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Archive for June 2008

March 21 - April 19 Aries
The Video Beat! is just about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. This web site specializes in 1950’s and 1960’s movies and TV shows. 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! I can hardly think of a place that deserves your hard-earned money more than this one. 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. On the new titles list: 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 visits Sunset Strip nightspots including the Haunted House. They just don’t make television like this anymore.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
We lost one of our greatest Taurean minds recently: the man the New York Times called “your outrageous beatnik uncle,” George Carlin. Carlin shuffled off this mortal coil last weekend at the age of 71. Celebrate his cranky twisted genius with the mega box set All My Stuff, released last year to commemorate his 50th year in showbiz. It includes 30 years of his HBO Comedy Specials, plus interviews, plus a lot more. This is the man who said, “The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music.” Check out his incredible Tribute to Modern Man. Read Jerry Seinfeld’s splendid commentary on Carlin’s life from the New York Times. Said Seinfeld: As a kid it seemed like the whole world was funny because of George Carlin. His performing voice, even laced with profanity, always sounded as if he were trying to amuse a child. It was like the naughtiest, most fun grown-up you ever met was reading you a bedtime story.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
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
I can’t think of a better way to spend Independence Day than going to see Alex Gibney’s new film, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, opening July 4th. This work, narrated by Johnny Depp speaking the words of Thompson from his own writings, is said to be the definitive biography of the man who Tom Wolfe called “the century’s greatest comic writer.” The press release says: Fueled by a raging libido, Wild Turkey and superhuman doses of drugs, Thompson was a true “free lance”: goring sacred cows with impunity, hilarity and a steel-eyed conviction for writing wrongs. I had the honor of meeting Dr. Thompson on the first day of a new job I had straight out of college. He was a speaker at Salem State college and the gig had been arranged by my boss. We accompanied HST in a stretch limo (my first limo ride ever) to the campus. On the way there we stopped for directions at a strip mall. As the driver got out, Dr. T noticed that there was a package goods store in front of us. He growled so low only I could hear him “It’s a sin against God to pass a liquor store.” He had ingested mass quantities of liquor and drugs to prepare for the speech and was completely lucid and clear as the proverbial bell.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Roasted cauliflower. A taste treat that cannot be beat. Try it even if you hate cauliflower because once you roast it with a soupcon of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, you won’t believe how amazing it tastes. I could eat it like candy. I am told you can add garlic and fresh lemon for even better yummification. Manga!

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
There are spas and there are spas. But there’s only one Kabuki Hot Springs, located in the Fillmore district of San Francisco. To say this place is a bargain would be a tremendous understatement. It’s open to men Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Women only days are Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Tuesday is the only co-ed day. Modeled after a classic Japanese public bath house, facilities include a hot pool, cold plunge, dry sauna, and steam room. Relaxation is, quite simply, the only option. They also provide massages and other spa services, and I had one of the best massages of my life here.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
And speaking of relaxation, I would like to clue you in to Svaroopa (AKA Bliss) Yoga, my yoga of choice. Yoga Journal wrote “This style of yoga teaches different ways of doing familiar poses, emphasizing the opening of the spine by beginning at the tailbone and progressing through each spinal area. Every pose integrates the foundational principles of asana, anatomy, and yoga philosophy, and emphasizes the development of transcendent inner experience, which is called svaroopa by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. This is a consciousness-oriented yoga that also promotes healing and transformation.” Find a teacher on their web site. You’ll never feel the same way about yoga after taking one of these classes.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Propeller Island City Lodge is a habitable work of art in the heart of Berlin. Each room is different and each room is a complete experience unto itself. The web site has photos and descriptions of them all. ‘Repeating nothing and copying nothing’ are the guiding principles here as stated by German artist Lars Stroschen. Some favorites of mine - The Symbol Room; Created entirely from 300 square wooden plates, this black and white room incites and excites the imagination to ponder the meaning of the one symbol or other; The Castle Room - in which guests slumber in the midst of a gigantic, colourful wooden fortress, between dwellings harbouring both wardrobe and desk; The Upside-Down Room - the furnishings hang from the ceiling and you sleep and sit in comfortable boxes beneath the floorboards. Uncannily surreal!; The Chicken Curry Room - An exceptionally bright and empty room with gigantic lighting boxes and roll-out backdrops. The bed is located in the floor, beneath a ‘garage gate’. This hotel is worth a trip to Berlin in itself.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Cat lovers everywhere ~ align your spaceship to reach the delightful destination Planet Cat. Acclaimed publishing power duo Sandy and Harry Choron along with author/pet expert Arden Moore collaborated on this tome which provides hours of fun for those who trend towards the feline things in life. From a list of Hemingway’s cats to human habits that drive cats crazy to how cats changed the course of history and hundreds more great lists and articles; this book is, quite simply stated, the (ahem) cat’s pajamas.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Let us say a prayer to thank the Universe for Ray Davies. A few weeks ago I went to see the ultra-fabulous Losers Lounge pay tribute to the Kinks and it was so totally awesome that I had to go back a second night to see it again. I had forgotten (silly me) about all those wonderful songs. I mean!!!!: Tired of Waiting, Set Me Free, See My Friends, Lola, Celluloid Heroes, Waterloo Sunset, Apeman, Stop Your Sobbing, Days! No less an authority than Pete Townshend once said that Davies should be the poet laureate of England. Remind me again why these guys never had the success in America that they should have? Because I truly truly do not get it. Buy every Kinks record - and all Ray’s solo stuff. That’s an order.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
You will never forget Prudence Sarn after reading Mary Webb’s 1924 classic novel Precious Bane. The story of Prudence and her brother Gideon, Gideon’s intended bride Jancis Beguildy, the intuitive weaver Kester Woodseaves, and more are illumined by Webb’s glorious prose. Check out this description of a location near her home: There’s a discouragement about the place. It may be the water  lapping, year in and year out–everywhere you look and listen, water; or the big trees waiting and considering on your right hand and on your left; or the unbreathing quiet of the place, as if it was created but an hour gone, and not created for us.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
The city of Philadelphia was my high school playground back in the 70’s. I used to tryst with my BF in places like the giant heart at the Franklin Institute and the spooky Mütter Museum. The latter was founded by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia to educate future doctors about anatomy and human medical anomalies. The collection, started in 1858 by Thomas Dent Mütter, retired Professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College, now features over 20,000 unforgettable objects including the plaster cast of the torso of world-famous Siamese Twins, Chang & Eng and their conjoined livers, and the preserved cancerous growth removed from President Grover Cleveland.

March 21 - April 19 Aries
If you’re anything like me, nothing delights you more than a huge Jesus head appearing in the middle of nowhere along the boring nothingness of Route I-75 close to Cincinnati. This is the location of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. Word has it that the statue of Christ’s head and hands reaching up to the sky has been submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Christ. The statue presides over a gargantuan cross and a very large peaceful baptismal pool. You really have to see it to believe it.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
All I kept thinking during this week of trying to make sense of losing Tim Russert was oh no, and now he will not know who wins the General Election. I can’t think of a worse fate for this incredibly gifted newsman. His untimely death was a complete sucker punch in the soul to me and everyone else that I know. And Bruce Springsteen had a few well chosen words on the subject as well as a song.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
We’re right on the cusp of the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year. This signals the pagan holiday of Midsummer’s Eve. Go all Swedish and mark the occasion with boiled new potatoes and fresh dill, grilled meat or fish, and strawberries. It is said that young girls should pick flowers for under their pillow on Midsummer’s Eve and their future husbands will appear to them in a dream.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
On July 18 Nelson Mandela will be 90 years of age. That’s totally KIF! Wish him a happy birthday by signing this card. I remember watching Mandela’s first steps out of jail on global live television in 1990 in complete and utter shock and disbelief that this man was finally free. He was later elected President of the country that had kept him prisoner, South Africa. Mandela once said: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Alice Austen was a photographer from the age of 10 almost until she died at the age of 85 in 1952. She took amazing, stunningly beautiful photos of her family and surroundings as well as contemporary life in New York City. In the later years of her life, the family fortune after the stock market crash of 1929 had dwindled so grievously that she had to declare herself a pauper. Her photographs were discovered and published in Life Magazine and the money enabled her to live her last years in a nursing home. Now her childhood home is a national historic landmark on Staten Island.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
If you’re like me and sometimes require the companionship of an iPod during mundane tasks like waiting in line at the bank, it’s all about the headphones apparently. And thanks to Stock Footage Goddess & Starbucks Employee of the Week Melinda, I now am in possession of Koss ‘plug’ stereophones. And simply put: you need them. They’re not even as much as $25 and they really bring the music on home, up close and personal.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
This must be the Ohio edition. I need to tell you about the Quaker Square Inn in Akron, which has a secret connection to a very special Libra that I know (not telling). The structure was formerly mills and silos used by the Quaker Oats Company back at the turn of the century. Every room in the hotel is totally round and the silos are 120 feet tall and 24 feet in diameter. You can view photos on their website but to really see how cool it is you have got to go there in person.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Due to the writers strike, we won’t be getting with Jack Bauer until much later this year. God, don’t you miss him? His one dimensional acting, his manic intensity, the time he took a bite out of a guy’s ear, the certainty that whatever happened next it would be so much worse than you could even imagine, and dare I even mention Chloe?? The bitchiest, bitchenest IT genius with a soft marshmallow heart that you could ever conjure up. Remember when she was hiding the baby at her desk? If you’re a 24-head from the beginning you’ll remember well the old intros: Right now I’m <insert horrible situation here> and <insert horrible outcome here>. I’m Federal Agent Jack Bauer and this is the longest day of my life. So now go to 24 dreaming and you can generate zany versions of that classic open by refreshing the page. For instance: I’m Federal Agent Jack Bauer and this is the most defibrillating banshee of my life.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Chick-O-Stick. Bottle Caps. Necco Wafers. Sugar Daddy. Need I say more. Yes, you can still find all these and more at the outrageously addictive website Groovy Candies. This is the best gift in the history of the world: to rediscover the candy of your childhood. Go ahead and tell me I’m wrong.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Celebrate Elvis Presley by visiting Elvisly Yours. It’s a shop in London where you can buy all things Elvis.  You know you need a talking Elvis Clock. Honestly, we really all do. You can also send Elvis greeting cards to your friends for free through the site. Coming soon: Elvis Duvets. Check out Gary “Pig” Gold’s list of the top ten reasons why Elvis rules. All Hail The King!

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Two words: Genya Ravan. There really is not enough room here to explain how incredible this woman is. Read her bio Lollipop Lounge where you’ll find out her amazing story from holocaust survivor to leading the first all-female band Goldie and the Gingerbreads and touring Europe with the creme de la creme of the British Invasion to being the first female record producer hired by a major label. And then go straight to the download site of your choice and download the heart stopping ballad Junkman where she duets with the formidable Ian Hunter. And there’s a lot more where that came from. Oh yeah and did I mention she now has her own radio show from 10pm to midnight the first Friday of every month on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 25 (Little Steven’s Underground Garage). And she takes requests!

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Let’s pretend that it’s story time and I’ll tell a tale to you, I’ll tell you a story of make believe and all your dreams will come true. And when the story’s over and when we reach the end, we’ll live happily ever after where? In the Land of Let’s Pretend.
Those lyrics were sung every afternoon on Gene London’s TV show Cartoon Corners, a children’s show broadcast on local TV in Philadelphia from 1959 to 1977. Gene played a store clerk in a general store who had an evil, stingy boss. Of course Gene was in love with the boss’ beautiful daughter. After the TV show was cancelled London became a dress designer and owned a collection of incredible Hollywood movie costumes. Sometime in the early 1980’s my compatriot Dayle and I (who had both been guests on the TV show as children) went to his store in Manhattan so we could meet this man who we had both had a raging crush on when we were eight years old.

Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star
And everybody’s in show biz, it doesn’t matter who you are.
And those who are successful,
Be always on your guard,
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard.
- Ray Davies, Celluloid Heroes

there was a kid in my high school who used to always tell me that Ray Davies was a genius. i passively agreed and didn’t think much about it until this weekend when i went to see the redoubtable Joe McGinty and his gang of thieves AKA the Losers Lounge pay tribute to the Kinks. not once. twice. yes, i went back a second night because the first night woke me up to the fact that yes, Ray Davies is a genius.

allow me to quote Pete Townshend on this subject:
I always think that Ray Davies should one day be Poet Laureate. He invented a new kind of poetry and a new kind of language for Pop writing that influenced me from the very, very, very beginning.

it’s such a shame that the Kinks were and even now are so under appreciated, which i can only chalk up to their quintessential Britishness. they never quite leapt into American hearts and minds the way the Beatles and the Who did. but oh man, what a catalogue!

Tired of Waiting………Sunny Afternoon…….Waterloo Sunset……Days…..Apeman…..Set Me Free…..Who Will Be The Next in Line…….Lola…….David Watts…..See My Friends…..I Go To Sleep…..Stop Your Sobbing…..Living On A Thin Line….. just SOME of the amazing songs they have given us.

go here now and then get yourself to iTunes and BUY EVERYTHING BY THE KINKS.

March 21 - April 19 Aries
Zut alors! It’s been - count ‘em - three months this weekend since I first got bit by the horoscoop* bug in March. Gentle readers, I’ve really come to love doing this and I welcome your comments and suggestions for future columns. Now I just have to figure out a way to make this labor of love lucrative. Again, your input is welcomed on that point as well.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
You have three more days (and it’s open 24 hours a day) to view The Telectroscope, an extraordinary optical device that visually connects New York and London through a tunnel beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Harry Potter step aside, this is the real thing: the stuff dreams are made of. In this case, the dreams of Alexander Stanhope St. George - an eccentric British engineer in the Victorian age. His great-grandson Paul found notes in an old trunk in his grandmother’s attic which explained St. George’s plan to build what he called a ‘device for the suppression of absence.’ So the story goes. This is your chance to wave to people on the other side of the world - in real time.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Sunday June 15 is Father’s Day and I urge you to reach out and tell your father you love him, if you’re lucky enough to have him alive in the world. This will be my first Father’s Day since my dad passed on last July and I would give anything to tell him Happy Father’s Day one more time.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Spare a thought for Richard J. Hollingshead Jr., the brilliant inventor of the drive-in theater in Camden New Jersey (of course, where else?). The very first drive-in theater opened on June 6, 1933 and in their heyday (1950’s and 1960’s) there were about 5,000 of them in the United States enabling teenagers to get all hot and bothered inside the safety of a parked car. Wired Magazine has a great piece about all this which includes an awesome gallery of photos of some of the 500 or so drive-ins that still exist today.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Today’s the day, Leo. You can be the change you want to see in the world by signing a petition to put the Monkees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame where they rightfully belong. They were eligible for induction a decade ago. Did you know…that in 1967 they sold more records than the Beatles and the Stones - combined? That Mickey Dolenz owned one of the first three Moog Synthesizers ever sold, and that the first album to feature this instrument was by the Monkees? That their only movie, Head, is one of the strangest movies ever made and well worth seeking out and watching if you’ve never seen it? That Mike Nesmith invented MTV but never really got the credit (and certainly did not get the money) for doing so?

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Download of the week is John Prine’s achingly beautiful It’s A Big Old Goofy World. Prine is a national treasure; he brought us unforgettable iconic songs like Angel From Montgomery, Illegal Smile, Sam Stone, Hello In There. This one came a lot later and is from the great collection The Missing Years. But it’s sweet and glorious and fumbling and honest just like all of his best work. And ooh baby, it’s a big old goofy world.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Need a special gift for that special someone? How about Kama Sutra Chocolates. You’ve never seen anything quite like them, I can guarandamntee ya. Overnight Shipping is recommended because you sure don’t want these to arrive in broken pieces.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Something is missing. You know it. I know it. What in the sam hill is it? It’s been only a week since the drama that was the long long road to the democratic nomination drew to a close ~ is that it? Or is it, perhaps, weather that didn’t make you sweat like a stevedore? Or could it be…yes…I think it is Wainy Days, one man’s absurdly hilarious quest for love and sex in the big city. Damn! You’re in luck. Season 3 of David Wain’s award-winning smash internet hit series starts this coming Monday, June 16 on My Damn Channel. Set your alarm NOW for Monday morning.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
It being prom season & all puts me in mind of one of my favorite teenage angst films ever, Splendor in the Grass. Directed by Elia Kazan, written by William Inge, and starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. Just check out the tag lines they used for this classic in 1961: A LOVE STORY UNLIKE ANY OTHERS!! It’s unrelenting moments, its tragedies and splendors! There is a miracle in being young…and a fear. Bud (WB) and Deanie (NW) are terribly, terribly in love in 1920’s Kansas. Societal pressures force them apart via sexual obsession and madness. The movie’s title comes from a Wordsworth poem which is read during a high school English class by Deanie before she completely loses it. OMG they just don’t make movies like this anymore ~ alas!

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
A friend of mine once diverted a cross country business trip to stop in San Francisco just to dine at the family-owned Vietnamese restaurant Thanh Long and having been there myself, I can understand that. It’s worth a trip to San Fran just for the signature dishes of Roasted Crab and Garlic Noodles with Tiger Prawns. Be warned; it’s nowhere near downtown but well worth the ride.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” In that spirit, have a look at this list of the most unusual buildings in the world. There’s the Crooked House in Poland - the Dancing House in Prague - there’s even a really bizarre one in (of course) Florida.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Portland, Oregon
is chockablock with interesting places and one of its crown jewels is Powell’s Books. You can have your Borders and your Barnes & Nobles and your Amazons, I’ll take this place hands down. You could spend hours, days and weeks in here and you’d still never take it all in. The Seattle Times called it ‘probably the world’s greatest bookstore.’ When you enter, they give you a map because it’s the size of a warehouse - yet it still feels homey and intimate. And their entire inventory is available on the web.

first there is a car commercial, then there is no car commercial, then there is

March 21 - April 19 Aries
Get thee to the Bow of June Yummy List by Holly Gleason. The incredible HG has outdone herself this time. Fall into this edition of the Y.L. like it was a deep, soft easy chair and the roaring storm winds outside are making you feel even safer and sounder while you read. This time Gleason pays tribute to Bo Diddley and YSL and rhapsodizes on chestnut spread, Teen Vogue, 70’s PBS showcase Soundstage, Mexican food in Cleveland, et de plus en plus. Here’s a taste: There is the dry tang of hibiscus, slightly herby, yet engaging to the palette. There is the cool freshness of mint. When you mingle the two with water and time, you get a complex iced tea that stands out on a hot summer day. Go here and slake your thirst for amazing prose. I wanna be Holly Gleason when I grow up.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
It’s time to rock, O Best Beloved. This weekend you can catch the Pride of Pittsburgh, The Cynics, currently on the road with Mudhoney. Friday night they’re in Cambridge, Mass. and Saturday night they make the New York City scene at the Highline Ballroom. Dates in Lancaster, Pa. and Washington D.C. follow next week. Their newest album, Here We Are, is now available on both CD and 180-gram LP on Get Hip. I believe it to be the best they’ve ever done. The magical team of Kastelic & Kostelich and gang are the real deal - they’ve been legendary Garage Rock Royalty for over 20 years.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Spend your “weekend” 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, Mother of a Quadrillion Obsessions.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Have you cottoned to Joel McHale and The Soup yet? Hear me now and believe me later: tonight and every Friday night at 10pm, get to a television set and tune in the E! Channel. You too can be watercooler-ready with every sick, squirrely moment that took place in pop culture this week for an investment of only 30 minutes a week. From Tyra to Tila and everything in between, this show is genius.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
If you’re lucky enough to live in New York City ~ the greatest city in the world ~ and you want a taste sensation that can’t be beat, get over to Babycakes NYC. Located at 248 Broome Street between Orchard & Ludlow, it’s teeny-tiny and absofreakinlutely delish. Yes, indulge in cupcakes, scones, brownies, cinnamon buns, tea cakes and more - all vegan and free from refined sugar. For those avoiding gluten (that would be, eh, moi) you can live like a human being here with many gluten-free choices; others can enjoy yummies made with spelt. Heaven on the Lower East Side. With a low glycemic index!

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Send a message, Subterranean Homesick Blues style, from Bob Dylan’s official website. You can literally write anything in 10 cards or less and have your own words held up in a flash movie by the 1965 version of Bob Dylan sent to as many people as you like (Allen Ginsberg included).

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Hearts of Space started out as a late night radio show in 1973 locally in San Francisco. Ten years later it went national on public radio and spawned a record label in 1984. Now, thanks to the magic of the internet, HOS is available 24/7 to everyone everywhere. From their website: … each one hour show is an uninterrupted musical journey, designed to create a relaxed but concentrated ambience. Slow-paced, space-creating music from many cultures — ancient bell meditations, classical adagios, creative space jazz, and the latest electronic and acoustic ambient music are woven into a seamless sequence unified by sound, emotion, and spatial imagery.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
For this week’s download, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you McGough & McGear. That would be Roger McGough (one of Britain’s best loved poets) and Michael McGear (nee McCartney, yes, Paul’s bro). This album was released in 1968 and is - amazingly - available on iTunes in its delightful entirety. So I locked the door - and I threw away the key - and I spent Summer with Monika - and she spent summer with me. (c. Roger McGough) McGough’s poetry lies snugly side by side with power pop and psychedelia on this, a mostly undiscovered gem featuring luminaries like Jimi Hendrix, Jack Bruce, Graham Nash, Spencer Davis and Dave Mason. Dig in to the meaty beaty big & bouncy So Much In Love and Ex-Art Student.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Didn’t you want to run away and join the circus when you were a kid? This book is almost as good. Water for Elephants: A Novel is the story of a young man who, through a series of sad circumstances, ends up as the resident veterinarian for a traveling circus during the Great Depression. Author Sara Gruen’s impeccable research into this murky world is truly spectacular. You’ll be haunted by this story.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
We lost a legendary Capricorn this week at the grand old age of 79, Elias McDaniel AKA Bo Diddley. This man was one of the architects of modern music. A few sentences aren’t nearly enough to describe him and his contribution to the world. View a slice of his genius here. Nothing can even come close to these amazing lyrics he penned in 1956: I walk 47 miles of barbed wire, I use a cobra-snake for a necktie, I got a brand new house on the roadside made from rattlesnake hide, I got a brand new chimney made on top made out of a human skull, Now come on take a walk with me, Arlene, and tell me, who do you love?

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
How much is gas these days? Are we up yet to $5.00 per gallon? Well here’s a trip worth filling up the tank, I give you Dinosaur Land. Located in the verdant Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, this place looks like hours of fun. As their website whimsically states: Step into the world of the prehistoric past, where visitors can turn back the pages of time to the Mesozoic era, where dinosaurs were the only creatures that roamed the earth.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Send someone a someecard. These are not your parent’s ecards, you’d best believe. From the political (I have faith that in our lifetime we will see a woman president taken down by a sex scandal) to the pedestrian (Summer has snuck up once again on me and my giant ass), if you’re anything like me (and if you’re reading this, you must be) you’ll hoot ‘n’ holler over these inbox goodies. Send one, send a bunch, they’re all hysterical and they’re all free!

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.
~ Senator Barack Obama, June 3, 2008