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March 21 - April 19 Aries
Charming Aries wisenheimer / radio personality / political pundit Rachel Maddow has been guest hosting Countdown with Keith Olbermann all this week and I’ve decided she needs her own TV show. She’s witty, fresh, and scintillating – and comely to boot. Maddow is a wunderkind who graduated from Stanford in 1994 with a degree in public policy and is also a Rhodes scholar. Her radio show on Air America airs at 6pm on weeknights and she is a frequent commentator on MSNBC. Plus, according to her website, she shakes a mean cocktail, drives a bright red pickup, hates Coldplay, loves arguing with conservatives, spends a lot of money on AMTRAK tickets, and dresses like a first-grader.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Are you hungry for change? Who isn’t? Put your money where your mouth is this weekend at one of the many Hungry for Change Bake Sales all over the country sponsored by moveon.org. Go to their website and put in your zip code to find the one nearest you. It is fairly likely you won’t find any of Cindy McCain’s plagiarized cookie recipes here.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Talk about a summer getaway! Take a ride up to Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel ~ B52 Kate Pierson’s cabin fever fantasy dream getaway in the Catskills. From the website: Inside the cozy, rustic cabins, you’ll find mind-blowing mid-century modern/space age/rocket-your-socks-off décor. The suites are filled with authentic 50s-style kitchens turned out with vintage cabinets, Frigidaires and stoves – all in dazzling colors! Not to mention an unusual selection of DVD’s/VHS tapes for your viewing pleasure, and toiletries collected from around the world which Kate grabbed while on various tours – shhh!

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
It may be the classic tourist trap and it’s right in the heart of Times Square, but Virgil’s Real Barbecue has the best cheese grits I’ve ever had in New York City. Don’t bother getting a table in this always-jammed joint, pony up to the bar and have a lip smacking culinary experience. If you’ve never had cheese grits in your life, I envy your first time discovery of this yummy creamy mix of cornmeal, butter, and cheese. Your arteries will be screaming stop…but you’ll continue on because you have to. And the barbecue here ain’t too shabby either.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Two words: Mary Weiss. Four more words: Walking in the sand. Remember!? Miss Mary has returned from a tour of the continent and will be appearing next Friday night, July 18, at the South Street Seaport. Show starts at 7pm with the Nouvellas opening. In case you still need more biographical info, Mary was the former lead singer of the Shangri-Las. She and the other girls were high school students in Queens when their singing brought them to the attention of George “Shadow” Morton and the rest is history. Read the most awesomest interview ever with her here. She released a solo record on the swingin’ Norton Records label not long ago, backed by the Reigning Sound. They’re good bad, but they’re not evil.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Speaking of chanteuses, Patti Smith wrote a book several years ago that fits in the palm of your hand: Wool Gathering (Hanuman Books). Unfortunately it seems to be on the rare side these days. The little tome of vignettes are illumined by Patti’s glorious prose – In the ring of the impossible night. Everything elastic. The sky a deep disturbing rose. I can feel the dust of Calcutta, the gone eyes of Bhopal. I can see the prayer flags flapping about like old socks in the warm, ironic wind.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Let’s talk about one of our favorite Libras, John Winston Ono Lennon. Apparently in 1969, 14 year old Beatle fan Jerry Levitan interviewed John in his and Yoko’s hotel room in Toronto 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
It will come as no surprise to you that the music industry has crashed and burned in the last few years. We’re at a very interesting moment in time; poised on the brink of something huge. All the old models don’t work anymore and no one has yet created one that does. Read all about how this translates to everyday life in the insightful piece that Sal Nunziato penned for Newsweek recently. Sal used to run a record store that was a fixture for upper west siders – NYCD. Not just a store…a community. And now it’s gone, thanks to our economy and the current state of the industry.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Ten Thousand Waves is located in the mountains above Santa Fe, New Mexico and is patterned after a traditional Japanese onsen. It’s a day spa that now also features thirteen hotel suites and I can’t think of a more relaxing place on earth. Go for an hour – go for a day – go for a week. You truly haven’t lived until you’ve relaxed in one of their private hot tubs, perched in the open air among the piñon trees with high wooden walls assuring seclusion and quiet.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Canadian cosmetics store LUSH has starbucksed itself all over the world in case you didn’t know, and is now available on just about every continent. Their products are all hand-made, fashioned from fresh organic fruits and vegetables and the finest essential oils, and a blessed absence of animal products. If you’ve never experienced their items, you’re really in for a treat. Try the Butterball Bath Bomb, the Karma Handmade Soap, the Creamy Candy Bubble Bar. Quoth the folks at LUSH: We believe in long candlelit baths, massage, filling the house with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Sweet Smell of Success was produced in 1957, directed by Alexander Mackendrick, written by Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman, and Mackendrick, and stars Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. A classic film noir, the movie is about the volatile relationship between the characters played by Curtis and Lancaster. Lancaster is J.J. Hunsecker, a popular New York City columnist who is universally hated but constantly courted by types like Sidney Falco (Curtis), a Type-A publicist trying to get his clients into the paper. Best line in a movie full of great lines: “I’d hate to take a bite of you: you’re like a cookie filled with arsenic.”

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Mixed Up was released by The Cure in 1990 and is a collection of extended mixes (5 minutes plus) of their most popular songs. The songs are delicious, hypnotic, dreamlike and fanciful. It’s as if a gang of gothic fairies were set loose in the studio with the original tracks and went hog-wild. These are now the versions I cherish and when I think of The Cure, this is the album I’m thinking of. Stunningly brilliant.

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[...] 21 - April 19 Aries Ya know, back in early July I posited in this here column that (Aries) Rachel Maddow, who had been guest-hosting Countdown with Keith Olbermann, deserved her [...]