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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.

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This post has 1 comment. Add your own.
Lauren - 05 Apr 09 at 17:43:30

So did Jerry Levitan ask John why he used “walrus” (these are necessary quotation marks, BTW), and does he tell us in his book?