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Scoop

Scoop

By Teresa Huang

Valentine's Day is a holiday we all wish wasn't such a big deal, yet consumer patterns have justified the production of over 20 million conversation hearts and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. This year, resolve to be strong and don't let your guard down. Look at it in the right way, and you'll be able to laugh off the commercial frenzy.

Electronic love. Just because you're single doesn't mean you should sulk around all weekend. Spread some cheesy joy by bombing your favorite friend with electronic greeting cards. Send a Virtual Valentine from http://boston.sidewalk.com and you'll be eligible to win a $50 gift certificate to David's or Mercury Bar. If hearts and cuddly bears make you sick, send a Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Cruise valentine from E! Online at http://eonline.com. Visit the official ABC site at http://www.abc.com for valentines featuring the stars of Dharma & Greg, NYPD Blue, and The Practice, as well as ABC soaps and TGIF sitcoms. My personal favorites are valentines from Foxworld at http://www.foxworld.com, featuring stars from The X-Files, King of the Hill, Ally McBeal, and Party of Five.

Romantic dinner in a box. If you haven't already made reservations for dinner on Valentine's Day, you may be out of luck. Some restaurants don't take reservations, but if they do, chances are Saturday night is already booked. Don't fret - do it yourself! Just one pasta dish from Vinny Testa's Bar & Ristorante at 867 Boylston Street or La Famiglia Giorgio's at 250 Newbury Street is monstrous enough to feed two people. Both restaurants won't allow sharing dishes when eating there, but no such rules apply to takeout. Grab an order of calamari fra diovolo, add a few candles and clean dishware, and you're set for a romantic dinner at half the price of eating out. Call Vinny Testa's at 262-6699 or La Famiglia Giorgio's at 247-1569 to order.

Password: TRUSTNO1. I know last week's guest author episode of The X-Files was awful, but hopefully this Sunday's episode will make Chris Carter feel better about handing the reins over to different writers. Scientific as it may be, The X-Files has never presented a valid portrayal of the Internet. Case in point: "The Ghost in the Machine," from season one - unforgivable. This Sunday, the show will present an episode about the strange death of a computer genius written by sci-fi author William "coined the word cyberspace" Gibson, teamed up with fellow sci-fi author Tom Maddox. Let's hope they get it right this time.

Full speed ahead to the Oscars. The Oscar nominations are out! Hooray for the The Full Monty, which earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Musical or Comedy Score. Titanic gathered an impressive 14 nominations, tying it with All About Eve (1950) for the film with the most Academy nominations ever. The ceremony will take place on March 23rd, but until then why not make an effort to see the nominated films you haven't seen yet? Check the LSC schedule or pick up a few movie passes from The Source and go to a Sony Theater. Or keep your eye on the Brattle Theater's Recent Raves series.

More Chicks with Sticks. The Nagano Olympics marks the first games in which Women's Ice Hockey is a full-fledged event, and the U.S. Women's Hockey team is certainly cherishing their place in Olympic history. Having already beaten Finland, Sweden, and China, the team goes against Canada in what should be the most exciting game of the event. Watch it this Saturday at 2:30 pm on CBS WBZ-4.