By Doug Porter
I skipped the PBS Democratic Presidential debate Thursday night. I heard that neither candidate promised to kill, deport or incarcerate any group of people. What are the Democrats thinking?
Instead, we went to see Aaron Neville perform at the Balboa Theater. It was a Valentines date and well worth it. The singer from New Orleans is 75 years old and didn’t miss a note during a two-hour performance.
Today I’ll share some tips on Valentines Day, post the weekly calendar and call it done. (See you Tuesday)
At Tech Times they’ve curated a list of apps to make the most of your experiences. For those whose dates includes avoiding the angry ex, there’s Cloak.
This app searches through your various social media accounts to show you where they are, and if they are near you. Think of it as your personal assistant that stalks your ex for you to make sure you are as far away from them as possible.
At Estately.com, they’ve crunched a bunch of data and come up with a map showing the popular searches for V-Day gifts in each state. In California, it’s couples pajamas. In Colorado, couples yoga. For the Lone Star State, where they do everything big, it’s Plus Size Lingerie. And in Tennessee: Cheap Sex Toys.
Over at the Fox News site, they’re offering up “7 Tactical Gifts for Women on Valentines Day.” These include a purse for the gun lover and the Vanguard Camilla Rifle, designed by women for women.
Just Don’t Do It
The classic romantic notion of a Valentine’s Day dinner has been hard wired into our consciousness by the hospitality industry. As somebody who spent the better part of three decades spreading that myth (and trying to somehow deliver on the expectations created), I can tell you this is a terrible idea.
Lots of fine dining restaurants know they’ll be busy and employ strategies (pre-fixe menus) designed to increase profitability and lessen the chances of screw-ups. Unfortunately, that often means cookie cutter food one step up from banquet fare.
From Serious Eats:
While some restaurants may be proudly featuring new dishes on a prix fixe menu, “the kitchen might also be cleaning out the walk-in,” said Kim Hatcher, who worked front of house in several Vancouver restaurants. The food may not be the kitchen’s best work: “It’s a high volume night, often with a menu the line has never cooked before (or hasn’t since New Year’s Eve),” notes Collin Casey.
Lots of not-so-fine dining restaurants aren’t capable of dealing with higher volume and higher expectations. Only if you’re seriously into S&M should waiting a long time for food prepared by stressed-out linecooks be considered a good date. There is, of course, ample opportunity–assuming you can find a server–to consume alcohol while waiting for dinner.
Here’s a made-up take on this kind of experience from Cracked.Com:
“Are you the meat bringer?”
The 20ish blonde woman sat our drinks down and let loose a polite laugh. “Your food should be out shortly. The kitchen just had a bit of confusion about your order. It shouldn’t be long.” She walked away, blondely. I turned to my wife, Emily, and shot her a puzzled look.
“They’re called ‘servers,'” my wife whispered when she was out of earshot. “And if you hadn’t ordered steak and replaced all of your sides with ‘also steak,’ the food would have been here by now. Why do you have to make everything difficult?”
This brings up another reason not to patronize restaurants on any Hallmark Holiday, namely that the heathen also get the “let’s eat out” notion.
Smart cooks will know to butterfly those well-done orders of filet mignon and toss them in the deep fryer once the outside has grill marks. The dumb ones will actually try to cook the meat to order, slowing down service for everybody and increasing the chances the order will be returned because “it’s not juicy.”
Then there are the indecisive knuckle dragging double-reservation bookers, who’ve burdened those of us who like to eat in better establishments with the necessity of sharing our credit card information in advance. Most of the chain restaurants simply overbook on major holidays, realizing there is a certain class of people who’ll make several reservations and decide at the last minute what’s for dinner.
Finally, there are the wedding proposers, the poor souls who take a chance of being humiliated in front of a packed dining room. Not only do they have a rotten night if the answer’s no, it kinda puts a damper on the experience for everyone else.
Here’s Chef Rebecca Tillman, quoted in the Phoenix New Times:
I was in Asheville, North Carolina, working and saw a man kneel down to propose to his girlfriend. She immediately stood up and said, “No” very loud, cried, knocked off the drink on her table, and ran out of the restaurant. About two minutes later, she slowly came back because she forgot her purse. The whole restaurant just stared at her. It was the most awkward thing I have ever seen.
If you must include a dining experience as part of celebrating your romance, make reservations for next weekend.
Weekly Progressive Calendar: Upcoming in San Diego
Georgette Gomez Campaign Kickoff
Saturday, February 13, 2016, 9:30am
Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park
3700 Fairmount Ave (City Heights)
Info and Updates
Join former Councilmember Donna Frye and other special guests as Georgette Gomez, progressive candidate for District 9’s city council seat kicks off her campaign.
Protest $ea World
Valentines Day / Presidents Day Holiday Weekend
Sunday, February 14th, 10am
Sea World San Diego
500 Sea World Drive
Info & Updates
Sea Shepherd will be joining us for this protest. Our focus will be on Taiji and the dolphins and other animals being caught, slaughtered and used for entertainment.
Historically the three-day holiday weekends used to be busy at $ea World. $ince we go every holiday now, they are not as busy.
Yes it is Valentines Day, so let’s show some love for the animals at $ea World and be their voices.Please wear black/white with a splash of red for the holiday (blood on your hands/palms of hands painted red). Homemade signs are always welcome.
Dump Trump San Diego – Valentines Day
Sunday, February 14, 2016, Noon-2pm
Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park
Info & Updates
San Diego, too much is at stake. We need to rise up and show the rest of the country what it means to stand against xenophobia, white supremacy, racism, and fear-mongering.
On Feb 14, we will rally together in protest of Donald Trump’s candidacy. It will start at noon! This is about refusing to be silent in the face of egregious evil.
We will be holding signs that say: Dump ______, Dump Trump. Ideas for the blank: hatred, ignorance, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, fear mongering, transphobia, body shaming, etc. I will be making some and bringing extras, but if you have something specific that you want to dump, please write your own.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, please try to wear one item that is red, pink, or purple. When you arrive at the park, please pull out your sign, display it, and walk to the plaza to find us. (i.e. carry it from the parking lot to the plaza, or if you’re walking to balboa, carry it once you’re in Balboa).
Mirrors of Privilege: Film & Conversation on Race
Saturday, February 20th, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Peace Resource Center of San Diego
3850 Westgate Place
Info & Updates
RSVP appreciated. Refreshments provided.
Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is a film for all people who are interested in justice, personal growth, and community. It features experiences of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States. It is “a moving call, long-overdue, coming from the heart of white people working to restore their own humanity. Undoing the false teachings of racial supremacy, which are all-pervasive and quite subtle, requires a lifetime of work.” – Van Jones
Co-hosted by the Peace Resource Center & San Diego First Church of the Brethren. Refreshments provided by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee as part of their effort to “highlight the connection between U.S. militarism and misplaced priorities on local issues” and nonviolent strategies for social change.
Lori Saldaña Petition & Volunteer Recruiting Party
Sunday, February 21st, 1-3pm
3130 Moore St. (Old Town)
Info & Updates
We have until March 10th to gather signatures to get Lori on the June 7th Ballot for Mayor and show how the Political Revolution has come to the San Diego Mayor’s race! Come to the Grassroots Oasis to sign the petition (must be a registered voter in the City of San Diego) and/or get petitions to collect signatures for Lori! The only requirements for the person circulating the petition for a candidate is that the person is a US citizen at least 18 years of age.
Hear from Lori about our grassroots campaign to move San Diego forward into the 21st Century, and meet others who want to be part of this paradigm shift! Light refreshments will be served.
Election Day in Carlsbad on Measure A
Tues., Feb. 23: Please vote NO.
The Third Annual Zero Waste Symposium:
Programs and Policies Moving us Closer to Zero
Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 9am -5pm
Campus Center Hearing Room
County of San Diego Operations Center, 5520 Overland Avenue
Info & Updates (Tickets, $15-$50)
The keynote speaker will be Captain Charles Moore, Founder & Research Director of Algalita, the leading research organization focused on plastic pollution and its impacts on marine life and ecosystems. Watch one of his compelling talks here.
The Look of Silence
(With an appearance by Documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer)
Tuesday February 23, 2016, 7:15pm
Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union Theatre
San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr.
Free Admission (Sorry, no link provided)
Presented by Charles W Hostler Institute on World Affairs, Institute for Ethics & Public Affairs / Dept of Philosophy, Love Library, One SDSU, SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film with the support of Kathleen Kennedy, Student Life & Leadership
The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar®nominated The Act of Killing. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide (which killed 10,500 people), a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything. (Hint, hint Hillary fans.) Unfortunately, my subscription to the psychic hotline has lapsed so if you don’t tell me or Facebook, etc., about your event it won’t get listed. See my email address below.
On This Day: 1818 – Abolitionist Frederick Douglass born into slavery near Easton, Md. 1956 – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins recorded “I Put a Spell On You.” 1999 – President Clinton was acquitted by the Senate on two impeachment articles. The charges were perjury and obstruction of justice.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.