February 2012 is Happening

THERE’S MORE TO THE SHORTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR THAN VALENTINE’S DAY. There are dead Presidents selling cars and mattresses. And other stuff. We’ve pulled together a list of our top ten things to enjoy this February 2012.


You fucking rule. We believe in you, and not just because it’s International Boost-your-self-esteem Month. According to the mysterious governing body that can make such decisions, February is time for one long self-administered ego massage. It’s time to channel your inner Stuart Smalley. Fill your month with daily affirmations on just how awesome you are, because “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.” Right.


With what we imagine will be enough red, white and blue fan support to choke Yankee Doodle, this year’s Super Bowl matchup will be an all east coast affair. The New England Patriots take on the New York Giants at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 5, and it promises to be chock full of excitement. In addition to the rematch drama potential and the always heated “Boston-New York” rivalry, the game also pits supermodel boy toy and aspiring dancer Tom Brady against everyone’s favorite lesser celebrated son, Eli Manning in a quarterback showdown that should make up for the tedious commercials featuring babies we will undoubtedly have to suffer through.


Kisses on the Bottom, Paul McCartney’s curiously titled solo album is set to drop on February 7. His first album in nearly five years, Sir Paul gets by with a little help from his (celebrity) friends. “My Valentine”, the first song released from the album, features Eric Clapton on guitar. Stevie Wonder is slated to appear on another album track, “Only Our Hearts”. Oh, and in case you’re wondering about how the album came to be titled “Kisses on the Bottom”, you can yank your mind out of the gutter. The phrase comes from the album’s lead track “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” the 1935 Fats Waller hit, and refers to adding kisses to the bottom of a letter.


In the arena of punch line worthy sports, this year’s World Luge Championships will take place February 11-12 in Altenberg, Germany. So you’re interested, but kind of concerned the sport’s been compromised by performance-enhancing drugs? No worries. The International Luge Foundation devotes an entire section on its website to anti-doping policies. What’s most curious to us; just what type of drug you ingest to enhance your ability to lie on your back and slide down a hill? Unless the said drug somehow greases up your ass.


George Lucas has found a way to wring even more money out of his Star Wars franchise. On February 10, Jar Jar Binks and Co. will appear in a theater near you enhanced with 3D technology. This debut is the first of what is planned to be a 3D release of all six Star Wars movies over the next few years. Moviegoers will have to be content with a repackaging of old content. Still stinging from complaints about the lackluster prequels, Lucas has declared he’s taking his (merchandised) toys and going home by promising to never make another Star Wars movie. Take that Fan Boys.


Finally! Not that we thought it needed one, but  for the first time in seven years the Grammy Awards ceremony will have an official host. Rapper and NCIS: Los Angeles regular LL Cool J is set to be the Master Ceremonies for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. This year’s event takes place on February 12 at L.A’s Noki Theatre and will include live performances by Rihanna, Coldplay, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift.


Leave it to Las Vegas to turn organized crime into a cultural event. For those of you looking to do more than gamble and carouse when you visit Sin City, the new Mob Museum opens February 14 in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. Curated to tell the story of both gangsters and law enforcement, the museum features iconic artifacts from mob history including the brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the barber chair that Albert Anastasia was murdered in. The Valentine’s Day grand opening coincides with the 83rd anniversary of the infamous Massacre, considered one of the most significant days in Mob history, during which seven men affiliated with the Bugs Moran gang were murdered by the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone.


Life’s Too Short“, a faux- documentary style situation comedy about “the life of a showbiz dwarf” makes its HBO debut February 19. The show is written, directed, and executive produced by professional award show gadfly and creator of “The Office”, Ricky Gervais. In addition to occasional Gervais appearances, viewers can expect a parade of high-profile guest stars including Johnny Depp, Sting, Liam Neeson, Helena Bonham Carter and Steve Carell.  So let’s see. Mockumentary style. Check. A slew of celebrity cameos. Check. Giving Brits a first taste of the new product. Check. Gervais is following the formula for success he found with “The Office”. But who can blame him?


For those of you willing to make the trip to the southwest and away from your grasp on reality, the International UFO Congress is meeting February 20-26th in Arizona. The annual event is the largest UFO conference in the world. Attendees from all over the world converge to swap abduction stories and purchase alien themed knickknacks from conference vendors.  More shocking than the elaborate government cover-up, the darling of the hipster crowd, Pabst Blue Ribbon is a proud sponsor of the event. True believers and skinny jeans together at last.


Leap Day. It shows up once every four years, making the least endowed month a little longer and giving spinsters a shot at marital bliss. What?? February 29, once referred to as “Bachelors’ Day”, signaled the one time where women were allowed to propose marriage to men. A bit of outdated thinking? Perhaps, especially since it appears that gals aren’t waiting out four year intervals to pop the question. One study suggests one in ten women have proposed to their partners. But the same study says 75 percent of dudes wish their partners had beaten them to the punch. Moral of the story? Best stay in today. Alone.


Related on The Smoking Jacket:
The Top 20 Things to Look Forward to in 2012: Part 1
The Top 20 Things to Look Forward to in 2012: Part 2