March 21 - April 19 Aries
Whether you’re a Ram or not, no matter what your Zodiac persuasion may be, if you’re one of the three people on this earth who seemingly have not yet seen Susan Boyle’s appearance this week on Britain’s Got Talent, please take a few minutes to see what all the fuss is about. Susan, a 47 year old unemployed church volunteer from Blackburn, Scotland, is a now an overnight sensation due to her incredible performance of I Dreamed A Dream from the Broadway show Les Miserables. She’s gone viral, cats ‘n kittens. It’s such a pleasure when something like this happens; her undeniable talent cut off the judges at the knees. And those judges included both Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, two fellows not known for their unmitigated support of anyone. They practically laughed her off the stage before she started to sing. Susan, unmarried, never even been kissed, her only companion her 10 year old cat Pebbles, has completely turned the snarky world of reality TV competitions upside down. Mark Blankenship insightfully writes on the Huffington Post: Watching an older person—especially an older person who doesn’t seem very hip—prove she still has time to emerge from her cocoon is exciting because it reminds us that we can still sort through our own problems.No matter how old we are, we’re dealing with something, and it’s refreshing to be told that that’s okay.
April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Taureans love music and culture. It’s part of the fabric of their lives in some fashion, every day. Therefore I need you to get out there tomorrow, Saturday April 18, and celebrate Record Store Day. This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day; hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJ’s spinning record, and more. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday in April. A Record Store Day participating store is defined as a physical retailer whose product line consists of at least 50% music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70% located in the state of operation. (In other words, real, live, physical, indie record stores–not online retailers or corporate behemoths). Participating stores across the U.S. can be found here. A list of stores taking part across the world can be found here.
May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Geminis delight in constantly learning about new and interesting things. So the blog of the week is for you: I give you Harriet’s Tomato … all food, all the time. Blogger Michele Gentille attended Culinary Schools in Paris and Burgundy before working at resorts, restaurants, and embassies the world over. She freelances as a chef and food writer for the Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, and The New York Times. She’s currently working as a sous-chef at a scientific research station at the South Pole. This week’s post is about keeping vegetables at 100 below zero: When these greens fall on the ground, they shatter like glass…and straight out of the bag they stick together in freeform sculpture. Gentille wrote in February about the pleasures of eating fresh donuts at the South Pole station, where 43 souls are currently working: None of us can leave. It’s too cold for an airplane to land and the station is officially closed for winter. We have only each other…and some really good donuts…to keep us amused for the next 8 months. Fascinating stuff! Read more here.
June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Those born under the sign of Cancer have a world of hurt inside them. There’s so much going on these days to be sad about, Lord knows. Besides the fact that our economy is in a free fall, our environment is totally messed up, people are getting guns too easily and shooting innocent people for no reason, um, you name it, times are tough. But every once in awhile there are the Susan Boyles who blow our minds with their amazing talent and the Sully Sullenbergers who land planes on the Hudson and the myriad other underdogs who rise to the top and capture our fancy. All hail to them. And all hail to Ashton Kutcher, who went toe to toe with media giant CNN in a race to sign up Twitter subscribers to his feed and won the challenge today when his millionth subscriber signed on. “Twitter allows people to share, to connect in a way that they weren’t able to connect before,” said Kutcher. He used the Twitter war to raise global awareness and big bucks for Malaria No More. See? There are some things we can still smile about.
July 23 - August 22 Leo
Hey Leo - you are the sort who like to do fun things and have them count for something. So here’s something you can do tomorrow night - Saturday April 18 - if you’re in New York City - and even if you’re not. It’s the 15th anniversary of A Night to Remember - The Kristen Ann Carr Fund Annual Gala at the Tribeca Grill. The Kristen Ann Carr Fund honors the life of a remarkable young woman who died way too young of sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. The Fund raises money to both provide education for physicians about sarcoma and improve the quality of cancer patients’ lives. They do a tremendous amount of great work. If you can go tomorrow night to the star-studded event, go; tickets are $500 and a few are still available here. If not, make a donation anyway to a wonderful cause that’s really making a difference.
August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Trustworthy. Genuine. Committed. All synonyms for Virgo. Virgos hate to leave their comfort zone but you know what? Every once in awhile it’s a really good idea to jump out of the zone and give your psyche a shake. Did you know that the world’s weirdest events are found in Finland? Apparently so. There’s the Air Guitar World Championship, the Kutemajarvi Sex Festival, the Ant-Nest Sitting Competition, and last but by no means least, the Milking Stool Throwing Contest. And that’s only four on this list of 13 crazy Finnish events. Go book your flight now.
September 23 - October 22 Libra
I’ve got two words for you Librans out there: Ice. Cream. Mark it on your calendars; next Tuesday April 21 is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s. As a way to thank their customers for the support and to celebrate 31 years of scooping the chunkiest, funkiest ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet, Ben & Jerry’s will happily give it away that day as they do every year. The hours are noon to 8pm, and participating locations can be found here. Try a new flavor that you’ve been wondering about! Enjoy an old favorite! I scream, you scream, no matter what zodiac sign we are, we all scream for ice cream.
October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Hey Scorpio; Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Check out this list of the 10 best poetry books compiled from recommendations of independent booksellers across America. Our indie bookstore of the week is Fahrenheit’s Books on 210 S. Broadway in Denver, Colorado. ‘Cuz we love their name and their site is awesome. They both buy and sell used books and maintain an eclectic collection that specializes in Vintage Paperbacks, SciFi, Metaphysics, History, Western Americana, and Fiction. They also sell some titles on the AbeBooks.com website. Hours are Tues. to Sat. 11am to 6pm and Sundays noon to 5pm. Find more great indie bookstores on the Indie Bound website.
November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
There are websites, mes cheres, and there are websites. But there is only ONE My Damn Channel, n’est-ce pas? Sagittarians have that constant need to be on the cutting edge, so I target this entry at you centaurs. Veteran TV and radio exec Rob Barnett started this site back in the Wild Web West days of 2007 (seems like years ago don’t it?) and it’s risen consistently way above the fray to provide some of the best and most freshest viral video anywhere. David Wain’s hilarious Wainy Days (Season 4 launches in May), Harry Shearer’s side-splitting social commentary music videos, and the viral juggernaut You Suck at Photoshop by boy geniuses Big Fat Brain, all make their home here. Then there’s Don Was, a record producer of no small reknown, who has his own digital studio parked right here. Monday April 20, My Damn Channel will roll the curtain up on Pilot Season starring Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, Isla Fisher, and David Cross. And hey! You Suck at Photoshop is up for another Webby Award in the Online Film and Video section under Comedy: Long Form or Series - register and vote right here.
December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Our Capricorn of the Week is the lovely singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, who just released her seventh studio album this week on April 14, California Years. Now here’s a CD you can buy on Record Store Day, tomorrow! Entirely financed by her fans to the tune of 75K, Jill’s new album was produced by the aforementioned redoubtable Don Was. Entertainment Weekly says, Pop’s original girl-kisser has a lonesome diarist’s ear for observational, self-conversational lyricism, whether she’s drunk-Googling her exes (both boys and girls) on ”Wendell Lee” or fantasizing about running off and growing old with the waitstaff on ”Sweetheart.’ Oh and by the way, any album that includes a song titled “Where is Bobbie Gentry?” already has my full attention. Go, girl! She’s touring through April and May to promote the record - check out the dates here.
January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809 in one-room log cabin to two uneducated farmers, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. Making him one of the most famous Aquarians who ever lived. Daniel Wolff’s fascinating tome, How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations That Made Them examines the training, formal or otherwise, of Lincoln and 11 other unique Americans in an effort to identify what makes for a “good education.” From Lincoln’s obsession with books and newspapers to Elvis Presley’s fascination with movies and soundtracks, Wolff ties these and other personalities (W.E.B. DuBois, George Washington, Abigail Adams, Helen Keller, JFK, and more) together with common historical threads, discerning how each was able to surmount difficulties and make his or her mark. Enriched by historical details of the Civil War and world wars, the Great Depression, and the rise of unions, and backed by extensive primary sources, Wolff’s essays provide enlightening glimpses into the often-serendipitous process of education. This makes for a fascinating read. Buy it at the aforementioned Fahrenheit’s Books in Denver or click over to Amazon and purchase it here.
February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Pisceans are generally idealist dreamers who can, if allowed, live in a fairy tale world of knights and dragons. I betcha you’ll thoroughly enjoy the HBO film Grey Gardens due to premiere tomorrow, Saturday April 18 at 8PM. In 1973, the famous filmmaking brothers Albert and David Maysles entered the strange world of Jackie O’s relatives Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale. Spending six weeks with the reclusive mother and daughter who chose to live in squalor and almost total isolation in a decaying, 28-room mansion in East Hampton, the Maysles captured their day-to-day life in its raw, uncensored, captivatingly honest moments for a multiple award-winning documentary entitled Grey Gardens. Now, using that film as a framework, director-writer Michael Sucsy’s Grey Gardens offers a wry, behind-the-scenes look at the Beales and their unique mother-daughter bond. Drew Barrymore stars as the daughter and Jessica Lange stars as the mother in this hotly anticipated HBO Films production about the early years of the mother-daughter duo, as well as chronicling the making of the iconic documentary by the Maysles brothers.