Be My Valentine. Not.

I like roses as much as the next girl, but really, the flowers and the chocolate and the champagne and all that, they’re just subterfuge, meant to get a girl to squeeze into — ta-da! — the teensy lingerie that comes with it. Is it really all about me? Probably not. And what makes a guy think I want to hear sweet nothings whispered in my ear, anyway? Somethings, dudes. Give me sweet somethings. Want a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, slush-free and blush-free? Here are a few suggestions.

At the Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th Street in Boulder, a pressure-free evening is promised during the Anti Valentine's Day Party, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. in the Boulderado Ballroom. It features dancing, drinks and eats for singles, couples, old grannies and everyone else. Admission is free; visit for info.

Heart health is the theme at i (heart) cruisers, a party hosted by the Denver Cruisers and the American Heart Association’s Young at Heart group that doubles as a mid-winter get-together for the grounded Cruisers, whose weekly community bike rides won’t start up again until the spring. Along with a silent auction of bike-related items that benefits the AHA and Bike Denver, the event includes a cruiser art show with bicycle photography by Todd Van Fleet, as well as henna tattoos, a photo booth, raffle and more. “We're really excited to use the cruiser bicycle as a metaphor for getting healthy and having fun,” says Brad Evans of Denver Cruisers; the fun begins at 7 p.m. at Casselman's Bar and Venue, 2620 Walnut Street. Go to

You’ll get “babes and bands, burlesque and funny music,” says Inactivist Heather Haas-Prestridge, at tonight’s Panties on the Ground, a Valentine's Day extravaganza at Bender’s Tavern, 314 East 13th Avenue, featuring music by Haas-Prestridge's band and Ground Above Zero and burlesque by Ooh La La. Loosely based around the new Inactivists CD, Love Songs (and Other Songs About Love) — “If you’ve been kicked in the pants by love, this album is for you,” Haas-Prestridge notes — the party will also be the scene of Denver’s largest Hokey Pokey, danced to the tune of Billy Squier's The Stroke. “You can’t have Valentine’s Day without burlesque and boobs and babes,” Haas-Prestridge maintains. Admission to the 9 p.m. show is $7; call 303-861-7070.

If you’ve got an artsier Valentine’s jones, try Tough Love, a series of site-specific dances and video overseen at the Packing House Center for the Arts, 835 East 50th Avenue, by resident artist Lauren Simpson and friends. The Packing House is known for promoting more experimental performance work, and this show is no exception: Somehow, the works address relationships while also alluding to the venue’s past as a slaughterhouse. “There’s one video, shot in a still, flip-book style, of two hamburgers making love,” notes the House’s Patrick Mueller, tongue solidly in cheek. “There’s a lot a dark comedy, when you can’t decide whether to laugh or groan or look away, but there are lots of touching and beautiful moments, too.” See Tough Love, which actually begins outdoors and takes advantage of nearly every nook and cranny of the Packing House’s public space, at 4 or 7 p.m. today and tomorrow; tickets are $10 to $12 in advance or $12 to $14 at the door. Visit

Just can’t stand Valentine’s Day no way, no how, and that’s all there is to it? Celebrate Chinese New Year instead: Ring in the Year of the Tiger with a night of music by Itchy-O, Hideous Men, Night of Joy and Offthesky, including Itchy-O’s “auxiliary electro-drum corps marching band,” beginning tonight at 8:40 p.m. at the Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Street. Get info at or call 303-291-1007.

Still looking? Not to worry: Catch up on all the town’s Valentine’s Day dining and haps at
Sat., Feb. 13, 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd