March 21 - April 19 Aries
Come on down, Aries, and indulge both your sweet tooth and your free-thinking sense of independence and adventure by stopping by the Barackolate Chip Cookie Sale & Voter Registration Table Saturday, September 20 from 11am to 3pm at 112th and Broadway in Manhattan. Me and my peeps will be there, signing up voters (New York state voter registration forms must be postmarked by October 10th in order to vote in the general election) (please check this website to find the deadline for your state) and selling the very latest in Obama buttons. Our table will be located in front of the aptly-named Liberty House, a socially and environmentally conscious women’s and children’s clothing shop which offers organic, natural-fiber items, many designed in places like Nepal and South America.
April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Taureans are known for their love of good food. May I suggest the perfect restaurant – B. Smith’s – conveniently located in New York City’s theater district on restaurant row (46th between 8th and 9th Ave.) as well as in Washington DC’s Union Station and on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. You can’t go wrong here with this global-eclectic menu inspired by Ms. Smith’s interpretations of different world cuisines to create fabulous comfort food. And whatever you do, don’t miss the bread pudding dessert. It’s like going back to the yummiest part of your childhood.
May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Our independent bookstore of the week is Haslam’s, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Those born under the sign of the Twins are articulate, intellectual, and tend towards brilliance. Therefore I suggest you visit Haslam’s the next time you’re down in them thar woods. The store, which began in 1933 as a small used book and magazine store by John and Mary Haslam, is now Florida’s Largest New and Used Bookstore, run by a third generation of the family. Located at 2025 Central Avenue, you can’t miss this huge landmark to the power of the written word.
June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Sometimes a CD comes along that is seamless, not one wrong note in the entire thing, not one song you’d skip when playing it on your iPod. Even though you’ve played said item a hundred million times since its release, it never sounds irrelevant and tired. Such a work is the 1998 release Celebrity Skin by Courtney Love. Ms. Love, a card-carrying Cancer moonchild (July 9), exhibits a classic cancerian trait - a crab like tendency to have a hard exoskeleton but a soft romantic interior. She’s done other fantastic records (her first album, Live Through This, is so good it hurts) but this one is my favorite – it glistens, it gleams, it’s hard, it’s soft. If this had been released in the mid to late 60’s just about every song would have achieved massive radio airplay. Boys On The Radio is a classic 1966 radio hit. My favorite: Dying (Remember; you promised me; I’m dying, I’m dying please - I want to, I need to be / Under your skin). This record deservedly went multi-platinum and aced all kinds of “Best of the Year” kudos in 1998. If you’ve never heard it – download it. If you have it and forgot how great it is – play it.
July 23 - August 22 Leo
Next time your Leo wanderlust makes you yearn to hit the road, consider a trip to Seward’s Folly, AKA our 49th State - Alaska. Alaska is a fairly new addition to our great nation, having achieved statehood on January 3, 1959, at which time it increased the size of the USA by almost 20 percent. More than half of Alaskans live in the Greater Anchorage area. Close to Anchorage is a town that recently became infamous; Wasilla, home of Governor Sarah Palin, known to some as the Drilla from Wasilla. Pony up to the Mocha Moose like a local and order yourself a Sarah, so named because it is her favorite skinny white mocha. The Mocha Moose has been named best coffee/espresso establishment in the region for the past eight years. And they also carry t-shirts (choose from Official Coffee Supplier for Sarah Palin or Wasilla, AK - Where men are men and women are vice president), bumper stickers, and buttons in support of their most famous customer. For some of my thoughts on Alaska’s Governor, click here.
August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Speaking of strong females who have a very well documented religious bent, Hildegard von Bingen’s Feast Day falls in the month of Virgo: September 17, the date of her death in 1179. HVB was a German artist, author, composer, physician, herbalist, philosopher, linguist, naturalist, poet, visionary, and abbess. Her Ordo Virtutum has been named as possibly the origin of opera. She was the recipient of visions from a very young age, and her parents offered her as a tithe to the Church at the age of 8. Later in life, she fought the urge to record her visions, which made her physically ill. She wrote at the time: I didn’t immediately follow this command. Self-doubt made me hesitate. I analyzed others’ opinions of my decision and sifted through my own bad opinions of myself. Finally, one day I discovered I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. Through this illness, God taught me to listen better….These visions weren’t fabricated by my own imagination, nor are they anyone else’s. I saw these when I was in the heavenly places. They are God’s mysteries. These are God’s secrets. I wrote them down because a heavenly voice kept saying to me, ‘See and speak! Hear and write!’
September 23 - October 22 Libra
Even our usually balanced, cheerful, fair-minded Libran friends must be as shell shocked as the rest of us by the recent turn of events on Wall Street. May I refer you to the extremely well researched Dollar Stretcher website (their tagline: living better for less – saving you time and money since 1986). With sections ranging from Green, Family, Home and Auto, and more, this site offers a plethora of money-saving tips that, let’s face it, no matter what your particular financial situation is at the moment, you might benefit from. Featured articles include How I Paid Off My College Debt in a Year and 10 (free) Ways to Improve Your Health.
October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Scorpios can count amongst their ranks the redoubtable Hillary Rodham Clinton, who, no matter what your political affiliation, I think we can all agree kicked some serious ass this year and cemented the Clinton brand forever in our consciousness. Too many women are still so upset at what they perceive as bad treatment of HRC that they are threatening to vote McPalin or – even worse – not at all. My best friend Rose made these awesome t-shirts - inspired by Hillary’s speech at the recent DNC - to spread the message about what is at stake. Quoth Rose, “We don’t have to love Obama. We just have to vote for him! The alternative is unthinkable! Please spread the word.” Sizes available from Small to XL and worldwide shipping is available. Rock the vote as Hillary would want you to!
November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
I’ve got a handful of favorite websites and one of them is The Saint of the Month Club, as previously discussed on this list not long ago. Saintmeister Josh Gosfield weighs in on the USA’s current passion for change. Check out their new post here. You philosophical, erudite Sagittarians will find this of interest. Evaluate the McChange Agent yourself. While you’re here take a look at SaintMorph – takes a few seconds to load but oh so worth it!
December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Capricorn is the very model of patience and perseverance. Their middle name is Discipline. Y’all would dig the fascinating and little known story of Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills, which can be viewed next Tuesday September 23 on the Sundance Channel. For more than 60 years, the fashionable custom-made suits Jack Taylor created for stars like Cary Grant, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Elvis defined Hollywood glamour, status and good taste. Now in his 90s, Taylor remains active and in demand even as he could be called an endangered species in the current era of shoddy workmanship and casual dress. Cecile Leroy Beaulieu’s fascinating documentary profiles the life and times of an outspoken and witty Beverly Hills icon as he discusses his career and commitment to excellence in men’s attire. I’d like to nominate Jack Taylor as celebrity judge on Project Runway for the next menswear challenge. Man, would he whip those brats into shape! Full disclosure: I did the photo research & clearances for this film. And it’s fabulous!
January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Following last week’s story about Skye Denno, the punk rock deacon lager-drinking mom of two, I now bring you The First Lutheran Chuch of Punk, located in – I am not kidding here – Throgs Neck, New York. Once a month, Bronx Underground sponsors a concert in the church basement featuring up and coming bands of the goth, punk, ska, and hardcore ilk. It’s so popular it landed a piece in The New York Times. A group of kids with all the trappings of black clothes, piercings, and copious eye makeup jam the place and transport themselves to a place redolent with the smell of Christian teen spirit. Most attendees are in the adolescent netherworld which draws one to go out and party, but not old enough to go to a bar. Gives a whole new meaning to Jesus being the Rock, n’est-ce pas?
February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Pisces…..your traits of sensitivity and intuition can sometimes trend towards addictive behaviors and relationships that have a tendency to drain your energy rather than replenish it. With that in mind, you’re probably the best possible target for a vampire, so watch out. If the world presented by TrueBlood, HBO’s new Sunday night series, was real, you’d be in serious trouble. The series is based on the premise that vampires are legal in our society. The plot centers on Sookie (played by Anna Pacquin), a small town waitress who can read people’s thoughts. Best character: Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), Sookie’s cynical, wise-cracking best friend since childhood. And then there’s Bill (Stephen Moyer), the handsome yet creepy 173 year old vampire who one day just shows up in Sookie’s bar and captures her heart. Not since Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows has a TV vampire on been so sexy.