Tag Archives: Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day: The Hallmark Scam

Opinion Column by Jacob Miranda

So, Valentine’s Day has arrived, and everyone is ready. Students bought flowers from ASB to send to each other. Others are going on romantic dates. Maybe even a few are wondering why they are single and contemplating the choices in their life that led them to this moment.

Now, for context, I don’t care that much about love or Valentine’s Day or things like that. If someone likes me, cool; but I’m not going to seek out a significant other. As the headline suggests, yes, I think that Valentine’s Day is a scam. Yes, I have an actual reason for saying that. And no, I’m not upset over being alone.

In my opinion, one of the biggest markets available is for Valentine’s Day, and it’s clear to see why. Imagine walking into a Target, or a Walmart, or some sort of store in the past couple of weeks. Most likely, you saw big, overhanging signs with a big Valentine’s Day section being right at the entrance. All the employees’ uniforms changed, the whole store took on a more red and white look, even the music was changed to songs about romance (though that probably doesn’t change many of the songs). And what’s that to your side, you may ask? Hallmark. So. Much. Hallmark.

You’ve got cards, you’ve got toys; heck, sometimes you see toys BUNDLED with cards. And for one little card? Anywhere from $3-10. For a card. Toys usually go for around $15. And you’ve got the Hallmark channel as well.

Please, don’t get me started on the channel.

Point being, we need action. We need to start a Hallmark boycott or something. We don’t need a big mega corporation (about $3.5 BILLION/year. I checked.) to tell me to take care of my loved ones. It’s like if President Biden told everyone to make sure to breathe every so often.

We need commercials or something. Make it like those “vote for proposition” commercials that always have a woman saying something like, “Join us on February 14th as we express our rights, and vote YES on prop 496: ELIMINATE HALLMARK.”

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Top 10 Love Songs of All Time

(In no particular order and entirely my opinion; subject to change)

By Orion

“Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground

A very beautiful acoustic song about Lou Reed’s former lover, who despite her marriage they still both have feelings for each other but cannot express them openly.

“Hey Mama” by Ye

“Hey Mama” is much more of a familiar love ballad that Ye dedicated to his now late mother Donda West, who constantly supported him throughout his career until her death and raised him as a single mother.

“Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin

Aretha’s vocals here are, as always, beautiful but somehow even more operatic; and the universal lyrics are about breaking down defensive boundaries within a relationship to get closer to each other.

“I Will” by Mitski

“I Will” represents the more simple everyday domestic pleasures of being with your lover, along with staying devoted even through tough times.

“Me and Your Mama” by Childish Gambino

The psychedelic soulful rock here is something truly special, and Gambino’s screamed vocals at his utter devotion to his woman only serve to amplify the song as a whole.

“Ivy” by Frank Ocean

“Ivy,” in my opinion, is Frank’s best song — an amazing somber guitar riff combined with Frank’s perfect vocals with a higher pitch in some parts, that talks about young love and maturing up to having that love be broken apart but with the feelings still remaining.

“Love” by Kid Cudi

“Love” is one of those songs for continuing on. Even if you struggle with finding love, you will still find it and  never give up your pursuit, as everyone gets lonely. The lyrics, combined with the uplifting guitar and almost lullaby-ish intro, serve to make for some of Cudi’s best work.

“Nothing Even Matters” by Lauryn Hill, feat. D’Angelo

Lauryn Hill delivers a beautiful, soulful vocalization on the uniqueness of love over anything else. D’Angelo’s verses only serve to amplify the idea of love over material possessions and that they essentially need nothing more than love.

“Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex

“Apocalypse” contains the themes about past relationships and their effect on current ones, with Greg Gonzalzes’ dreamy vocals and soundscapes urging his lover to continue on with him even if it ends the same as the past.

“Soreha Tadano Kibunsa” (English Translation: “It’s Just A Feeling”) by Fishmans

This soft, psychedelic J-rock ballad is purely soothing to the ears with the very mature theme of loving and listening to your partner even when they’re not at their best being surrounded by sadness and both physically and mentally exhausted.

History of Valentine’s Day

By Ros Avila

Saint Valentine’s Day began February 14th, 496 A.D in Rome. Pope Galasius I, started the Feast of Saint Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love, romance, and commemoration of Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine was a priest who helped couples get married in secret because the emperor made it illegal to get married. The emperor found out about Valentine’s actions and had him arrested and executed. 

Some people believe that Valentine’s Day is also an offshoot of Lupercalia. Lupercalia is an ancient Roman purification ceremony that promoted health and fertility; it was celebrated on February 15th. One of its rituals started off by single men sacrificing goats and dogs, then single women’s clothes were removed and the man whipped them with the skins of the sacrificed animals. Then the men picked the women by random and the woman they chose was theirs for the day. The festival was originally known as Februa (which means “purification”), and its name, of course, became the name of the month in which the festival occurred.

Lupercalia ritual

Modern day Valentine’s Day customs like sending greeting cards, candy, & flowers developed in early modern England and spread throughout the English-speaking world in the 1800s.

A Treat for Your Valentine: Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Joseph Kilis

This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself (and a loved one) to some of the best cookies you’ve ever tried. These cookies could impress any crush, or be a great treat to eat alone. My family has made many memories through this recipe, from highs and lows, and holidays. Here’s what you’ll need:

> 1 ½  Cups Butter (softened)

> 1 Cup Granulated Sugar

> 1 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)

> 2 Eggs (Large)

> 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

> 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

> 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

> 1 Teaspoon Salt

> 1 Package (6 Ounces) of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

OPTIONAL:

> 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (Pecans or Walnuts are Preferred)

> Additional Salt for Topping

  1. Preheat oven to 375℉ or 190℃. 
  2. Take Softened Butter, Granulated Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vanilla Extract, and Eggs and mix in a large bowl. Once the mixture is done, it should take on a creamy or fluffy texture.
  3. Once you have creamed those ingredients, add the flour. Do this in increments of three, to fully spread the flour within your wet ingredients. After combining flour with the wet mixture, add the Baking Soda and Salt. Mix until combined.
  4. You’re almost done! Now, add in your Chocolate Chips, and Nuts if preferred. Mix until these ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. After greasing your cookie sheets, take a big spoon (preferably about a tablespoon) of dough, roll it into a ball using your hands, and place it on the sheet.
  6. Placing them about three inches apart, you should have a total of about six cookies per cookie sheet.
  7. Once the oven is preheated, place cookies onto the middle rack, and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until you see a golden color around the edges of the cookie.
  8. After baking, immediately add a small sprinkle of salt to the top of each cookie. Let cookies sit, preferably on cooling racks, for about another 8-10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Alone?

Follow These Self-Care Tips

By Daniela Galindo

1) Order food, don’t go to a restaurant.

If you want to go out and eat then McDonald’s may be an option.

2) Treat yourself to something nice–go shopping!

Buy something you’ve wanted for a long time. Or buy things online. You can even make your own basket with snacks or things.

3) Stay at home and watch movies/a series for the whole day while eating snacks.

But don’t watch too many romantic movies!

4) Have a Karaoke night.

5) Get ready for yourself, even if you’re going to be at home for the whole day.

6) Draw, paint, or do some art crafts.

Feel like a little kid again and be happy, forget about everything else. 

7) Go on a drive and just listen to music.

8) Do a skin care routine, they are really relaxing!

9) Stay in bed and just sleep, that is OK too!

10) Try to avoid going to public places, like the beach or parks.

We don’t want you to be sad seeing couples.

Letters from Secret Admirers

Messages of Love from our Readers on Valentine’s Day

During the week of February 7-11, we asked our readers to send in anonymous messages to their special Valentine. Here is what we received. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Dear Mr. Wes,

Every day you bring us music and sometimes laughter, but you always bring us L>O>V>E! Thank you for your years of service and for always shouting out to us teachers, reminding us that we are in the right place at the right time to do the right things for the kids at our school. You are inspiring.

-Love, a secret admirer


I really like this boy. He’s in my 1st and 2nd period. We went to the same middle school and we weren’t really close back then; but when we entered high school, I became closer with him. That’s when my feelings started to build up. For a while I didn’t suspect that I liked him but the closer I got to him, the more my feelings started to build up. I finally suspected that I liked him a few weeks ago but he’s moving away soon so I wanna tell him but I don’t wanna ruin our friendship… So I’m saying it here!


Em,

I love you and you make me the happiest I’ve ever been, and you’re so special to me.


I love you Kevin Gonzalez


To Oliver:

Happy Valentine’s Day and 3-Year Anniversary to my love, my everything. Thank you for always being there for me and always knowing what to say when I’m upset. I will cherish you forever and I can’t wait to see what life after high school will bring us<3 I love you.


To my greatest love,

Even with the years we’ve known each other I feel like I’ve known you forever. As the months and years go by, my love for you becomes greater. Even through the ups and downs of our relationship I can proudly say that I have met the one for me. No person will ever be better than you in any way. Your love for me is nothing compared to what life may throw our way. To another Valentine’s Day and many more years of our relationship. I will always love you.

-B.B.


You’d look beautiful when you’d smile, and your laughter was contagious. Two years have passed and this stays true. Despite the fact that you were an irksome individual at the beginning, I couldn’t help thinking about you.


Happy Valentine’s Day ! I love you 🙂

Always ❤


Dear Juliette,

Thank you for doing your work in yearbook. I hope you seek the help we’ve talked about needing!


oh my goonies dear noelani

I am so in love with you please go out with me. I’m on my knees begging. Please because its you, you’re the one that I want. It’s only you until the end of time. Please kiss me right now. I’m just kidding, not here. Not in the public. Wait… actually please do so everyone can see. Also, wanna marry me?

-your true love <33


To my beloved,

The moment I laid eyes on you I knew it was love at first sight. From the moment I wake up to the moment I close my eyes, all I can think of is you. I cherish the times and every little moment we spend together. You keep me going. You keep me happy. You motivate me.

I love you Edmund


Dear Edmund,

The way you look at me makes me feel different, like no other can make me feel. Each time I step onto campus, the I receive fascination from the same air we breathe. I am nothing but devoted to you; you make feel like no other.

I love you.

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day During the Pandemic

By Hermaione Sanchez

The pandemic has hit all of us hard. Many things have changed and that is without question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself and have fun on Valentine’s Day.

A quite popular idea that has been going around on TikTok is having a picnic. Now, if you are by yourself, you can simply have all this in your room or wherever you prefer and watch your favorite movie while enjoying the snacks and a cute set-up. If with your partner or best friend, you can have this at a park (away from strangers) or your front yard if you’re more comfortable with that.

Here is what this picnic consists of:

TikTok cake picnic, featuring cutting the cake with a wine glass!

It has very “vintage” vibes. Drinking out of wine glasses with your favorite drink, like lemonade, cranberry juice, soda, etc. Your choice, of course. Then, there’s a special way to eat the cake–this is the trend going around. You get a cake–usually it’s a cute/weird cake like a frog cake, or something unique (maybe even something homemade, which can only add to the fun). To eat this cake, you get an extra wine glass and just stick it in. You scoop the cake out and now you have a glass full of cake (pictured, above). There you go, that’s how you are going to eat! Fun right? Well, for some people. It is different and fun to try out.

Usually, there is a lot of fruit at picnics, too. Try a cute, medium-sized fruit platter with your favorite fruit or all kinds of berries. For the main food, you can either buy fast food or make something homemade. Usually, people will have a platter with ham, cheese, bread, and anything else they enjoy to make their own sandwich. You can customize this to your liking, of course. 

With this picnic comes some type of fun activity. If you’re alone, try reading your favorite book, watching your favorite movie, drawing, or painting. Doing whatever you love is ideal. If you’re with someone, the same thing applies–you can paint together, watch a movie, listen to music, or simply talk. Having a photoshoot is also great because of the cute picnic as a setting.

If picnics aren’t your thing, you and your partner can recreate your favorite fancy food or fast food at a table. To add a little bit of spice (no pun intended), you can have a cook-off.

Buying simple snacks and watching your favorite movie is always a fun simple option, too. Learn something new together or show each other your favorite food combos.

If you’re spending this day alone, make it all for you. Wear a beauty mask, take a warm bath or shower, play your favorite video game or movie, eat your favorite snacks or even a yummy cake! It’s all up to you to make this day amazing. Being alone doesn’t mean being bored and sad. It means you can do whatever YOU love and eat whatever you want. Love yourself always and remember to stay healthy and stay safe.

Best Romantic Movies for Valentine’s Day

By Angelica Moreno

Even if you’re anti-Valentine’s, movies are still awesome no matter what they’re about. There is always a story to tell and actors trying their best to act. So here are some romantic movies to watch before the month is over.

Before Sunrise (1995), dir. Richard Linklater

With a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is a must see. Two strangers meet on a train and decide to spend the day together from the instant connection they feel from one another. They only have just one day to get to know each other because our main character is leaving for America the next day. The heartbreak sticks with you days after watching. It’s been with me for two years. P.S.: It’s also a trilogy, so the two additional movies connected to this one are just as good (Before Sunset-2004 and Before Midnight-2013).

Pride and Prejudice (2005), dir. Joe Wright

The story of enemies turned lovers, but they were in love the whole time and just pretended to hate each other. Innocent, sincere, poetic love is the only way to describe it. You don’t see stuff like this anymore unless you’re reading Shakespeare, but this one you can more easily understand.

About Time (2013), dir. Richard Curtis

Our main character can time travel, and he meets the love of his life. Every time something goes wrong, he can go back and do it over. He learns a life lesson by the end.

When Harry Met Sally (1989), dir. Rob Reiner

A rom-com classic. Almost an enemies-turned-lovers arc but they never had sincere hatred for each other, just dislike. Instead, friends become lovers as Harry and Sally bump into each other several times over the years. They never thought they would date because it was strictly platonic, but something just happens overnight.

Love, Rosie (2014), dir. Christian Ditter

The main characters have been friends since they were teens. They have an accidental kiss and it is never talked about after. Both pretend as if it didn’t happen, but time goes on without confessing their love for one another. Later, the girl gets pregnant–not by the love interest, but she keeps it a secret from him for most of the movie.

Sixteen Candles (1984), dir. John Hughes

She’s sixteen and crushing hard on the popular kid at school. He takes notice and somehow things are never in their favor for them to meet. A cute teen romance and ‘80s classic.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), dir. Lorene Scafaria

Just about a week left until the world ends, everyone on earth is living life to the fullest. Ending relationships, drinking to oblivion, and other promiscuous things are going on, and the main character gets dumped. His neighbor brings him three-month-old mail and he discovers he has received a love letter from his high school sweetheart. The neighbor then makes it her last mission on earth to have them meet once more… but there’s another plot twist…

Elizabethtown (2005), dir. Cameron Crowe

Right before Orlando Bloom’s main character hilariously fails at a “suicide attempt,” he gets a call from home that his father is dead. He goes back home to Kentucky to arrange the funeral and meets the love interest on his flight, the flight attendant played by Kirsten Dunst. She’s the quirky, go getting, interesting girl who changes his life. It’s an easy watch. Sort of in the dark and quirky comedy style of 500 Days of Summer, if that helps.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012), dir. Wes Anderson

A cute, young romance. Two preteens run away together because they are in love but are soon found by a search party. Their romance is sweet and innocent.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), dir. David Fincher

A peculiar and interesting story based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Benjamin is born at old age. His bones and body are that of an 80-year-old on the brink of death as a newborn; but as he gets older, his body gets younger as he ages in reverse. He also meets the love of his life at fifty-seven years old but nobody wants them being friends because he looks like an old man. From there, the story unravels itself. Although being last on the list, this one made me cry the hardest and longest (for a good thirty minutes, I believe!).

Homemade Desserts for Valentine’s Day

By Ximena Cabrera

Valentine’s Day is the time to celebrate love and friendship, and what better way to celebrate it than by making some homemade desserts for your significant other, friends, and loved ones.

Here are four recipes under $25.00 that you can easily make at home.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Cooking Classy)

Ingredients:

  1. 1 ⅓ cups of all purpose flour
  2. 4 tsp of cocoa powder
  3. ½ tsp of baking soda
  4. ¼ tsp of salt
  5. ½ cup of unsalted butter
  6. ½ cup of granulated sugar
  7. ¼ cup of brown sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 ½ tsp of gel red food coloring
  10. 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  11. 1 tsp of lemon juice 
  12. 1 cup of white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined by using an electric mixer.
  3. Once you have a cream-like texture, mix in the egg. Add in red food coloring, vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Mix in ¾ cup of white chocolate chips.
  5. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for 1 – 2 hours or until the dough is nearly firm. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Scoop dough out and shape into balls about 1 ½ tbsp each. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches in between each. 
  7. Bake one sheet at a time, until cookies appear set on the edges but slightly underbaked in the center, about 10-11 minutes. 
  8. Remove cookies from the oven and carefully press some of the remaining white chocolate chips into the top.

Cake Pops (from I Heart Naptime)

Ingredients:

  1. 15 ounce box white cake mix, bake it according to the package instructions in a 9×13” pan.
  2. Two 10 ounce packages of white chocolate chips melting wafers.
  3. Oil-based food coloring of your color of choice. 
  4. 1 stick salted butter
  5. 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar 
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  7. 1 Tablespoon of milk 

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whip the butter. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add the vanilla and additional powdered sugar, a little at a time. Add 1 Tablespoon of milk to make the frosting thick and creamy. 
  2. In a separate bowl, crumble the prepared and cooled cake into fine crumbs. Add 2 spoonfuls of the frosting to the cake. Combine with your hands or a spoon. Keep adding frosting until the cake holds together if squeezed. 
  3. Measure medium size balls of the cake mixture, and roll them until you have created your desired shape. 
  4. In two small microwave safe dishes, melt a few of the white chocolate wafers. Begin by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Repeat until all the wafers are melted. 
  5. Add about 2 drops of the food coloring to one of the bowls with the melted chocolate and stir. Keep adding food coloring until you have reached your desired color. 
  6. Dip the end of the cake pop stick into the melted chocolate and then push the stick into the cake pop. Repeat until all cake pops have a stick. Place the plate of cake pops in the freezer for about 20 minutes. 
  7. Right before taking the cake pops out of the freezer, melt more chocolate if needed. Melt enough for the cake pops to be dipped in the bowl. Use a spoon if needed to completely cover them. 
  8. Once coated in chocolate, gently tap the stick on the side of the melting bowl to let the excess drip off. 
  9. Let the chocolate covering harden on the cake pop. Then, using a spoon or fork, drizzle some chocolate on top. 
  10. Push the cake pop stick into a styrofoam block or use a glass filled with rice to hold them upright.  The chocolate will be set in about an hour.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries (from Food Network)

Ingredients:

  1. 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips.
  2. 3 ounces of white chocolate chips.
  3. 1 pound of strawberries with stems, washed and dried very well. 

Directions:

  1. Put the semisweet and white chocolate chips into two separate microwave safe bowls. Begin by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Repeat until all the chocolate chips are melted. If your chocolate is too thick you can add a bit of vegetable oil to make a smoother. 
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip it into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly yo let any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set the strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining strawberries. Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
  3. Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Cheesecake (from my family recipe!)

Ingredients:

  1. Premade cheesecake crust 
  2. ½ a bar (8 oz) of cream cheese 
  3. 1 can (14 oz) of sweet condensed milk
  4. 5 oz of evaporated milk 
  5. 3-5 drops of lime

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and the drops of lime until they are all combined together. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the premade crust and put it in the oven.
  4. Bake the cheesecake for 20 – 25 minutes or insert a toothpick, and if it comes out clean the cheesecake is ready.

I hope you enjoy these treats for Valentine’s Day, or throughout the month of February. Happy Valentine’s Day!