Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your penis.
Eh, Valentine’s Day. RANT TIME.
I don’t celebrate it — and not because I’m some anti-establishment, anti-greeting card company or anti-lovey-dovey holidays… um, person — but I guess I just don’t GET it. What’s to celebrate? Date Night. Blow jobs. Maybe a vase of flowers. All the stuff you should be experiencing as one-half (or one-third, I don’t judge) of a couple on a regular basis. Not just because February 14th told you so. And if you don’t like blow jobs, well maybe then you should reconsider your relationship. THAT GOES FOR BOTH OF YOU.
You probably should start by holding hands once in a while.
And yes, you’re also probably doing it wrong.
In Ohio, I was “blessed” with having two of these romantical holidays — each anchored both ends of the calendar year. Sweetest Day made my eyes roll much more than V-Day (VD Day has probably been done before, no? Desperate Single Girls Celebration, FTW). Perhaps because of the stupidity of couples (or is it just women?) relying on false hope that limo rides to fancy restaurants in October equate love in the fullest, for all eternity and in times of ultimatums. I have mentioned before how important it is for Pennsylvanians NOT to take ownership of this inane celebration. I mean, it’s not even on the same DAY every year! Friends and coworkers, it’s even worse when a woman is not even in a relationship and her entire day of work is focused on the lasting merits of Relationship With Mystery Man X because OMG YOU WEREN’T DELIVERED 18 BALLOONS ALONG WITH A SINGING BANANA!
Because THAT GUY is a stalker. Not a boyfriend.
AB is on the same page with me, thankfully. At least about the holiday stuff. Oh, I wish I could get him on board with skipping Christmas… I’m probably not the most romantic person in the world. But this year, I might cook dinner and fuck it up JUST BECAUSE I CARE. Because when I dated a guy that EXPECTED me to gift him something just because HE did something “special” for me, well, that’s a sure way to guilt trip somebody into buying you a shit-ton of easter candy — that you will never eat — to make up for “that time” your girlfriend didn’t reciprocate a slippers-and-chocolate combo. Oh, how in the world did I stretch that relationship out as far as it did?! No blow jobs. That’s how.
And where the fuck are those slipper socks? Because I’m going to burn them in my wood stove tonight in effigy…
My first attempt at cooking for the boyfriend went well, with something I feel comfortable doing: baking. So, I made wonderful cinnamon rolls. And the boyfriend approved.
The second task I picked as my 25 project was a “surprise” for Valentine’s Day. This was no easy task, as not only was dinner my responsibility — so was the freaking grocery shopping. AB was ALL kinds of nervous, wondering if I was gifting him food poisoning for the romantic holiday. See? That’s real love.
In order for my meal to be a success, I needed to purchase a new small appliance (as if we need anything else in this kitchen!): a fondue pot. Finding an abundance of models at both Target and Kohl’s online, I thought that buying one in store would be just as easy. WRONG. Neither had them. But thankfully, at open skate that afternoon, one of my freshies recommended Bed, Bath & Beyond (I have no clue why that option escaped me while I was wandering around McKnight Road). I scored an electric Cuisanart model for less than $50, and also picked up a mini dipper crockpot for, like, $20. This thing is AWESOME, and saved a potential “problem” I recognized in serving three courses of fondue.
First course: oil and meat (and dipping sauces)
I used peanut oil, as it is supposedly healthier, but also less likely to stink up the place. I mean, we were cooking meat practically in our living room. Mmmmm, smell that Chinese restaurant on my couch? *puke* Also, never use olive oil (smoky). Anyway, the butcher at Giant Eagle was incredibly helpful, selecting a pound of filet that I had to cut into small pieces for dipping. There wasn’t a lot of fat to cook off, which was great, and I didn’t need to marinate the meat. You can also use sirloin, but… meh.
My three sauces: a sweet and sour (ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar), a mustard sauce (mayo, mustard — both dry and hot mustard, and wine vinegar), a melted lemon-herb butter (OMG, it was so delicious & we have those individual butter warmers, which was like a whole other fondue!). And of course, A-1.
Second course (served alongside the first): cheese fondue and a platter of veggies and breads
I found a few recipes online for a cheese fondue, but none of which could be made without the use of white wine (which we didn’t have… and you know you can’t buy freaking wine from grocery stores), so I had to open up a bottle of “saved” Pinot Gris (even after I asked the boyfriend not to use it THE PRIOR WEEK). I used all Gruyere, melted with the white wine, a little cornstarch, salt & pepper and garlic. I had to time it perfectly, as I had to make it on the stove first, then transfer it to the mini crockpot (which really didn’t keep it hot enough, but we made it work). It was DELICIOUS. I cut up a variety of veggies (the carrots are NOT good for fondue, but I wanted another color on the plate… consider it a palate cleanser) and a couple different breads and a seasoned pita chip.
Third course: chocolate and several sweet things for dipping
I tell you what, melting chocolate has everything to do with the pan. We received a new Cephalon small sauce pan for Christmas, and this thing was wonderful — perfect chocolate melty-ness. I used semisweet (the individually-wrapped cubes, then chopped them a little smaller) and heavy cream and a tiny bit of vanilla. Voila! Also, I just transferred to a small Corningware ramekin for the table. It stayed melted long enough to enjoy the plate of goodies.
For dipping, I plated vanilla wafers, giant marshmallows (seriously, this campfire bag was all kinds of awesome, but it is definitely no Pittsburgh Marshmallow Company marshmallow… I just couldn’t get there over the weekend), pineapple, cut up one of those frozen Sara Lee pound cakes (seriously, I love that cake for things like this).
To be honest, I was shocked how well everything came together (even if I spent the better part of February 14 stressing out and doing prep work). It was my first time attempting fondue, and I swear, I made a time sheet to make sure I didn’t forget ANY steps. But the best part: I didn’t really have to cook anything (which, I think alleviated some of the boyfriend’s stomach stress).
What did you make (or have) for Valentine’s Day dinner?
Kind of romantic, no?
I know you are all jealous of my ability to wrangle not only a Valentine’s Day DATE, but a true life Valentine’s Day boyfriend.
We started off our Romantic Weekend at the West Side Market Cafe for hash and egg benedicts (and way too much Bailey’s for my coffee… yes, I did actually just type the words “too much” in front of something containing alcohol). We shopped for our sweet weekend of food. We bought fresh tuna and salmon to make our own sushi and a shit-load of goat cheese and fresh rosemary for our Valentine’s Day dinner.
A day prior, I picked up the cutest handmade sushi set at Bazaar Bizarre Valentine’s edition from local artist Christin M. Sorenson. It was a perfect Couples Gift.
Yeah, I even lit fucking candles.
Together, we love Michael Symon, so why wouldn’t we plan his infamous mac & cheese dinner for the holiday itself? More cheese for you AND me.
We walked over to Ohio City Blooms for a small bouquet to cheer up the apartment (and me, while I’m “working” from within it) — those boys walked me over to their display of beautiful tropical flowers. So much for a “small bouquet.” They are gorgeous, by the way. Since the bouquet was so large, we needed to invest in a larger vase for our table – it matched well. Even if we have to place the entire thing on the tall dresser in the bedroom at bedtime and when we leave, as to not inspire the kitty for any wrong-doing business.
How many blow jobs do you get for $50 these days?
Next up was Lilly Handmade Chocolates in Tremont for a pick-a-sixer (eg: De Dolle Extra Special Export Stout, Stone collaboration Belgian Style Triple Ale from 2008, He’ Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. and others) and a sixer of chocolate (Kindergartner, Lime, Love Potion No. 9 1/2, etc.), plus one Big Berry Monster bar to share — the Heather will be eaten and savored last, of course). Delicious. And I LOVE beer.
Continuing the date, we bought tickets to the Saturday late show at Pickwick & Frolic/Hilarities to see the ever-dirty Jim Jeffries. It was a weird show, by no fault of Jeffries. But was apparent there were a bunch of noobs out in the 216 Saturday night. A week ago we went down to see Mary Ellen Hooper (HILARIOUS) and nobody spoke out of turn… this show, some girl in the balcony nearly upset the entire show by being forceably removed by the cops. Just one after another, idiot after idiot kept yelling stupid shit out. Jeffries maybe got 10 minutes of his routine out before putting out audience fires. Have these people ever been to a comedy show before? Shut up and laugh. That is all.
Sunday, we made breakfast in… bread? Yes, these pancakes are like banana bread. While I intended on bananas foster, a stack of banana-walnut pancakes sounded so much more Valentine-y breakfast.
Love. Oh man, I need to make my own whipped cream – I keep forgetting…
Oh yeah, that “hormone problem” is still around. I cried after he read his card (it was a “serious” card this holiday, when I typically opt on the side of humour). Yeah, it’s a happy cry (one of which I experienced upon BUYING the damn thing and reading it in Target), which is ultimately what matters. But seriously, my eyes are making up for months of staying dry. I’m just feeling so freaking sappy as of late.
Make it stop!
We ended the extended weekend with a totally nerdy, early-morning Monday trip to the Great Lakes Science Center – courtesy of Cleveland.com (thankyouverymuch!). The GLSC has made some significant changes and additions since my last visit a couple years ago (where I ranted here). Majority of the exhibits were functioning and fun to play around with, and the inception of the NASA addition is incredible. I could have sat in front of the space and astronomy videos all day. Bravo, Science Center. Although, I kinda miss the weather screen.
YES! ASTRONAUT ICE CREAM!!! Am I too old for the science sleepover?
Taking advantage of our free time for lunch together, we ate the biggest and best of corned beef sandwiches at Slyman’s on Monday afternoon.
See what that is? When you have Valentine’s Day boyfriends, you celebrate an entire WEEKEND of fun.
Love x 2.
I love Rick from Bittersweet. His recipe suggestions have the perfect measurement of snark and relationship bitterness. Bittersweet, indeed.
Then there is local blogger, Lead Paint Cookbook. Her collection of Valentine’s Day/vintage-inspired recipes this week has made me blow wine out of my nose on more than one occasion. Because I don’t keep milk in the apartment. And I think she enjoys the word “penis” as much as I do.
One of my favorite “go to” web places for Geek-related news and merchandise, blogged some ideas for this Valentine’s Day: Geeky Date Ideas, Gifts for Girls, Gift Guide for Guys. Or you know, get nothing and keep your savings for something to plan together, like, a vacation to Ireland in the Fall. Right? Someone needs to get a job. *cough* me *cough*
For the French, this holiday for those Missed Connections in Paris:
The city of Paris is allowing people to submit neighborhood-specific missed connections of 160 characters or less through its website. On February 14th, the most beautiful ones will be selected and put up on these announcement boards that are found throughout the city. How romantique! — from The Frisky.
And lastly, My Very Worst Date is sponsoring a “my very worst date ever” contest in support of Valentine’s Day (and the single-somethings who hate it). Ah, memories…
This year is nice. Yes, nice that I don’t need to complain all over my blog that I don’t have a boyfriend, and that I’m so lonely and the holiday doesn’t mean anything, puke, puke, puke… I like that AB & I have made plans to do our “Valentine” shit together (regardless of how I feel/don’t feel about the inane holiday that WAY too many put the stock of his/her relationship): get market stuff to make dinner at home (likely, sushi), grab some small craft beers and chocolates from Lily’s. I guess you can still puke with that.
Oh where, oh where have I been the last several Valentine’s Days? Read below. Kinda freaked my shit out.
2009 – SSD & I “tried once more” to make whatever into something else. It was apparent, “whatever” was over after that night. But we had a wonderful weekend. It was bittersweet. Again, three years to move past something “casual.”
2008 – Yeahhhh. 10SB. He was a dick. I was CRYING uncontrollably mere days after Valentine’s Day — like, having a nervous breakdown crying. I was so obviously bored and unhappy. I suppose I had to go through that to get where I am now. Come to find out, weeks after aforesaid Piss Fest (during his infamous “kitchen sink breakdown” while on vacation in Europe), he concluded his general pissy-ness stewed because I “didn’t get him anything for Valentine’s Day.” I was nicely gifted a pair of slippers and, I think, a box of chocolates, even after expressing apathy at the holiday. And then, he cried.
But it’s all good — because this week in 2008, Penis Tuesday started. Hooray, Penis!
2007 - I went to Cinci to spend V-Day with SSD (was the weekend of/before when everyone WAS celebrating). It was cute. I think we went to the Cheescake Factory for dinner, maybe a comedy show at Go Bananas! and then to a fun dive bar next door with a cover band. All the weekend trips to Cinci fade together… I have no blogging to prove it otherwise. The actual DAY of Valentine’s Day I was snowed in from my awesome condo maintenance crew plowing all the mounds so close to the garage doors I couldn’t open said garage and GET OUT and go to my internship that day.
2006 – Cleveland Magazine’s Crush Party at View (Single #69!!!). Oh, and the dress shop called to tell me that my wedding dress was in. Only, I am no longer engaged to be married. I’m sure some drinks were had that evening. I never returned the called to the dress shop.
SSD came into Cleveland for our “first date” since meeting on New Year’s Eve. I was also a couple dates in on dating 10SB the FIRST time around (I eventually canceled Date #4). Man, some times I need to pay attention to my former self. AND I was pining over a steamy telephone relationship with Philly Steak. No, “steamy” does not mean “phone sex.”
What a hussy!
2005 – I was featured in the singles issue of Cleveland Magazine. That was FIVE freaking years ago?! Geesh. Will someone tell my family? Anyway… I recently moved back from Phoenix, and I was trying to make things work with “Clay” (the older guy). I vaguely remember him going out of town the day after an unfortunate condom incident, and me having to take Plan B. Alone. Happy fucking Valentine’s Day.
2004 – I was living with The Fiancee (although not yet engaged). Yet, a couple weeks later I went to a Speed Dating Adventure with a friend of mine. Well, if that’s not a recipe for disaster and foreshadowing for the end of that.
Note: WAYBACK MACHINE is the GREATEST! BTW, you need to scroll all the way down to read monthly posts. I need to spend time copy/pasting all these posts so I have them archived here.