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March 21 - April 19 Aries
One of the best books I’ve ever read about growing up and friendship is writer/cartoonist Lynda Barry’s The Good Times Are Killing Me. Track it down and fall into its spell. No one comes close to LB when it comes to describing adolescence like you’re still right there in it. Entertainment Weekly appropriately called her “America’s leading cartoon artist of childhood angst.” Last weekend The New York Times did a feature about her (including a fabulous interactive element about her writing process) because she just published a new book called What It Is. Also the glorious news was revealed that she teaches writing workshops (titled Writing the Unthinkable) and promotes them via her MySpace page. See you at Omega in July!

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Celebrate the birth of Joey Ramone, who would have been 57 on Monday May 19. Joey was taken from us far too soon, and we loved him dearly. If you’re in Gotham City, head on over to Irving Plaza Monday night and shimmy-shimmy-koko-bop in Joey’s honor at the annual Joey Ramone Birthday Show. This year the performers include Mary Weiss (swoon; former lead singer of the Shangri La’s), Richard Lloyd, Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom, Jesse Malin, and Cheetah Chrome. The bash starts at 7pm.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me. xoxo, Gossip Girl. Monday night May 19 when you’re at the Joey Ramone Birthday Show, make sure to set your DVR to catch the season finale of the most delicious teenage soap opera ever conceived, Gossip Girl. Talk about reliving the adolescence that most of us never had. And if you don’t understand why you should care, read the fantastic piece in New York Magazine about the show. Hurry up and get on this train before it leaves the station. (Don’t expect to see the GG characters on the train though, they’re in a limo drinking chocolatinis.)

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Something’s missing, and has been for a long time. You know it, I know it, and the world knows it. You need the accessory of champions - the HiFi Bag. Mover & Shaker Jill Sternheimer has been creating these groovy bags for years and you need one. Trust me on this. The bags are made from actual record covers and are suitable for both sexes to carry around the weight of the world, in style. Jill also makes HiFi Pocketbooks and Surrealistic HiFi Pillows.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Download of the Week, since it is Spring (finally), is Joan Armatrading’s exquisite masterpiece Love and Affection from her 1976 self-titled album. Her voice is rich and deep like hot chocolate or mahogany. Oh Lord, just crank this one up and close your eyes and sway. Sing it sing it sing it sing it (once more with feeling).

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
You need Sangria. It’s been obvious for some time. If you’re in New York City, I have just the place for you. Cafe Andalucia, located in the shadow of Port Authority on 9th Ave. between 39th and 40th Streets. Honestly, the best - THE BEST skirt steak I’ve ever had in this burg can be found here. Have it with a side salad (to die for), or indulge in the many succulent tapas on the menu. Then there’s the paella. And the Irish coffee. This tiny hole in the wall is something out of a Jack Kerouac novel, from a New York whose time has mostly ended. Tell Guillermo (the owner and chef) that Holly sent you.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
. It was a foreign language to me until I read (with great relish and fascination) One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation by Washington Post sports writer Liz Clarke. Clarke has been covering this beat for over 15 years and knows it inside and out. This book reads like a novel, the way all the best nonfiction should. It’s the American Dream come to life. From the sport’s beginning with dirt tracks in the deep south where souped up cars raced far away from the prying eyes of local law enforcement and drivers tinkered on their own sedans to compete, to the latter days of multi-million dollar speedways and primetime racing on television, to the sea change as NASCAR’s original sponsor (cigarette maker RJ Reynolds) stepped aside to make way for more family-friendly advertising and an even wider audience on the world stage. Talk about drama! Talk about pathos! It’s all here, and makes for a great read.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Explore the spooky beautiful photography of O. Winston Link, best known for his photos of American steam locomotives in the late 50’s. In addition to these images he also made sound recordings of the trains and released these on a series of six records called Sounds of Steam Railroading. The O. Winston Link Museum opened in 2004 in Roanoke, Virginia, in the original passenger station of the N&W Railway which was the focus of most of his rail photos. Check out Hotshot Freight Eastbound, a classic shot of lovers cuddling at a drive-in in 1956. They’re sitting together in a Buick made back when cars were really works of art and built like tanks. In the background a steam train is hurtling by, its plume clearly visible. You’ll know you’ve seen this photo before - if only in your dreams.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
We lost Frank Sinatra - a Sagittarius if ever there was one - on May 14, 1998. Crank up some Frank and reflect on this man, this icon. In their work all great artists help transcend the solitude of individuals; they relieve the ache of loneliness; they supply a partial response to the urging of writer E. M. Forster: “Only connect.” In their ultimate triumph over the banality of death, such artists continue to matter. So will Frank Sinatra, wrote Pete Hamill in his book Why Sinatra Matters.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
There are alot of great reasons to go to Iceland, not the least of which is the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which boasts 261 penises from 90 animal species (no humans yet though). The museum is located in the fishing village of Husavik, about 298 miles northeast of Reykjavik. Other great reasons to make the trip to this starkly beautiful country include: The Blue Lagoon, and skyr.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Henry David Thoreau
famously said, “It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being.” These times are hard, people losing their jobs left and right, and the populations in animal shelters are skyrocketing due to the fact that feeding an animal becomes less important once you don’t know if you can even feed yourself. Therefore consider getting a new best friend who will love you unconditionally, if you can afford to do so. It’s critical right now. And please adopt an older animal - they are much harder to place in homes and much more likely to be euthanized for this reason.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
This weekend take a vacation to Paris in the 1920’s and 30’s with Violette Leduc’s seductive memoir La Batarde. Paris emerged from the earth and I went out to meet it. The zinc, the zinc counters of midday…Lovers in the streets, lovers on the benches, lovers in front of the store windows. They were making love with arms wound around each other’s waist. Their temples kissed even when their mouths didn’t meet….My first summer in Paris, the Paris heat. Fall into this book gracefully like it was a down pillow, and enjoy it thoroughly.

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