1. MEET A-ROD: Spring Training begins Feb. 19 for the Yanks—Hallelujah! But first, on Feb. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Steiner Sports Store (630 Old Country Rd., Garden City) New York Yankee third baseman and the youngest player to hit 500 home runs in the major leagues, Alex Rodriguez, will make a pit stop on Long Island to sign bats, balls, jerseys, pictures—and whatever other stalker material you may be harboring in your sock drawer.
2. GOOGLE “WHITNEY HOUSTON ‘HOW WILL I KNOW’ A CAPPELLA”: At a time where Auto Tune and lip-syncing are practically the norm in pop music, take a moment to listen to this pretty amazing track from 1985, the late Whitney Houston at her best singing “How Will I Know” effortlessly with absolutely no digital help whatsoever.
3. CELEBRATE FAT TUESDAY: Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday” or Carnival—whatever you call it, is Feb. 21, the day before Ash Wednesday, in Christian tradition. It’s the last night of eating fatty, sugary foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season begins. And, down South, it’s a time for wearing masks, celebrating in the streets and in some cases flashing what your mamma gave you for cheap plastic beads. After that, it’s a time to abstain from all of the above, but before you do…
4. BUY A KING CAKE AT WHOLE FOODS: A Mardi Gras tradition, the festive King Cake comes in all its sweet gooeyness to Whole Foods. Down in New Orleans, the King Cake is baked with a plastic baby in it, and whoever gets the slice with the baby, is king or queen for the day and who couldn’t use a little bit of that? Choose from six flavors, but the plastic baby you’ll have to insert yourself—you know, pesky lawsuits and all.
5. WIN A RIDE ON A WWII AIRCRAFT: Fly in a North American AT-6 Texan or N2S Stearman Bi Plane, perform aerobatic stunts and even fly the aircraft under supervision. Or hop aboard the B-25H Mitchell “Barbie III” as a crew member aboard one of the most famous bombers of WWII. The choice is yours. Winners will be notified May 9. Call 516-458-7881 to buy raffle tickets—$5 each or six for $20.
6. YOUTUBE “DOG BITES ANCHOR”: This viral video is like a bad accident you just can’t look away from. It starts out all warm and fuzzy—a dog is rescued from near-death by a fireman after falling in an icy Colorado lake. The dog, his owner and the fireman are interviewed on live TV. The animal-loving news anchor tickles his chin (the dog’s chin) and rubs its neck, then decides to go nose to nose with the dog, who then bites her lip off. Yeah, it’s awful, and we know you don’t want to see it, but you’ll probably look anyway.
7. SUBMIT IDEAS TO VENTURE PITCH 2012: Think you have the next great business idea? Finalists will pitch ideas to investors including ABC TV Shark Tank’s Daymond John. Individuals can submit their ideas to tinyurl.com/VP2012. Judging will take place on Mar. 15.
8. CHECK OUT THE NEW MILKSHAKE AT JACK IN THE BOX: We know, we know. The closest Jack in the Box to New York is in North Carolina. But stranger things have happened—Long Island did get a Sonic after being tortured with commercials of delicious things we couldn’t have for years. We’re still waiting for a Dairy Queen (hint, hint Warren Buffet). But we digress. Jack in the Box is offering an underground not-on-the-menu treat for die-hard bacon fans—a bacon-flavored vegetarian milkshake for a limited time only. So gas up the car, it’s only 652 miles outside of NYC!
9. HOST A DUCK IN 2012: The Long Island Ducks need a place to stay! If you would like to be a host family for a player during the 2012 baseball season, all you have to do is provide a private bedroom, use of a bathroom, washer/dryer and kitchen and call Gerry at 631-940-3825, ext. 114.
10. COMMIT RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: Feb. 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. So throw an extra quarter in the parking meter, don’t let the door slam in the face of the person behind you and give someone a hug, just for the hell of it.