The Reluctant Writer: Something Else to do When I Should Be Writing

February 9, 2010

Valentine’s Day = Pressure; What’s Love Fest = Pressure Release

As a woman of a certain age, I’ve suffered through many a Valentine’s Day.

Suffer, you say?  Why, I thought you had married your high school sweetheart — a boy you met on the football field when you were but fifteen years old?  I thought you had never dated another boy since and that you were living happily ever after in a little white house in an enchanted forest? Isn’t all of this true?

Why yes, yes it is. So if someone like me, who is married to the Beer Doctor, who just happens to have exquisite taste in all things romance, jewelry, wine, chocolates, flowers — the whole bit — if someone like me has suffered through Valentine’s Days galore, then please do pity the poor girl or boy who:  doesn’t have a love interest; only has a like interest; isn’t sure where she or he stands on the like/love scale.

The fact of the matter is that, more than anything, Valentine’s Day means pressure — even for those of us long in-love.  If it’s not deciding what to do, because God forbid you act as if it’s just another night, then it is deciding what to do soon enough lest every table in town be booked.  Pressure.  Then there is the question of gifts.  Women are easy — there is tradition behind what women expect from their beloveds on Valentine’s Day — gentlemen may make their choices from any variety of candies, jewels, and floral designs.  For women of the enlightened sect however, (those who recognize that loving and cherishing is a two-way street and that boys like to have love professed to them as much as girls), it is slim pickings.  We can only give so many wallets, money clips, and boxers with hearts all over them.  Women have to get creative.  Personally, I’ve given the Beer Doc so many baskets of craft beers by now that I just can’t go that direction again.  Pressure.

Don’t even get me started on Valentine’s shopping for parents, grandparents, and kids; what to wear over & what to wear under; performance anxiety; and the fact that a major candy holiday comes around in the middle of the biggest diet season of the year.  Pressure.

At least there is something we can do in Columbia that is pretty much pressure-less for those who just have to show up, and a pressure-release once we get there — the What’s Love Fest at 701 Whaley Street — one of the best arts events of the year.

With too many artists to mention — but I will say a few names like Bonnie Goldberg, Anastasia Chernoff, Michael Krajewski, Alejandro Garcia, Caroline Hatchell, and Billy Guess; plus performance art à la Wideman/Davis Dance, Unbound and more; music from Danielle Howle, Unresolved and Les Paramours; food, including an offering by Chef Kelly and a cash bar with Magic Hat brew; plus all kinds of surprises, I’m sure — The What’s Love Fest is the answer to the second most stressful holiday of the year.  Simply suit up in something sexy (ok, a little pressure there), and show up.

Below are the details lifted from the What’s Love Fest Facebook page — I hope I get to see you there.

What’s Love? This is What’s Love!
Over 40 visual and performance artists showing You the Love!

SAT. February 13th @ 701 Whaley
The main event:
“What’s Love Fest 2010”

Sun. Feb. 14th CLOSING

Tickets are $15 advance $20 at the door
Advance tickets:
Sid & Nancy – 5 Points
S&S Art Supplies – Rosewood Dr
Frame of Mind – Main St.
WEB – paypal

It’s Valentines weekend and whether you are single or have a love to bring you won’t want to miss this night of tantalizing art and entertainment!
Sponsored by:
Free Times
Magic Hat
Sid & Nancy
L.A.Kornegay, Media Productions

SAT. FEB 13th 7-midnight

Music by:
Les Paramours featuring:
Don Russo: Vocals/Guitar
Nick Brewer: Piano
Reggie Sullivan: Bass
Tony Lee: Drums
Danielle Howle

Performances by:
Unbound Dance Company
Sherry Warren & Kirrill Simin
Penthouse Playhouse

Also enjoy DR SKETCHY! The most rambunctious sketching session you’ll experience.

With sexy, humorous, erotic and romantic art – starting with return artists or “The Love Hangovers”
* denotes part of juried show
Heidi Darr-Hope
Anastasia Chernoff
Melissa Ligon
Britta Cruz
Jeff Smith
Alejandro Garcia
Molly Harrell *
Michael Krejewski *
Melinda Register *
Bonnie Goldberg
Leslie Pierce *
Diana Farfan
Lee Ann Kornegay
Travis Teate
Billy Guess *

“Puppy Loves”
Betsy Newman *
Wade Sellers *
Michael Dixon *
Half & Half – Nick & Sarah *
Ted Sbardella *
Melissa Buckner *
Lindsey Wolf *
Izms of Art – Cedric & Mustafa *
Shannon Purvis *
Roe Young *
Caroline Hatchell *
James Shealy *
Lucy Bailey *
Dawn Hunter *
Sarah Kobos *

Kelly Courtney of Sugarhill will have something yummy and chocolate!

You can also shop for the perfect Valentine’s gift with:
Sid & Nancy
Bohumila Augustinova
Tom Chinn – Love Taps
S&S Art Supplies
Frame of Mind
Danielle Howle – Jewelry

Looking for the perfect Valentines Experience?
How bout the DELUXE LOVE package?
Details coming soon!

What’s Love Fest 2010

1. Todd Herman, Chief Curator of the Columbia Museum of Art.
2. Karen Watson, Director of the Sumter Gallery of Art.
3. J.J. Ohlinger, Director of CAFfeine, Contemporary Art Forum in Greenville, SC.
4. Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, What’s Love Jury Coordinator.

This year’s event supports Palmetto & LUNA, a non-profit organization promoting Latino arts and culture in South Carolina. Latino theme not required.

FREE TIMES, Sid & Nancy, BAILEYS, Magic Hat and COMUNICAR are sponsors of the event.

For more information


November 13, 2009

Super powers, football, Jesus, SC Progressive Network, Confederate Fagg & Alternacirque

I used to think that my chosen super power would be the ability to fly.  Convenience aside, what a kick it would be to literally see the world from the perspective of Google Earth.  I won’t even go into the power of spitting on people from above.  But I’ve been re-thinking my super power selection lately and decided that, instead of flight, I might want to focus on the ability to be in two places at the same time.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this when my kids were little — it would have made dashing between viola and ballet performances so much easier.

Saturday is one of those days when being in more than one place at a time would come in unusually handy.  If you live in Columbia and you’ve been out of bed this week, you know that USC plays the University of Florida in football tomorrow.  Florida is ranked #1 in the country and they have this Tim Tebow Jesus figure QB who evidently has the ability to make grown men throw their panties at him.  So despite the fact that, as Bonnie says, “we’re going to get our asses handed to us tomorrow,” (to which her Dad replies, “well, yeah, with that kind of attitude”), our family of sports fans (and recognize, please, that by sports fans I mean anything between people who obsess over sports and people who merely tolerate it for the tailgating) will be attending this game.  All day.  Because that is how football works.  Far more hours are spent in preparation for the event than in attending the event itself.  It’s like a wedding that way, except at the end of a wedding most people go home happy and drunk — with football you just go home drunk.

I used to make fun of families who engaged in this kind of addictive behavior, yet here we are.  I take responsibility for it, though.  I knew it was a slippery slope when Annie came to USC  and I suggested that we tailgate for one of her college games.  Though not a big recreational drug user, I can only imagine that Carolina football is something like crack or crystal meth.  Do it once, then you find yourself doing it again, and again — hating yourself and going broke in the process with nothing to show but lost hours of your life and the empty shell of a fan.  Go Cocks.

But if I could be in two places at one time tomorrow, I could go to the game and blah, blah, blah, but I could also do so many other things, starting with an interview I’ve been trying to get set up with Andie MacDowell all week.  After that I could go to An Argentine Affair at 7 pm at the Big Apple, participate in their silent auction — ask anybody, I am a silent auction animal — and possibly win that awesome satirical portrait of our much beloved governor painted by Alejandro Garcia, or that Stephen Chesley watercolor,  or a funky coffee table by Art and Iron, or any of the many items donated by Swiftwater Beads, Hip-wa-zee, Bert Easter, and others — and I would know that my spontaneously spent cash would be going to support one of the most important groups in our state, the South Carolina Progressive Network.  When that closes down at 9 pm, I could then go over the river to New Brooklyn Tavern and, starting at 8:30, see Columbia Alternacirque open up for Confederate Fagg, quaff a few suds, and watch the parade. What an amazing day half of me would have!

But just because I have to load up the van on Saturday morning doesn’t mean that everyone else will.  Go have yourself some big fun at the Big Apple — tickets are $25 for a single and $40 for a couple and can be reserved by calling 803.808.3384.  Then when you’re done, if you don’t know how to get to NBT, just follow the trail of cigarette smoke and awesomeness.

If on the way over you get spat upon from above, don’t look at me — I’ll still be at the game.

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