Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

At Hearts A Bluhm - William & Joan Brodsky

hearts on Michigan Avenue

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all. Patrick is still her. We’re spending the day at the Chicago Auto Show with Kathy. Then we’re going to see Robyn tonight with Nite.

Yesterday, I ate too much pork and spent most of the day in bed, wondering if “death by scrapple” is, like, a thing. Today, I’m going to eat nothing but oatmeal and fruit and vegetables and drink gallons of water.

(Just spotted Scrapple And Eggs on @Foodspotting)

scrapple at The Publican


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Ask the Intern: “Me So Horny”

Yeah, so I wrote another “Ask The Intern” dispatch for DISGRASIAN™. This one is titled “Is ‘Me So Horny’ The New ‘I Love You’?” Want to know what the answer is? I’ll give you a hint:

Call me a party pooper but it’s hard for me to get excited about a card that expresses a sentiment I’ve heard yelled at me for pretty much all my life.

Seriously, though, please read it and leave comments.

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hearts and flowers

Place setting, The Palm Court at The Drake Hotel

Previously, I wondered why Elisa and Alissa’s plans for Valentine’s Day were so, well, low-key. Which is ridiculous on my part, as they are fairly low-key ladies. That’s part of the reason why I like them so much. Who needs fancy overpriced dinners and flowers and fireworks?

I guess I do. But that’s me, and I don’t need a boyfriend for that. I’m not saying I wouldn’t mind a boyfriend. I’m just saying that while I’m happy to be single (though it sounds like I whine about it all the time, eh?) it would be nice to know what Valentine’s Day is like with a man rather than without one.

Kathy invited me to tea at The Palm Court, a gorgeous lounge at The Drake Hotel, and I was happy to accept. I’ve been going to tea there for a very long time, so it was nice to go somewhere elegant on a beautiful day. I didn’t wear any red (not even my usual red lipstick) but I did wear my favorite hot pink coat. I thought I looked pretty adorable, as did Kathy, who sported a red cashmere sweater/shrug/shawl. We were a little more dressed up than most, a fact I became aware of acutely while we were waiting to be seated. A family with small children preceded us in the queue. “It’s his first time having tea,” the mom explained to a pair of older woman while gesturing towards her young son. “We’re culturing him!”

I thought that was pretty rich coming from a woman who let one of her daughters out of the house wearing fleece-lined Crocs.


Shaun Rajah, who is the special events manager for The Palm Court, welcomed us, gave us each a single long-stemmed red rose, and showed us to our table. Shaun is, I learned after some Googling, is the special events manager for The Palm Court. More than a maître d’, he was literally the man. Showing parties to their tables, directing them to coat check, quickly and discreetly helping the staff do their jobs all dressed in an immaculately tailored suit. So I know it’s probably his job to look like a badass but if he could manage to do that then why couldn’t the lady with the Crocs-wearing girl put her baby in some patent Mary Janes?

I know if Jacinda were reading this as I typed, she’d remind me that her own daughter has a funny habit of removing her shoes in public places, and maybe that mom decided it was easier to go with Crocs rather than fight her daughter for cuter footwear. Maybe, but that doesn’t explain why her husband turned up for tea wearing what appeared to be a nylon tracksuit jacket instead of a more formal coat.

But let me get back to the tea. Shaun informed us that Oprah’s own manicurists were on hand to provide complimentary hand massages as he showed us to our table. I got excited about this, as I haven’t had my nails done since Lisa and Eddie’s wedding. Which was in November. OMG I’m gross.

While I fantasized about my free hand treatment, Kathy and I ogled the tea selection. Our rather adorable waiter came by to take our order: a bellini for Kathy, a mimosa for me, white jasmine tea for both of us. The cocktails were the first to arrive and frankly, they were incredibly tasty. The food arrived as did our pots of tea.

The food did not stop the conversation, which covered a number of topics. Valentine’s Days past (I still rank our dinner at Frontera Grill in 2001? 2002? which served every single dish from Like Water For Chocolate as the best one ever), the Super Bowl (Kathy’s building had a viewing party for its tenants), my brother, her sister, what Kathy’s giving up for Lent (swearing!), dieting, the lady who does did Kathy’s hair, “Absolutely Fabulous”. Every so often, I’d peek over at the table where the manicurists were set up, and they always had clients. Damn. We ended up not getting our hand massages but it was totally fine when I saw two rather nerdy looking middle-aged men getting hand treatments. The looks of glee on their faces cheered me up.

After tea, we had to get Kathy’s parking validated which means we had to do just a little shopping at 900 North Michigan. Seriously — no validation without purchase! Also, the mall was offering tax-free shopping at a number of their shops. Even better. We went to J. Crew, where I bought some barrettes and a pair of cap-toe ballet flats. Kathy got this lovely blue shirt that she can wear under sweaters now and then by itself when the weather is warmer. Which helped me to remember that one of the reasons why I like Valentine’s Day so much is that in a matter of weeks (okay, more like months for Chicago) it will soon be spring.

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denim heart

denim heart

Will you be my stonewashed valentine?

Elisa and I had dinner at Pho & I Thursday night. Pho & I serves mainly Thai food except for pho. I didn’t indulge, opting instead for some fairily mild basil fried rice with chicken. Elisa’s pho looked really good, though, so I’ll have to remember that the next time I go. Continue reading

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v-day '09: spinsterella

As I’m home alone on a Friday night, I’ve started working on my “oh woe is me, i’m so alone” playlist for Valentine’s Day. This is just the first pass. I aim to have something perfect for crying and drinking a bottle of wine by myself closer to the day itself.

Here we are. Please leave comments (feedback, suggestions) — I want it to be sad enough to make me want to overdrink but not overeat.

  1. Hand It Over, James Hunter
  2. Thinking of You, Paul Weller
  3. I See Monsters, Ryan Adams
  4. No Expectations, The Rolling Stones
  5. Hanging On Too Long, Duffy
  6. Gimme Shelter, Patti Smith
  7. No One Knows, Mark Ronson
  8. Poker Face (Acoustic Version), Lady GaGa
  9. Need Your Love So Bad, Eva Cassidy
  10. Harlem Shuffle, Bob & Earl
  11. Hook me up, Alex Chilton
  12. Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis cover), Mystery Jets
  13. Electric Relaxation, A Tribe Called Quest
  14. Girlfriend, Michael Jackson
  15. Knocks Me Off My Feet, Stevie Wonder
  16. Everybody Here Wants You, Jeff Buckley
  17. Little Red Corvette, Prince
  18. Can We Talk, Tevin Campbell
  19. Speed Of Love (w/John Doe), Shudder To Think
  20. These Days, Gregg Allman
  21. How Deep Is Your Love, The Bird And The Bee
  22. I’m Your Puppet, James & Bobby Purify

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The James

A few weeks ago, I booked a room at The James for cheap. Originally, it was going to be a post-Valentine’s Day girls night in with KRS1 and WhoMe88 (yes, I’m using nicknames now). Alas, KRS1 is sick, so hopefully WhoMe88 and I will be able to soldier on without her. I’d bow out, but I can’t cancel the reservation. And besides, I love a fancy hotel room.

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late night linking

  • The Vanities Dare: The Valentine’s Day Dare [VF]
  • I’ve Been in That Club, Just Not in Real Life [NYT]
  • Rameniac! [Rameniac via Angry Asian Man]

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421: stop me if you think you've heard this one before, pt. 1

Valentine's Dinner: Red Dragon roll at Oysy
The Red Dragon roll at Oysy.

When I first started writing this flip front two months ago, I was going to start with how the song “Your Body Is A Wonderland” by John Mayer sounds like an apology for premature ejaculation. Valentine’s day commercials for “Music & Lyrics” starting Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant have been replaced by commercials for “Lucky You” starring Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana.

I saw “Music & Lyrics”, which was cute enough for a Valentine’s Day outing with your girlfriends, but not enough that I could overlook the total absence of romantic chemistry between Drew and Hugh. Continue reading

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420: conversation hearts

My first year of college, I decided to observe Valentine’s Day by wearing black. The black was meant to be an expression of my disdain for the commercialization of the holiday, and for those couples foolish to let a single day dictate how and when they should express their feelings for each other.

Also, black is very slimming.

I thought I was hot shit, all tough and maybe even a little sexy, until I went to dinner at the dining hall with my compatriots in anti-Valentine’s misery, and saw this guy making fun of my walk. Okay, so my gait was a bit exaggerated, but you try to walk gracefully in a tight skirt with a thigh-length slit whilst wearing 3″ John Fluevog bell platforms. The skirt was cheap, already pilling after a summer, and the sweater was probably about 3″ too short. My lipstick, which most certainly would have been red, was probably too sticky. If anyone had tried to kiss me by the cereal bar, they would gotten a mouthful of Revlon Red Pagoda with their Cap’n Crunch.

For a while all I wanted to wear were my J. Crew Valentine pajamas, but they’re a bit snug these days. I don’t like holiday sweaters, so nothing heart-shaped. This is the one day a year I find that I don’t want to wear pink. I’ve discovered that the thing to wear on Valentine’s Day if you want to avoid uncomfortable questions from nosy co-workers about your love life is a red turtleneck. Anything more and it may just come across as desperate. Anything less and you’ve got a nascent hipster college boy (who, by the way, looked like a Keebler elf — so I’ve heard) making fun of you in a college dining hall.

So today — red cashmere turtleneck sweater (bought for a song at Filene’s Basement). Black pants. Black ballet flats, my indoor shoes for work (black snow boots are stashed under my desk). $1.97 fake pearl studs in ears. MAC Viva Glam VI lipstick on lips. I may put on some eyeliner later before putting on my new glasses to go out to Oysy for sushi with Kathy and Adrienne.

I imagine our dinner at Oysy will be like that scene in “Something New”, where the fab though buttoned-up accountant Kenya and her equally fabulous single girlfriends go for drinks and bemoan the dearth of available, single, straight African-American men. Only we’ll gossip a bit more, perhaps drink some Champagne, talk about real estate and the snow storm and what I should do when I visit L.A. for my birthday.

    jasmine’s kinda sad mix for valentine’s day 2007

  • Billie Holiday, “Don’t Explain”
  • Hall & Oates, “Say It Isn’t So”
  • OK Go, “A Million Ways”
  • Philip Baily, “Easy Lover”
  • Usher, “Caught Up”
  • Gnarls Barkley, “Smiley Faces”
  • Depeche Mode, “Master And Servant”
  • Basement Jaxx feat. Lisa Kekaula, “Good Luck”
  • Sam Cooke, “Cupid”
  • Nina Simone, “I’ve Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)”
  • Louis Armstrong, “A Kiss To Build A Dream On”
  • Shudder to Think feat. John Doe, “Speed Of Love”

Great poems about sex. (Slate)
“Something In The Way He Moves” (Village Voice)
A history of Valentine’s Day(Wikipedia)

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you've got to be kidding me

So I’m currently in budget mode — I’m organizing repayment schedules for existing debt, I’ve started photographing things to try to sell on eBay, and I’m buying birthday presents at places that rhyme with “Wack Arnold’s”.

But for Valentine’s Day, that day of love embodied by chocolate, jewelry, and pity sex romantic overtures, I understand that even I of very little money and no boyfriend am required to participate. Good daughter that I am, I must produce something for my mama, who requires cards and gifts on any and all holidays (sometimes even the Jewish ones — and we’re Catholic!) But what can you get for your moms that says so much for so little?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but through DEDICATE a MOVIE to Someone Special (btw, that’s their caps, not mine), I can tell my mother that I love her very much without breaking the bank. Just pick from one of four movies, fill in a handy form with your special someone’s name, e-mail address, and dedication, hit “Send”, then watch your movie and keep an eye out for your message!

I often associate Lifetime with movies where woman gets tricked into sleeping with guy/drugged by her dentist/murdered by her best friend, then is saved or vindicated by long lost daughter/hot widower next door/the FBI. And I have to admit that the last few “chick lit” like movies that I watched and enjoyed were on ABC Family. But Lifetime is still the queen of the heartbreak movie with the melodrama, the soft lighting, and, it would seem, Valerie Bertinelli and Jane Seymour on permanent retainer. So it is with a classic Lifetime story that I send my love to mom.

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