have to believe that both the Internet and Sir Steven wouldn’t lie to me, so I plan on doing the figure in the manner they showed me rather than in the way Lord Fabulous taught it to us.

Luckily, International Standard is not our focus, so I can worry about it but not feel bad about doing something wrong or changing things in the choreography. The same can be said about the American Rhythm dances – sure, I’m going to push everyone to give me the choreography they are imagining this weekend so I can work to get things memorized, but during the competition if I don’t remember things I will probably just say something quietly to Sparkledancer and then go out on the floor and fake my way through the heat. As long as I keep moving, it’s only two minutes of feeling stupid, followed by running over to the notes I am planning on writing up and storing in my phone for review. I can be sneaky about things. If I work on everything really hard all month, I shouldn’t have any problems, but I always like to have a recovery plan in case everything flies out of my brain at the last minute. I’ve been thinking that to help with my recovery plan, I need to start studying the habits of strong leaders to help me through situations where I deviate too far from routine. Maybe I should reach out to Peter Cullen to get some thoughts on what the greatest-leader-of-all-time would do if he danced instead of transforming into a truck. Maybe with his help, my dancing could become more than meets the eye…

Like most children of the '80s, I would follow his lead anywhere.
Like most children of the ’80s, I would follow his lead anywhere.

Days Connect Like Boxcars In A Train

Things are starting to move faster now that we are approaching the end of the month with so much left undone. Sometimes, it feels like my days are bleeding into each other with so much dancing going on. Last Saturday I had scheduled a double lesson with Lord Fabulous to help drive things forward, and we certainly made good use of the TimeAndMotion1time. We completed a routine for American Tango, which fills out our American Smooth dances for the championship round, and started filling in the gaps in our American Rhythm dances by finalizing the Mambo and working through the East Coast Swing. With those three out of the way, there are only six that we have left to do: for ballroom styles we still have International Waltz and Quickstep, and for American Rhythm we still have Cha-Cha, Hustle, Rumba and West Coast Swing. That’s it! From what we did this weekend, I feel like I have the Tango down for sure, while the Mambo and East Coast Swing still need some time to be memorized. I’m feeling pretty good about things still, though time is running out, but I think that next time I decide to do a competition I’ll either have to make sure that I decide to do less styles overall, or give myself twice as long to learn everything. My preference is not to have to try and cram everything at the end like a high school student studying for a test. The probability of me forgetting everything due to watching a hilarious cat video online is pretty high if I try to cram (hilarious cat videos take priority in memory over… well, everything).

Talking with Sparkledancer about the amount of time I’ve been attending classes versus spending time with her practicing everything, I floated the idea of skipping more of the classes that are going on in April to focus on practicing all our routines. I think I read that next month would be East Coast Swing, Tango and International Foxtrot on the nights that I am usually at the Land of the Loft. I think (maybe) I could meet Sparkledancer there for classes and just hang out on the other side of the floor to run routines instead. The problem with the plan is that I am one of the few men that they usually have in class, so if I decide to skip out, there really isn’t anyone else to replace me. Maybe instead of hanging out at the Land of the Loft to practice, I should see how hard it would be to get into the Endless Ballroom to practice, so that I could avoid Lady Q giving me those sad eyes of hers and making me feel guilty.

We tried practicing like that at the Land of the Loft as a test run when Sparkledancer and I met at the studio tonight for Hot Tottie’s class that we both usually attend on Thursdays. We took up some space in the corner with the class going on over on the TimeAndMotion2other side of the floor, and Lord Fabulous teaching a lesson to some newcomers in one corner. It was nice to sit and work through things. While Lord Fabulous was teaching, we kept to American Rhythm and International Latin styles, switching on and off between something that I knew the pattern for and something we hadn’t gone over enough to have in memory. Honestly, it was good for me to practice while other people were in the building and could watch – it made me work harder at it than I would if I were at home stepping through things myself with no audience. When the first class was over and the fitness class began, Lord Fabulous didn’t have another lesson going on so we were afforded half of the floor, so we managed to fit in doing some International Foxtrot and American Tango as well as the Rhythm and Latin styles we had already been doing. By the time the second class was over, I had worked up a good sweat. We had to call it a night at that point, since there was a larger class starting and Jack and Diane had a lesson with Hot Tottie that would have taken up all the room we did have. As I changed back into my street shoes, Lord Fabulous came over and thanked Sparkledancer and I for practicing like that where everyone could see. He said that it was nice for the newcomers that were there to see us working, so they could use that for inspiration. I didn’t think it was all that worthwhile to watch, since we kept stopping and starting every time we both messed something up, but I guess it looks different to people watching from the outside.

Tuesday night when I met with Sir Steven we looked over our American Smooth dances. Sparkledancer and I asked him a bunch of questions about the American Tango routine we just put together, trying to smooth out a few figures that we felt flowed TimeAndMotion3together uncomfortably. For instance, originally we did this promenade pivot and after coming out of it we were supposed to separate and get side-by-side to do two change-of-place turns, but every time we finished the pivot and opened up, it was really awkward. Half the time one of us would lose our balance and wobble, no matter how much core strength was utilized to keep that from happening. Sir Steven told us that we could always finish the pivot, start a new promenade to bleed the momentum safely, then do a check to open up before the side-by-side turns. After going through that a few times, it seemed much more natural, and there was no further falling over. I must say, I really like having more than one person working with us on the choreography of these routines. It has really helped them feel natural, and look much more polished.

As we wrapped up things that night, he told me that we needed to make a point of getting our remaining ballroom dances done next, so the plan for next Saturday is to ask about the International Waltz and the Quickstep. If Lord Fabulous doesn’t want to give us the choreography, Sir Steven said he would teach it to us. I know that Lady Q is already putting together some choreography for Hustle and American Rumba for us to do and plans on giving it to me on April 5th, so that only leaves American Cha-Cha and West Coast Swing to figure out. If I can push to get those at least in writing from everyone by the 5th of April, that gives me three weeks to get everything practiced and perfected. Can I make it? Is the rapid pace that I am setting going to overwhelm my dance partner? I hope not! I know Lady Q would be willing to step in, but it makes me nervous competing at the Pro-Am level for some reason. Plus, it’s much harder (and way more expensive) to find time to practice with her…

I have the most posh Lego home office you’d ever see, can’t you tell?

Final deep thoughts for the night: Sometimes I read through things other people have posted online, compare them to the things that I write about, and I wonder if I really have anything to offer to the conversation about ballroom dancing that other people would find interesting. My ramblings about the crazy dance adventures I go on seem out of place when compared to the things other people write about. I don’t give a lot of background to who I am; the things I write about aren’t meant to be very inspirational; I don’t have some kind of overcoming-adversity story to go along with my dancing… I dance mostly for fun, and because everywhere I go to dance there are always men wanted. Then I record it for posterity. Sure, I am a male in a female dominated world, but that perspective has been much more well-written about by others I have come across. Without some kind of dance drama, I mostly think I sound like a crazy beginner stumbling through a world that is much more glamorous than I’ll ever be when I write. I do enjoy getting dressed up and pretending to be fancy as much as the next person, but if you ever found yourself dancing with me (or next to me, if you’re a guy), I would spend just as much time trying to get you to laugh with me as I would trying to work on dance technique with you. It’s just my nature, and because if you really look at what we’re doing, it’s kind of absurd when you think about it, isn’t it? What other hobby would you spend time wandering around wearing so many rhinestones and sequins (guy or girl) and not look out of place? I sometimes hope that for all the seriousness other people have while learning to dance and writing about their journey, they also take the time like me to laugh a bit about that absurdity in this whole situation. If you do forget to laugh, and you’re ever in the area, come out and dance with me and I’ll make sure to point it out to you for a chuckle.

Baby, You Just Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

The closer we get to the next competition, the less time I feel I have for everything else in life. At this point, I’m spending six days a week dancing somewhere, and only one night a week staying home to get caught up on everything else that is being pushed to the side. At what point does one cross over from ‘hobby’ into ‘obsession’?

This past Saturday we went through and put together our Bolero routine. It was one of those that I thought I knew what the routine would end up being when all was said and done, but when we finally walked through what Lord Fabulous had in mind I was so far off the mark that it made my idea of what the routine would be seem silly. Half the stuff in the routine are figures I have never even seen before. He explained what he was AintSeenNothingYet1thinking to me as I watched quizzically – the idea was to have contrast as we danced, where we would do one figure that travels quite a bit, followed by a figure that was more contained. That contrast, he said, would make our routine more interesting to watch. As I sit here thinking about it, I can’t remember anything about the order of things. All of the other routines we’ve put together so far I’ve been able to remember fairly easily, but this one is eluding me right now. Luckily I recorded Lord Fabulous and Sparkledancer stepping through everything, so I can go back and write everything down. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to have it down solidly by next Saturday, though I don’t know how much time I’ll have to practice with a partner before then. Maybe if I write everything down I can send the listing to Sparkledancer and we can practice separately, and then we’d be able to put it together easily by trying it together. If that doesn’t work, then I have no other ideas on how to learn it.

With that routine marked off the list, I’ve decided to revise my count and assume that the routines I thought were finished before when I didn’t have confirmation are actually not finished. That puts my current count at nine left in order to hit that magic number of 21. The majority of what we have left to choreograph would be American Rhythm styles, but there’s a reason those are left for last. Apparently we’ve been signed up to do championship rounds in the 5-dance International Latin and the 4-dance American Smooth categories. Knowing that, my focus is going to be on getting those to feel as good as I possibly can before the end of April. That said, the only dance left from those categories would be American Tango. Hopefully we look at that this next weekend. When that’s out of the way, Samba goes to the top of my list to spend practice time on, because I think that is by far my weakest. Even with all the fun figure names (cruzado walks, anyone?) and crazy music to encourage me, figuring out how to get my lower body to cooperate while doing the rhythm bounce is going to take a lot more focus. I’m sure I won’t make it look perfect by the time competition hits, but I’d like to look better than I do now (which, let me tell you, looks silly to me).

Also on Saturday, a bunch of us went out on a dance field trip that night to a different dance hall that I had never been to before, to attend an open dance they were having. We all went to celebrate a couple of March birthdays for Land of the Loft people, since there’s no better birthday party than a dance birthday party. There was an East Coast Swing lesson given before the social dance, where we learned this nifty behind-the-ladies’-back roll-out that I thought was a lot of fun. Since the dance hall was smaller, and a lot of people attended the event, it felt really warm inside. I kept ducking out every couple of songs to go stand outside in the cool night air for a bit before coming back in to dance some more. At one point while I was out on the porch-like area, the AintSeenNothingYet2couple that had taught the group class came out. We talked for a while, and I told them how much I liked the East Coast Swing class they gave, and how nice it was to work on things in the American Rhythm category since most of the places we go people seem to prefer the International styles. The guy told me something interesting about that – according to him, there was one ballroom dance studio that had opened in the area before all the others, a place known as the Prime Dance Hall. The owners were from Europe, and they imported a lot of other European instructors to teach there. As you can imagine, they all knew International styles from their training overseas. As those instructors spread out over the Dance Kingdom and opened their own dance halls, they stuck with the International categories, which is why many of the people who have learned to dance in the area learned International. I hadn’t heard that legend of the Dance Kingdom before, and it strikes me as fascinating for some reason.

On Sunday, Sir Steven invited Sparkledancer and me to attend a competition prep class being offered at the Endless Dance Hall. He had heard good things about the class, and thought that since we were working toward the competition in April, it would be helpful for the two of us to go. While we were all out on our dance field trip Saturday night, Sparkledancer and I told Jack and Diane all about the class, and convinced them to come along with us (there’s safety in numbers). I knew that the Heartbreak Kid had gone to this class before the last competition we were in, so beforehand I found out from him what the class was all about. It wasn’t really a ‘class’ per se, but more like competition practice. All four of us arrived slightly before Sir Steven did. Looking around the room, there were many familiar faces, people that I had seen around either in classes at the various dance halls around the Dance Kingdom, or people who had attended events that I had gone to on some of the dance field trips that our group has gone on. Our friend Indiana even showed up – she was there to practice with one of her students. When Sir Steven showed up and we were looking around at everyone gathered, one thing became abundantly obvious: the four of us from the Land of the Loft were seriously outclassed. Most of these people had been dancing and competing together for many, many years. I haven’t even been dancing two years yet, let alone competing, so taking the floor with all these other people was pretty intimidating.

The class was run like the International-style championship rounds from a competition. There were a few of us who primarily know the American styles, so we looked a little out of place when we switched to those. The first round, the four of us sat out on the sidelines with Sir Steven and just watched what we were up against. During the Standard rounds, Sparkledancer and I went out and did American Waltz, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz and International Tango. We left the floor during the Quickstep heat, but Jack and Diane stayed out to work on theirs. After a few minutes for break, they started AintSeenNothingYet3the Latin round. They repeated this setup over and over for as long as they had time, just giving people a chance to practice their routines with other people on the floor. The first time through, I was worried that all of the Smooth routines I knew, which were built for a much, much smaller floor were going to look silly out there in the immense expanse with everyone else. As it turned out, when Sir Steven told me before going out to make sure to reach farther and fill the space, I could actually do a passable job. I was originally worried I would end up just travelling the inner sphere of the room like a race car driver. This skill doesn’t really help me much for the next competition, since the dance floor at the Great Dance Hall is nowhere near the size of the Endless Dance Hall (none of the places I’ve been are anywhere near that size), but it does tell me that I can stretch things out to fit a room if needed, so logically I should be able to pull that back to fit a smaller room.

The real benefit of going and running our routines like that was that Sir Steven got to see them all from the sidelines, and make a bunch of mental notes about everything I did poorly. When we got together Tuesday night, we started to work through things for International Latin. We spent a lot of time specifically with the Rumba, working on our lines to make them look sharper. There is one figure Lord Fabulous gave us where we do an explosion, and afterward I roll the lady in against my right side and lean to the left, supporting her weight so that she can kick her leg out. Step-by-step we walked AintSeenNothingYet4through the figure, changing the placement of the arms and legs to draw out the lines and make them stronger. I had a good vantage point to watch myself in the mirror, and by the time we finished making changes the figure looked completely different from what it was the day I learned it. He also showed me a way to change the weird ‘tilde’ arm effect that I had been told to do during the sliding door-like figure. My arms were never meant to wiggle like that, so I have always thought it looked weird. Now, I have an option that will make them look more masculine (which I believe is much more fitting, since I am a boy).

Little by little things are improving. Who knows? Maybe with all the work I am putting into this competition, I might be able to do better than last place in the championship rounds! Sure, Sparkledancer and I will probably be the only amateur team competing against a bunch of pro-am couples, but if we can get second-to-last place, that will be a huge improvement over last year, and doing better than I did before is always a worthy goal to strive for.

Clouds Roll By And I Roll With Them

We’re getting closer to having routines built for all twenty-one styles in International Standard and Latin and American Smooth and Rhythm, but I’m getting the feeling that at the rate we’re going we’re not going to quite get there unless we decide to reuse a large chunk of the American-style routines we had for the last competition. Over the last two weekends Lady Q gave us what she had written down to use for PullMeUnder1our Jive routine, and Lord Fabulous finished up our American Waltz routine. That puts us a little over halfway done at the time of this writing. By my count, we have ten routines fully completed, eight that are not finished or we haven’t even started yet, and three that I think are done but I haven’t gotten the final word on that yet. The ones that I think are done are ones like the International Viennese Waltz, where there isn’t much on the syllabus to choose from (at any level, let alone at the Bronze level I’ll be doing), or the International Waltz where I was told the routine would be strictly syllabus. Of the eight that are not done or not started yet, there are only two styles that I would not be able to use a previously learned routine for, so those two are probably going to be what I push to get done first. The others will take some practice to ensure that I remember my previous routines, but I believe I could bring those back to life in short order if I tried. Time is running out though, so I need to start finalizing at least two a week from here to get them all done if I want to meet my goal.

No, of course I don’t think I am reaching too high with this goal. I mean, setting high goals works out well, right? Look at Icarus. Sure, he melted his wings and plunged back to the ground, but if he hadn’t done that, he would have never become a video game character so many years later. That means he achieved a measure of kleos, which is an ancient Greek term referring to (as a college professor of mine once explained) ‘renown or glory that people hear about’ usually in conjunction with their death, which was a high honor that Greek heroes would strive for. Think about that for a minute…

Philosophical thoughts aside – as I alluded to a while back, I have been working with Sir Steven once again out at the Endless Dance Hall. So far I’ve been meeting up with him one night a week for coaching, though the number of times I see him will probably end up increasing as time goes on. For instance, there is some competition class that they have on the weekends at the Endless Dance Hall that he told me he was interested in checking out, and told me it might be useful for me too, so I will probably end up there this weekend. During our time PullMeUnder2together over the past couple of weeks we have really been focusing on technique-related things – posture, framing, foot placement – things that he says are subtle changes to the casual observer, but will make vast improvements in the way my dancing will look to any judges in competition, and also serve to make my lead stronger as an added bonus. Much of the time has been spent specifically looking at Foxtrot. We’ve been trying to get it to really smooth out so that when people watch me dancing a Foxtrot they will be able to see that rolling motion that he says Foxtrot is known for. I didn’t think that my Foxtrot was terrible before, but after really sweating through the minor details of just a few figures, it feels like there have been huge improvements. There are still points that I need to get ingrained that he has been giving me a hard time on, like the placement of my head, which is something the Princess also mentioned to me. I guess I just like to look around when I’m dancing to see everything that is going on, and to make sure the person I dance with looks like they’re having a good time. Maybe I will just own it and make it part of my personal dance style. I don’t think any of the Dance Lords and Ladies I’ve met will let me get away with that, but I can try.

Let me tell you a bit about the Endless Dance Hall, since I keep mentioning it in passing but never really say much else about it. This place is huge compared to other ballrooms I’ve been to, so much so that it seems to even put a high school gymnasium to shame (though if you took out the bleachers from the gym, they might be pretty close in size). The space, as Sir Steven has told me, hasn’t been around long enough for the formalized chain of command to really take root, so it feels very wild and untamed when you enter, causing a person to glance over their shoulder occasionally in case a brilliant parrot or a mischievous primate might fritter by. There is more than enough space for all sorts of things to go on at once, so any number of Lords and Ladies will be around teaching private lessons or group classes whenever you might drop by. It’s not just the space that feels wild though – some of the Lords and Ladies of the Dance Kingdom I’ve watched with students there also seem a bit more feral when compared to the Lords and Ladies that the King and the Princess have had more time to work with. Sir Steven has been stepping in to help get things organized a bit better, but he said it’s going to take a bit more work to get things up to the level he would like: a level pleasing to the Royalty.

This is the first time I haven't used a castle I already had for a location. I thought this one had the right character I was going for...
This is the first time I haven’t used a castle I already had for a location. I thought this one had the right character I was going for…

It’s funny though – even with all the immense amounts of space in the room, I always seem to end up spending most of my time dancing in the corner by the front door. When I was there earlier this week, I brought along Sparkledancer so we could both work on some things under Sir Steven’s watchful eye. He had us start out traveling all around the room. We tried working on things in the far corner, by where the sound system is hooked up, but we didn’t stay there long. We ended up back in that same corner about halfway through the night there, and that’s where we stayed until we decided to call it quits. We PullMeUnder4didn’t work on any dance styles besides ballroom styles that should have traveled counter-clockwise around the room, but after we got back to that corner they never seemed to travel very far. Perhaps that corner has some sort of magnetic lock on me, pulling me back down to that area. Maybe I should check my dance shoes to make sure there’s not a magnet inside the heel or something.

I found out tonight that someone really did get a pack of those fake stick-on mustaches and will be bringing them to the Land of the Loft tomorrow. The plan to put mustaches on the inspirational posters is under way. There are already a bunch of volunteers (of course, I’m one of them), so if everyone gets one up there’s less of a chance someone will get caught. We’ll see how long it takes someone to notice!