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Archive for the 'Weekend Horoscope' Category

Dear Readers... it’s been awhile. Now we’re staring straight into the hindquarters of August and I must needs explain myself as I’ve done exactly what you’re not supposed to do when starting a blog. I’ve neglected it for weeks. In late June I found fulltime & fabulous employment as a publicist for independent documentary and feature films, for which I am very grateful indeed. But, after being freelance for just about 4 years for the most part, it was a bit of a shock to realize that my writing time had shrunk immeasurably.

I must tell you that my pride & joy, The Weekend Horoscoop, which I kept up weekly for well over a year, bit the dust even before the fulltime job. Honestly, the column took a full day every week, and I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. I would love to resurrect it and I know it had a lot of followers, but unless someone pays me to do it… it’s over for now. Not forever though, at least I hope not. It may come back in another form soon, one that doesn’t take as much time to do.

I am going to start posting regularly again though however. For those that don’t know, I cover television, music, and pop culture once or twice a week on the Huffington Post. Currently I’m recapping Weeds and Project Runway for the site. I heartily invite you to visit me there and I’ll cross post those columns here as well.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

- Holly



March 21 - April 19 Aries

Yon adventurous Aries folks will no doubt find the Peace Fountain, located next to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in upper Manhattan, fascinating - as I did on a recent re-visit there with my friend Buffalo Jill. Greg Wyatt, the artist and sculptor-in-residence at the Cathedral, intended the piece to depict the struggle of good and evil as seen through the battle of wills between Satan and the Archangel Michael. I can’t even begin to describe this sculpture, as it has to be seen to be believed. Around the plaza where the fountain resides are a number of plaques with pithy quotes by gifted thinkers like Einstein, Socrates, and John Lennon. The plaque below the fountain itself says, in part: Peace Fountain celebrates the triumph of Good over Evil, and sets before us the world’s opposing forces—violence and harmony, light and darkness, life and death—which God reconciles in his peace.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
To those stubborn Taureans out there; indulge your love of comfort and luxury for a change. I know you’re all hey there’s a recession on and suchlike and I get that; but once in a great while you have to live the way you want your life to be rather than the way it is – even if only for a few minutes a week. And when you’re in this mode, rub some creamy sweet-smelling shea butter into your skin. Shea butter contains Vitamins A, E, and F and has healing properties that address various ailments like dry skin, burns, muscle aches, wrinkles, and rashes. Shea Yeleen International is a company that makes shea body butter, body balm, and lip balm and, being a fair trade cooperative, they also funnel half of the retail price back into the communities that made the products. SYI’s mission is to promote sustainable economic development and empower women in rural West Africa through organizing and training women owned cooperatives to produce, market, and sell high quality shea butter; and educate consumers in the U.S. about natural body care products and fair trade.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Yes, it’s that time. Gemini Time. Brink of Summer Time. And time, once again, for us to check in with the Goddess of Ganja, Nancy Botwin. Weeds has returned. I’ll be recapping each episode weekly on the Huffington Post throughout Season Five – first installment here. I’ll also be picking a 420 moment during each episode as well. If you’ve never been a stoner you won’t get that reference, so feel free to google it at your leisure. Anyway, to be brief, Nancy’s life has been spared since she’s carrying the spawn of her Mexican drug lord BF – Celia’s been kidnapped by her own daughter, the Mighty Quinn, who’s been living in Mexico since she was sent there for boarding school – young Shane is following his brother into the family business – and that’s only a few strands of the plotline. Viva the wacky world that Jenji Kohan created, and stop by for a visit Monday nights at 10PM on Showtime. (Followed by the great new show Nurse Jackie, starring a very different Edie Falco than her last incarnation as Carmela Soprano).

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
So put this on your calendar because it’s a great birthday present for you Cancerians. Under the Covers Volume 2 (Shout Factory) by Sid and Susie, that is to say, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, will be released on July 21. The first volume in 2006 was rife with great 60’s pop songs like And Your Bird Can Sing (Lennon/McCartney), Monday, Monday (John Phillips), Different Drum (Mike Nesmith), Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young), Who Knows Where the Time Goes (Sandy Denny) and many more. May I say that anyone who brings back the great Sandy Denny, and that song in particular, into the public consciousness deserves multiple thanks in my book. Vol. 2 includes 16 fantastic songs from the 1970’s – everything from Sugar Magnolia to Maggie May to Beware of Darkness. Thanks as always to the learned Sal Nunziato and his extremely necessary music blog Burning Wood for this great news.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Faithful, yet intolerant. Creative, yet patronizing. That is the eternal dichotomy of Leo. Seems to me that you conflicted souls would enjoy Susan McCorkindale’s terrific autobiographical tale of leaving the city behind for a quieter, simpler, possibly boring as hell life in the country, Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl. McCorkindale, former marketing director for Family Circle Magazine, left her fabulous New York City six-figure job behind to go with her husband and two sons to live on a 500-acre beef farm in rural Virginia. This book is about her struggle to assimilate in a very different world and it will leave you howling. Check out her blog. Follow her twitter feed (“Husband’s making hay. Kids are making a mess. And I’m making margaritas. Just another smokin’ Friday night on the farm.”).

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
And speaking of twitter feeds… yes, I’ve gone down that daisy path, like many of you –obsessive Virgo or not. I follow feeds as diverse as The Onion to NPR to Rachel Maddow to Perez Hilton. I pick ‘em, I read ‘em, sometimes I keep ‘em, sometimes I unsub, most times I don’t. It’s like a moving haiku billboard. Sometimes they’re so great that I need to tell the world about ‘em. Such is the case with SustainableDump, the fabulous feed of journalist/culinary student Kathleen Willcox. KW’s feed delivers substainable food news, plus oatmeal recipes. How about the 411 on the ingredients of Sara Lee bread? Or the scoop on conscientious cacao? All here, plus this - oatmeal du jour: toasted then cooked in light coconut milk with chilies (I plucked ‘em out before slurping it up), salt, brown sugar. Check out more of Kathleen’s erudite gems on the Eat Me Daily group blog and catch her delicious review of David Liebovitz’s new memoir, The Sweet Life in Paris, at the Daily Beast.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
This one’s in honor of my Libran cat, Mr. Boy, a healthy and robust five and a half year old tabby. He’s lived with me since last year when I got him as a rescue pet. I recently had to take him to the vet, which is not the easiest task when a cat weighs 15 pounds and really doesn’t want to leave the house for any reason, ever, since he is king of the castle here. A friend told me about Pet Taxi and we tried them out and now I want to tell you about how great they are. They offer local service in Manhattan and will take your furry companion anywhere from Soho to Singapore, door to door. They transport dogs, cats, and exotic animals to and from airports, kennels, vets, groomers – with or without you along. They can arrange for your pet to travel by air – from shots, to paperwork, to the plane. They also operate a Hampton Petney shuttle service in the summer. Mr. Boy and I enjoyed them immensely.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Since Halloween falls within the dates of this sign, it’s no surprise that Scorpios tend to gravitate to the beauty of forgotten places, the poetry of decay. On her spooky beautiful site abandoned theaters, photographer Julia Solis presents a number of photo essays about the dark and quiet places where people used to live their lives, the places that have not yet been torn down, empty yet still breathing. Check out Detroit Wonderland: Snapshots of Detroit’s notoriously spectacular decay, with sidetrips to plywood, glamour, industry and playtime somewhere along the merry long haul. Draw in your breath at the image of an empty baby carriage in the shadow of an abandoned train station. And the crumbling façade of the Hotel Ft. Shelby. The spooky hallways of an empty office tower. The echoing silence of a mental hospital power plant. The screaming orange booths of an old restaurant, covered with concrete dust. Thank you Amanda Palmer for turning me on to this site via twitter.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
It’s a known fact that Sagittarians love good and plentiful food and drink. So I have one word for you people: Zingerman’s. For those of you who don’t live in or near Ann Arbor, Michigan, this word may require an explanation. Think deli. Think roadhouse. Think coffee. Think creamery. Think catering. Think bakehouse. Think mail order: extraordinary, traditionally-made tasty gifts sent all across the U.S. There’s surely no occasion that would not be enlivened by utilizing the Z-word. There’s still time to order up a fabulous Father’s Day gift if you hurry (how about a Phantom of the Fridge Secret Stash?), or go a little nuts with some Hazelnut Spread from France, or carbo load supremely with a subscription to the Bread Club (Did someone say Parmesan Pepper? Roadhouse Rye? Chocolate Sourdough?). Thanks to another ex-Michigander, Paige, for this tip!

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Work, work, work. Sound familiar, O Capricorn? Are you starting to feel a little tired? A little crispy around the edges? Irritable? Sad? Worried? Scared? Take the time to read Dr. Judith Rich’s 7 Keys For Living The Passionate Life. Dr. Rich, currently living with breast cancer, says “I am growing older, but I’m not growing old.  Old happens when we stop being curious about life.” My favorite is key #3, partially quoted here: Let yourself be moved - Allow life to transport and expand you. Let it open you, touch you . . . Be moved to tears at the magic and mystery of it all. Life is so much bigger and grander than you can possibly imagine. That’s what it’s all about. And you know it, deep down in your real true heart.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
When the power of love is greater than the love of power, then the world will know peace - Jimi Hendrix. This Aquarian-themed quote is prominently featured on the website/blog of the Petal Belle Café in Soho, located on Sullivan Street near West Houston, right across from St. Anthony’s Church. A nosh at this teensy eensy beensy café is like stepping back in time, or perhaps going to Europe and sitting in a café off the town square in Vienna or Brussels. Have a red velvet cupcake or a roast pork sandwich with mesclun and pesto on rustic bread or a coconut flavored Belgian waffle sprinkled with powdered sugar. Get on their email list for notices about future classes on cupcake making. Follow their twitter feed to find out when Enrique will be doing tarot readings. Tarot plus cappuccino, does it get better than that?

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
If I was to guess, I’d say Sookie Stackhouse was a classic Pisces. She’s a dreamer. An intuitive. A sensitive human being with an old soul. And it’s time for us to be sucked up (sorry) into her rural Louisiana world again as this Sunday night, June 14, Alan Ball’s True Blood returns to HBO with its second season. If you haven’t scoped this show yet, give it a chance. Anna Paquin is delightful as Sookie, Stephen Moyer as Bill is way sexy and kind of the dream boyfriend (if you can live with his being dead, that is), Rutina Wesley is outstanding as Sookie’s bedeviled best friend Tara, and Nelsan Ellis as drug dealer / short order cook Lafayette is magnificent. Add to that some of the best music scoring on any television show and I’m there. You should be too. Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO.



March 21 - April 19 Aries

The Center for Jewish History (15 W. 16th St. in Manhattan) presents a fascinating panel discussion with four Jewish fathers of Punk Rock on Thursday, June 11 at 7pm. Loud Fast Jews Tommy Ramone, Lenny Kaye, Chris Stein, and the Handsomest Man in Showbiz, Handsome Dick Manitoba, will discuss the glorious heyday of NYC punk, their individual career arcs, and the impact their Jewish experience has had on their music. Tix are way reasonable ($18 for the public, $12 for students) and this promises to be a fascinating evening for yids like me and non-yids alike, not to mention those of the Aries persuasion and non-Aries folks too. More info here. Tickets can be purchased here or call 212 868 4444.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Avast ye Taurean souls, you foodies, you lovers of great prose. Have your cake and read it too with Nancy Mehagian’s recent book Siren’s Feast, An Edible Odyssey (Cielo Press). Mehagian quotes Parisian designer Elsa Schiaparelli in her forward; “A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” And a good writer who is also a good cook, and Mehagian is both, dispenses a tome that is hard to put down. A first generation Armenian-American, Mehagian left her Phoenix home to travel the world, bedded a Bedouin gypsy, established Ibiza’s first vegetarian restaurant, was jailed in London (with her newborn child) for over a year, was a cabaret dancer in Syria, and is now settled in L.A. making a living as a massage therapist. Her life reads like a novel, and the book is sprinkled liberally with over forty recipes. It’s a feast of the senses. And Quincy Jones sums it up best: “A spicy brew of recipes and adventures. I don’t know whether to eat this book, smoke it or make love to it.”

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
It’s time for all Geminis to celebrate the occasion of their birth. Yes, the spotlight’s on you, twin people. Here’s something you might want to work into your weekend; how about an orgasm? (Yes, all of us can benefit – not just Geminis). You’ll really want to bait the hook, charm the cobra, play couch hockey for one, or any other synonym you prefer for having one off with yourself or with a loved one, after watching author Mary Roach’s extremely appealing speech on the subject at a recent TED conference. Roach, a freelance writer and humorist, presents 10 fascinating claims about the subject of sexual climax. It’s definitely the most interesting 16 minutes and 37 seconds you’ll spend this weekend. Watch it here. And be good to yourself. Because you deserve it!

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
While we’re on the subject of loud fast rules, as we were a few signs ago in Aries-Land, leave us not forget to thank the universe that Miriam Linna has entered the blogosphere, my Cancer moonchild brethren. Yes, it’s finally happened. If you – like me – are addicted to Miriam’s scribing style in the Norton Records email newsletters and website, you’ll be throwing out hosannas left and right when you dial in to Kicksville 66. Mir started up the blog with a lengthy and fascinating autobiographical piece about moving to Manhattan when she was 20 and becoming the first drummer of seminal band The Cramps: It was a lifetime ago– everything’s changed, and nothing’s changed. Like when you spin around real fast and stop, and you’re digging your heels in, and everything around you is a whirling blur. This woman has had a life most of us can only dream of – but we can now read about it in loving detail – with photos and posters! – on her blog. And we can hope some enterprising agent realizes that she should write her memoirs. I’m already waiting at the bookstore for that. Also check out Nortonville – the official blog of Miriam and husband Billy Miller’s label, Norton Records.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Leo, your sign is ruled by the Sun and is the epitome of hellzapoppin’ fierceness. I know you truly value the importance of your local library, especially as we lose independent bookstores every day in this rancid financial climate. Perhaps you did not know that New York City’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg wants to cut funding from the New York City public library system. Each of NYC’s three public library systems are facing budget cuts in excess of 22 percent in the coming fiscal year. With an unemployment rate higher than 8 percent in the city, more people than ever before are turning to libraries to make use of their job-hunting resources and to improve their professional skills. Get off your ass and sign this petition now. Go into your local library and browse. Pay your overdue fines (this one’s for me). Email your city council member. And if you can, throw a few extra bucks out there to help save the endangered library system. Even $10 can help.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
The Virgo of the Week is Leonard Norman Cohen, born September 21, 1934 in Quebec. I recently had the chance to see Mr. Cohen play a concert at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, and I’m here to tell you that it was a transcendent experience. I hadn’t seen him perform since I was in college, back in the days when I never missed a Leonard Cohen show and used to call him music to kill yourself by. Oh, but he’s that and so much more! Apparently in the last few decades his popularity has grown to crazy proportions and now he’s certifiably cool and hip (um, I was there first on this one). Cohen was born into a middle-class Canadian Jewish family and studied with poet Irving Layton in high school. He first became known as a published poet in the early sixties, and moved to the U.S. in 1967 where he was signed by famed talent scout John Hammond to Columbia Records and released his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen. He’s gone in and out of the public consciousness ever since like a silver stitching needle of love and pain and beauty (sorry, he just brings out the poet in moi). Suffice it to say that to see him in concert now is a life-affirming and wondrous experience and his band is absolutely top-notch. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but take a look at these videos and start counting your change for when he’s next in town. And do not miss it. And thank you, Kati M.

September 23 - October 22 Libra

Librans love the pleasures of the aesthetic, beauty and harmony and all like that. Combine that with your occasional penchant for crazy sixties ephemera and it’s a safe bet you could be entertained for hours watching Scopitones on the fabulous World Wide Web. A Scopitone is actually a film jukebox invented in the early 1960’s from surplus World War II airplane parts as well as the short music films which were played on such machines. And the whole thing happened in France. Bien sur. N’est-ce pas? De rigeur. There are hours of fun that await you, mes cheres! Check out Fiesta Hippie by Les Ballets Jackson for a taste. Or perhaps you’d like to enter the Web of Love by Joi Lansing, or catch the adventures of these cute English College Girls here. This site tells it all and has links to where you can buy your own DVD copies so you can have these things playing on the TV monitor at your next big party.  Once you’ve seen the glory that is Scopitone, there’s no going back.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
There are candles, and there are candles. And then there are candles by Cire Trudon. Established in 1643 by Claude Trudon, Cire Trudon is France’s most famous wax producing factory. You can light one up while scoping your French scopitones and enjoy two fab French experiences at the same time! I know a few Scorpios, and I must say that they are very fond of candles. These beautiful works of art are 100% paraffin-free and devoid of any secondary materials derived from petrochemicals. Cire Trudon uses a secret mix of palm oil, rice, soy, and coprah with wicks of pure cotton. The candle glass was made in Italy by master craftsmen. The embossed gold labels on each candle were made exclusively by the oldest champagne label maker in France. Choose from Spiritus Sancti (flickers of crimson, gold, and olibanaum), Dada (a touch of tea and vetiver, dressed up with crumpled mint leaves and eucalyptus), Revolution (the delicious scent of hot and crusty bread right out of the oven), Carmelite (top notes of orange and armoise; heart notes of rose, spices and iris), and many more.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Our Sag friends love travel, adventure, and the arts. I’m thinking that you, like me, will be thrilled at my new web discovery, Virtual Vintage Postcards, E-Cards & E-Greetings. Perhaps you, like me, have trolled the internet for cool images to send to your friends or decorate your blogs or what have you. Wander no more, because this site has it all: everything from themed cards for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Navy Day (October 27), broken down by graphic genre (baseball, fine art, romance, World War II), and regional groupings as well (New England, Old England, etc.). You’re all set for a year of holiday e-cards, get your clicking finger ready.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
A while back we told you Capricorn kids (and everyone else) about the incredible Green Book of Songs, the Thematic Guide to Popular Music, where you can look up lists of songs about any subject instantly. This book should be on the shelf of every radio programmer and television producer. The fine folks at GBOS have now started their own blog, and it totally rocks, of course. This week’s post is about Five Songs of Nuclear Destruction. I’m a little crushed to see that Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction is not among them, but it’s a good list – Metallica, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Def Leppard and Anthrax. A couple of weeks ago they posted a list of the Top 10 Songs about Unemploymentten songs that tell it all — the frustration, the anger, the despair. These songs reach all the way from the Great Depression to the current crisis, from steel mills and auto assembly lines to coal mines and farms, and show in ways statistics never can that some things about job loss are timeless.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
The Aquarian mind is keenly intelligent and highly unorthodox, which makes you a very fascinating character. I know you’ll truly dig The Big Sur Spirit Garden, an International Arts and Cultural Center located between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the ocean in the Big Sur Valley. The Spirit Garden provides world-class production and mult-cultural education programs, hosting artists from across the globe. Tomorrow and every Sunday you can participate in a Capoeira and Afro Brazilian Drumming Class from 12 noon to 2pm. June 12th through 14th they host an African Music and Arts Festival, a native herb walk is planned for June 21st, and the First Annual Festival of Ethnobotany and Plant Medicine will take place here from September 18th to the 20th, among many other interesting events. Check it all out here and get thee to Big Sur.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
James Tiberius Kirk will be born on March 22, 2233, making him a Pisces. Yah, mon. So, let me just say this. I am not one to go to blockbuster movies. In fact, when I was younger, I eschewed books and movies that were big sellers like the plague. My feeling was, if the masses liked something, well it just couldn’t have any merit. I’ve softened a bit on this front, and I trotted myself out to see Star Trek because it just looked so good on the commercials - and because J.J. Abrams was responsible for it. And you know what? It is well worth seeing, whether or not you know anything about the original series or not. It’s really kick ass awesome. My favorite actors were those who played McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana) (wow! breakout great feminist character!), and Sulu (John Cho). Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) were great too, of course. Here’s some great trivia from the original 1966 TV series; tubes marked GNDN can be seen in the hallways of the Enterprise. Those initials actually stood for “Goes Nowhere Does Nothing.”

in art, everything must be fair game, everything must be explorable, everything must be speakable, or we go BACKWARDS! we go DOWN!
~ Amanda Palmer ~


March 21 - April 19 Aries
Aries, my sweet. I’ve got two words for you: 1) Amanda. 2) Palmer. Hear me now and believe me later; she’s the real thing. There isn’t space here to wax on about her incredibleness so suffice it to say that this weekend she’s doing a play at Massachusetts’ Lexington High School (she’s a ’94 grad of same) called With The Needle That Sings In Her Heart. The play can be seen Friday night (tonight) and twice on Saturday, this weekend, yes, go there if you can (tickets available here until 5pm tonight). And if you can’t, glory hallelujah, the play will be webcast on Saturday night here. The play, which was written by Palmer with 23 students, is based on Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, which was inspired by the story of Anne Frank. The whole shebang was born of Palmer’s desire to come back to her alma mater to collaborate with former theater teacher Steven Bogart. And by the way, Ms. Palmer’s going to be appearing with Neil Gaiman on June 3 at Housing Works Books in NYC. Tickets here and going fast. Lucky New Yorkers can see her perform at the Highline Ballroom on June 5 (tix here), in LA on June 25th, and San Diego on July 24. If you’ve believed nothing else I ever wrote in this column believe this: Amanda Palmer is amazing. See her now while you can still get tickets.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Us Taureans, we love good food, yes, indeed we do. And recently we were privy to same, the southern soul food variety, at Murphy’s in Atlanta, Georgia, thanks to Katy J. Seriously: fried green tomatoes with delicious dipping sauce; cheddar cheese grits; eggs benedict with sundried tomato hollandaise. Add in a couple of Bloody Marys and oh man! what a meal. And there were about twenty other things on the menu we wanted, bad, but had to consign to another trip. Murphy’s has been on the Atlanta landscape for 25 years and people wait, as we did, in line for hours to eat there. If you’re lucky enough to live in the area – I can hardly think of a better place for a Mother’s Day Brunch. It’s this Sunday so plan on getting in line early. Free roses to all Moms!

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Mercury – that foxy trickster – turned retrograde in the sign of Gemini on Thursday May 7. You know, even my friends who don’t believe anything else about astrology believe in mercury retrograde. Right on schedule for me Thursday morning I felt the retrograde presence when my computer suddenly stopped being able to burn discs. Then I went to a store to print photos at a kiosk that mysteriously stopped working when I used it. Typical M.R. stuff. If it has to do with machines or communications, just beware. And try never to sign legal documents during M.R. The retrograde period generally lasts about three weeks which is a stone drag, but there are – believe it or not – a few good things about this time. It’s a fine time to clean your house, do creative work (write, paint, make music), and sleep. Mercury goes retrograde four times this year – each time for three weeks or so – which is about one more time than usual. The planet Mercury turns direct again on May 31, though the effects can last until June 9. Keep your head down and don’t sign anything. Except for your rent check.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Cancer presides over home life and comfort. You love to be safe and secure in your feathered nest. And don’t we all like to snuggle up to the hearth with a nice glass of wine, n’est-ce pas? Therefore I’d like to suggest that you consider purchasing said wine at Artisan Wine Shop in Beacon, New York. If you’re anywhere near the Hudson Valley, Beacon’s definitely worth a day trip. And every Saturday you can pretty much count on a wine tasting with some delicious snacks at the shop. Call for times (845-440-6923), but generally this takes place in the late afternoon / early evening. You won’t find the ordinary group of labels here. Artisan specializes in lesser-known smaller-production wines, putting a great deal of time and effort into finding well-balanced, great-tasting wines. Proprietors Tim Buzinski and Mei Ying So are both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America and are delighted to help customers pick just the right bottle of wine for whatever occasion it happens to be. They’re also available as wine consultants and to lead private tastings and events. The current Wine of the Week is Tomàs Cusiné Geol Costers del Segre 2004; available for 31% off. Artisan Wine Shop is at 180 Main Street in Beacon (845-440-6923).

July 23 - August 22 Leo
I know that Leos love music of all genres and varieties. I’m sure you’d like to be apprised of the good work of the New Orleans String Project, which is all about making high-quality stringed instrument instruction accessible to inner-city NOLA kids. The New Orleans String Project believes in the importance of early music education to improve the well-being and overall quality of life for children. To enroll your child in this marvelous program, to send them a contribution for the wonderful work they’re doing, to donate an instrument, to read about the correct postures for playing the cello or viola, visit their website here. Thanks to Norena B. for this tip!

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Hey, while you’re in Beacon picking up some vino at Artisan Wine Shop, stop by Mount Beacon Fine Art at 155 Main Street to check out the beautiful photographs of one of my favorite Virgos, Ronnie Farley. The show is called Earth Keepers: Portraits and Testimonies of Native American Women and opens May 9. Join Ronnie in celebrating the spiritual, strong women that she’s interviewed and photographed over the past 23 years. If you’re in Beacon this Saturday May 9 stop in for the opening night reception from 6 to 9pm. See more of Ronnie’s work here. She is the author of Women of the Native Struggle: Portraits and Testimonies of Native American Women, Cowgirls: Contemporary Portraits of the American West, and Diary of A Pedestrian: A New York Photo Memoir. A three year national tour of the Cowgirls photo series is currently on exhibit through the Mid-America Arts Alliance and appears from May 15 to August 16 at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis, Missouri.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
One of the best Libras you can find anywhere is Bruce Springsteen. Celebrate his magnificent career, literally From Asbury Park to the Promised Land, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. This exhibit, the first of its kind about Springsteen, will be on display through the spring of 2010. The first artifact-driven exhibit about Springsteen’s life and work includes several of his guitars, handwritten lyrics, posters and handbills, numerous photos, and the 1960 Corvette he purchased in 1975 after the Born to Run album catapulted him onto the national stage. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week (seven nights to rock, anyone?) from 10am to 5:30pm.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Whilst in Atlanta, hanging out with Katy J. as mentioned earlier, we also visited the incredible Paris on Ponce – 50,000 square feet of Antique and Modern Detritus, a veritable bohemian warehouse located in the heart of midtown Atlanta. I know that you Scorpios like to keep on the cusp of what’s cool and suchlike. Paris on Ponce was created about eleven years ago by George and Judi Lee, who aimed to create an interesting experience where everyone is welcome to browse and dream. Which you will do, as you stroll through three buildings which include everything from 18th century antiques to new designer furniture at lower than wholesale prices. If you’re looking for something, chances are they have it in this incredible place. Plus, they have a spring sale on at the moment – up to 75% off. Slideshow here. Can’t make it to Atlanta right now? Check out their ebay store. Need an amazing place for a film or music video shoot – or a party? Look no further than the burgundy velvet nightclub Le Maison Rouge inside Paris on Ponce. It’s kind of like walking into 1920’s Paris. Rental info here.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarius, the Archer, lover of travel and culture and idealism. Be the first on your block to experience the total awesomeness of the debut CD by Montreal’s Elephant Stone, The Seven Seas. Formerly of the band The High Dials, for which he played bass and sitar, Rishi Dhir started this new band in 2008. After leaving The High Dials in 2006 after six years, Dhir studied up on classical Indian music, which informs this new release. Dhir also played sitar on recordings by the Black Angels and the Earlies. The Seven Seas is true psychedelic pop and you can hear the sparkling, gorgeous tunes on Elephant Stone’s myspace page. Close your eyes and it’s 1966 again. And I mean that as the highest compliment. According to Rishi, we worship at the altar of Sri Ganesha, the Beatles, Ananda Shankar, and Indian food. Buy it here.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
I know that Capricorns love to support artists and writers and also love ethnic food and old New York. At least the ones I know have these characteristics. May I present the new book Sizzle in Hell’s Kitchen by Carliss Retif Pond, recently published by Gibbs Smith and available here as well as in your local bookstore (if you’re lucky enough to have one). Pond earned a masters in English Lit from the University of New Orleans and received a culinary education at Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu and the Ritz Escoffier School. She’s been a culinary advisor for Bloomingdale’s and a banquet coordinator for the Plaza Hotel. The book gathers ethnic recipes from 27 different cuisines in the colorful Ninth Avenue neighborhood of Manhattan, also known as Hell’s Kitchen. HK is internationally known for its diversity and the longevity of its restaurants, many of which are in the same family for generations.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
On a recent Aquarian-themed fact finding mission SDJ signed up for a three day free trial with Sirius XM. Whilst perusing the channels, we came upon the beauteous Elizabeth Cook, who has her own show twice a week on Outlaw Country, Channel 63. We’ve told you before how great Outlaw Country is - Steven Van Zandt’s sanctuary for the rebels and renegades, rabble rousers and rogues of country music. They’re all here: Bob Dylan, Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, David Allan Coe, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and of course all generations of the Hank Williams Dynasty. Cook’s show, Apron Strings, is worth getting up early for (it is broadcast from 6 to 10am on Thursday and Friday mornings). She’s fresh and awesome and just plain fabulous. She’s also got a bunch of records out, the most recent being the Rodney Crowell-produced Balls on Thirty Tigers Records, available here.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
The website of the week was picked with our Piscean friends in mind. Creativity, sensitivity, and spirituality – that’s you guys. I know you’ll dig Crazy Sexy Life, the brainchild of author/filmmaker/motivational speaker Kris Carr. You may have heard of Crazy Sexy Cancer, the film which Carr wrote and directed about herself for TLC and Discovery Health. The site is a self-described supercharged health hub which gathers together resources and cutting edge experts in one easy to navigate hot spot. Kris has gathered a terrific Blog Posse (featuring Kathy Freston, Rory Freedman, Sara Melngailis, Chloé Jo Berman, and others) to augment her own writings on the site. Quoth the site: Whether you want to dazzle your guests with a rockin’ vegan dinner, embark on a juice feast, clean up mama earth, or connect with other like minded bright lights, you’ll find that, and a whole lot more here . . . An entire community loaded with love and support awaits you. Don’t miss their store which features one hundred percent vegan, cruelty free products.


April 20 - May 20 Taurus
It’s that time again, Taurus cowpunks and all zodiac zydecats. Time for the Ponderosa Stomp! The 8th Annual P-Stomp pulls into New Orleans next week on Tuesday 4/28 and Wednesday 4/29. The lineup includes Wanda Jackson, Howard Tate, James Burton, Dan Penn and Bobby Emmons, Howard Tate, Otis Clay, The Hi Rhythm Section, The Remains, Question Mark and the Mysterians, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Kenny and the Kasuals, Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics, and 75-year-old Lazy Lester, the patron saint of the P-Stomp, whose instrumental 1966 track for Excello Records provided the festival’s namesake. And that’s only a few of the musical acts. By the by, Flamin’ Groovies Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney haven’t played a full set together since 1971, but will perform this year at the P-Stomp, backed by the A-Bones! It’s the biggest P-Stomp to date, with an expanded 3-day conference and a Stomp-curated exhibition at the NOLA’s Louisiana State Museum at The Cabildo. The 2nd Annual Music Conference and Exhibit is presented in partnership with The Louisiana State Museum and The Rock + Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. From our friends at Norton Records: A daytime conference has been added to the Stomp. There will be interviews and panels with and about the music and artists featured on the festival. The conference happens at the beautiful Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo. Much anticipated at Norton HQ is a Peanut buttery Tom Snyder style Q&A starring Question Mark with his biggest fan Miriam Linna firing questions at the Arsenal! (April 29 2:00 - 3:00 PM ) More info here. Schedule here. Tickets here. And New Yorkers, hearken unto this: the P-Stomp is pulling into Lincoln Center for 3 dates in July.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
I know Geminis are mindful that Mother’s Day is coming up very quickly on May 10. Because you twin people love your mamas! As it should be! Heads up for a really great deal on the perfect Mother’s Day Gift from One Meaning Couture, a new jewelry and apparel company. All OMC designs are based on the words “I love you” - 8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning.  The numbers 813 form a butterfly shape– the symbol of change and renewal, and now, love. Company owners Karen Chesleigh and Ingrid Hobbs believe that love really can change the world. That change starts with their policy to give back 8.13% of all sales to a different highlighted charity each month. As OMC grows in sales, so will its charitable contribution – one day they hope to donate 81.3% of all proceeds to a deserving organization each month. During the month of May, in honor of Mother’s Day, OMC is donating 8.13% of all proceeds to the Get in Touch Foundation, which encourages girls and women of all ages to “get in touch” with their bodies in the crusade against breast cancer. Weekend Horoscoop* readers are invited to take 10% off their orders between now and May 10. Enter the word “horoscoop” at checkout and you’ll receive a 10% credit off your total purchase price!

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
As the Tribeca Film Festival pulls into town, it reminds us that we must support independent film every way we can, especially in these dark financial times. I know that those born under the sign of Cancer, the Crab, like to support quality, first-run independent film, n’est-ce pas? Well, pull up a chair and let’s talk about Gigantic Digital – a website committed to making these films available to everyone, everywhere, anytime. Employing the latest digital video technologies, their goal is to even the playing field for independent filmmakers. Throughout the history of independent film distribution, theaters that show them have been few and far between. The bigger problem is that only a tiny percentage of independent films are ever released at all. The cost of traditional film distribution is just too high for film companies to take a chance on unknown filmmakers, films without high-profile festival pedigrees or films without movie stars. Which is why you should buy tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival if you’re able to. And no matter where you are geographically, you can watch three days of indie productions at Gigantic Digital for a mere $2.99 – on your computer! Now playing: David Kaplan’s Year of the Fish, Wayne Price’s The Doorman, and Morgan DewsMust Read After My Death. Also, feel free to watch your fill of the site’s free content which they add to regularly. Thanks to Kathryn B. for this tip!

July 23 - August 22 Leo
I don’t think I know any Leos who aren’t rock & roll animals, so this one’s for you. Did you know about the Ravin’ Wire, a commercial free, not for profit project created and maintained by San Francisco-based filmmaker Bob Sarles? Sarles regularly posts fascinating articles about popular culture, music, film, television, new media, emerging technologies, obituaries, humor, politics, and anything else that strikes his interest at any given moment. Today on the site he’s spotlighting Greg Kot’s Chicago Tribune piece Why the Grateful Dead live on; a review of Ayelet Waldman’s book Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace; and an article about the new Bruce Springsteen exhibit at Cleveland’s Rock + Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. More about Sarles and his production company Ravin’ Films here. Mr. Sarles welcomes comments on posted articles; submissions for original and referred articles are encouraged. Please feel free to submit any articles for the Wire, or send feedback to ravinwire@aol.com. Join Ravin’ Wire on Facebook here.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Virgos tend to be know-it-alls. You know what I’m talking about. Well us tribal members call such folks yentas. And a certified yenta / veteran celebrity assistant from L.A. has taken it upon herself to start a great website called The Yenta Report. Loren Elkins, said Yenta, has assisted luminaries such as Faye Dunaway, Nathan Lane, Ellen Barkin, and Matthew Perry, to name a few. After many years of people asking her advice on where to find this, or how do I do that, she decided to start this fabulous online resource which dishes out advice on all kinds of L.A.-specific topics. Features include The Yenta Review (a weekly L.A. insider profile); Ask the Yenta (every week Loren answers three submitted questions in her weekly email newsletter); and The Yenta List (where to shop, eat, rent cars, and find cool stuff in the L.A. area). There’s even a blog. Thanks to Janice N. for this fabulous tip. Love you, mean it!

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Urbane, polished Librans love to be on the cutting edge of everything, including viral video. With that in mind, may I present to you one David Wain, comic genius / boy wonder. Wain was a member of the multiheaded sketch troupe that was behind MTV’s The State. Wet Hot American Summer, a summer camp comedy cult classic, was directed by Wain in 2001. Wainy Days, his hilarious web series, is both directed by Wain and also features him as the star. The storyline is about an oversexed, nebbishy Brooklynite who continually gets his heart broken in a series of really bad dates. Season 4 debuts on May 7 at My Damn Channel – be there or be square, as the saying goes. If you’re in or near New York City, you are so in luck. Wain will host Wainy Days Live at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson St.) featuring musical performances from past and upcoming episodes along with a passel of series cast members. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased here.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
I know Scorpios are often drawn to the dark side, the monsters that lurk under the bed, horror movies, et de plus en plus. Possibly because Halloween falls within your birth sign. Well, folks, have I got a museum for you! How about a trip to Springfield, Illinois to visit The Museum of Funeral Customs? Talk about a once in a “lifetime” experience. Alas, the museum is under severe budget restraints at the present time and is only open by appointment. But make an appointment and go, because I’m absolutely positive you’ll be enthralled by this place. Among other things, the museum has a replica of the coffin that carried Abraham Lincoln from Washington to Springfield in 1865. Also on view are a 1920’s horse-drawn hearse, Victorian era mourning clothes, an embalming supply cabinet from the 1920’s, and prosthetics for preparing bodies in the mid-20th century. There’s also a one of a kind gift shop that sells coffin shaped key chains and chocolates. The museum explores death-related customs in different cultures. The Museum of Funeral Customs is located at 1440 Monument Ave. in Springfield, Illinois, a stone’s throw from Lincoln’s final resting place at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Call to make an appointment at 217-544-3480.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians are friendly folk. You make a great friend and you love to make new friends. Well surprise, surprise – it turns out that making and keeping friends is good for your health. The New York Times reported this week that a 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends . .  And last year, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties could promote brain health as we age. The Times article cites a new book called The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a 40-Year Friendship (Gotham), in which author Jeffrey Zaslow recounts the story of 11 childhood friends originally from Ames, Iowa, who eventually settled in eight different states. Despite the distance, their bond has stayed strong through the years. Two of the women recently found that they have breast cancer. One of those women is a high school teacher in Minnesota who found it easier to discuss her illness with her friends rather than her doctor, and maintains that her friends were instrumental in her treatment and recovery process. Turns out that a 2006 study of nurses with breast cancer found that women who had no close friends were four times as likely to die than women with ten or more friends. Karen A. Roberto, director of Virginia Tech’s center for gerontology, told The Times that “People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone they can turn to . . . Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Our album of the week is a new release from the brilliant Ian McLagan, Never Say Never on 00:02:59. CBS Sunday Morning’s Bill Flanagan, music critic and rock writer, had this to say: Never Say Never mixes mischief and heartbreak, dancing on the bar and crying in your beer, in perfect proportion. The album is a collaboration with Glyn Johns, Mac’s old pal from Small Faces and Faces days. The self produced and directed album features McLagan’s award winning Bump Band: ‘Scrappy’ Jud Newcomb, Don Harvey and Mark Andes. Patty Griffin graces Never Say Never with her soulful vocals, and both Patty and the Tosca Strings can be heard on the final track, the heart wrenching When The Crying Is Over. If I know Capricorns like I think I do, you’ll enjoy this great new set of songs from an old friend. You can catch him doing some live shows in the next couple of weeks on the west coast. Tour dates here.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Times are tough for everyone. We know this. I also know that Aquarians are very responsive to new, unique ways to solve problems. So I have a unique way for you to approach this depressing, scary, sad financial meltdown that’s reached it’s evil tentacles into the lives of all of us. It’s going to surprise you. But I ask you to give it a try. You’ll be amazed. What is this trick? It is learning how to be thankful. Re-learning the lost art of gratitude. Karen Krakower Kaplan writes in the Health Leader, the online wellness magazine of the University of Texas Health Science Center: Gratitude is the gentle recognition, rediscovery or “re-remembering” of the simple abundance around you . . . Gratitude is noticing the extraordinary in the ordinary. And then taking the nanosecond to feel it. Kaplan gives us 7 steps to connecting to gratitude and, through gratitude, abundance. Honestly, it works. I’ve tried it; I know. Even if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, make a list – you will find something – and it will turn your life around.

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
The Pisces of the Week is Sir Michael Caine, who is back in the spotlight with a new film; John Crowley’s Is Anybody There? Caine plays a retired magician who has been shunted off into a rest home as he experiences the slow darkness of the mind that is Alzheimer’s. Caine, now 76, says it is one of his favorite roles in his long career of over a hundred films (two Oscars, mind you). And this is from the man who starred in The Ipcress File, The Man Who Would Be King, The Italian Job, Educating Rita, Zulu, Billion Dollar Brain, Alfie, etc. etc. etc. Caine was born Maurice Joseph Mickelwhite, Jr. on March 14, 1933. He is also known for his wickedly funny asides, like “The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years” and “I’m a sort of boy next door. If that boy has a good scriptwriter.” The British ska band Madness included a song called Michael Caine on their 1984 release Keep Moving. At the urging of his daughter, a fan of the band, Caine contributed vocal samples to the song. The music video can be seen here.



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.


Greetings dear readers! We’re taking an Easter break this weekend but we’ll be back next week with an all-new Weekend Horoscoop* ~ next week the column will be cross-posted both here and on the Huffington Post.

Meanwhile here are some things that tickled my fancy this week:

President Obama hosted the first ever White House seder. He also included gay and lesbian families in this year’s traditional Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. Okay in case you haven’t realized it, he’s pretty much my dream man.

I’m thrilled that Mandy Stein’s film, which I worked on doing archival research and clearances, Burning Down the House: The Story of CBGB, gets its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month.

Today, Saturday April 11, is International LOUIE LOUIE Day. Here is how to celebrate.

And finally, I think it’s actually Spring at last.

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.  ~ Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.  ~ William Shakespeare

O Best Beloved, our first anniversary actually was on March 14 but I was otherwise occupied during the ides of March - therefore this weekend I am celebrating with the first ever Best Of column! Here’s some zodiac nuggets you might have missed the first time around.

March 21 - April 19 Aries
It’s that Aries time of year ~ birthday time, Ram people! It’s also time for Passover and Easter. Well, fellow Hebrews; I have a question for you. Have you believed for lo these many years that because you’re of the Jewish persuasion you’re totally unable to get your religious groove on with rosary beads? Thanks to Brooklyn designer and Nice Jewish Girl Carlen Altman, may I assure you that is no longer the case. Altman makes these mitzvah beads by hand and offers a variety of styles, even providing a glow in the dark option for the more adventurous amongst us. Such a bargain! Good Yom Tov!

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
During the Taurus transit in 1967, May 1 to be exact, was the date of Elvis Presley’s wedding to his long time girlfriend Priscilla Beaulieu. And thanks to Mattel (they’re swell) you can now purchase a set of Elvis & Priscilla wedding day Barbies, dressed in tiny replicas of their wedding attire, though the Priscilla doll could use a lot more eye makeup and her bouffant hairdo isn’t as frozen in place as the real Mrs. P’s was that day. The packaging also contains a sticker reading Direct from Graceland. I don’t know about you, but this is one of those times where I just say – I don’t care what I have to do without; I gotta have this item. Then there’s the added bonus that though the real-life Elvis-Priscilla union only lasted 5 years, your dolls will live forever in the first romantic blush of their wedding day.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
I’m going to just come out and say it and I know there is at least one Gemini or two out there that will understand. I am a pen fetishist. There - I said it - and I am not ashamed. A good pen is everything to me. And I recently discovered one that is as close to perfect as they get; it glides over the page; it seems to encourage my recalcitrant hand to write more and better. That would be the Uniball Bold 0.8mm Vision Elite. I recently bought a pack of them at Staples and I’ve been hoarding them like a miser - when someone asks to borrow a pen, it’s not this one that I give out in case I don’t get it back. Declarative statement on the package: won’t leak in flight.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
The novel Whistle Down the Wind was published in 1958 by Mary Hayley Bell, wife of actor John Mills and the mother of actresses Juliet and Hayley Mills. The story was made into a movie in 1961 starring Hayley as a young farm girl who finds an escaped convict (sexily played by Alan Bates) sleeping in the family’s barn and believes him to be Jesus Christ. She and her brothers and sisters attempt to keep him a secret from the grownups so they don’t find him and crucify him again. The book is stunning, spare, and haunting. The film will break your heart. Apparently it’s now been Andrew Lloyd Weberized into a Broadway musical set in the American South but I urge you to check out the original book and film. What can I say, Moonchild? Your overemotional, moody side will truly dig Mary Hayley Bell’s sweet masterpiece.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
If there’s one thing that Leos go ga-ga over, it’s rare 50’s and 60’s movies and TV shows. Aren’t you lucky - The Video Beat! is just about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. This web site specializes in the aforementioned. To quote them: When you order from The VIDEO BEAT! you’re not just gettin’ a hard to find movie, you’re gettin’ a full evening’s worth of high-cultured, jet-propelled rock and roll entertainment 100% guaranteed to make you the host with the most! Crazy man! Check out LSD: Insight or Insanity from 1966 or Marijuana - Sonny Bono’s anti-drug film from 1968 which he hosts wearing what looks like gold lame pajamas. I think we all need to see the 1968 TV Special Noel Harrison is Where The Girls Are. Guests include The Byrds, the Association, Cher, Don Adams, Professor Irwin Corey, and Rob Reiner. Highlights: a comedy skit about Transcendental Meditation; Noel Harrison visiting Sunset Strip nightspots like the Haunted House. They just don’t make television like this anymore.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
So don’t say I never told you anything, Virgo boys and girls. Here’s the coolest most awesome gift idea of all time, brought to you by……the U.S. Post Office. Say what?!?! Seriously, you can upload a photo and make your own personalized stamps. Perfect for holiday cards, or gifts! Talk about branding for your company. Talk about an awesome way to send thank you cards for wedding presents. Talk about a unique way to send out new baby announcements. The possibilities are truly endless. You can buy them in seven different postage denominations ranging from postcards to package rate stamps. You can even buy them in production rolls of up to 10,000 stamps for large mailings. I think this is the greatest idea ever, and I’d love to know who thought it up over there at the U.S. Postal Service, because I would love to send them a handwritten thank you note with a Snoop* du Jour photo stamp.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Let’s talk about one of our favorite Libras, John Winston Ono Lennon. Back in 1969, 14 year old Beatle fan Jerry Levitan interviewed John in the hotel room in Toronto that he and Yoko stayed in during one of their Bed-Ins for Peace. Now, 38 years later, Levitan has produced a short film about this encounter which he calls I Met the Walrus, during which he interviewed John about peace and non-violence. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin presents a visual element in which Lennon’s words are beautifully illustrated by Alex Kurina and James Braithwaite. It will take your breath away.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Yes, we’re in a recession. Yes, money is scarce. But if you have it, now is the time to travel because they’re practically giving away plane tickets these days in a frenzy to get you to buy them. And I’ve got just the destination for you passionate, obsessive Scorpios:  Consider a trip to Barcelona, one of the finest cities on this planet of ours. And while there you must not miss anything designed by Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926). His eccentric, warped, neo-psychedelic Gothic style is unique and years before its time. He’s known as the leader of the Art Nouveau moment in Spain, but that doesn’t even come close to describing what his work is like. He designed a park and sculpture garden (La Parc Guell) along with several buildings, and the redoubtable La Sagrada Familia cathedral. See them all and marvel at this man’s twisted, innovative genius.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians know from crazy crazy love. Therefore this week’s download is targeted to our self-indulgent, sociable, flirtatious centaur friends. The song is Bernadette by the Four Tops and is a testament to complete and utter jealousy and obsession. This 1967 Motown hit was produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland and recorded at Hitsville USA. The stellar lead vocal is of course by the unbelievable Levi Stubbs. Listen to the raw urgency in his voice as he cries, Bernadette! They want you because of the pride that it gives; But Bernadette, I want you because I need you to live.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
It’s because of your really great sense of humor, Capricorn Goat People, that I urge you to spend some “time” playing hide and go seek with “superfluous” quotes. First get your feet wet with The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks. For instance: Leave the Light “On” (??); “Labor Day Weekend” (is it or isn’t it??); “Best Coffee in Town” (so I guess it really isn’t). Hours of fun can be had here and you’ll find yourself with a whole new “lease on life.” Once you get into the swing of this, you’ll see them everywhere. All hail the “Internet”, also known as the “World Wide Web,” Mother of a Quadrillion Obsessions.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
O Aquarians, you share your birth sign with the ultra-hip, ultra-amazing, legendary Andrew Loog Oldham. While working for Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein in the early 1960’s, Oldham found the Rolling Stones and turned them into the greatest rock and roll band in the world. He was 19 years old at the time. He became the band’s co-manager and assisted them in creating the most compelling music of their storied, lengthy career. He’s done five million other incredible things as well. Read about him, track down his two books (Stoned, and 2 Stoned, both currently out of print), read his blog, listen to him liven up the satellite airwaves daily on Sirius’ Channel 25 Underground Garage.

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
Alice Austen, Piscean, born March 17, 1866, was a photographer from the age of 10 almost until she died at the age of 85. She took amazing, stunningly beautiful photos of her family and surroundings as well as contemporary life in New York City. The Austen family fortune dwindled so grievously after the stock market crash of 1929 that she had to declare herself a pauper. Her photographs were discovered and published in Life Magazine and the money enabled her to live out her last years in a nursing home. Her childhood home is a national historic landmark on Staten Island and well worth a visit.


March 21 - April 19 Aries
¿Que hora es? In other words, what time is it? It’s Aries time! It’s Spring! And it’s time for the return of the Weekend Horoscoop*! Sorry for the long absence (due to work that – um – pays). I am currently considering going biweekly instead of weekly, dear readers, because this is……quite frankly……..a lot of work. But I digress! Que Hora Es? is an experience you need to take in courtesy of our friends over at YouTubeLand. It’s a fake Mexican telenovela that features characters who never got past third-year Spanish. The series was featured on Cedric the Entertainer Presents, a weekly half hour variety series that ran on television in 2002 – 2003. Scene 1; a smoldering hot guy enters the room and asks a beautiful long haired woman – ‘¿Que hora es? ’ ‘Ocho (Eight),’ she replies after a pregnant pause. ‘¿dónde está la biblioteca? (Where is the library?)’ he continues. ‘Yo no sé, yo no sé (I don’t know),’ she replies. He throws her down on the couch prior to ravishing her. I won’t ruin the rest for you. Suffice it to say that que se reirán (you will laugh).

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Us Tauruses, we love us the Mother Goddess. We just do, is all. May I present to you the Mayan Goddess Ixchel (pronounced ee-shell). She was worshipped by the Mayan people on the sacred island of Cozumel. She’s known as the Moon Goddess, the Goddess of Medicine, and the Snake Goddess. She is sought after by those who need a boost in fertility, whether it be having a baby or writing a song. Her bailiwick also includes magic, weaving, healing, sexuality, and childbirth. Legend has it that after she became the lover of the Sun, her grandfather tried to kill her. Her sacred animal, the dragonfly, sang over her until she recovered from the attack. The Aztec people called her Xochiquetzal and worshipped her also. She was so popular that her followers were true to her even through the Spanish Conquest and beyond. Ixchel continues to be honored today in Mexico by penitents leaving marigolds in cemeteries for her on the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) every year on November 2.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Geminis love to be challenged and engaged. Therefore, I suggest you take advantage of the unbelievable airfares that currently bless us (one of the recession’s blessings in disguise) and climb aboard that big silver bird for Cancun. And don’t do one of those resort package vacations that dot that lovely landscape. No, mi amigo. Get real. Book your stay at Casa Cacahuate, a small B&B located in the jungle, 20 minutes south of Cancun, close to the charming fishing village town of Puerto Morelos, also close to Playa del Carmen. Wake up every morning to the sound of hundreds of jungle birds chattering, and the pure sweet air wafting through your room. Enjoy a lovely home-cooked breakfast on the terrace with proprietors Sandra and Dan Dayton. Take a day trip to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, go snorkeling in the pristine waters of Puerto Morelos, swim in a nearby cenote (local sinkholes filled with crystal-clear groundwater), or just roll out of bed and go over to the Jungle Spa (see Cancer, next) a mere few steps away. To arrange your visit email Sandra at starseed@prodigy.net.mx or call her at (998) 208 9148. Luxurious condo on the beach with the Gulf of Mexico gently lapping the shore right outside your window more your style? She can arrange that too for you.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Cancer moonchild, relax for a moment and consider the joys of self-indulgence and self-care. Whether you stay at the Casa Cacahuate B&B or not, The Jungle Spa is easy to get to from Puerto Morelos or Playa del Carmen or Cancun and well worth the journey. The Spa features massages incorporating ancient Mayan healing techniques under a thatched roof palapa surrounded by palm trees and native plants. The jungle breeze gently blows through the screen windows as you lie there in an otherwordly state, birds singing, copal incense burning. Full body massage, aloe vera body wraps (using the trees right outside the palapa), cocoa body massage, hot rocks massage, facials, reflexology, manicure, pedicure, all available here at a fraction of what you pay for these services at home. The Mayan women giving the treatments come from a culture where massage was taught to them at a very young age as a way of healing. They were born in small villages where, at birth, they were massaged out of their mother’s belly by a midwife. At the age of seven or eight, they were taught to massage their parents’ and grandparents’ tired bodies after they came home from working in the cornfields. Suffice it to say they know what they’re doing, and you’ll never forget this experience. The Spa can easily handle group massages, 6 to 8 massages all at the same time, perfect for bridal parties or groups of friends traveling together. For hours and appointments call Sandra Dayton at (998) 208 9148 or email her at starseed@prodigy.net.mx.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Every Sunday from mid-December to Easter Sunday, April 12, Leos and all other zodiac signs can take a journey into a world not normally seen by anyone outside the Mayan society in Mexico. The aforementioned Jungle Spa turns into a feast-day marketplace on Sunday mornings at 10:30AM. Wander around and buy native-made chotchkes and delicious Mexican food from nearby residents who are delighted when you attempt to communicate using your high school Spanish on them, as I did. At 11:30am gather round to watch Mayab, Es Mi Tierra, a beautiful dance program telling the story of Mayan life starting with pre-Hispanic times going all the way up to present day. Cultural dances and singing by the native women of the area, dressed in their beautiful hand-painted costumes, will awaken your soul and spirit. The Mayan word for it is TEEXOB – you are me and I am you. The show is presented by Lu’um K’aa nab A.C., a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the local Mayan/Mexican women of Puerto Morelos.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Our Virgo of the Week is Richard Gere, who starred in the remake of Breathless, a role originally made famous by Jean-Paul Belmondo in the 1959 Francois Truffaut classic. Gere’s remake, originally released in 1983, is a beautiful star-crossed love story. Even though his co-star, Valerie Kaprisky, pretty much can’t act her way out of a paper bag, the story doesn’t suffer. Gere is a livewire in this film, at the apex of his sexy magical powers. I include it here because of a scene I’ve never gotten out of my head where he croons to his lover Monica (Kaprisky): Monica Monica Monica Mexico Mexico Mexico (pronounced May-hee-co of course). It’s a typical love on the lam plotline, Gere’s character Jesse shoots a cop and escapes Vegas for L.A. where he meets Monica and hides out with her, after just knowing her for a few days, and he plans to run away to Mexico with her to escape the long arm of the law. I urge you to Netflix it, and the soundtrack is fabulous (Jack Nitzsche, don’t ya know). Take a look at the brilliant final scene here courtesy of YouTube.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Almost nothing delights our Libra friends more than a good book. And there’s nothing better than being able to dip in and out of a great book while you’re on vacation – and having the chance to support yet another great independent bookstore. Alma Libre Bookstore is conveniently located on the town square in Puerto Morelos and sports the largest selection of new and used English books in the entire Yucatan. Robert and Joanne Birce established this wonderful store years ago and it’s a book-lover’s oasis for both English and Spanish titles. While you’re wandering around the beautiful, laid-back, friendly town of Puerto Morelos (recently outed as fabulous by no less than The New York Times), definitely stop in here for a wander around the shelves and I dare you not to find at least one book you have to buy.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Being a Scorpio, you eschew the mundane, the everyday. So if you want a Mexican experience that is out of the ordinary and supremely fascinating, take a tour with Ann Trépanier. Ann, a resident of the Puerto Morelos area for many years, takes small groups on shopping trips in La Colonia. La Colonia is the western side of the fishing village of Puerto, a couple of kilometers inland, where the local people live. Ann will arrange a colorful, interesting walking tour for you of the shops and markets in the area. Sure, take the ferry to Cozumel if you want and get the hard sell and high prices from merchants there. Or, take one of Ann’s tours and support the local economy in this lovely, warm and friendly town. Email her at welovepuertomorelos@yahoo.com to set up a one of a kind experience and tell her Snoop* Du Jour sent you.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
If there is one thing that Sagittarians love, it is beautiful, smart women. ¿es verdad? And since we’re on a Mexican theme this week, I’d like to wax poetic about the lovely, talented, accomplished actress/producer/human rights spokesperson Salma Hayek. Born in 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, Hayek decided to become an actress after seeing the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. She had a brief stint in convent school where she was expelled after setting the nuns’ clocks back by three hours. She’s mostly known in the U.S. as the executive producer of ABC’s hit series Ugly Betty, which she adapted for American TV with Ben Silverman from the Colombian telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea. More recently she’s been seen playing the feisty, muy caliente love interest of Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock. Hayek’s most iconic role is probably that of Santanico Pandemonium in Quentin Tarantino’s 1996 horror film, From Dusk till Dawn. Santanico is the vampire queen and main attraction at the Titty Twister strip club. Her performance in this film is not something you’ll ever forget. She also kicked serious ass as co-producer and star of Frida in 2002, about legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The film was nominated for six Oscars, including that of best actress for Hayek, making her the first Latina to get such a nomination. She’s both beautiful and fierce, and that’s a killer combination. And how can you not love her when you find out she once said: If a man lets all of my dogs sleep in the bed with us, then that is the most romantic thing. You must love my dogs in order to love me. A man who is nice to my animals and doesn’t shoo them away - well, that’s the height of romance.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Not for you, Capricorn, the unplanned vacation, the crazy scheme. You like to know exactly what’s in store for you, the farther in advance the better. So if you like swimming, sunning, eating great food, being pampered with massages and bodywork, shopping, relaxing, doing your bit to boost the local economy, visiting ancient Mayan ruins, hiking, wonderful weather, I have two words for you: Quintana Roo. Quintana Roo is one of Mexico’s 31 states and is located on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. Many of the items in this week’s column are based in this area of Mexico. Quintana Roo also contains the resort city of Cancún, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, the towns of Bacalar, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Juárez, Akumal, Xcalak, and Puerto Morelos, as well as the ancient Mayan ruins of Chacchoben, Chakanbakán, Chamax, Coba, Dzibanché, El Meco, Ichpaatán, Kohunlich, Muyil, Oxtankah, Tancah, Tulum, Tupak, Xel-Há, and Xcaret. All I can say to you is; go there, stay there, and if you’ve lost your way in the world, you’ll find your soul there.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Aquarians are all about supporting a great cause and also having fun. You admire those who have the courage of their convictions and are not afraid to stick their neck out and take a chance. Such a person is Paquita la del Barrio. Her songs, extremely popular in her native country, are mostly concerned with the sexist male culture of Mexico. Paquita’s signature line, which she liberally uses at her concerts to those brave male audience members who attend amongst the women who adore her, is “¿Me estás oyendo, inútil?” (”Are you listening to me, you good-for-nothing?”).  Her songs are fresh and vital and full of social commentary about women’s lives. Enjoy some of her best known tunes here on YouTube: La Mujeres Mandan; Viejo Rabo Verde.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Now if there’s one thing Pisceans have in common, they love good food and drink. One thing you need to know about Mexico; they make the best coffee on the planet, especially when it is made with Mayan chocolate. A steaming cup of coffee, laced with milk, and a disc of Mayan chocolate melted in the cup…..well, there are no words, mi amigos, in either English or Spanish. If you can’t get south of the border, then order a café con leche and hot chocolate in a Mexican restaurant and mix ‘em together. It’s like hot, sweet rocket fuel. ¡Qué bueno!


I wanted to create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space.
~ Joe Meek ~

March 21 - April 19 Aries
The Aries of the Week is Joe Meek, who was a record producer and songwriter posthumously acknowledged as a genius in the area of recorded sound production. Meek was born April 5, 1929 and died in 1967 under strange circumstances (he shot his landlady, then killed himself). But I digress. This guy was way off the hook. His best known work is Telstar by the Tornadoes, which was the first #1 record on American charts by a British group – in 1962. His story is strange and mesmerizing and it’s well worth watching this fascinating BBC Arena documentary about him (split up into 6 parts on youtube): part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6. Perhaps the most insightful comment comes from his brothers: he was an indoor boy and we were outdoor boys. This page has a number of Meek audio clips for your listening pleasure.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
A Taurus of no small stature is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, Queen of England. She’s one of the longest-reigning British monarchs to date, having been crowned in 1952. Read all about this interesting woman, including her early life, her interests, her wardrobe, a typical working day, and how to contact her on the newly redesigned Official Website of the British Monarchy. The site also has a bunch of great photographs and clips such as the Queen’s 21st birthday speech and her radio broadcast from 1940 on The Children’s Hour. “In wishing you all good evening, I feel that I am speaking to friends and companions who have shared with my sister and myself many a happy Children’s Hour,” then-Princess Elizabeth clearly and sweetly elucidates. “My sister is by my side and we are both going to say good night to you,” she closes. For more fun stuff, go to the Royal Channel on YouTube.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Geminis love music and therefore I thought you might enjoy knowing about a very special new website by Pete Harris of Harris Radio. The site is Violin Femmes, dedicated to ladies who play the violin in non-classical genres. The site features photos and information about a bunch of really cool string-pickin’ women from all over the globe. I’m thinking Mr. Harris never sleeps since he also operates GigApple, a calendar of indie music gigs in NYC as well as IndieSounds NY, a monthly publication and blog covering the New York indie music scene. All worthy of your time, so check them out!

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Cancer is the Zodiac’s homebody. You love to feather the nest and just sit back and eat bonbons. Thanks to the internet, you need never leave your house again…yes, it’s true. You can now visit the famed Prado Museum in Madrid – in your jammies, at your computer. The Prado is the first museum to allow its collection to be shown via Google’s mapping technology. Take a cyber-tour to Spain and see amazing, up close, high res views of 14 masterpieces. The paintings include Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch, The Annunciation by Fra Angelico, and Ruben’s Three Graces. Thanks to Google, you can get up close and personal right next to the canvas. Dios mio!

July 23 - August 22 Leo
If you’re a Leo, you’ve got a strong tendency toward liking independent films, documentaries, et cetera, n’est-ce pas? I’ve got an outing for you, oh lion-hearted ones. The 13th Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival is being held on February 27 and 28 in Topeka at the White Concert Hall on the campus of Washburn University. This year, the Festival hosts a restored formerly lost feature film as well as the Kansas premiere of a new documentary about Mary Pickford. Festivities begin Friday night 2/27 at 7pm with a Western double feature. Saturday the 28th Nicholas Eliopoulus will show his Mary Pickford documentary and talk about the film,  as well as take questions from the audience. Full schedule here. Though the festival is free, it’s well worth attending the fundraising dinner Saturday with special guest film preservationist David Shepard.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
You know, whatever else they may say about you Virgo folks, they can’t ever say you don’t have the courage of your convictions. You probably experienced a frisson of sorts when President Obama, in his inaugural speech, acknowledged not only Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, but also non-believers. Not because you’re an atheist or an agnostic – it’s just the principle of the thing. (By the way, this is the first time in history a U.S. President has ever acknowledged that there are in fact non-believers). For the same reason, you’ll find it interesting that England just finished hosting an Atheist Bus Campaign. For several weeks, earlier this year, there were 800 buses trundling around the British Isles with a great big banner reading “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” The campaign was the brainchild of 28 year old TV comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine. More about her here.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Libra
, you urbane thing you. It’s unlikely that you’re aware of the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum so I am going to tell you all about it, thanks to the great folks at RoadsideAmerica.com. This museum came to be because its location, Sparta, Wisconsin, is the Bicycling Capital of America - and Donald Kent “Deke” Slayton, an astronaut on the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975, lived nearby on a farm. Sometimes it just happens like that. The Museum displays Deke’s spacesuit in a glass case, very 2001 (klaatu barada nikto, baby). It also holds a collection of hundreds of bicycles, because it is, after all, the Bicycling Capital of America. These things are, apparently, unrelated.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
If you’re anything like most Scorpios I know, you’ve occasionally had your share of toxic thoughts. And who hasn’t? Family therapist and shaman practioner Sandra Ingerman believes that our thoughts and emotions transmit an invisible energy that can affect mental and physical wellbeing. This interesting article on Beliefnet gives you ten simple ways to protect yourself from negative thoughts, and ways to radiate positive energy. Learn that you don’t have to receive negative energy; this article gives you some real alternatives.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians tend to want things their own way, or the highway. Am I right, archers? Well, here’s something you can have your way: granola. Yes, mix your own, and they’ll ship it right to your door. You can even have it gluten-free! MeandGoji.com will hand mix your cereal from 30 plus all natural and organic ingredients, and ship it to you within a week in their special cereal capsule. The ingredients are healthy foods with vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and like that! Head to the office, classroom, field, court, pool, track, ocean depths or outer space knowing you have prepared your mind and body to perform at its highest level with more energy, sharper focus, and a clean conscience (at least in terms of your breakfast affecting the earth). Also, their cereal bases are lower in calories than regular off-the-shelf cereals and you can monitor the calories and other nutrients as you add each ingredient.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Ambitious, practical, patient Capricorn. You love yourself some history and antiques, and your spirit soars over new books. So therefore when you’re in Topeka for the Silent Film Festival next week, here’s an idea: stop by Topeka’s oldest used bookstore, Dean’s Books. The store has been open since 1973 and has over 80,000 titles shelved by genre and author. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. No megastore this with people working there that don’t know Shakespeare from Snoop Dog. The store is located at 1426 S. Kansas Ave., conveniently close to Washburn University, where you’ll be for the film festival.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
If a movie could have an astrological sign, I think Harold and Maude would be an Aquarius. This film has all the attributes of the water-bearer, I mean by that its way ahead of its time – its original and inventive – and its eccentric. The film was released in 1971 and directed by Hal Ashby. It’s the odd love story of self-destructive, rich, miserable Harold (Bud Cort), and 79 year old free spirited, anarchist Maude (Ruth Gordon). Watch the trailer here. And rent this movie immediately. You’ll be ever so glad you did.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Laissez les bon temps rouler! Cherie, it’s just about time for Mardi Gras, which is next Tuesday February 24Pisces take note. It’s your holiday this year, true dat. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and is the last day of Carnival, the long day of fun prior to Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Celebrated in many Latin countries as well as European ones, even in India, in Slovenia, and of course in New Orleans, Mardi Gras is…well…Ça c’est bon! Read this fascinating historical timeline about how the holiday was established. And if you’re stuck in Le Grand Pomme instead of NOLA this year, here’s a great article full of ideas for where you can get your Cajun groove on.