Monday, February 16, 2004

President's Day and the Preceding Weekend

Happy President's Day, everyone! Of course, if you aren't a student, or someone who works at a bank or a post office, that probably doesn't mean much. It certainly doesn't to me. I'm sitting here at my desk once again, just like every other Monday. I'd much rather be still in bed. This blog aside, I'd probably be just as productive there--at least I'd be getting some rest. Our company's manufacturing software has crashed (again), so I'm just sitting here with nothing to do until someone tells me the software is okay.

At any rate, President's Day is by far the less significant "holiday" of the past three days, so let's focus on the other one.

I do not love Valentine's Day. For the most part, I feel it's a shameless marketing ploy by Hallmark (etc.) to get consumers to spend money on cards and gifts during the stretch of time between Christmas and Easter, which is otherwise barren of significant holidays. For what it's worth, Sweetest Day is the same, only worse. The unreformed idealist in me would like to think that it's not really necessary to have one or two days to set aside to make your loved one feel special, because you should aim for that every day. Of course, in reality, it probably is necessary, but that same part of me says that one or two days shouldn't make up for the other three hundred and sixty-some.

Needless to say, these arguments don't exactly go over well with the female portion of my relationship, so Brandi and I did Valentine's Day this weekend, and it was a pretty good one.

I drove over to Stow from Toledo immediately after work on Friday, arriving around 7:00. Brandi and I went to dinner that night at the Cheesecake Factory. Original plans called for Olive Garden, but she was planning to make pasta for us on Saturday night, so we decided to forego the Italian food on Friday. The Cheesecake Factory is set in the middle of a pretty big shopping district near Cleveland, and it was pretty busy. We had to wait over 45 minutes in the foyer for a table, and it was very cold. We waited it out, though, and had a good time. We got goofy, as we tend to do, and laughed a lot. That's always good. The food was decent, if not spectacular, but the cheesecake (Godiva chocolate) lived up to its billing, considering the place is named for it.

Saturday was Valentine's Day proper, of course. For all intents and purposes, it started with a basketball game, as my beloved BG Falcons played at Kent State. Kent State is only about five minutes from Brandi's place, so there was no chance I was missing this one since I was in the area anyway. I'm sorry to say that this was Brandi's first time seeing BG's basketball team, but hopefully I can coax her to more games now that she's seen what it's all about. Alas, the Falcons lost, but it was a pretty good game. On a sidenote, Brandi and I managed by pure accident to stumble immediately into a section where a group of BG students were sitting. Wearing orange, we were greeted with a round of applause, which is probably the first and last time I'll be applauded just for coming in somewhere to find a seat.

From the game, we proceeded through some incomprehensible traffic snags back to Brandi's apartment, where we exchanged our gifts. I tend to look for practical or useful gifts, so I do flowers only rarely--this was met with some disappointment, but I think I acquitted myself nicely. I may be the only one with that view, but so be it. I gave Brandi a Sony Discman that she can use when she works out, along with a pair of rechargeable batteries so she doesn't have to buy them once a week. In return, I was given a BG football jersey #21, which is currently being worn by wide receiver Cole Magner. BG sports paraphernalia always goes over quite well with me.

After that was dinner, which was awesome. Brandi is a heck of a cook, which I enjoy quite a bit. She made chicken fettucine alfredo, which was really, really good. We originally planned to go see a movie after dinner, but we ended up drinking quite a bit of wine, so we stayed home instead.

Sunday was a day just to get some things taken care of, at least to start with. We ran around for a bit doing laundry, getting haircuts, shopping, etc. We finally got around to eating at about 4:00, when we went to BW3s in Kent. Lo and behold, the Daytona 500 was on. I just don't understand the NASCAR phenomenon; I know a lot of people dig it, but it's just not my thing. Seriously. I'll say this about BW3s on a race day: it didn't feel like a college bar anymore, and Brandi and I will be checking our local listings before going in there on a Sunday in the future.

That night we went to a local Borders, which is always a good time for me. I love books, and I love bookstores. I hate haircuts, hate them--I'm using the word hate about haircuts--so it was nice to balance it out with a book-buying binge. I managed to keep myself pretty much under control. I got four books for myself, plus one for Brandi. You'll be seeing them listed in my "What I'm Reading Now" section in the coming weeks.

All in all, it was quite a nice weekend--filled with lots of laughs, which is always my main interest. Also, I got a sweet BG jersey, which will go nicely with my BG helmet when it finally arrives.

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