March 21 - April 19 Aries
You’re a mover and a shaker. Enthusiastic, adventurous, a true pioneer. You’re not one to let the most important election of our lives go by without casting a ballot. Yes, we all have a civic duty to enact on Tuesday, November 4th. Make sure you’re all set for this date with destiny by checking here. This site will give you the lowdown on whether you are registered and tell you where your polling place is. Be certain to have your voice heard in this election, no matter where you live. It’s incredibly important that we all weigh in on this one and act like the democracy we’re supposed to be.
April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Taureans adore rituals and have a deep spiritual streak. In case you weren’t aware, a few weeks ago a new kumari (living goddess) was appointed in Katmandu. The child, 3 year old Matani Shakya, was so named by Hindu and Buddhist priests and Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav. She will be worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists as a direct incarnation of the Hindu deity Taleju until she begins to menstruate, at which time she will leave the temple where she now resides to go back to live with her family. While she is regarded as a kumari, she must always be dressed in the color red and exhibit a painted third eye on her forehead. This tradition dates back many centuries.
May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Being Gemini, you have an insatiable need to know everything. You crave information, you eat it for breakfast. You need to have all your proverbial ducks in a row. Well, if you’re a Gemini mom-to-be, I’ve got just the website for you. Check out nameberry; baby name experts Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz recently launched this incredible resource for anyone researching baby names. Search through over 50,000 boy and girl names and meanings culled from the Satran/Rosenkrantz’ bestselling baby name books. Cool name lists, popular, unusual and unique names, plus the latest naming news and expert advice – all here. Latest celebrity babies? Listed here. Spiritual names? Stylish names? Supermodel names? Biblical place names? All here. I have to agree with the website’s claim – it’s pregnant with possibilities!
June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Our independent bookstore of the week is An Open Book in Greeley, Colorado, which I chose because it’s located in a swing state. Being a Cancer moonchild, you’re all about a cozy atmosphere, which An Open Book is known for. The owner, Ann M. Lacefield, is a retired teacher with many ties to the local community. The store offers personalized service in finding the right book for you, a Book Club with a 20% discount, monthly events for both children and adults, a Young Readers’ Loyalty Program, and more. There’s even a Mother/Daughter Book Club that meets on the last Saturday of every month from 2 to 3pm.
July 23 - August 22 Leo
The download of the week was chosen specifically with Leo in mind. It’s my favorite BeeGees song ever, Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You. If you’ve heard of it, I’ll eat my hat (unless you happen to be the lead singer of the Chesterfield Kings, that is). Released in 1967 as the flip slide of the hit single Holiday, it was included on the album Bee Gee’s 1st. The album cover, designed by Klaus Voorman, is the height of freaky psychedelia. The lyrics are beyond bizarre; it’s obvious that the Brothers Gibb were ingesting some sort of hallucinatory agent (Oh solo Dominique…Don’t walk so tall – before you crawl – for every child – is thinking of something wild). It sounds like Marilyn Manson crawled into a time machine and emerged in the beating technicolor heart of the Swinging Sixties on Carnaby Street. Listen to it here.
August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Mayhap every Puritan could have been a Virgo; straight-laced, critical, detail-oriented to the degree of …um… obsession. Sarah Vowell breaks it all down for us in her new book The Wordy Shipmates. Marrying serious research to the zing of pop culture, Vowell opens the book with Reverend James Cotton’s sermon in 1630 to passengers about to set sail for the New World. She calls Cotton the smartest man in England and notes that ‘Getting him to bless the send-off would be like scoring Nelson Mandela to deliver the commencement address at the neighbor kid’s eighth grade graduation.’ You get the drift. Vowell, a social observer, is a regular contributor to Public Radio International’s This American Life. She has frequently appeared on The Daily Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
September 23 - October 22 Libra
Librans love beautiful jewelry, it’s a known and well documented fact. Get your religious groove on with SaintsforSinners, Rob Clemenz’ stunning, one-of-a-kind Saints serenity medals, imported from Italy and hand-painted in New Orleans. They come to you with a greeting card and beaded chain for wearing. Says Rob, ‘The stories are a little off beat but most are historically accurate, though I do tend to stray or stretch the facts a bit every now and then so I can try and reach as many folks as possible to provide serenity … for sharing!’ Rob even provides same day shipping in case you want to order one pronto for special Election Day blessings!
October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
You eschew being pinned down and analyzed. Being a Scorpio, you’re intense, full of mysteries, and very very resourceful. It’s possible you already know that Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibi now has a blog, Taibi Unbound. And not a moment too soon. Taibi’s pen is – doubt me not – mightier than a sword –and woe betide ye if you’re the subject matter. To wit: ‘Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she’s the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.’ This from his manifesto on Palin’s speech at the RNC, Mad Dog Palin. Taibi is my new favorite writer. Witness his first blog post: ‘… Blogger. What a horrible word. It has such an awful, dirty, biological sound to it. The words it reminds me of are words like felch, belch, bilge, log, globes and rubber. It sounds like belching log-rubber. And now I am one. I feel sick.‘ Thank you Rolling Stone for giving this man his very own bitching post on the world wide web.
November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians are wholeheartedly curious about everything and everyone. They seek adventure. They’re party animals. And they’re endlessly fascinated by old slang terms. Check out A Hepcat’s Guide to 50’s Slang Terms. Literally hours of fun. Funsville, I mean – according to this site, to qualify as slang of this particular era, most words can be padded out just by adding the phrase ‘ville’ to them – e.g. coolsville, deadsville, squaresville, weirdsville, etc. All the flat top cats and the dungaree dolls are headed to the gym for the sock hop ball (quoth Buddy Holly). There’s even a whole page here dedicated to just the slang used by Edd ‘Kookie’ Byrnes in 77 Sunset Strip. For instance: antsville – a place full of people; front burner – current crisis; and smog in the noggin’ – memory loss.
December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
One of my favorite Capricorns, Harry Shearer, will be bringing his merry band, The High-Value Detainees, to Gotham City Saturday November 1st. The location is the 92nd Street Y-Tribeca at 200 Hudson Street and if you hurry you can still grab tix. Author, director, satirist, musician, radio host (the weekly Le Show which has been on the air for well over 20 years – on NPR, XM, and podcast), playwright, multi-media artist, record label owner, voice of many Simpsons characters, founding member of Spinal Tap, and channelmeister over at My Damn Channel – check out his ode to La Palin Bridge to Nowhere and the final item of his Silent Debates Series. And make sure you’re not drinking any liquids, because they might come out your nose while watching these vids. The tour will also take in Seattle (Dec. 2 and 3), LA (Dec 5 and 6), Evanston IL (Dec 11), Sellersville PA (Dec 16), and New Orleans (Dec 20).
January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
The bar of the week (the first of an intermittent series) is Puck Fair, a revisionist Irish pub located directly across from the Puck Building just south of Houston Street in lower Manhattan. Aquarians, at once intellectual and charismatic, will enjoy the very swinging atmosphere of this awesome watering hole. New York Magazine said ‘From above, Puck Fair’s sleek neo-rustica looks like the bar in The Shining somehow transported to Tolkien’s Middle Earth.’ Also, couldja ask for more, the ciders, ales, beers and stout are kept at the best possible temperatures for their delicate ingredients. The food rocks too; mini burgers, bangers and mash, fish and chips, etc.
February 19 - March 20 Pisces
You tend towards escapism and the current financial crisis has you burrowing under the covers hoping it’s all a bad dream. Alas, it’s not. But get on the good foot and investigate the Palace of Depression in Vineland, NJ. If nothing else you’ll be completely fascinated by the story of this bizarre castle built in 1932 by George Daynor. Daynor claimed to have struck gold in Alaska and then lost his entire fortune in the crash of 1929. Somehow he made his way to New Jersey and bought four acres for four dollars in Vineland, after which he built this structure from the ground up. It was destroyed by fire in the 1960’s but is now in the process of being rebuilt. Amazing photos of the original palace are here.