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Some of our fellow alternative papers have chosen this time of year to embrace the nearest holiday. If the calendar says Valentine's Day, why not put together a package of stories about love or, more likely, sex?

Certainly, we could have taken a cue from the Santa Fe Reporter, which offered a story titled "Mutual mastication: Sharing food marinates your mouth and lubricates your libido."

Or we could've picked up the Reno News and Review's long conversation with a sexologist, who offered tidbits of wisdom including, "Everyone is free to live the life that their sexuality is expressing and do what they may, as long as it's consensual."

In the end, for whatever reasons, nothing turned us on. So in the same cynical spirit espoused by the respondents in our "Street Smarts" segment (formerly IQ) we give you something of an anti-Valentine's Day issue, starting with your basic, biologically rendered heart on the cover.

Inside, you'll find, among other things, a bizarre tale about local ambulance service; a Q&A with stand-up comedian and TV star Kevin Nealon; a trio of film reviews; and music stories about a Colorado Springs bluesman who's returned home and a South African band on the road. Not a candy-coated offering in the bunch.

Oh, the Slice of Life photo? Sure, it's nice, but we're enamored mostly with the guy's hair.

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