Hello, lovers. Cupid's day is upon us! Valentine's Day is a holiday that really manages to dishearten and ostracize a sizeable chunk of the human population, and it all depends on whatever your Facebook relationship status happens to be when Feb. 14 rolls around.
Lest you believe the holiday was created by the modern greeting card industry in an attempt to rake in some extra cash and punish singles, the oldest valentine actually dates back to 1415 (according to The History Channel).
Significant lovers or lack thereof aside, who doesn't love love? It doesn't matter if it's your mom, your pet or your pal take the opportunity this Monday to show your all-time favorite people some well-deserved affection. And if all else fails, there's no law decreeing that you can't buy a heart-shaped box of chocolates for yourself.
- Quell your winter blues, get out and have some fun on Valentine's Day weekend, and support a worthy local charity all at once.
The annual "Kiss Me Anew" Bash (also known as the "KMA" Bash or the "Kiss My A--" Bash) will be held Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk. Admission is $10 per person 21 and over only -- and includes food, a cash bar and live music by Black Widow. There will also be a special appearance by the Chautauqua County Roller Derby's Babes of Wrath who will be selling 50/50 tickets.
Tickets for a Chinese auction will be sold as well and Sailor Jerry shot girls will be present at the party. All proceeds go to The Salvation Army Anew Center, a not-for-profit organization that provides advocacy, counseling and support services for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault. For more information, e-mail Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org. To ask about a reservation with the Clarion Hotel at the special room rate of $75.99 (plus tax, which includes a free continental breakfast), call 366-8350. And to learn more about the Anew Center or to make a donation, e-mail Diana at email@example.com.
- On Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. at 41 West, check out Lemon 12, an acoustic rock group featuring Rick Mackenzie, Pete Majka and Eli Tederous. On Saturday, dance and party the night away in honor of Valentine's weekend with live music from Rinky Dink from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Trivia is back on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. So, if you want to work the whole local trivia circuit, Applebee's trivia is on Tuesdays, 41 West's is on Wednesdays and Wing City's is on Thursdays. If I'm missing anywhere else in the greater Dunkirk/Fredonia area, please let me know.
- At Valentine's Place in Fredonia on Saturday, there will be live music by Passion Works from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Looney Happy Hour from 9 to 10 p.m., with $1.50 beer bottles, well drinks and drafts.
- The Kosciuszko Club will have live music by DOS from 9 p.m. to midnight on Saturday -- members and eligible guests only.
Before the Academy Awards on Feb. 27, I am trying to see all 10 of the Best Picture nominees. So far, I'm just a few films shy of having a perfect 10. Here's my latest addition to the list
"The King's Speech"
Colin Firth deserves all of the praise he has been getting for his portrayal of King George IV in this simply superb and uplifting film.
With his sudden ascension to the throne, the king must finally conquer a stutter that has plagued him for most of his life. His wife (Helena Bonham Carter) enlists the help of a speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) with unorthodox methods in order for him to give his country the reassurance they desperately needed on the eve of World War II.
The supporting players deserve almost as much credit as Firth; Bonham Carter does well in a subdued role a refreshing change of pace after seeing her play the same madcap, erratic character for the better part of a decade and Rush succeeds by not going over-the-top, lending a certain warmth and kindness to his part.
Acting aside, I appreciated every little cinematographic detail that helped to make the film special. Forget about "The Fighter" "The King's Speech" is this seasons's outstanding, overcoming-all-odds story.
- If you think you're feeling lonely on Valentine's Day, just thank your lucky stars that you're not Charlie Brown. Poor old Chuck gets the short end of the stick once again in "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown," on ABC at 8 p.m. on Friday. Still pining away for the Little Red-haired Girl, Charlie Brown hopes his affections will finally be returned in the form of a valentine. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much luck getting so much as a conversation heart's worth of admiration.
- The Grammy Awards will be on CBS on Sunday at 8 p.m., with performances from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Eminem, among others. There will also be a big tribute to Aretha Franklin, featuring powerhouse singers like Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera, who will have a chance to redeem herself after flubbing the national anthem at the Super Bowl a week prior.
- Coinciding with Valentine's Day, CBS's new comedy "Mad Love" will premiere at 8:30 p.m. on Monday. The show is about two couples one in love and the other at each other's throats and boasts an impressive cast: Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs"), Judy Greer (Kitty on "Arrested Development" and the "best girlfriend" in nearly every romantic comedy made in the last 10 years), and Jason Biggs ("American Pie").
- HBO's latest movie, "The Sunset Limited," will premiere on Saturday at 9 p.m. and feature Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Based on a play by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, it's a story about one stranger who rescues another from hurling himself in front of a Harlem subway train. Perhaps it will be next award season's "Temple Grandin."
- It's Turner Classic Movies' 31 Days of Oscar and, just in time for Valentine's Day, the network has wisely chosen to show one the greatest romantic films of all time, "Gone With the Wind" on Saturday at 10 p.m. It simply does not get any better than Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable portraying Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler's tumultuous affair in all its melodramatic glory. If it doesn't make you want to tear down the curtains and fashion yourself a gown, I don't know what will.
Happy Valentine's Day!
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org