Monday, February 11, 2008

Love links, nothin' but love links

Drivers aren't superstitious. That would be bad luck!"--Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR commentator, former driver, and legend

I don't want to talk any more about Timbaland's temper tantrum or Amy Winehouse's Grammy/rehab saga. I love Timbaland and Winehouse, but so do many of my co-workers, so that's been going around all morning. I'm also not talking about the primaries because bad things always happen when I gloat.

Apologies in advance for anyone who wants to forget that Valentine's Day is coming up, but I *love* Valentine's Day! I love to cook light but enticing romantic dinners and buy L'Ailee gifts. I love that it's pretty much a guaranteed gonna-get-some night. (Yeah, I know my inner frat boy's talking, but put it this way--if libido's a teeter-totter, my butt's closer to the ground!) I love that we got our tax refund anticipation checks right before Congress decided to "stimulate" the economy. I love that L'Ailee lit a fire under my ass so we could get our taxes done. I love L'Ailee because, among millions of other things, she's good about lighting a fire under my ass when I need it. I love jewelry, which we can't afford this year. I also love flowers (preferably organic, fair trade, in cheerful colors and strong scents, delivered at work where everyone can see) and chocolate, which we can afford. My father died when I was seven, as many of you have read many times. So I used to associate cut flowers with graves and funerals, and not want them for myself. In the past few years, I've gotten over that, and L'Ailee knows I want to make up for lost time!

And I love pandas and how loving they can act, like the National Zoo's Mei Xiang and Tian Tian here:

(Picture by Simba on 17th)

And I love racing! How wonderful, then, that the Daytona 500 is always on Valentine's week! Valentine's Day is also extremely special to L'Ailee, so when we first began our relationship, I'd have some agonizing choices to make. Now I don't, because I got L'Ailee into NASCAR, too! It is, to say the least, interesting to hear her talk about it in her slightly Brooklynized Russian accent. She is an absolute math genius, which balances me out wonderfully, and she looks so cute watching the race in her cut-off Juan Pablo Montoya T-shirt and reading glasses, adding and subtracting drivers' points on her yellow legal pad. She often beats the broadcasters' computers, too! I've had to learn much more about hockey because she loves that, and I felt guilty because I couldn't get into it as easily as she got into NASCAR. I can easily provoke a chase around the house by casually mentioning that I love the Pittsburgh Penguins because "penguins are so dang cute." She goes for teams with talented Russians, not by city. The Detroit Red Wings and the Washington Capitols are favorites.

Of course I can't begrudge Dale Earnhardt, Jr. his first win in forever. But I'm a little bit tired of seeing my man Tony Stewart in second behind Junior on the Daytona Superspeedway, as happened on Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout. (For non-NASCAR fans, think "pre-season exhibition game.") I hope that situation changes for Stewart, and he wins his first Daytona 500. I also don't think that long hair is doing a thing for him, though the only two men I ever loved both had long hair. But I was afraid the Toyota would hamper him. Turns out all those cars needed were some good drivers in them--he's doing *fine*! I enjoyed the hell out of the drama with Kurt Busch, and Stewart throwing a punch at him in the principal's office NASCAR hauler. So nice to see him back! Frankly, I think the drivers should be allowed to settle things with their fists again, the way it used to be done in the Seventies and Eighties. They say it with their cars much too often nowadays.

Speaking of Stewart finishing second to Junior, let me tell you about the first race L'Ailee ever watched live. The Daytona 500 of 2004. Oh, it was an experience for her--she learned a few things about where I came from that day! It was sort of an experience for some people around us, too, because they openly stared at the woman with the crew cut, Russian accent, and drum of SPF 3,000. (Poor babycita tends to get that lots in Florida. Probably just as well I'm the one who moved to a new state for the other.) She became a Kevin Harvick fan that day because she wanted a cap, and she liked the gray one with the red 29 because it went with her outfit, and she asked me, "Is this a good driver?"

Anyway, Stewart was sooooo close to winning his first 500, when Junior took the lead. How I hated it for Tony! Nobody else did. We were surrounded by a sea of red T-shirts with number 8s on them, and the crowd was most appreciative. "Come on, Tony!" I wailed. L'Ailee started cheering for him with me just to make me feel less alone. "Come on, Tony! Get that lead back! You can do it!" He didn't, and I was slightly bummed out. "Don't be sad," L'Ailee reassured me as we walked to my car. "If Tony Stewart had won, that crowd would have torn him apart." Damn, she picked up the nuances of the sport *fast*! We quickly became probably the only two women with their arms around each others' waists in that parking lot.

Hopefully you all have wonderful Valentine's Days and Nights, however you approach them. Or awesome anti-Valentine's Days. And happy Half-Price Chocolate Days on the 15th. And if you want to ignore the whole thing altogether, hope it floats by as light as a feather. It'll help to stay the hell away from me.

Love links, nothing but love links...

This week is Freedom to Marry Week! it is the eleventh annual, and it's timed to coincide not only with Valentine's Day, but Lincoln's birthday. Seems about right. There's tons to do, tons to protest, and tons to celebrate, all over the country!

Mom sent me this, about Tony Stewart and his crew chief Greg Zipadelli's unique relationship. No, I"m not indulging the jokes, and I'm really not talking about the fanfic! They've worked together for ten years, which is a very long time for NASCAR, and they look and act like brothers. If I used stupid buzzwords, I'd call it a "bromance." I admit I went misty at the last sentence.

It was suggested, by my work husband who also permits himself small doses of Jerry Springer as a toxic treat, that if you're feeling ambivalent about someone, you could always go to the Jerry Springer online store! I love the "I'm one drink away from kissin' my cousin" beer mugs. L'Ailee has 84,000 black tank tops, but I know better than to get her one like Jerry's female security guards wear!

Ancient Greek aphrodisiacs! One word of advice--I always say both halves of a couple should agree about onions and garlic. These right here prove my theory.

If you think giving affection to children is a good thing, thank Harry Harlow. In the mid-twentieth century, mother-love was considered smothering and dangerous for children. Harlow used some awful experiments to knock America sane again and demonstrate exactly why children needed touch.

Lastly, are the candy hearts at CVS not doing it for you? Have some fun with's Candy Heart Generator!


Tai said...

*hands over ears* LALALALA can't hear you talking 'bout 'THAT' day!

LOL! But I love that you love so many things!

BostonPobble said...

I admit ~ I love Valentine's Day, too. Commercialized or not, Hallmark created or not...I love it. Mind you, I'm (like you) luckily enough to have a partner who will indulge in Valentine's Day-like schmoopiness year round ~ but still...

And that is a great article about Stewart and Zippy.

alan said...

One of my favorite Greek aphrodisiacs is Sappho...there is one fragment about "being jealous of the one sitting next to you" I think applies nicely in your case (as long as someone doesn't want to kick my ass for saying it)!

Happy Valentine's Day to both of you!


Christine said...


Yes, those pandas are hella cute.

As for V Day, I am ambivalent. Aside from the "guaranteed to get some" aspect. I'm all for stacking THAT deck...

Scribble said...

Happy V day to you both!

Phil BC said...

So ... what did you do on Valentine's day? My and my SO took ONE HOUR out of our busy lives, sat down on our sofa, and watched the TV while eating a box of chocolates. Once it was done I went and did the pots while she sat on the comp. Who says romance is dead? :P

Barbara said...

I love cut flowers too. When I was living in London every Saturday I'd visit the farmer's market just before it closed. That was the best time to go for fresh fruit and cut flowers as they would mark everything down to clear out at the end of the day.

Lovebirds fly over my house and say, "cheap, cheap, cheap". (grin)

Jaded said...

Hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day. I love it, even all the commercial stuff. Can't help it.