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Bill Hicks once opined (and I agree): Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye. That being said, the fact is that dramatic moments of all shapes and sizes were played out this year on the small screen, from the sublime to the ridiculous (most of it being more in the latter category). The year began with the writers’ strike which went on for about ten million years and impacted our lives in all kinds of ways. After a Busboy drought (no Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert) the daring duo returned to the screen early in the year sans writers – and, surprise surprise, were pretty much as hilarious and entertaining as ever.

The writers’ strike, among other things, ensured no new season of 24 would take place until 2009. I don’t know about you but I was fine with that decision; much as I missed Jack B’s constipated facial expressions (and sour-faced / annoying / but you gotta love her - sidekick Chloe) I was fine with not seeing a show this year where presidents were snuffed out. (And then we recently got a little taste of Warrior King JB on 24: Redemption to warm us up for next year)

The overwhelming TV presence this year was politics. But let’s get to that later. First I’d like to spotlight the best new show of the year, Alan Ball’s True Blood. Lip-smacking good. Here’s some fun; tonight (New Year’s Eve) you can catch a True Blood marathon on HBO 2 starting at 6pm. Bon Temps, Louisiana comes alive (in a manner of speaking) with this vampire romance between sweet telepathic Sookie (Anna Paquin) and sexy undead Bill (Stephen Moyer). Best characters: Sookie’s conflicted, demon-ridden, wisecracking best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) as the coolest, cutest, freakiest, most interesting short order cook ever. What else would we expect from Alan Ball, who created Six Feet Under and wrote the film American Beauty.

Other great shows this year, in no particular order:
-Always necessary – The Daily Show, The Colbert Report. The Colbert Report’s week in Philadelphia covering the heated Pennsylvania primaries was outstanding. Colbert at the Liberty Bell telling the guide “Let me tongue the crack of liberty.” Colbert singing the National Anthem with John Legend, beautifully. Hillary Clinton fixing the digital screen in order to prove she can handle any crisis, only to have Obama appear on it soon afterward by satellite (Colbert: Won’t Senator Clinton be glad she fixed that).
-CBS Sunday Morning – for the most part, educational and entertaining (except when they go off on boring tangents).
-Gossip Girl – a moral drama of the highest order, with the consistently best dialogue of any show methinks. Remember Blair trying to keep her cool when meeting her mother’s new boyfriend for the first time; “I am Grace KellyGrace Kelly is me.”
-Lost – best moment so far in a show chockablock with great moments: Ben turning the frozen wheel that made the island disappear. Say what?!?!?!
-Ugly Betty – eye candy with a moral lesson thrown in. And love, love, love Marc St. James (Michael Urie), the bitchy but soft-hearted assistant to diva ediatrix Wilhemina Slater (Vanessa Williams). Another reason to watch; Betty’s younger brother Justin (Mark Indelicato). His best scene ever (Season 1) – acting out the play Hairspray to passengers on the subway. Receptionist Amanda (Becki Newton) also hits many high notes. This show is blessed by brilliant casting.
-30 Rock – All of a sudden it’s all about Tina Fey. Well my altar to her went up years ago when she broke into the boys club at SNL. I’ve been a fan of this show since the beginning, believing (and rightly so, it appears) that if Tina Fey created it, it must be golden. And then there’s Alec Baldwin. My dream man.
-The Soup – I don’t dare chance a weekend without a bowl of spicy soup from Joel McHale and his sick crew. What’s great about this show is that it is a collection of the best moments of all the worst TV shows. McHale’s banter makes me chortle. Although I am getting a little tired of mankini. And when is Spaghetti Cat getting his own spin-off?
-SNL – When they’re good, they’re very very good, and when they’re bad they’re horrid. Sometimes both in the same show. But consistently great (even in bad skits) are Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Casey Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, and Kenan Thompson. Amy Poehler, girlfriend, I’m going to miss you! Of course SNL had a huge year with all of Tina Fey’s Palinizations and such, of which more later.
-Hardball with Chris Matthews – you want to hate him, and sometimes you do. But maybe it’s his Philadelphia accent (my hometown too), maybe it’s because when he gets excited about something he practically foams at the mouth, but he’s hugely entertaining and I logged many hours of this show during election season.
-Countdown with Keith Olbermann – sometimes it seemed as if his voice was the only one speaking truth to power this year. Although he did go overboard many a time. Still, I love him madly and he’s earned a place at the top of my must-see-TV list.
-The Rachel Maddow Show – she’s smart as a whip, cute, and engaging. Her interview last night with tainted Illinois Senatorial candidate Roland Burris was a don’t-miss and if you did miss it, check it out here.

I have not caught the train on these yet but I know I have to soon:
Mad Men
Battlestar Galactica
The Sarah Silverman Program

Really good shows on the fringes of my radar, to be further investigated:
The Office
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Cash Cab
Chelsea Lately
Tracy Ullman’s State of the Union

Reality TV Rubbernecking:
-Project Runway – this year was not so great, but Tim Gunn always delivers. He’s like the teacher you always wanted to have in high school.
-The Pick Up Artist – unbelievably bizarre reality show where a guy in what looks to be a flea-bitten furry top hat who calls himself “Mystery” teaches a bunch of geeks how to score with hot chicks. Mystery has his own language which is endlessly entertaining, my favorite being DHV-ing. This means ‘demonstration of higher value’ – in other words you’re supposed to work DHV’s into your conversation with the babe you want to snag. It’s like a reality tv show in Bizarro World. And Mystery himself, purportedly the biggest catch on the planet, obviously has a hair loss thing going, always wearing strange head coverings. What’s with the goggles? Possibly weirder than him are the sad losers that hang onto his every word.
-America’s Next Top Model – Child! This show can come up with some fun moments. Like when Tyra lapses into ethnic phraseology. Or when she spontaneously bursts into song on lines like ‘noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker.’ Is it me or does everyone behind her (Paulina, Miss Jay, etc) squirm a bit when she does this? Love that Whitney, a plus-size model, won the top prize this year. Love that Isis, a transgender model, was part of the homegirl gang recently. Lady Miss Tyra marches on, dashing barriers right and left!
-Living Lohan – in which Dina Lohan shows us why she should have had her tubes tied prior to getting married.
-Sunset Tan – the best thing about this vacuous show was the Olly Girls (Holly and Molly), two platinum blonde airheads and former Girls Gone Wild. They were fired and…hired back. Because the producers know what makes for good (AKA bad) TV.
-Paris Hilton’s My New BFF – in yet another sign of the approaching apocalypse, this show went on the air in the fall. The winner was Brittany Flickinger (can that be someone’s real name?). Everyone’s favorite: Onch, the girlboy. Stalker material: Vanessa, the runner up. Wikipedia gives us a gorgeous chart which explains why each contestant was eliminated. (At the elimination ceremonies, Paris would gaze sadly at the ousted hopeful and dismiss them with “TTYN” – talk to you never).
-Rock of LoveSeason 2 of this unbelievably sick show began in January and ended in April with Bret Michaels, a R&R has-been if I have ever seen one (and talk about hair loss) choosing Ambre Lake from a bevy of skanks to be his (gag me) rock of love. This show never disappoints in complete and total ickiness. You practically contract a sexual disease from watching it. By the way, Ambre didn’t last – I know you’re as surprised as I am – Bret launches a new season of this trainwreck Sunday night January 4 with Rock of Love Bus. Apparently he hops between two busfulls of so-called hot mamas while touring.
-Rock of Love Charm School – in which Sharon Osbourne was the plucky headmistress to a bunch of losers from both seasons of Rock of Love. Although she’s supposed to be teaching them to become ladies, she’s got them dressing in sexy jailbait schoolgirl uniforms. Sharon’s great though. And this show provided many hilarious moments with Lacey, Rodeo, Megan, Heather and the gang.
-A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila – I crown this show to be the one most like licking an ashtray. It was positively rank. And why anyone would choose Bobby over Dani is beyond belief. Seriously! If Tila had chosen Dani, I like to think they’d be living together in Florida in semi-marital bliss. Notice you haven’t heard from Dani since the show ended, which has to be the true test of a real person versus a made for tv skank. I wont even bother to go there with the spinoff show Domenico did. Just the bits I saw on The Soup were enough for me.

2008 Randomizers:
-Ryan Seacrest. He’s everywhere. Why?
-Britney Spears. Starting the year with no hair, stabbing cars with umbrellas, ending it with cheese grits cooked over the stove by dad and big hits (fazed cookies too I bet).
-Lindsey Lohan. Apparently now a card-carrying member of the Daughters of Bilitis, big Obama supporter although she later referred to him as “colored” (ouch!), and the real story behind her episode arc on Ugly Betty may never be told.
-Rachael Ray’s never-was Dunkin Donuts commercial due to her wearing a ‘terrorist scarf’ that looked like something a crazy Muslim would wear. I ask you. Can you think of someone less American than Rachael Ray? Because I can’t.
-Word of the Year: Meme. According to Wikipedia, a meme comprises a unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices; such units or elements transmit from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word mimema for mimic. Memes act as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures. Well trust me; its still the word of the year.

From The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

From: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Political Asylum TV:
During the long-ass American Idolatrous Popularity Contest between HRC and BHO, I logged about 3 hours of MSNBC almost every week night. If I wasn’t home, I taped it. This had never happened to me before; watching news in this fashion. All of which led me to really believe that the lanky, cool junior senator from Illinois who refused to play dirty could pull this thing off. After watching him for many months, and canvassing, and doing everything I could to get him elected, I had absolutely no doubt in my mind on November 4th that he would win. What I did not realize was that he would win so big.

Some real numbers:
-Voter turnout increased by more than 13 million people this year, compared to 2004.
-The Associated Press reported that 136.6 million Americans voted in the presidential election, which is a 64.1 percent turnout rate out of more than 208 million registered voters. What a concept; we’re actually acting like a democracy!

Some wonderful moments over the long road to El Casa Blanca:
-McCain ‘suspending’ his campaign and canceling on Letterman. No one will ever make that mistake again, n’est-ce pas?
-Hillary’s 3 AM wake up call commercial in which the phone rings about fifty times before some half-seen female with glasses answers it, meant to scare the bejesus out of us. Somehow I bet Obama would have answered it on the first or second ring.
-The never-ending discussion over the Bradley Factor keeping white voters from voting for a black candidate. No one talks about it now that we have the Obama Factor.
-John McCain’s insincere smile. It always looked to me like he was suddenly remembering to smile. And the body language between him and Cindy was – well I am not going to go there.
-Cindy McCain’s plagiarized cookie recipe.
-The so-called terrorist fist bump practiced by Barack and Michelle Obama onstage when he announced he was the presumptive nominee.
-John McCain’s confusion about how many houses he owns. And cars! Must be fun to be that rich.
-The debates – McCain wandering around onstage and getting in Tom Brokaw’s camera shot.
-Joe the Plumber, the everyman that was suddenly world famous thanks to McCain, and turned out not to even be a plumber, owed back taxes, had newsmen camping on his lawn, and got a book deal. I’m waiting for the reality TV show. (Hey Joe, where you going with that plunger in your hand?)
-McCain and Palin stoking the fires of fear, ignorance, racism and violence at their sparsely attended campaign rallies trying to make Obama rhyme with Ayers. Trying to paint Obama as a scary unknown communist Muslim. And then McCain being surprised when a woman says she doesn’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab.

And then there’s Sarah Heath Palin. Oh the beauty of it. I doff my hat to McCain or whoever had the foresight to pick her as his running mate. Loyal readers will know that I have run on and on about this particular subject so I will only mention a few of my favorite things here:
-Her first moment in the spotlight, the RNC Speech where she you betcha-d her way into America’s heart. While daughter Piper studiously licked the hair on baby Trig’s head in the audience. While baby Trig was the special needs human football that had to be trotted out in the middle of that loud, germ-ridden arena so we could all admire SP’s motherly dedication to him. As that poor little thing slept through the whole shebang, unaware he was a symbol now and not a child.
-Her debate with Joe Biden. The May I call you Joe? moment where she tried to seem both vulnerable and charming behind the barracuda smile.
-The Charles Gibson interview where he asked if she believed in the Bush doctrine. After a long (for TV) pause where you know SP was frantically racking her brains for what the hell was he talking about, she quipped, ‘in what respect Charlie?” and a whole string of Charlie Charlie Charlie as if that would negate the fact that the emperor (empress in this case) had no clothes.
-The Team of Mavericks. The definition of maverick is an unbounded range animal, one who does not abide by rules. Okay then!
-Thanks but no thanks. The true story of the Bridge to Nowhere.
-Katie Couric trying to pin SP down as to what, if anything, she reads. And not succeeding.
-The turkey death clip that surfaced post election of Palin chattering away as turkeys are slaughtered directly behind her.
-Palin assuring us of her qualifications for a job one heartbeat away from the Presidency because she can see Russia from her house.
-Tina Fey out-Palining Palin and the classic moment when they switched places at the podum on SNL.

And then the final nail in the Bush coffin took place recently when an Iraqi journalist threw not one but both of his shoes at GWB during his farewell press conference in the green zone. Bush later shrugged it off saying, that’s what people do in a free society. Oh really? They throw shoes at world leaders to express their absolute horror, dislike and complete disdain?

From the ridiculous to the sublime… the best TV moment of the year was Barack Obama’s Election Night Speech at Grant Park. In which he said, Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long . . . As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends — though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too . . . And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

So ends my 2008 subjective diatribe about the year in television. I know I’ve run at the mouth quite a bit here. Feel free to comment away, and Happy New Year!

March 21 - April 19 Aries
There’s nothing that would behoove you adventurous Aries folks more than a weekend midnight movie at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village. August 8 and 9 you can scope George Axelrod’s 1966 classic Lord Love A Duck starring a wickedly satirical Roddy McDowell and sweet young blonde Tuesday Weld. Let’s just say that Weld starts off as an innocent, shy teenage girl who wants to be popular and ends up as a movie star in Bikini Widow. That should be enough to get you into the theater tonight or tomorrow at midnight. The series continues every weekend through September 27 and ends with Roger Corman’s granddaddy of counterculture genius, The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson). The entire schedule is here.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Famed Taurean William Shakespeare once wrote: Summer’s lease hath all too short a date. To paraphrase: it’s August, bitches! Get your stubborn Taurus behind out there into the world and take in some fresh air, even if it is heavy with humidity. You’ll wish you had done so come wintertime when the air is freezing cold and hurts when you breathe. Move it and shake it, yo ~ before the ice age moves in on us and takes permanent residence like on that scary episode of the Twilight Zone.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Your dual nature will no doubt thrill to the news that David Byrne and Brian Eno have collaborated again for the first time in 30 years - and that’s gotta be cool. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is released August 18th but you can download a free copy of one of the songs, Strange Overtones, here. A tour will commence on September 16th in Bethlehem, Pa.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
One of my favorite crab people is Artie Wayne, who is and has been a songwriter, singer, producer, concert promoter, publisher, restaurant host and more during his storied career. He’s also a refreshing stop in the increasingly crowded blogosphere where he shares way cool finds like Simon and Garfunkel performing Sounds of Silence acoustically live on television; The Mighty Quinn by the awesomely underrated Manfred Mann; Society’s Child by shy, sixteen year old Janis Ian; and John, You’ve Gone Too Far This Time by Rainbo (AKA Sissy Spacek prior to her acting career!). AW is apparently working on a book about the music business – sign me up for that one, Amazon!

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Happy Birthday Leo guys and dolls! Yes, Teri, that means YOU! A great way to celebrate your birthday weekend is to crank up the dials to WFMU FM which is celebrating 50 years on the air today through Sunday. And don’t think you can’t listen because you don’t live in the area. Au contraire ma cherie ~ WFMU streams live on the web 24/7! Legendary DJ’s from years past will be dropping in all weekend to help celebrate – including Wildgirl, Vin Scelsa, and Danny Fields! Even the Hound will be back, Saturday August 9 between 3 and 6pm.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
I know you Virgos are very concerned with not acting old – as are we all. Please to rejoice in which has loads of tips on how to not give away your age, assuming you’re older than Paris Hilton (who still qualifies as young). Writer Pamela Redmond Satran has written 14 books including 5 novels, and 8 bestselling baby-naming books coauthored with Linda Rosenkrantz. Besides her blog, she also writes for the Huffington Post and has a new book out called 1000 Ways To Be A Slightly Better Woman.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Librans can satisfy their insatiable need for great documentary films this summer with HBO’s terrific weekly series which started in June with Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. Even though it has appeared that Showtime has kicked HBO’s ass this year on drama series, I’m here to tell you that these documentaries make for great television. Last week, Baghdad High showed us what it’s like to be a teenager in Iraq where a daily commute to school is fraught with roadside bombings. Quel teenage wasteland! Every Monday night at 9pm through August 25th a new film is shown. Pop some corn and settle down to leave your world for the duration.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
It’s about time, Scorpio cats n kittens – your basest selves will thrill to the newly opened Erotic Heritage Museum in (where else?) Las Vegas, Nevada. Over 24,000 square feet of permanent and featured exhibits pay tribute to the world of erotica. The Museum opened its legs, I mean, doors to the world on August 3rd and seeks to bridge the gap between that which is commercial and often misidentified as pornographic. No doubt Jesse Helms will be turning in his grave.

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
In honor of a Capricorn born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, I’m speaking of course of Elvis Aaron Presley here, I urge you to visit the 24 Hour Church of Elvis. Here in this pocket of madness on the internets you can purchase refrigerator magnets, stickers, pins, t-shirts, calendars, etc. etc. etc. Proprietor Stephanie G. Pierce has run this establishment since 1985 in Portland, Oregon. There used to be a physical store where weddings were performed, but that’s closed for the moment. In the meantime, flat top cats and dungaree dolls can celebrate The King with a refrigerator magnet.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Our Aquarian of the Week is – yes – Paris Hilton. Girlfriend fired back a hysterical response to John McCain’s Britney/Paris/Obama TV ad from last week. Paris lounges in a leopard bikini as she explains her own energy policy to us (surprise, it’s pretty frickin’ awesome). Quoth Ms. Hilton: “That wrinkly white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad, which I guess means I’m running for President. So thanks for the endorsement, white-haired dude. . . I want America to know that I’m like, totally ready to lead.” Even her parents, who contributed $Hilton$ money to McCain, were horrified by his tasteless ad which compares Obama’s celebrity to that of their daughter and Britney Spears.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Fish People, here’s a novel you can curl up in for the entire month of August and read your brains out. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is the largely autobiographical tale of Roberts, who escapes after two years in an Australian prison where he had been jailed for a series of armed robberies performed when he was a heroin addict. He arrives in Bombay with an assumed name and forged papers and luckily meets a street guide who becomes his bridge to an entirely new world. That’s only the beginning; I’m still reading it. The book is so large and heavy it could conceivably be used as a weapon. Fall into this fascinating world like it was a gorgeous colorful silken pillow.

March 21 - April 19 Aries
You’re bummed out because Rock of Love 2 is over. I understand – I’m right there with you. Once we got used to those sordid images of Daisy waving her hands around like a mental patient and sobbing, it’s hard to live without her histrionics, to say nothing of those other skanks (can you say Kristy Joe?). But it’s okay because Bret Michaels is touring. Talk about a skankfest. Check out the dates here. And remember, every rose has its thorn.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Discover the beauty and sadness of author Sarah Waters and her exquisite studies of women’s lives in England mostly in the Victorian era. You won’t soon forget the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd in Tipping the Velvet; the obsessive romance set within the cold grey stone walls of a women’s prison in Affinity; the incredible story of orphan/outlaw/thief Sue Trinder in Fingersmith; and the lives of four lonely Londoners during the dark days of 1940’s London amidst air raids and blackouts in The Night Watch. Sarah, please write another one – soon.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
The download of the week is Expecting to Fly by Buffalo Springfield, written by Neil Young, who once said of the band “we were good, even great.” This song is a 3:46 mini-masterpiece with soaring strings and a positively heartbreaking vocal by Young. “There you stood on the edge of your feather, expecting to fly. While I laughed, I wondered whether I could wave goodbye, Knowing that you’d gone.” Gets me every single damn time. Watch the original music video here.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
If you’re Nelson Mandela, born July 18, 1918, who spent 27 years in prison under the apartheid regime of South Africa, released in 1990 while a live global television audience watched him take his first steps to freedom, later the first democratically elected president of the very country that imprisoned him, a world figure of staggering proportions who represents dignity and humanity while going through experiences most of us could never dream of – yes, if you were Mr. Mandela you would be finding out this week that the United States of America still has you flagged as a terrorist, requiring special permission to visit this country.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Whew! You can rest easy: they finally found Pink Floyd’s giant inflatable pig that sailed away from Coachella last weekend. Two giant piles of plastic were found in the driveways of a couple of residences in La Quinta, California. Time to worry about something else. The good news is: no shortage of things to worry about.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the riots at Columbia University in 1968. To commemorate this occasion I would like you to try to levitate the Pentagon 300 feet in the air. Seriously though, meditate on this: if college students poured into the streets today protesting the Iraq war we’d find ourselves under martial law quicker than you can say Dick Cheney.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Your assignment this weekend is to fall down the musical rabbit hole of record producer/recording artist Don Was’ Wasmopolitan Calvade of Recorded Music on My Damn Channel. See/hear and enjoy well over 50 fantastic cross-genre original videos of tunes by artists like Jill Sobule, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Maia Sharp, Cowboy Jack Clement and Don’s own band, Was (Not Was). Download them for free! The Donfather will take care of you.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Via Netflix, go back in time to a much more uncomplicated era – 1960 – when pop culture was just beginning to feel the tremors of an earthquake resulting from the clash of cookie-cutter all-Americanism vs. radical beatnik jazz poetry lifeloving sex beauty. View the beginning of this cultural divide as evidenced in writer Glendon Swarthout’s account of spring break in Fort Lauderdale. The film Where The Boys Are is the original beach blanket bingo, but it’s full of pathos and morals and true love and heartbreak. No Frankies or Annettes here. Four Ivy League co-eds looking for romance drive from the snowy Midwest down to Florida for a vacation they will never forget. Keep an eye out for Frank Gorshin in one of his swinginest roles ever as the boyfriend of Connie Francis’ character.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians, one of you was named Destiny Hope Miley Cyrus by your parents Billy Ray and Tish. You’re all over the news with your Lolita-style photo shoot for Vanity Fair Magazine. Child, you’re only fifteen years old. Who let you pose like this? Walt Disney must be turning over in his grave. Please find someone that you trust to help you not turn into the next Britney Spears.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Celebrate the life of fellow Capricorn Dr. Albert Hofmann, who shuffled off the mortal coil this week at the grand age of 102. Dr. Hofmann discovered the mind-altering substance LSD quite by accident in 1943. To say his research changed the world would be putting it mildly. Dr. Hofmann frequently noted that his forays through the doors of perception were the greatest way he could prepare for that final trip everyone must take.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
O Aquarius, 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 most incredible rock and roll band in the world. He was 19 years old, became the band’s co-manager, and assisted them in creating the most compelling music of their 40 year plus career. He’s done five million other incredible things as well. Read about him, track down his two books (Stoned, and 2 Stoned, both out of print – but another one comes out later this year from Random House), read his blog, listen to him liven up the satellite airwaves daily on Sirius’ Channel 25 Underground Garage.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Go to Austin, Texas and have the best breakfast of your life at Las Manitas at 211 Congress Ave. It’s in danger of losing its lease due to non-renewal because of Austin’s redevelopment of the area, which would be a crime and a shame. While you’re at it investigate what’s going on there and email the Mayor and the City Council to let them know that you want the eggs, rice and beans, and café con leche served by this landmark restaurant to continue to be appreciated as it should be.

US MAGAZINE reports that Brit’s lil sis, Jamie Lynn, celebrated her 17th birthday last week with Casey Aldridge, her fiancee and baby daddy. Casey and Jamie Lynn marked the occasion by shopping at Wal-Mart and dining at a chain restaurant (no details on which one, alas). the rest of the Spears clan was apparently in LA with elder sister Britney. this slice-of-life vignette makes me want to make a sugar sandwich on white bread. MMMM!