Sunday Morning with Two Valentine’s Day Early Birds

Yellow rose in a restaurant vase.

A yellow rose in full bloom. A dining room with empty tables. Yet another illustration of The Duality of Man™.

It’s that time again! It’s Valentine’s Day and the internet reactions are more divided than ever. One camp hates the occasion consistently annually and never wants to hear about it again, which is fair. Another camp is bitter because current events and has exercised their freedom of choice to be captivated only by endless sources of bitterness. Meanwhile, Anne and I escaped the house for a short while to enjoy each other’s company before the rest of the world emerges to glut up all the establishments.

Continue reading

Valentines the Day After

Artisan Bakery!

These scrumptious baked goods are actually the end of our story, but when you invoke the word “Valentine”, no one wants to put off the sugar till later.

This year our Valentine’s Day was a wash. Anne and I both had to work, which was time well spent in the sense that more work means less debt. The evening was equally unromantic. While I tended to a recurring family responsibility, Anne spent those same hours errand-running. Sacrificing that time frame meant far fewer interruptions in the rest of our weekend.

United at last at the end of the day, we exchanged gifts and red-tinged, heart-covered cards with jokes on them. Then we hurried up and fell asleep because we’re older now and we had a date to look forward to in the morning.

As some families celebrate Christmas not on the day of, so went Cupid’s cutesy custom for us.

Continue reading

The Valentine’s Day Gift of Dessert

Strawberry Cheesecake!

Behold history in the making: the first cheesecake I’ve ever made myself. ‘Twas the holiday season, so I figured why not.

Continue reading

“O Candy Hearts”: Valentine’s Day Carol #1

Sally Brown, Linus Van Pelt, Peanuts

It’s Valentine’s Day once again! That special day of the year when sweeties are sweeter on each other than their normal level of sweet, sugary sweetness. That controversial day when Hallmark brings out the best and the worst in your local internet users. That long-standing tradition that inspires fun cartoons, bad movies, and a pointless sequel in Sweethearts Day.

And yet, there are no Valentine’s Day carols. The level-headed among you might think, “Silly typing guy! Every love song is a Valentine’s Day carol!” I’m reminded of that classic anecdote in which kids burdened by the twin responsibilities of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day ask when their mythical Kids’ Day might be, but are rebuffed with the hollow promise that “Every day is Kids’ Day!” No self-respecting kid buys this answer for a second. Otherwise they’d be swimming in 365 new Kids’ Day presents every year. Remember, they’re younger than you, but they can still do math.

Anyway. My point is, unless they contain direct allusions to the day and/or its trappings, love songs are not automatically Valentine carols. To fill that entertainment void, please enjoy this meager initial foray into this brave new subgenre, just to get the ball rolling for all of America. Hopefully enough songwriting hermits are inspired by my sterling example to emerge from hiding, add their voices to the mix, and someday accumulate enough of a Valentine’s Day song catalog to warrant a compilation album that generates perennial royalties for all of us so we can retire early.

Even if we don’t reach that goal this year, have a Happy Valentine’s Day anyway!

This way for that crazy new holiday tune all the kids will be digging!

My Valentine’s Day is What I Make of It.

Lugash, Valentine's Day, The SimpsonsWhen you’re sitting at a ballpark or other sports stadium, the crowd is doing the Wave, and you see the crest heading straight for your section, do you rise and raise your arms in rhythm with your neighbors? Or do you scowl, remain in your seat, and lecture your friends about how the Wave is conformist tomfoolery?

When your coworkers decide they’re not in the mood for cafeteria food or the tiny Weight Watchers meals they brought in their lunch bags and decide to order pizza or Chinese takeout together, do you go with the flow and chip in a few bucks for a little something different for yourself? Or do you denounce their impulsive extravagance and consign yourself to the turkey sandwich you brought because it was slapped together with only the purest of motives?

When you need to buy drinks at the grocery, do you base your decision on advertising? Do you buy drinks regardless of their advertising? Or do you specifically boycott any drinks that have ever been advertised in any way because advertising is shallow and irritating and unholy, and instead limit yourself to buying only products that have never been advertised in any medium?

If you’re at the theater watching a movie that the other patrons seem to be enjoying a lot more than you are, do you leave them to their difference of opinion and count down the minutes till the travesty is over? Or do you castigate them for their life choices and demonstrate the superiority of your disdain by chasing them around the theater with a stun-gun?

Continue reading

“Silver Linings Playbook”: Your Best Bet for an Oscar/Valentine Crossover

Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings PlaybookI saw Silver Linings Playbook over a week ago and have been procrastinating saying anything about it because it’s tough to express my opinion without ruining the ending. I suppose the ads aren’t that coy about the gist of the film, but part of my enjoyment was derived from that rare feeling of having no idea what would happen next. Under the guidance of director David O. Russell (previously appreciated for The Fighter and Three Kings), I wasn’t sure if Playbook would be predictably atypical or deceptively Hollywood about the strange relationship between its May/December starring couple. Would it end in for-your-Oscar-consideration breakup and tears? Would it opt for the mushy happily-ever-after ending, complete with gratuitous dance party at the end? Would the payoff be just-good-friendship, like Lost in Translation? Would they both die horribly of movie cancer? My second-guessing was useless against it.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: