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For Last Minute Romeos 

click to enlarge Cupid's Arrows - LEON BAZILE PERRAULT
  • Leon Bazile Perrault
  • Cupid's Arrows

Being romantic is exhausting. Yes, this Valentine's Day you could try and be a hero and display your devotion by coming up with some unique, orginal way to make all your loved one's friends jealous. But c'mon. Are you really going to have the energy to pull that off? On a Monday, no less? Fear not. The following are some tips for those who don't want to worry about the details. (For even MORE ideas, check our calendar.)

William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about matters of the heart. You can glean a little of the Bard's romantic wisdom whilst filling your face Monday night when the Arcata Theatre Lounge screens Baz Luhrmann's 1996 take on Romeo + Juliet. Doors open at 6 p.m. Film starts at 7 p.m. On the menu? Spaghetti with meat sauce or vegetarian pesto pasta, salad, bread, champagne and a double chocolate brownie a la mode for dessert. Upside, fellas? You get an all-in-one date for $11 a person. Potential downside? You risk DiCaprio making you look like less of a big deal. Romeo never left the toilet seat up. Probably. Your call.

Sitting still for two hours is not for everyone, though. If you and your Valentine's feet need to move, Cher-ae Heights is hosting the Don't Stop Believin' Valentine's Day Dinner and Dance starting at 6 p.m. with music by St. John and the Sinners. For swingers, Redwood Raks has its usual Monday Swing Dance Night. The swinging begins at 7:30 p.m.

But maybe your Valentine doesn't have feet. Well, what about ears? Yes? Perfect. The Arcata Playhouse has a sit-down show Valentine's Day night with The Wiyos, who play something you might call alt. Americana, tell jokes and generally have a playful time. And the Playhouse people are baking a bunch of tempting desserts that night in case your sweetheart has a sweet tooth.

If you're more in the mood to stay home or just want to impress the object of your affection, what could be more romantic than a personalized V-Day song? So what if you can't sing! Just throw some Shatner-esque attitude in there and you're golden, baby. But if you're too much of a wuss to sing yourself, you're in luck. Humboldt is rich with musical hired guns this weekend. The Humboldt Harmonaires are offering barbershop quartet-style "Valengrams." Long-stemmed rose included. Prices for Sunday or Monday range from $30-$50 and depend on how picky you are about exactly when the performance is delivered. Call 677-9160 or email [email protected] to sign up.

Or you could let the kids handle your romantic dirty work. Both Eureka High's Limited Edition and members of Arcata and McKinleyville High's combined ArMack Orchestra and Madrigal Choir would love to step up and romantically DH for you. Both troupes are heavily armed with heart-melting oldies and run a little cheaper than the seasoned Harmonaires, with song slots starting at $15. For more info, call 476-1757 for Limited Edition and/or 822-5453 for the ArMack crew. Call early if you want a V-Day serenade, the teens have to go to school before they sing.

One last idea: This weekend, Blue Lake Casino hosts its 2nd Annual Tattoo Expo with various artists both local and from out of the area ready to ink you up. So. Remember that Aerosmith "Cryin" video where Alicia Silverstone has half a heart tattooed on her breast and her jerk boyfriend has the other half on the side of his hand so they can line ‘em up when they make out? Yeah. You could do that. Double dog dare.

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