During the holiday season, you probably considered how much nicer things would be if there were two of you. Two people to shop, cook, clean -- half the work in half the time! The Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library (225 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-4120) comes through for you today from 7 to 8 p.m. with the "Me Puppets" program. Even though this free activity is a little late to help with the holidays, making a puppet that looks like you is bound to be fun any time of year. Too bad this is a family event, and your kids will be duplicating themselves, too -- you've had enough of their complaining already this year. But unlike some small people you know, the puppets will be quiet once in a while.
Thursday, January 6
The Florissant Valley branch of the St. Louis County Library (195 New Florissant Road, Florissant; 314-921-7200) is taking a different tack with one of its book-discussion groups. The Book Share group (tagline: "Not Your Mother's Book Group") meets the first Thursday of every month, and instead of discussing one book, participants discuss books they have read that meet the chosen topic. And yes, the topic this month lives up to the tagline: paranormal romance. Finally, all those years of reading Casper, the Friendly Ghost comics pays off. Meet at 7 p.m. in Room 2 on the lower level, and because the space is limited to twenty members, it might not be a bad idea to call ahead to verify they'll have room for you. As for your supernatural paramour, let him/her/it hover on the ceiling. There is no charge to participate.
Friday, January 7
St. Louisans take the abundance of trivia nights around here for granted. Do you think New York City or Los Angeles residents have as many options as St. Louisans do when it comes to showing off their random-fact knowledge? We don't think so. Take advantage of today's opportunity to flaunt your trivial brain power at the Haven Club's Third Annual Trivia Night at Visitation Academy of St. Louis (in De Chantal Hall, 3020 North Ballas Road). You pay $25 to play, drink beer and soda, and eat snacks -- and all the proceeds benefit Our Little Haven. Good deal! The games begin at 7 p.m.; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot, you show off, you.
Saturday, January 8
Not to take anything away from firefighting, but teaching might just be the most heroic profession. Teachers spend untold hours with their charges, impacting young lives in myriad ways. The special relationship between student and teacher is celebrated this weekend at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; 314-534-1111) with the COCAdance: All Together Now performance. Indigo Sams and Lee Nolting, longtime members of COCA's dance faculty, watch as some of their most successful students return to dance again for the women who laid the foundation for their professional lives. Alumni Brian Moore (pictured, who began at COCAdance in the third grade and is now a dance student at the State University of New York at Purchase), Antonio Douthit (now with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre), Erin Moore (of the Ailey School) and several other dancers perform at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 7, and at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (January 8 and 9). Tickets are $17 for each performance.
Sunday, January 9
You know when you're not around, your cats are doing all manner of things. Not shady, underhanded things like dog people would have you believe. No, your felines are busy doing cute things like dancing and hopscotching. Of course, the kitties do all these precious things because they're lonely and sad. So this time when you leave the house, why not make them extra happy upon your return? This is the weekend for the sixteenth annual Lucky Tomcat Charity Cat Show at the Holiday Inn Southwest-Viking Conference Center (Watson Road and Lindbergh Boulevard, Sunset Hills; 314-821-6600). At this feline-fancy show and competition, vendors offer free cat-food samples along with cat-oriented gifts and jewelry (hopefully, for both you and kitten). The show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday (January 8 and 9). Admission is $3 to $5, and proceeds benefit all manner of pet charities. For more information visit www.acadiacoons. com/luckytom.
Monday, January 10
A recent wedding in the Night & Day Global Industries operation (congratulations, Meghan and Mark!) confirmed something that Mr. Night long suspected: Despite his ice-dancing prowess, he has no swing-dancing talents. None whatsoever. He can't Lindy hop worth a damn -- and yet he continues to assert that he is, in fact, the Lindbergh baby! Well, it's high time that Mr. Night nourish his anemic dance muscles at the Lindy Hop Workshop at the First Divine Science Church Hall (3617 Wyoming Street; 314-865-2346, ext. 12, or www.lindyhopswing.org). Between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Mr. Night learns the necessary skills of "styling and musicality" -- anything would be an improvement on the spastic gyrations he currently throws down on the dance floor. Lessons are $15 per person.
Tuesday, January 11
It doesn't matter who you are or where you live, you probably love the cheese. And how could you not love cheese? It's delicious! And yet, despite our shared love of the milk solids, we know so little about it. For instance, Parmesan cheese is a mystery. It smells like a foot (and not a healthy foot at that) -- but why? Because it comes from Italy, and Italy is shaped like a boot! All right, that may not be true. But you'll never know unless you educate yourself. Try the 6:30 p.m. Parmesan and Italian Cheeses Class at Whole Foods (1601 South Brentwood Boulevard, Brentwood). Learn the true history of Parmesan, sample other Italian cheeses, and maybe sip a little vino. The class costs $10; please call 314-968-7744 for a reservation.